VHSCA boys soccer: Bay Rivers all-stars get together for win

What if, they used to think. What if we were all on the same team, one super team, as teammates instead of rivals.

That happened five years ago on the Williamsburg Soccer Club, and it happened Wednesday night in the VHSCA All-Star game. Of the 16 players on the East roster, seven were proud alums of the Bay Rivers District.

"It's cool because while we've played club together, in high school we all play for different teams," Lafayette midfielder Justen Silva said. "This is the last thing we're all doing together before we go off to college. We're playing together, and that's pretty cool."

Wednesday night's win made it even cooler. Jamestown's Patrick O'Brien had a hat trick and Grafton's Jalon Brown added a goal as the East won 5-2 at Christopher Newport. The game was interrupted by a 55-minute rain/lightning delay early in the first half.

O'Brien, a William and Mary signee, was named the East's Chip Berry Most Valuable Player. Brown, who will be coming to CNU in the fall, also played an all-around solid game.

"High school was so competitive in our district," O'Brien said. "To have seven of us on the same team, knowing how each other plays, we knew we were going to be a great team. We know how each other plays.

"They're all great players. It was basically our last experience together, and it was pretty sweet."

The rest of the BRD's magnificent seven were Tabb back Sean Christein, Jamestown back Trevor Davis, Lafayette back Kendal Pressey, and Tabb midfielder Eric Swenson.

All expect to play on the college level next year. In addition to Brown (20 goals, 12 assists as a senior) and O'Brien (25, 13), Christein has a scholarship to Old Dominion. Davis will be playing for Division III runner-up Lynchburg.

Pressey hopes to play at either Lynchburg or Bridgewater. Silva plans to walk on at James Madison, and Swenson is heading to Princeton.

"We've played with each other since we were like 10 years old," Pressey said. "For all of us to be selected as all-stars shows our work has paid off. Obviously, we're good enough to play at the next level."

It shows what a powerful district the Bay Rivers is. Jamestown and Tabb both advanced to the Group AA semifinals. The BRD's top four teams were a combined 14-3-2 against Group AAA competition.

"It was really, really competitive this year," Silva said. "You couldn't come into any game this year thinking you were going to run through a team. Every team had the ability to step up and beat somebody else."

But there was also solidarity.

"Definitely," Brown said. "I didn't like losing to Jamestown and Lafayette and all when we were playing. But I rooted for them once they got to states. That just shows how competitive our district is. It's cool we're going out this way."

The Peninsula District's only representative, Justin Kaiser, had an assist.

The West's MVP was Jefferson Forest's Devin Jones.

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