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EAGLES ARE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS

Harvest rolls over JFK 5-1 in Battle of Champions

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The 2022 undisputed boys high school soccer champions are the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles. The Eagles won the battle of the IIAAG vs ISA champions, defeating the JFK Islanders 5-1 at the GFA field in Harmon.

With the two leagues separating, this was the first meeting between the public and private schools. 

The Eagles defeated the Islanders 5-1 with Levi Buckwalter and David Thompson each scoring two goals.

The game was highly anticipated and the polls showed the Islanders as favorites (70 percent chance to win on GSPN’s Instagram polls). JFK was a team that had not tasted defeat but the Eagles were hungry and momentum prevailed after getting two first half goals.

The Islanders got on the board first with Alesana Jorlang scoring after the ninth minute to put the Islanders up 1-0. At this point of the game, the Islanders looked to continue attacking but good Eagles defense and a couple of bad breaks left them unable to find the back of the net for the remainder of the contest.

Josiah Jones got things started for the Eagles, scoring to tie the game 1-1 shortly after the JFK lead. The Eagles had momentum on their side and managed to score before halftime with Levi Buckwalter scoring on a beautiful strike that found the top left part of the goal and Harvest was up 2-1.

“Knowing we had a lead at halftime gave us a little more confidence,” said Harvest junior David Thompson.

Buckwalter added an insurance goal after halftime, scoring off a pass from Thompson to go up 3-1 in the 45th minute. “After scoring the third goal after halftime, we could sense their morale was down a little so it made us even more confident,” said Thompson.

Thompson followed up with a two insurance goals and the game was out of reach with Harvest winning 5-1. Thompson’s two goals came in the 52nd and 77th minute.

“The message to the team was to be hungry. JFK is a team that has won three straight championships so they (JFK) are hungry to get something new,” said Harvest head coach Kevin Elwell.

The Islanders were on attack mode but could not catch a break. Joshua Benavente and Noah Medler each had a shot at scoring but both shots hit the goal bar and bounced away.

“The final score is really not indicative of the how the game played out. We were really fortunate to score and they hit the bar like two or three times after we scored. Had they scored those shots, it could have been a different game.”

– Harvest head coach Kevin Elwell

Buckwalter goes out on top
“It feels great! It’s just like 2019. Hopefully next year they have another game like this or have the leagues combine,” said Buckwalter.

“I honestly didn’t know the score. I know this is the last game for us seniors so I was thinking to just keep playing,” said Buckwalter. “I love the game so much, I just kept playing hard just like the rest of the team.”

Thompson said this win is a little more special than the IIAAG championship. “To think we are the best team on island is absolutely special to our team,” said Thompson.

Thompson also said he hopes they can repeat next year but understands it will be a challenge. “We are losing a lot of great players so it will be difficult but I think we still have a good chance of doing this again.”

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