By Dan Rafuse and Lisa Carvalho
The New Testament Knights boy’s soccer team is on its way to the State Tournament for the first time in 10 years. The boys took on the Innovation Academy of Tyngsboro last Friday and won 3-2 in a thriller.
The game started off slowly as both teams were getting a feel for each other, with most of the first 10 minutes being spent at midfield. About half-way through the first half, the visiting team scored on a quick-scoring opportunity, giving them an early lead. This seemed to spark the Knights as they suddenly became more aggressive, and scored an answering goal 2 minutes later. The Knights then kept up the pressure and scored a second goal on a free kick by Brendan P. Jones from 50 yards out. The Knights took a 2-1 lead into the halftime break.
As the second half started, Innovation came out aggressively and carried the play for the first 10 minutes, leading to the game-tying goal. Once again this woke up the Knights and they began carrying the play, getting scoring chance after scoring chance. The aggressive play finally paid off with the go ahead goal being scored with about 4 minutes left in the game. They then calmly defended their zone for the final minutes to end it.
The Knights were led offensively by upper classmen Mike DeLuca and Josh LeBlanc and 7th grader Sam DeAguiar. On defense, senior Nick Pickett had a great game, and was helped by juniors David Boehmler and David Pladsen.
Deluca and Leblanc, seniors at the school, have lead the Knights up front during their improbable run to the MIAA state tournament. The pair will look to continue their goal scoring as the season progresses into the later stages.
"This team was committed far before I started practices with them. It has truly paid off," said coach Chet Jobert. "Secondly, their love for each other is without equal. The captains serve the team by getting the equipment and water which is opposite of how things are normally done [by underclassman]. They play for the person next to them, not for themselves. Their drive is what has gotten them where they are. From oldest to youngest, they refuse to quit or give in. It is beyond inspiring."
There were over 115 fans at the game to witness the team clinch a spot in the MIAA State Soccer Tournament.
New Testament, the smallest school governed by the MIAA, seems to be overlooked by the town of Norton. Many have no idea of its existence, and only recognize Norton High School as the lone high school in town. This little school, consisting of 122 students overall, 70 elementary students and 52 high school students, is located at 1 New Taunton Ave. Here, teachers intend to provide students with a foundation of Biblical truth and solidify a dynamic relationship with Christ.
Although this system of education is not entirely known to many Norton citizens, it still exists and should be further appreciated. There is an alternate source of education in town. This provides parents with a choice for their children. Fortunately, the Knights’ playoff run will serve as a catalyst for those that know nothing about the school. As the boys increase their soccer relevance, they will indirectly increase their academic relevance as well.
Want to support the Knights? Stop by the Taunton Boys and Girls Club Lewis Park on a date to be determined later.