ROELAND PARK, Kan. — Some teams are full of surprises. Bishop Miege’s boys soccer program fits the description.
The Stags, winners of six consecutive KSHSAA Class 4-1A State Championships, have shown a tendency to start slowly before pulling it together in time for the postseason.
On Saturday, Miege (5-5) beat Trinity Catholic to even its record for the year. That’s the team’s third consecutive victory.
“Hard work pays off,” said Nate Huppe, Miege’s eighth-year coach.
Huppe and his players aren’t discouraged by bad starts. Young players are stepping up to fill holes left by seven starters from last season who graduated.
“We don’t worry too much about our record come postseason. We know we’ve already gone through the grind. If things aren’t working during the season, we try something else,” Huppe explained.
T-shirts seen around the school tout the “Six-Peat” and Miege’s hopes of finding a seventh-straight state title. It’s become a point of pride around the Miege campus.
“There’s downs, but we’re keeping it up. We have a big legacy to live up to. Can’t lose the six-peat. We have to keep going. Can’t lose anything,” Austen Lopez, Miege Stags centerback, said.
“We’ve got to dig deep and find where we stand as a program. We want to continue this six-peat and make it seven. I think as long as our players keep working hard, I believe we’re all dedicated,” Xander Christian, another Miege Stags centerback, said.
Familiarity and faith go hand-in-hand in this camp.
Miege won the very first of its 10 state soccer championships in 1998, and now-coach Huppe was a sophomore on that team. He said if anybody believes this year’s club can overcome and keep that win streak alive, it’s him to be sure.
Miege travels to Tonganoxie for a Tuesday night soccer match. The Stags quest for another state title could culminate in the KSHSAA Class 4-1A State Soccer Championship, which is scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in De Soto, Kansas.
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