Chaminade invades CBC for Metro Catholic Conference opener
By: Warren Mayes
It’s a battle of high school boys soccer heavyweights when the CBC Cadets open Metro Catholic Conference play at noon Saturday (Sept. 15) against the Chaminade Red Devils.
Chaminade is ranked third in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Red Devils coach Mike Gauvain said the ranking is nice but he does not put much stock in it.
“We really haven’t talked about it as a team,” Gauvain said. “The kids now about it. I don’t know how they come up with those rankings to be honest with you. We let them all of the other teams think we’re No. 3 in the country. Maybe everybody will think we’ll be better than we are not be able to play well against us.”
What lies ahead is the conference opener for both teams.
“It’s the third Saturday of September and that’s when we always play CBC to open conference play,” Gauvain said. “Yeah, we’re all looking forward to it. We’ve played them on this date every year to open the conference and always look for it on our schedule. We don’t play another conference game for a few weeks. Each one of them counts.”
CBC coach Terry Michler agreed.
“The rivalry is very big,” Michler said about the two schools. “We are two teams with strong traditions who always set our sights on championships.”
Gauvain said he has a good relationship with Michler. He enjoys the competition between the two schools.
“Me and Terry have a good soccer relationship. We pick each other’s brains on a lot of fronts,” Gauvain said. “We like to compete against each other. They have a good team and we do, too. It should be a fun game.”
Chaminade is 9-0 while CBC is 5-0-1.
Michler said Chaminade’s undefeated start and national ranking is for real and earned. It is not a fluke.
“They have their full team, loaded with experience,” Michler said. “They had 14 juniors last year. They play their style of soccer and have the experience to not get rattled. They play with confidence.”
Junior Tommy Barlow, senior Jason Pesek, senior Curtis Shillingsford and senior David Stoll are among the top Red Devils Michler said his Cadets much keep their eyes on.
“I saw CBC play in their tournament in the first night. They’re playing well,” Gauvain said. “They have a lot of good players. It will be a big challenge for us. CBC’s a tough place to play for sure.”
The Red Devils must keep their eyes on CBC senior Xhovani Dokaj, senior Nathan Griffin, senior Craig McLaurine, senior Joe Corbett, and senior Julius Adewumni, Gauvain said.
Michler is happy with the start of the season by his squad.
“With the results, yes,” Michler said. “We can and will play better as time goes on.”
The conference is important to both teams. Winning the league and going deep in the postseason and playing for the state title are yearly goals.
“Outside of Chaminade, the rest of us are pretty even,” Michler said. “It should be exciting this season in the conference.”
Gauvain likes the balance of the league.
“We all gun for each other,” Gauvain said. “It can go either way in any game. All of us in our conference are capable of beating each other any year with any personnel. We do beat each other up. It’s rare to see a team go undefeated in conference play.”
Chaminade would like to dictate the tempo Saturday, Gauvain said.
“We like to possess the ball and get opportunities through our possession game,” Gauvain said. “If not, we’ll make adjustments.”
Neither coach is putting everything on the line in this game. It’s just one game in a long season.
“I thought we could have a real good start this season, ” Gauvain said. “When you got to 9-0 and beat an Oakville, Priory and the other teams we have, it’s a real good start. The game Saturday is not going to determine our direction or what’s going to happen at the end of the year.
“We’ll not put too much weight on it win or lose. If we play well, we’ll have it.”