Making Rocky History


Kristen Williams, Writer

The Rock Island Boys’ Soccer Team headed into Regionals with an undefeated season and the Conference title. Jordan Rice says, “We did not get a big head, nor were we cocky about it. Our confidence rose every game.” On Saturday, October 26, the Rocks were scheduled to play Ottawa, hosted by Ottawa, for their Regional Final. In the first half, Ottawa scored, leading 1-0.Towards the end of the first half, Kyle Gant scored for the Rocks, and shortly after, Isaac Almanza scored off of a free kick. Jordan Rice says, “It was very wet and muddy, and hard to run.” He also said, “As a team, we kept good confidence by always communicating with one another, on and off the field.” Coach Rudy Almanza also says, “Staying relaxed, focused, and composed, and telling the team no pressure, it is just a game,” is what kept the boys going.

In the second half, with only 20 minutes to spare, Ottawa scored, tying the game 2-2. Ottawa’s goalie tells referees that the field was unplayable, due to a puddle in the goal. The referees spoke to IHSA, who then called the game. The game was moved to Monday in LaSalle at 4:15, with only 19:09 seconds of the game left. Rice expressed, “That call was unnecessary and was in favor of Ottawa, considering the game was called right after they scored.” Coach Almanza says, “I knew going into the match, that there was a possibility that it could be postponed. I just wanted to play as long as we could on Saturday, so that if it was going to get postponed, we would not have to play a full match on Monday.”

Despite moving the game and unfair calls, Rice says, “We went with the mentality that WE WILL WIN.” When playing on Monday, the game ended in overtime, when Alejandro Torres shot the winning goal that gave the Rocks the Regional title and made school history. Rice says, “As a team, this made us all very emotional, knowing we made school history. We all worked so hard for this title, and it was well deserved.” Coach Almanza also says, “Being a part of history is a blessing. We will always continue to stay humble and thankful for all opportunities and achievements. We thank everyone who supported and believed in us.”