The Clover All-Stars, a co-ed Under-10 soccer team, captured the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association state championship Dec. 6, winning two games in overtime.
The Clover All-Stars won the Central District Championship by beating Tega Cay, 2-1, to advance the state finals played at Rock Hill's Manchester Meadows.
In the first round of the finals, Clover defeated Charleston Royal, 3-2 in overtime.
The championship was against another Lowcountry team, Charleston White. The teams played to a 2-2 tie in regulation. Charleston White scored quickly in overtime to make it 3-2. Clover's Ryan Caves scored late in the 10-minute OT to tie it up and send the game to penalty kicks.
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Clover won a shootout 4-3, when goalkeeper John Kevin Borella made a save to win the game.
The state of South Carolina has held the championship tournament for all recreation soccer leagues in the state for the last three years. This was Clover's first entry.
Willis Whitley, program coordinator for Clover Parks and Recreation, spearheaded the effort.
"This was our first year to do any all-star program in soccer," Whitley said. "We were looking at opportunities to enhance our programs to give our kids a reward for their seasons. It was quite a day for those kids. The All-Star team showed not only the kids' talent but also their sportsmanship."
The Clover All-Stars, coached by Ricky Brake, Rob Price and Michael Pridgen, were formed through nominations from the coaches of the seven teams that competed in the fall soccer program. Every team had at least one participant on the 13-member team. The All-Star coaches were nominated in the same manner.
Team members are: Jack Adkins, Kerrington Barnes, John Kevin Borella, Ryan Caves, Dellaney Erb, Tyler Killian, Brandon LaForge, Cameron McCarter, Taylor Nugent, Dylan Pridgen, Alex Raine, Michaela Vensk and Ben Vogt.
Clover will again offer a spring soccer season. Registration will take place in the month of February. Contact Whitley at 803-222-9493 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.