By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
After beating cross-town rival Fairmont Senior to win the sectional championship and advance to the Region I final, East Fairmont coach Fred Roman tweeted: “Great win boys. Now do better.”
“Do better” has become something of a catch phrase on the East Fairmont team, sophomore Colin Harvath explained.
“I think it was the RCB game. It was tied 0-0. He came in at halftime and the only two words he said were ‘do better,’” Harvath said. “It’s worked ever since.”
The Bees listened and it worked again on Thursday. East Fairmont controlled the ball and the game from horn-to-horn to defeat Oak Glen 5-0.
The Bees advance to the state tournament in Beckley where they will face Charleston Catholic Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m.
“I told them before the game to have fun,” Roman said. “That was a big thing. I told them, ‘It’s raining. You guys haven’t played in a game like this in a long time. Let’s just go out and have some fun.’”
Connor Fitz scored two goals to lead the Bees. Andrew Slusser, Harvath and Logan Cerullo also netted goals in the definitive win.
“Connor as our speaking captain really stepped up and played a great game tonight,” Roman said. “I was really hoping he would get that third. But it was not necessary.”
Right from the start, East Fairmont controlled the momentum. Slusser and Harvath scored early goals to give the Bees a 2-0 cushion in the first half. Oak Glen used a formation with four defenders on the back line, so Roman and the coaching staff countered by playing their forwards out wide.
“We wanted to stretch them out a little bit,” he said. “If they’re going to pack four in, then we’re just going to bait you on out there.”
Not only did the Bees stretch the defense out, but also their lead in the second half thanks to Fitz’s two goals and Cerullo’s one. Before long, it was clear that East Fairmont was on its way to Beckley.
As the public-address announcer counted down the final seconds, the boisterous East Fairmont student section broke out into a cheer: “We’re going to state! We’re going to states!”
Indeed they are.
After the game, Roman had some more advice for his players.
“He told us to enjoy it for the time being, but we’re not done,” Harvath said. “We still have work to do.”
In other words: do better.
“We have to do better. Charleston Catholic is a perennial team that has won the state championship (multiple) times,” Roman said. “We’ll have to do much better to get by them in the semis.”
After a brief pause, he added with a smile, “I don’t see where we’re going to stop anytime soon.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.