BARRINGTON – The Barrington High School soccer team has had a great run this year, winning the regional championship last weekend by defeating the Libertyville Wildcats, 2-0. Next up are the sectionals.
One of the keys to the success of this team has been the collaborative approach to playing solid team defense, head coach Scott Steib said.
“The boys have been unbelievable ... It’s not just a backline, it’s team defense all the way across the whole field,” Steib said.
Saturday's regional title win was their 15th shutout of the season. The team is 17-3-4 heading into Tuesday night's sectional matchup against Lake Forest at Mundelein High School.
The Broncos have rallied around their senior captains, Logan Morris and Connor Hennelly, whom they selected at the start of the playoffs. Some teams choose captains at the start of the season, but Steib said this way makes the title more special.
“Instead of giving it at the beginning of the season by a vote, we do it where the boys pick based on the season and they take it pretty serious. It’s a nice honor for those guys, they’ve been great for us,” Steib said.
“It’s a huge thing for me, that’s really cool that they all voted for me," Morris said. "I thought it was a really big thing for them to put that leadership role on me.”
What makes this team so special is their cohesiveness as one group, something that started months before the season began.
“We take this summer vacation and that’s when it really clicked,” Morris said. “And through the whole season it has shown how together we have been.”
While the Broncos have done their part to make this a special season, the fans also have helped carry their hometown team.
The fans started a “March to the Match” trend for home games where they gather at the Victory Bell in front of the school and lead the Broncos toward the field, chanting along the way. The idea came from professional soccer organizations, such as the Seattle Sounders. Fans of the Sounders meet an hour before gametime in Occidental Park and march to CenturyLink Field together while chanting the Sounders fight songs.
Rick Morris, Logan’s father, along with coach Steib, planned to put the march into effect, and they have been pleased with the outcome.
“It’s been fun because we started having a couple more kids come out and some of the students start to get more excited,” Rick Morris said. “As [the players] did it the first time during homecoming, you could just see the smiles on their faces and the eagerness to get started. You could see a difference in the fan support too.”
“It makes us pumped up," Logan Morris said. "It just brings our level of play up and excites us for the game.”
The 2013 Broncos story is still being written, but it's already been a succcess to this point. If the Broncos win Tuesday and again on Saturday, they will have an opportunity to play for a state championship.