After finishing as the runner-up last season, the Page Patriots boys soccer team (16-5-5) collected the program’s first state championship in school history with a shutout win 1-0 over the Valor College Prep Wildcats (17-5-4) in the Class AA championship on Friday afternoon at the Richard Siegel soccer complex in Murfreesboro.
“We had the fight, passion, and culture to be here,” said Page head coach Nate Clapp. “The players have come through and fed off of it.”
“I think it is great,” said Page senior Charlie Chism. “We will go down in history. All of our names will be etched in Page High School forever as the first soccer state winner and first boys state team winner.”
“It is amazing,” said Page senior goalie Jack Gorman. “After last year, to come in and finally win it this year, it is the best feeling ever.”
Page got on the board in the 13th minute with a goal by Chism on a header in the box to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
“Charlie has turned it on this postseason.,” said Clapp. “Two goals against Fairview in the region semifinal, and then he had a big goal against White House. He kind of had a slow start to the year. I am okay with the slow start and then do it in the postseason.
"We are making fun of him a little bit, because he shaved his head,” continued Clapp. “We joked if he hadn’t shaved his head, he wouldn’t have scored the goal, because his hair would have caught the ball.”
“I wasn’t going to go in because I am short and not good at headers,” said Chism. “My teammate Hyatt told me to go in, so I did and was able to get a lucky flick off my head into the back of the net. I have Hyatt to thank for that goal.”
“Actually for that goal, he wasn’t supposed to be in there,” said Gorman. “We told him to just go in there for this one time, and he gets the header and flicks it on to the back post. Everything we ever ask of him he provides.”
Both sides played stout defense as the score went into halftime 1-0.
It was a back and forth contest in the second half, as each team peppered the net. However, Page’s Jack Gorman and the defense made tremendous saves and picked up a clean sheet to give the Patriots the win and a program first title in Class AA.
“It is the brotherhood between the backline,” said Gorman. “The communication went from me all the way up to Carter (Teachout); the defense was just solid all the way through.”
“He (Jack) has been coming up clutch this entire season,” said Chism. “I would not want to have anyone else back there. He is so reliable and consistent, a great anchor back there.”
With this win, Clapp finished the 2021-2022 season bringing home a soccer championship for both girls and boys soccer.
“I was hired to coach the boys, and I was blessed enough to move over to girls,” said Clapp. “The boys were the first that got me out to Page to do it. To be able to do it with both teams is a blessing.”
In this historic year, Page will remember their championship season for more than wins and losses.
“I am going to remember my teammates,” said Gorman. “These guys are some of the best I have ever played with. I’ve loved them from day one.”