MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. George's boys soccer boasts a 13-1-2 record this season, but they have their eyes on a much bigger prize.
"Our end goal is to win a state championship," senior midfielder Lucas Giolo said. "We've had a great season. Everyone is all in. We're a hardworking team."
"We always tell them every year, we're just going to give you some framework," head coach Tony Whicker said. "You're the ones who are going to have to guide this thing. You have to be part of the process and believe in the process."
A process that churned out one of the Top 50 boys soccer programs in the country. Powering the Gryphons is the Memphis Tiger-bound Giolo and junior keeper Logan Haddad, who moonlights as an academy player for Memphis 901 FC.
"The level of play is just so different," Haddad said. "Grown men coming at me. It's helping me be a better player, developing super-fast. It's very beneficial for sure."
After rolling opponents for much of the season, adversity hit St. George's in back-to-back contests. After settling for a draw against Briarcrest on senior night, the Gryphons needed penalty kicks to top Lausanne in the first round of the regional playoffs.
"I feel like the energy level kind of dropped," Haddad said. "I think our team may have been getting too big of heads. We got a reality check for sure in both of those games."
Headed into state tournament play, the Gryphons say they're refocused... believing they have what it takes to bring home the program's first title since 2013.
"My career is coming to an end after this season," senior Dade Micheel said. "So to be able to bring home a state championship to St. George's and to the Memphis area. It would mean the world to me."
"We're super confident. We're ready to play anyone," Giolo said. "Doesn't matter how big the school is, how small. How many Division One players they have. What the coach's background is like. We're ready to play whoever."
"No one is stopping us," Micheel said. "We're ready to play everyone and we're ready to win everything. We're looking forward to it."