St. James Academy’s soccer season comeback earns FOX 4’s Hy-Vee Team of the Week

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LENEXA, Kan. -- The St. James Academy boys soccer team seemed to be going nowhere fast when this season started, but the Thunder found a way to turn their season around just in time and won the program's second state championship.

A few weeks ago, the boys at St. James Academy thought they'd never get their hands on that coveted trophy.

"Honestly, I didn't think we could be any farther from it," senior Jack DuBois said. "Nothing was going right for us."

"We were at rock bottom after the Miege game," said senior Brady Manning, referring to the 2-1 defeat the Thunder suffered on Oct. 11. It brought the team's losing streak to four games, and found the team weighed down with a 3-7-3 record.

"After that, we were all kind of thinking, 'well, how can we turn this around?' but our coach brought us together that practice the night after,"senior Luke Schaefer said.

"Coach Enna was saying all season, 'this is the best team, most talented team we've ever had at St. James' and along the way, I said to myself, 'no way. No way. I've been on a team here at St. James that was better than this one,'" Manning said.

Head coach Rick Enna said the turnaround began with his three senior captains.

"We knew that that was a moment we had to turn it around and start playing as a team," DuBois said.

From there, the Thunder rolled.

They won 7 of their last 8 games. The last victory, a 3-1 win in the 5A State Championship.

"Lifting the trophy was pretty surreal," Manning recalled.

"It was everything that we wanted the season to be," DuBois added. "We couldn't imagine it any more perfect than it was."

"To do it with my best friends and in front of my classmates, it was the most special experience of my entire life by far," Manning said.

That championship team, who came back from rock bottom all the way to the mountaintop, is this week's Team of the Week.