The co-ed soccer team at Thomson Middle School recently went undefeated for the first time in school history.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a perfect 7-0 record.
Although first year head coach Mark Halvorsen is proud of his team's feat, he's actually more proud of his players for another reason.
"Everybody was about the team," said coach Halvorsen. "The players were so unselfish. It was a real pleasure coaching them."
The key to the soccer team's success was unselfishness, he pointed out.
Coach Halvorsen, who also coached the middle school boys' basketball team to an undefeated 10-0 season, said coaching the young student/athletes was about preparing them for the next level of athletics -- high school.
"It wasn't just about winning a championship trophy," noted coach Halvorsen, a 1997 graduate of Augusta Christian School in Martinez, where he helped the Lions of then coach Mike Gold capture a GISA state basketball title. "We had a good group of kids. It was easy to win with a group of players so well-rounded and all of whom had such great character."
He praised his team, saying, "They epitomized what I think Thomson athletics should be about."
Coach Halvorsen said he believes this particular group of student/athletes will go on to represent the high school well in the future.
"I'd like very much to seem them become as good as they become at the high school level as athletes," he noted. "It's also my hope that they continue to be good young people all through high school and college."
Coach Halvorsen, who also serves as an assistant basketball coach at Thomson High School, said he tries to teach any play that he coaches about respect, commitment, integrity and tenacity.
"Those are the standards and we must maintain them," he continued.
One the players who demonstrated the team's motto of being unselfish was Ricky Martinez, an eighth grade forward.
"He was phenomenal," said coach Halvorsen. "He didn't lead the team in scoring, but easily could have, because he's that kind of player. He led our team with assists. He was the kind of player who helped his teammates get better."
The Thomson Middle School Bulldogs co-ed soccer team was led by Haley Oubre, another eighth grader, who scored 14 goals in seven games.
"She did a super job for us," said coach Halvorsen.
Against GMC this season, Oubre led the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory after managing to get free with just two minutes left in regulation time.
"It was a scoreless game up until that great kick," said coach Halvorsen.
Oubre's mother, Angela, served as the team's assistant coach.
"She was the backbone of helping our team," explained coach Halvorsen. "She's a great coach. She taught the players a lot and she taught me a lot."
The head soccer coach also praised the play of John Cody, another eighth grader.
"John did an exceptional job of playing fullback for us," said coach Halvorsen. "He was always one of those players who did everything he could to help his team win games. And he did it with character."
Another standout player was Trevor Harrington, a seventh grader.
"Trevor was our goalkeeper," added the coach. "He was one of the best keepers I've ever seen at his age. He kicks well, has good hands and is a very disciplined player. I look forward to having him back next year."
The team consisted of several other players. They are: Anna Carrington, Megan Henning, Rodney Helmick, Tyler Petrie, Daniel Cook, Alex Stroup, Taylor Norris, Betty Jones, Rachel Arrington, Ashtyn Simons, Elena Bohler Porche Grant, Kim Williams, Mitchell Powers and Danny Reese.