With a dominant 8-0 win over New Kent Monday night, the Jamestown boys soccer team remained undefeated. With a record of 9-0, ranked first in Virginia, and one of the top 10 teams in the nation, most teams would call that a great season so far. Jamestown calls it a good start
Even in a region known for its soccer players, Jamestown has been a perennial power, with the Eagles winning the Virginia state championship in 2008, 2012 and 2015. This year the team has been especially impressive according to coach Bobby O’Brien, saying this year’s team stacks up as one of the best he’s coached in his 12 seasons with Jamestown.
“We have a very good mix of young players and old, a lot of these players that are juniors and seniors today have been starting since freshman year,” said O’Brien. “There is a lot of experience, some very talented, very focused and organized players that play well together, and they play a very aggressive style of play.”
It has been a year of team highlights for the Eagles.
The 3-0 win against Grafton last week was especially gratifying for the team, after an upset by Grafton sent Jamestown home early from the playoffs last season, according to center midfielder Augie Cooper.
“We came up short over the past couple of years, but that heartbreak has made the team hungry, and I think it shows on the field,” said Cooper. “It’s nice to be able to see that all of our practice and hard work is paying off, on the field and in the standings.”
There have also been some strong individual highlights, most notably with junior forward Michael Mese breaking a number of team records this year. He shattered Jamestown’s career scoring record, previously 65, while Mese had 75 as of last week.
“It’s a huge honor to have broken those records, but I’m way prouder to see how we’ve been playing as a team this year,” said Mese. “Soccer is a team sport, and a big part of why we’ve been doing as well as we have is that we’ve been working better together this season. The only number that matters, in the end, is the score, and if I can help my team there, I’m just doing my job as a teammate.”
That focus on the team is a driving force for every member of the team according to senior Ryan Jacobs. Jacobs has played soccer for the Eagles since his freshman year and says that in the past, it was always the little things that tripped up Jamestown, while this year is seems everything has fallen into place.
“We’ve had so much skill come through our halls, we’ve just lacked the grit and the will, and this year, everyone is giving it their all for 80 minutes in every game, and it’s exciting to see,” said Jacobs. “It’s important that we keep our eyes on the prize, and not get too caught up in our own hype.”
That level of focus and humility is what has made this team a special point of pride for coach O’Brien. All the talent and impressive numbers and rankings come second to making sure the team does well, and as long as the Eagles keep putting the team first, the sky is the limit.
“Being undefeated is nice, but our goal is always the postseason, and to win another state championship,” said O’Brien. “There are just 20 games between us and another state championship for Jamestown, and we’re going to do our best in every one of these games.”
The Jamestown boys soccer team will play their next match at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bruton.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.