xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Central Carroll U16 wins title

Central Carroll U16 is pictured. Front row: Tyler Giove, Brennan Lipski, Nick Spratt, Sam DiPietro, Jacob Paschall, Tristan Moore, Ryan Jordon, and Jimmy Wawrzynski. Back row: Coach Floyd Westbrook, Matt Durante, Ryan Everich, Brandon Hall, Matt Davis, Noah Westbrook, Jared Soltas, Ian Gould, Chris Martin, and Coach Scott Spratt. Not Pictured: Akil Errapothu and Tommy Alascia.
Central Carroll U16 is pictured. Front row: Tyler Giove, Brennan Lipski, Nick Spratt, Sam DiPietro, Jacob Paschall, Tristan Moore, Ryan Jordon, and Jimmy Wawrzynski. Back row: Coach Floyd Westbrook, Matt Durante, Ryan Everich, Brandon Hall, Matt Davis, Noah Westbrook, Jared Soltas, Ian Gould, Chris Martin, and Coach Scott Spratt. Not Pictured: Akil Errapothu and Tommy Alascia. (Submitted photo, HANDOUT)

Floyd Westbrook, who coaches the CC United under-16 boys soccer team, had rather modest goals for this year. He explained that his aims for the season were simply to find good competition for his team and make his players better by competing against it.

But happily for both he and his players, he got a lot more than he bargained for.

Advertisement

"We just got on a roll and started winning things," he said.

In fact, his powerhouse team won just about everything it touched. It began by winning the under-16 bracket championship in August's Dulles National Soccer Tournament in Herndon, Virginia.

Advertisement

Then it won the Baltimore Beltway Soccer League's under-16 boys division with a 6-0-2 mark. Finally, it wrapped up its fall season by winning October's 2014 Columbia SAC Soccer Tournament's boys under 16 championship.

His team's overall record this spring was 12-1-3.

Most of the players come from neighborhoods around Westminster and points south into Sandymount and Finksburg.

They are mostly high school sophomores now. Those playing high school soccer do it primarily for Winters Mill and Westminster, but some play for Liberty and the Gerstell Academy.

CC United has steadily improved since its founding about four years ago as an under-12 team member of the Central Carroll Soccer Club. Part of the reason is talent of course.

However, Westbrook thinks one big reason for its improvement is the fact that its core has played a lot of soccer together.

Another reason for the improvement is the boys' growing emotional maturity.

"When we had close games [in the past], I had to tell the players during the games that everything was all right. Now they respond on their own to the pressure.Their biggest improvement is in the area of confidence, he said."

Maybe that's why his team's climb to the top of the BBSL has been steady. It finished fourth in its division in the spring of 2013, third that fall, second this past spring and first this fall.

With pretty much all the players back, Westbrook expected his CC United team to do well this autumn. In August, things got of to the auspicious start in Herndon with the team's first championship this season.

Afterward, it took on the Baltimore Beltway League.

It opened with a scoreless tie against Catonsville. A few weeks later it had its only other non-win, a 3-3 tie against Maryland Rush United. Outside of that game, United allowed only one other goal its entire BBSL season.

Advertisement

Overall, it scored 24 goals and allowed just the four. That virtually airtight defense gave it a big edge its coach says.

"We were tough for teams to score against, and that gave us time to probe. The kids were good at figuring out their opponents," Westbrook said.

Again, it was the intangibles — this time smarts — as well as physical talent, that put his team on top.

However, the best was yet to come. Westbrook entered CC United in the SAC tourney to get some different competition. On the first day, it qualified for the championship round by winning in the pool play phase.

But the opening game of the championship round found it trailing the Chantilly (Virginia) SC Thunder, 2-0, at halftime. One loss would mean elimination.

But then about 10 minutes into the second half, it broke through for a goal. Three more followed in quick succession, and United went on to win, 4-3.

The title game was against the Clarkson Comets, a team from Toronto. This time, it was CC United that jumped to a 2-0 halftime lead. But the Canadian squad wasn't able to get off the ground after intermission the way CC United had in the previous game.

"We really got into it and put the pressure on the other team. That was nice," Westbrook said.*

His kids stayed ahead to win, 3-1, and take the 16-under crown.

"We've won championships in two tournaments and also in the Baltimore Beltway League. We've never had a stretch like this," the coach said.

He plans to keep the team together as long as he can. Since the Beltway League plays on Sundays, it doesn't conflict with the high school soccer schedules. He expects that the team will play indoors this winter and outdoors in the Beltway League again come this spring.

He hopes to enter his team in a college showcase tournament this spring too. This will give college coaches and scouts a chance to see his boys and will hopefully get some of the better ones started on the road to college play.

While plans aren't finalized, Westbrook also plans to start work with a younger team as an assistant or head coach, perhaps after the present players move on.

He relayed those plans as he looked back on his team's best year ever.

Then he added, "they played hard, and they played together. It's been a fun season."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement