This winter the Springfield Demize Academy fielded ten teams in various age groups at Lake Country Soccer’s indoor, and futsal leagues. A seven of the ten teams finished in first, or second place. Five teams took the top spot in the league standings. The Academy teams, ages U8-U19, posted an impressive combined record of 56-11-13. For the statisticians excluding ties our win percentage was 81%, and including ties our results were positive 83% of the time.
Starting from the youngest age group, the SDA U8 boys finished undefeated in their bracket with an record of 8-0. Coach Robert Norton is extremely proud stating, “the boys should get all of the credit, they are so fun to coach, and I couldn’t be more proud that they went undefeated. Everyone played their part, and Finlee Smith was the teams top goalscorer!”
The SDA U9 boys also won first in their combined U9/U10 league, and finished with a record of 5-2-1. They won the league in dramatic fashion waiting until the final game to see the results, and winning several close games against older competition. Coach Ben Brixey stated, “the three age groups we have growing up together are starting to become quite the show. The U8s, U9s, and U10s are finding success. Now, we will search for competition outside of Springfield to keep growing at this rate. It was a challenge playing up an age group, and seeing some of these players tower over my younger players. However, with my captain Giglio, and Chandler soaking up the most pressure we pulled off quite the season.”
The SDA U10 boys finished middle of the table with a record of 4-3-1, and had some tough losses that could have gone their way. Coach Jim stated, “Some of the losses were tough, and the boys showed that they can play with all of the teams in the bracket. Every one of our players has developed a stronger leg, and we should be ready to win in outdoors.”
The SDA U12 boys finished second with a record of 6-1-1, while putting away 23 goals compared to the 24 goals put away by the league leaders. Coach Chris Hanlon states, “I wanted first place in this age group, and just falling short means we need to work harder next season. These boys are starting to gel on the offensive end, and if we can stop letting in crucial goals during key moments in the game, we will be top of the league.”
The U13 boys finished middle of the table with a record of 4-3-1, and the U13/U14 boys finished an undefeated season with an 8-0-0 record. Joplin coach Marcos Soriano stated, “These boys are terrifying on the pitch. The opposing teams were good, but these boys were just better. Sometimes finishing off teams with a ten goal difference. The combination of JDA, SDA and BDA players is the real deal. Our true U13 boys are well on their way to reaching the older boys level. Showing promise all over the pitch.”
The SDA U14 boys finished second in their league with a record of 5-1-2 allowing the fewest number of goals against, only 25. Chris Hanlon suggests, “Just a bit more consistency finishing our chances on the offensive end, and we would have taken first place."
The SDA U15 boys had a great start to the season, but dropped some early points; their record ended at 1-1-6. After reviewing the scores they lost several close games with five of their six losses being within two goals. Coach Hanlon suggested the obvious, “the U15 boys team played well in a high school division against teams with players three to four years older than them. Our game managment hurt us in the final minutes. Despite losing several close games these boys have all improved on the ball, and these tough losses are lessons for the future.”
The SDA U16/U17 boys finished the league at the top, taking first place, and had an undefeated season at 8-0. This team is an impressive group of players, and often finished teams off by more than 7 goals. Chris Hanlon stated, “This group of young men can cut through defenses, and keep control of the ball in tight situations. The opposition couldn’t keep up, and more often than not these boys would find the back of the net."
The U18/U19 boys finished in first place with a record of 7-1, tied on points with another team. Chris Hanlon stated, “It is a bit nostalgic watching my players play some of their last indoor games for me. However, I think their example shows what the Demize Academy is all about. Finishing top of the league at this age group means a lot to me, and the club. These young men prove that our Academy sends players to College, and the Academy can compete from the youngest age group to the oldest. I look forward to having these players play on our Demize NPSL team, and our Demize PASL indoor team.”
In conclusion, this indoor season has been a great success for almost every age group. Even where teams struggled there were bright spots that can be the bases for future success. We would like to thank everyone involved in the Demize Academy system. The Demize Academy would like to thank all the wonderful parents who sacrifice day in and day out to get their kids to practices and games.