Suffolk soccer on the rise

Published 8:19 pm Saturday, July 8, 2017

After a strong year of public high school soccer, Suffolk hopes to have put everyone on notice.

History was made this year. Two teams reached the state level in Nansemond River High School boys’ soccer and King’s Fork High School girls’ soccer. Nansemond River’s girls’ soccer team was one game away from reaching the state tournament.

King’s Fork’s girls’ soccer team had been flirting with the state tournament for the last couple of seasons. The team was filled with immense talent and had the leading scorer in South Hampton Roads with Cydney Nichols. Nichols also achieved a school record with the most career goals. The Lady Bulldogs finished their season going undefeated in the conference. They were conference champions 4A East regional runner-up and among the final four teams left in the 4A state tournament.

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King’s Fork also had eight players make the all-conference team, and seven players make the all-region teams. To top it all off, they had five girls also make the all-state teams this season, which is also a school high. The Lady Bulldogs hope to have proved that Suffolk schools can have contending soccer teams.

“I think what we were able to do this season was a lot for the city,” goalie Jordan Fransee said. “We went farther than some of the big schools, and it goes to show that Suffolk has definitely stepped up their game. With more hard work, I hope Suffolk schools continue to earn more respect.”

The Nansemond River boys’ soccer team wasn’t expected to make as much noise as they did this season. The Warriors went out and had to prove each game that they were a quality team. There was a significant amount of talent on the team this season.

As a result, the Warriors accumulated the most wins in school history, with 16, while earning a conference tournament title. They also went out to Virginia Beach and defeated Kempsville High School and Princess Anne High School in the 5A South regional tournament. Both Virginia Beach schools were heavy favorites over Nansemond River. They earned a berth to the 5A state tournament, which was a first for any boys’ soccer team in Suffolk Public Schools history.

All postseason long, the Warriors weren’t favored in any game. They had to prove the doubters wrong. Finishing the season as one of the last four teams in 5A state tournament play it is safe to say that they earned respect.

“Once we hit the playoffs, not many people thought we could win the conference championship, let alone go to states,” the Warriors’ David Wright said. “Being the underdogs made us more hungry. I think it shows no matter what school you go to in Suffolk, there’s a lot of talent here. It is a talented city, and we along with others are trying to sort of set the example.”