It all comes down to this.
The Marion County boys’ soccer teams are ready for a week’s worth of hard-fought games in hopes that their team will be crowned the sectional champion.
East Fairmont and North Marion will get things started with a game at 8 p.m. today at East-West Stadium. The winner will go on to play Fairmont Senior in the sectional championship at 5 p.m. Saturday at East-West.
To get to the top of the plateau, these teams will have to overcome teams they know very well.
There are only three teams in the section for the boys, and all three teams are within the county. East and North will have a tougher road, while Fairmont Senior will need to win just one game to take home a title and advance.
Fairmont Senior, which finished the season with an 8-7-3 record, was able to pull out an opening-round bye after defeating East Fairmont in the regular season, 1-0, and is ranked 13th in the state. Sam Tonkovich and his team will use the bye week to get some much needed rest.
“It gives us time to heal and get some much needed rest,” Tonkovich said.
Midfielder Justin Anselene said that even though the Polar Bears have the first game off, it’ll still be a hard battle Saturday.
“We’ll still be playing a tough game no matter what,” he said. “Getting the win over East was just in the regular season. It’ll be different.”
But Anselene knows that getting past either team isn’t always guaranteed.
“It could go either way,” said Anselene. “We’re pretty much going to play the same way we have been. We have some guys who have been hurt who will be coming back, so we might have a leg up.”
East Fairmont, which boasts a No. 3 ranking in the state and a 12-4 record, will have to overcome two teams en route to a championship.
Forward Colin Harvath believes his team has been riding high all season.
“We have a lot of momentum,” Harvath said. “We’re doing pretty well this season.”
Harvath likes the fact that the Bees get to prove themselves against county opponents, but says the team’s ultimate goal is to take down the Polar Bears.
“We’ve been in the shadows of Fairmont Senior and we think this is the year that we finally beat them,” he said. “We’re just going to keep playing the same game and work hard.”
North Marion hasn’t had an easy road all season and has won just two games until this point. But any team can make a statement in the playoffs if they get hot at the right time.
Goalkeeper Angelo Bombardiere says the team just needs to fine-tune some things and they’ll be good to go.
“There’s a lot more pressure (in the playoffs),” Bombardiere said. “I have to be more of a leader out there and help our team get the ‘W’.”
Of playing county opponents, Bombardiere and the Huskies are ready for the challenge.
“It gives us an advantage because we know what they’re going to do, but they know us, too,” he said. “It has its advantages and disadvantages.”
Email Matt Welch at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.
It all comes down to this.
- Prep Sports
FSHS, NMHS ready for redemption in Charleston
Come Saturday, a new Class AA girls’ state basketball champion will be crowned.
Michael breezes through state tournament
East Fairmont’s Dalton Michael has set his sights on becoming the first wrestler to ever win three state championships at East Fairmont.
Fairmont Senior closes out East Fairmont for Section 1 title: PHOTOS
When they cut down the nets Friday night at the Woody Williams Armory, the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears were the ones holding the scissors.
Each player took home a piece of the twine, a small memento from a 59-51 victory over East Fairmont in the Section 1 championship game.
Fairmont Senior bullies Ritchie County to claim regional title: PHOTOS
While remnants of a winter storm remained outside of the Woody Williams Armory, No. 1 Fairmont Senior was on fire inside, beating Ritchie County, 69-31, for the Region I title.
It was business as usual for Fairmont Senior, which will advance to the state tournament beginning next Wednesday in Charleston.
North Marion tops Webster, 76-48
North Marion rebounded from a sectional championship loss to beat Webster County, 76-48, on the road Thursday night to punch its ticket to the state tournament.
The Lady Huskies, which had four of their five starters in double figures, used a team effort to get the win.
Elliott, Delligatti share state championship win with their fathers
As human beings, we love to share special moments with those we are closest to.
For Ryan Elliott and Vincent Delligatti, that moment was winning the state championship, something they were both able to accomplish with their father as a coach on their wrestling team.
Bees surge late to top Huskies in close game: PHOTOS
Brennon Vincent stands just 5-foot-10 on the stat sheet, but he played like a 7-footer as he led East Fairmont to a late 55-53 victory over North Marion Tuesday night to advance in the sectional tournament.
Vincent, a junior point guard, didn’t score 30-plus points. He didn’t pull down 20-plus rebounds.
FSHS routs Oak Glen to advance: PHOTOS
Forcing turnovers was the key to Fairmont Senior’s 71-35 victory over Oak Glen Tuesday in the first round of the sectional tournament.
Fairmont Senior coach David Retton credited the Polar Bear’s win to defense.
Stewart, Michael share highs and lows at state tournament
Saturday’s state wrestling tournament marked the end of one dream and the beginning of another for several wrestlers on East Fairmont’s team.
Barber, Alvaro, Delligatti claim titles for FSHS
Fairmont Senior’s senior duo of Anthony Alvaro and Vincent Delligatti were almost expected to win state championships. But Brent Barber? That was the highlight of the weekend for a Polar Bear team which tied for fifth overall and had four of its six wrestlers place.
- More Prep Sports Headlines
- FSHS, NMHS ready for redemption in Charleston