Boys soccer finals crown four first-time champs
Championship weekend lived up to the hype and the state’s first season with seven classifications resulted in historically significant results. Four of the seven state champs were first-time winners, showcasing years of new programs on the rise timed up with the reclassification to create a perfect storm.
Class 6A saw Chattahoochee win its first state title since 2011 when the program won its first championship in Class 4A. The Cougars scored a 2-0 win over Gainesville and handed the Red Elephants their only regulation loss of the season. Nicholas Troyer found the net on a header and teammate Ryan Kapper scored to make it 2-0 with 17:13 left.
McIntosh held off Clarkston 2-1 in the Class 5A to win its sixth all-time state title and first since going back-to-back in 2014. Class 4A state champion Southeast Whitfield added another first-time champion by holding off Druid Hills 3-2 in the final.
Westminster outscored Pace Academy 2-1 in the Class 3A final and won the program’s first state title since 2013, and 12th all-time state title.
Both Class 2A and Class A added first-time state champs as Benedictine held off Coosa 4-1 in 2A and Whitefield Academy defeated Walker 2-1.
Benedictine’s state title was heavy with storylines after the team was forced to forfeit seven matches for using an ineligible reserve goalkeeper. As a result, the Cadets had to wear a No. 3 seed in the playoffs and take the title with five consecutive road victories. Eric Chavez gave Coosa a 1-0 lead before the Cadets answered with four straight goals.