Dobyns-Bennett's Thomas Palmer (23) breaks clear of Science Hill defenders Louis Fagleson (11) and Oscar Arreguin during Thursday's District 1-AAA soccer final at Indian Highland Park. Photo by Ned Jilton II.
KINGSPORT — Jorge De Gyves had a goal and two assists to lead Dobyns-Bennett to a 5-1 victory over Science Hill in the boys District 1-AAA soccer final on Thursday at Indian Highland Park.
De Gyves, the tournament MVP, tallied what proved to be the game winner less than a minute after the Hilltoppers had tied the contest at 1-all.
Taking a long ball from teammate Adam Miller, De Gyves raced towards the Science Hill goal and blasted a shot past Hilltoppers’ goalkeeper Daniel Adelman.
“We tried to keep calm after Science Hill had tied the score,” said De Gyves. “When I got the pass from Adam I just killed it.”
With the win, the Tribe (18-2-1) will host the loser of Friday’s District 2-AAA final between Morristown West and Seymour next Tuesday. Science Hill (14-5-1) will travel to the District 2 champion.
D-B opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Warren Austin found the net off a corner kick from Jeremy Horton.
In the 28th minute, the Hilltoppers retaliated. John Huffman sent a niffy pass to teammate John Luccesi who slipped the ball passed D-B goalkeeper Preston Mercer to make the score 1-1.
“We captured the momentum right there,” said Science Hill coach Brandon Kind. “But you have to be alert, especially right after you score.”
It was a painful lesson to learn for the ‘Toppers.
De Gyves scored less than a minute later and the Tribe had regained the momentum.
One more minute past before D-B was awarded a penalty kick. Austin converted and the advantage had grown to 3-1.
Ty Oreskovic took a pass from De Gyves in the 38th minute and scored a stellar goal, putting the Tribe up 4-1 as the halftime horn sounded.
“We knew that Science Hill would come right at us,” said D-B coach Chris Woods. “I told the guys to just weather the storm. We always preach that preparation will beat emotion.
“It continues to amaze me how unfazed these guys are,” added Woods. “They just go about their business and get the job done.”
Science Hill made an early run at the Tribe in the second half, but D-B’s back line of Zack Feathers, Austin Pate and Adam Miller refused to yield.
When Sheldon Menya scored on a breakaway in the 55th minute it was all over but the shouting. De Gyves assisted on that goal.
“Tonight was a good test for us,” said Feathers. “Science Hill always makes us work for it.”
As dominant as D-B was, De Gyves knows that he and his teammates can play better.
“We’re not perfect,” said De Gyves, a senior. “We need to keep giving 100 percent all of the time and work hard to get better.
“I feel blessed to be a part of this team,” added De Gyves. “It really is an honor to be a part of something very special.”