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State Soccer Recap

Pat Dowd, Managing Editor

On Thursday, May 10th, the boys varsity soccer season came to an end after a crushing shoutout defeat against Kearney. The team finished with a 16-4 record.


On Thursday night, the Junior Jays controlled most of the game, out-shooting Kearney 20-8 on the game. However, goalies on both sides had a great game which held the game scoreless through 100 minutes. The Bearcats would then go on to win the state championship on Tuesday.


The team had a successful season, winning many games in a row until the state tournament game. The varsity soccer team dominated districts, beating Millard South 6-1 in the championship which led them to their 11th state tournament appearance in a row.


With the end of this season, also comes the end of a legacy. Co-head coach Jim Swanson will be stepping down from the varsity coaching job. Swanson has been involved in the soccer program at Prep for 27 years and has won 7 state championships. Swanson has lifted the soccer program to new heights and has made countless relationships with players during his time at Prep.


“I will miss the relationships with the players and the families,” Swanson said. “I will miss my relationship with Mr. [Tom] Hoover, having played against each other at St. Roberts and Mary Our Queen, playing together here at Prep, playing together at Creighton, coming to back Prep together in 1991 coaching various levels and becoming co-head coaches in 2005 and having done that for 14 years is also a big part of it,” Swanson said.


Swanson will miss the many different players that he has coached, but he will also miss some of the fame that comes with being the Prep soccer coach.


“Some of the notoriety is fun, it’s fun being in the news or the paper and it’s fun going down to the state tournament and having people know who you are so I will miss that a little,” Swanson said.


After coaching Prep for 27 years, Swanson has made countless memories on the soccer field. However, two stand out more than the rest.


“Both involve my sons. One, my son Aidan was a team manager in junior high when we won the state championship and it was so important to him. It was a wonderful experience to win the championship with him and the whole team. The second one was last year being able to win the tournament with Dermott on the team. He didn’t play much but that was ok and he just wanted to win for his friends and for Prep so that was great,” Swanson said.


As Swanson’s final season concludes early, he still is very proud of the team and the special moments this team had.


“The class that Tommy Braun brought to the team when he suffered his hamstring injury and he responded as a mature leader of the team and didn’t show self-pity to himself was very special. I also think of Evan Lounsberry scoring two great goals against Millard North and Pierce O’Brien stepping in to the holding midfield role and stepping up as a leader was also very special,” Swanson said.


Losing in a penalty shootout is always rough for a team and losing someone so influential to the soccer program such as Jim Swanson is sad, the team is poised for a great return next year. The team will retain top goal scorer Duncan Mcguire and many other key players next year, as Prep is sure to be a favorite to win the state title next year.

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