Friday, April 19, 2024

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River Mill soccer makes mark with perfect league record


By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

River Mill keeps building good boys’ soccer seasons. This one has been the best.

“It has just gelled,” coach Phil Hochreiter said. “It has been a good year.”

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River Mill capped the regular season by blowing out visiting Chatham Charter 9-2 on Monday afternoon.

That pushed the River Mill Jaguars to a 19-2 record and a 12-0 mark in Central Tar Heel 1-A Conference play.

The players remember the parting shots from last year’s seniors.

“They said that we’re going to be terrible,” senior Braydon Gregory said.

[Story continues below photo.]

Coach Phil Hochreiter and senior players, left to right, Emanuel Pascual, Jack Lucas, Collin Johnson, Johnathan Ward, and Braydon Gregory pose after a Senior Day victory Monday.

So the motivation was there to top the 19-6-1 record from 2022.

“Had to prove them wrong,” senior Collin Johnson said.

Hochreiter, who has overseen the team’s three-year record of 54-11-3, said he was aware of the ribbing delivered from last year’s seniors. That message was: “You guys aren’t going to do anything,” he said.

The Jaguars have been on mark for most of this season, avenging a season-opening loss to Eno River along the way.

Even though players for River Mill, which is a charter school, come from a collection of communities, many of the players have played together since youth leagues.

“Spending it with this group, getting to win with each other is good,” Johnson said.

In the Chatham Charter game, Colton Risen scored three goals, Johnson posted two goals and Gregory, Jack Lucas, Diego Gonzalez and Isaac Gonzalez all scored one.

If the Jaguars can win a state-playoff game, that would be win No. 20.

“That is going to be a highlight for me,” Hochreiter said.

River Mill plays most home games in east Burlington at the field across the street from Burlington Athletic Stadium. Playoff games might be held at Burlington’s Springwood Park.

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