Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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November 5, 2013

Two teams, one memorable season

— Having gone to a football school in the heart of basketball country, I was never around soccer in my youth, and thus haven’t been a soccer guy in adulthood.

The 2013 Avon girls’ and boys’ soccer teams did a lot to change that over the past few weeks.

The Orioles’ thrilling runs came an end Saturday at IUPUI, as the girls won their first Class 2A state title over Fishers and the boys lost an overtime heartbreaker to Crown Point.

The postseason began like most others. The boys notched a couple of one-goal wins to take the Brownsburg sectional, and then whipped Brebeuf and Cathedral by a combined 9-0 margin to reach the Evansville semi-state. Meanwhile, the girls went unchallenged in the Plainfield sectional before a pair of 1-0 regional wins also put them in the same venue three hours to the south.

On that semi-state Saturday in Evansville, the story of the season changed, from one of two separate teams to a singular, driven organism pursuing a dream.

I have witnessed sporting events in 21 different states and the District of Columbia. I have seen some amazing events, and can usually recognize them early on as they happen. I knew when I pulled into the parking lot after the three-hour hike on that chilly morning that it would be a unique day, but had no idea just how much so in the end.

The girls started the day with a win over Columbus East, and the boys followed with a victory over No. 1 Columbus North, which put the Oriole squads on fields about 25 feet apart at the same time that night. While the morning crowd turnout was solid, when word of those wins reached Avon, more made their way south for the finales, including many students.

That night, the boys wrapped up their title about five minutes before the girls’ finish. When those who were in the stands for the boys’ game erupted, those cheers brought the girls’ supporters across the way to their feet, and they yelled in wild unison.

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