Focus on Sports
Hagins pleased with Skipjacks' perseverance

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006

WYE MILLS – The losses piled up and, at times, so did the frustration. In the end, however, Chesapeake College men´s soccer head coach Reva Hagins was simply proud of his team´s effort.

"These guys hung in there," said Hagins, a former Chesapeake standout who guided the Skipjacks through a 1-12 season in his first year as head coach. "For them, it meant more to play than anything else. They had the desire to play and learn – that´s why they made it through the season."

The Skipjacks were outscored 89-9 and their only win came via forfeit after Hagerstown Community College used an ineligible player in a 2-1 victory. Yet Hagins said his team – comprised entirely of freshmen after sophomore goalie B.J. Miller suffered a season-ending injury in the seventh game of the season – handled the adversity with dignity.

"These guys were real sportsmen," said Hagins, whose team had no red cards and only five yellow cards during their 13-game campaign. "Everyone was discouraged at times and frustrated at times, but I never had any doubt these guys would make it through the season. I had a core group of about seven or eight who hung in there because they came out to play soccer."

Chesapeake College Athletic Director Frank Szymanski echoed Hagins´ remarks.

"Several referees talked to me about what a great team we had in terms of sportsmanship," said Szymanski. "It can be very frustrating when you go through a season like we did, but they didn´t let their frustration affect their sportsmanship. I´m proud of the way they represented our college."

The Skipjacks competed with as few as seven players after a spate of midseason injuries, but Hagins said they were determined to finish out the season.

"Hasan Delice, Leonardo and Jun Tanaka, Sergey Komardenkov, Ben Clark, Justin Behre, Cory Wager, Lee Adams and B.J. Miller were committed from start to finish, and I really appreciate that," said Hagins.

"Ben Clark was our captain and a real stand-up guy," added Hagins. "Lee Adams came to us from the baseball team and played everywhere, including goalie after B.J. was hurt. B.J. came in right before the start of the season to help us out and he had a great year in goal before he was hurt – he averaged something like 25 saves a game. It was a good group."

Hagins believes the freshmen learned some valuable lessons that will help them – and the program – improve in 2007.

"They understood an all-freshman team would need to adjust to the college game," said Hagins. "It was a big step for them and they hung in there."

Hagins hopes to take advantage of his program´s limited scholarship money to improve the talent level on next year´s squad.

"The college´s baseball team has combined local talent with talent from across the bridge and out of state to build a competitive program," noted Hagins. "We need to do the same thing – enlarge our recruiting base and increase the talent level.

"The most important thing is to get our numbers up," added Hagins. "Once we have our numbers up, I´ll be better able to implement my training style."

Hagins is already looking forward to next season.

"After the last game we talked about the need to work hard in the off-season and come back stronger," said Hagins. "As a team we ended on a real positive note."

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