NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- New Rochelle High School’s boys’ soccer team was honored recently after breaking a decades’ long state title drought.
The team won the 2016 State Championship in November when it defeated Fairport High School 2-1 for the New York State Class AA title.
The match took place at Faller Field in Middletown.
"The road has now been traveled, and our flag planted," said head coach Jarohan Garcia at a celebration that drew students, faculty members, fans, district administrators and county and state legislators.
According to school officials, the journey to the title was not easy.
Just the day before the game, the Huguenots had mounted a nearly impossible four-goal comeback against Calhoun High School in the NYS Class AA semifinal match.
Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne said that the high school crowds had encouraged the squad to continue to believe that it could win.
"When you all were tired, and the crowd chanted, 'Sí se puede!' it made a difference," Osborne said.
(Si se puede! in Spanish means, roughly, “Yes, one can!”)
During the season, Coach Garcia required all players to wear shirts and ties on game days.
"You had no idea, but you were inspiring your classmates just by them seeing you," principal Richard Richardson told the young athletes.
Meanwhile, defenseman Juan Felip Tabon has been named to the News 12 Varsity's All-Metro Boys' Soccer Second Team. Garcia, in his first year as a coach, was named the 2016 All-Metro Boys' Soccer Coach of the Year.
Telling the crowd that this season was a special one, Garcia added that he had learned a lot from his players.
“Before me, I see a group of young men who have taught me to be a better educator, a better coach, and a better man,” he said.