Midway coach Allan McLamb said his Raider boys are pumped up and ready to play come Wednesday night when the team heads onto the field for its first ever state soccer playoff.
They’ll face West Columbus, a wild card team, in a 7 p.m. game at Midway.
“These guys are terribly excited; they’re pumped and ready to go,” McLamb said during a break from practice Monday afternoon.
“They are an exceptional group of young men who have achieved many of the goals we set out to this season. We’ve lost some games, sure, and there are times when we could have played better, but overall, when you talk about these guys, you are talking about an incredible bunch of kids.”
That group has taken Midway to a No. 2 ranking in the Tri-County Conference and into the state playoffs.
“They’re ready,” McLamb said. “No matter the outcome, these guys know what they are out there to do and they are going to give it everything they have. I know that for certain.”
The Raiders, 12-5-2 overall and 9-4-1 heading into the playoffs, peaked, their coach said at the right time.
“We lost our strikers in the middle of the year. That could have really hurt us, particularly with the adjustments we had to make, but it turned out OK. The guys really stepped up, adjusted and have played with such heart,” their coach attested.
The end result, McLamb said, has been a cohesive group of young men playing “team soccer.”
“They are playing together; they move the ball like a team; they respond like a team. That’s a big deal when you’re playing soccer, and these guys are all over that,” McLamb said.
Midway athletic director Jason Fussell said everyone is excited that this the first time in school history that the soccer team has made it to the playoffs. “What makes it even better is they get to host a first round game. This is something that our school has never had happen before and I think it is great for Coach McLamb and our players.”
The coaches, players, and parents have a lot to be proud of this season, Fussell stressed. “Our school is very proud of their accomplishment, too. I can remember years ago where we were lucky to win two or three games and now the dedication of this team has steadily made the soccer program better.”
Both Fussell and McLamb urged Raider fans to come out Wednesday night to support the team in its efforts to advance to the second round.
“I’m very proud of these guys, especially my seniors who’ve worked hard for many years now. They’ve earned this,” McLamb Said.