KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It isn’t every team that has back-to-back dream seasons.
Sumner Academy is in a golden era for soccer, despite their Thursday night ouster from the Kansas Class 5-A Playoffs.
Sumner isn’t a school traditionally known for athletic excellence. The Sabres (15-3) season was enough to land the number two seed in Class 5-A. Sumner also advanced to a regional championship berth last year.
“We’ve been on a mission all year to get back to that point,” Jon Borger, who is in his ninth season as Sumner coach, said on Wednesday.
This is Sumner Academy’s third trip to the state tournament since 2018. Averaging 6.5 goals per game took these players to the top.
“The boys have prepared for this,” Borger said. “They’ve bought in here to trying to build a program here that sets a standard in Wyandotte County.”
The Sabres were eliminated from the postseason by Saint Thomas Aquinas on Thursday, but there’s still reason to be proud.
“I think we score well. We’re good at showing that we’re dominating. We don’t just win. We let them know we’re kicking their butt,” Max Perez, Sumner Academy midfielder, said.
“Considering Sumner hasn’t always had the best soccer, we want to keep it that way. It’s that spirit we play with in each game that allows us to do that,” D.J. Gates, Sabres striker, added.
Some would say Sumner is blazing its own trails to success. In the two years they’ve played in the Meadowlark Conference, they’ve never lost a league game. No Wyandotte County team has been to the state final four in 10 years, so the Sabres celebrity status is solid.
The KSHSAA Soccer Championships are scheduled for next weekend in Topeka, Spring Hill and Wichita.