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End of the dry spell: Loy Norrix soccer team won the first round of districts Photo credits / perla santiago article by: claire goodwin-Kelly

Thursday, October 10, the Loy Norrix varsity soccer team beat Kalamazoo Central in overtime 4-3. The game was the second time Norrix played KC in the 2019 season, the early game resulting in a 2-2 tie.

Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central have been school district rivals since Loy Norrix opened in 1961. Last year, Norrix lost to KC 0-5, and then won later in the season 1-0. The rivalry already creates an exciting atmosphere for the game, but since Thursday’s game was also a district quarter final, it was on another level.

Senior Ben Sanford passes the ball to a teammate. Sanford has been playing for the Loy Norrix soccer team for 2 years after transferring from Kalamazoo Central. This will be his last year playing for Loy Norrix.

Photo Credit / Perla Santiago

Senior Jose Vargas Runs towards the ball, hoping to get to it and take it from Kalamazoo Central. Vargas played with varsity throughout his 4 years of high school.

Photo Credit / Perla Santiago

Senior Izayah Balden cheers with excitement after a Norrix player scores. Balden is the student section leader and always brings positive energy.

“It’s a crazy environment because the fans are yelling at you. KC’s fans are yelling at you, and it’s fun and bad at the same time. At the start of the game I was nervous, and I know I played a little scared definitely,” freshman Anthony Herrera said about the atmosphere Thursday.

Photo Credits / Perla Santiago

Freshmen Anthony Herrera celebrates with the team after scoring the game winning goal in overtime.

Herrera scored the game winning goal in the second overtime on Thursday with a shot from far out, a big moment for the first year varsity player.

“That was crazy, that was probably the best feeling of my life, knowing that all the fans went crazy as soon as I scored. As a freshman, especially, it’s just super nice,” Herrera said.

Photo Credits / Perla Santiago

Junior Carter Scheel And Senior Nate Goodwin-Kelly celebrating after Scheel scored against Kalamazoo Central.

Junior captain Carter Scheel contributed two goals to the 4-3 win. Scheel has been on varsity all three years and has played against Kalamazoo Central numerous times.

“It was really important [to win] because if we lost then it would have been our last game of the season, and the seniors would have been done with high school soccer,” Scheel continued. “It was very intense and very exciting, everyone’s playing super hard. [When the game ended] We all ran over to the crowd and we were just super excited.”

Photo Credit / Perla Santiago

Junior Lucas Figueroa yells along with the rest of the team with excitement after Freshmen Anthony Herrera scored the winning goal.

Photo Credits / Perla Santiago

After a long and suspenseful game Loy Norrix wins the first round of districts. They continued on to the semi-finals.

Photo Credit / Perla Santiago

Loy Norrix hasn’t won a district game since 2014 and hasn’t won a district championship in 30 years. The Knights were supposed to play Battle Creek Lakeview on the 16th, but due to an error in scheduling, Lakeview couldn’t play. Norrix played Portage Northern on Saturday, their first district finals game since 2011. The Knights lost 1-2, with a goal from Jose Vargas in the 79th minute of regulation.

“This season was successful,” senior Henry Parworth said. “We have no regrets because we did something that probably four years ago we didn’t think this team would be able to do. Four years ago we’d have seasons that were two-win seasons or we would lose our rivalry games or even get mercied, so I’d say it was a successful season.”