by Street Roberts '20
IAC! IAC! IAC! The chant rang across the beaten grass field. A captain raised a silver cup in the air, brandishing it for the world to see. Players and fans alike hugged each other, and they jumped raucously in the brisk air. Off to the side, a coach stood, quiet tears filling up his eyes. He would never forget this.
3 hours earlier, Head Coach Brian Schultz had gathered the team in the locker room and asked everyone to shut their eyes. The players racked their brains for an explanation, and Coach Schultz furiously wrote something on the board.
“Look up.” he said. On the board was a crudely drawn IAC trophy, complete with a plaque that read St. Albans 2018. “Any questions?”
The locker room erupted, and, from that moment, the Bulldogs knew they were going to win. When they finally took the field at 3:00 to face Georgetown Prep (the only undefeated team in the IAC), the Bulldogs exploded from the first whistle. They fought with every last ounce of strength they had, and they dominated Prep in the first half. The Bulldogs created chance after chance, and finally broke through after a brilliant display by Junior midfielder Zach Velli. After his first shot was blocked, he surged by the defenders and tucked the rebound into the back of the net, inciting a chaotic reaction by the BEEF Club. After many more minutes of back-and-forth action, the Bulldogs broke through again. Ezana “Ez” Belay, the stout center back, redirected a corner kick to make the game 2-0, and, at that point, Prep could feel the championship slowly slipping away from their grasp.
After the final whistle blew, the players enjoyed a raucous celebration with their friends in the BEEF club, capped off by Senior Captain Harry Moore triumphantly raising the IAC cup in the air. And, when Headmaster Robinson, after whipping off his blazer, knelt down with the sweaty teenagers to take a picture with the silver cup, the ‘Dawgs knew this season would be unforgettable.
The Bulldogs begin their quest to avenge last year’s DCSAA defeat today against neighborly rivals Sidwell Friends on Monday. Stay tuned for more results. Until then, Roll ‘Dogs, Roll BEEF.