The Eastbluff Elementary boys' third- and fourth-grade team won the bronze division title at the 13th annual Daily Pilot Cup, pulling together to beat its toughest opponent, Mariners Elementary, 5-0.
Mariners was loaded with speed but was stopped by great defense from Reese Carter, Sean Ruiz and Jake Melcer. At halftime, the game was tight and the score even tighter with a 1-0 lead for Eastbluff.
With Jack Newton and Will Little dominating the midfield and Chris Casey up top, the relentless Tide attack, supported by a cast of hungry second-grade wingers – Andrew Bertoia, Ben Cason, Charlie Mannon and Cole Junge – proved too much for the skillful young Mariners team. Goalkeeper Ben Brandel fended off numerous shots.
"It was a total team effort," Coach Roy Newton said. "Everyone played their part. The fact that eight of the 11 players scored goals this tournament proves how much we worked as a team. The final was no different, with our left fullback opening the scoring with an overlapping run."
"It was neat to see the kids truly play the beautiful game the way it was meant to be played," Coach Tim Cason said.
Eastbluff boys have not won a Pilot Cup since the fifth- and sixth-grade team took the silver division in 2006.
— Reader submission