By Justin Jarrett
After going winless a year ago, Beaufort Academy’s boys soccer team has earned a well-deserved spring break after dominating Patrick Henry and Hilton Head Prep in the past week to take an 8-1-1 mark into their recovery time.
The Eagles improved to 5-0-1 since their lone defeat — a 5-1 setback against John Paul II that they will try to avenge in the season finale on the road May 5 — with a 5-2 win at Patrick Henry on Wednesday and followed it up with a 5-1 result at Hilton Head Prep on Monday.
“Beaufort Academy has such an amazing history of soccer success, but this season hasn’t been about rekindling that history but rather building what we’ve been calling the New Era,,” first-year head coach Ian Leslie said. “Several of our boys went through a COVID-shortened season and then a winless year last year, so we just needed to start fresh and say this is a new foundation we’re building.”
The Eagles have been bolstered by the addition of a number of players who were standouts on the football field or basketball court and have brought a winning mentality back to the once-dominant program, as well as a talented crop of young players.
Zeke Gonzalez and Evan Rankin each had a brace and eighth-grade striker Andrew Butterfield netted his seventh goal of the season on Wednesday in Hampton County, and five different Eagles found the back of the net against the Dolphins. Ben Lubkin, Gavin Midyette, Grady Lamm, Evan Rankin, and Patrick Good each tallied goals for BA.
“At the end of the day my goal is to build a group of young men who grow and mature over their time with me and become accountable to their teammates and their school. If in the end that leads to wins then all the better, and they have come together,” Leslie said. “They understand it’s not about goals or individual highlights but effort and the team result.”
The Eagles next play region rival Hilton Head Christian Academy at home on April 19.