The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


A brawl for the state ring: Boys Soccer advances to the state semi-final for the 2nd time in PPCHS history

Juliette Montes
The PPCHS Boys Soccer Team huddles during halftime, crafting a game plan to win the game. The score was 0-0.

“It’s in!” A parent shouted from the crowd, holding up his cell phone. Senior Nicolas Diaz scored a header from a corner kick, scoring a narrow 1-0 for Pines Charter. The Pines Charter Jaguars won against the Ronald Reagan Bison with a 1-0 finish, climbing to the state semi-final championship on February 27th. 

Before the game started, the team felt determined yet reminiscent when reflecting on last year’s season. In their 2022-2023 season regional final, Pines Charter was eliminated by American Heritage (Plantation) after a penalty shootout.  

Massimo Lopez-Malo, a goalie and one of the team captains, was one of the players who deeply thought about last year’s final game. Towering over the “most saves” statistic, Lopez-Malo knew that his performance had to be the best he’s ever put in. “Last year we walked into [American] Heritage expecting to dominate and come out on top, but we couldn’t get that result,” he said. “So the thought of not being able to get the job done always lingered in my mind because although we played the lowest-seeded team in the final, what if you know? What if we couldn’t get it done?”

Marcus Deane

Fortunately for the team, they indeed were able to get it done. Actually, they were able to “get it done” for the second time in PPCHS history. In the 2019-2020 season, the Jaguars won 1-0 against Belen Jesuit, leading them to their first time in the state championship. However, in a 5-4 loss to the Jesuit Tigers (Tampa), they hadn’t seen the state ring since then. 

“It was the biggest game I’ve ever played,” Sophomore Left Center Back Noah Lewis reflected. Lewis has been a top-performing underclassman this year with over 1,033 minutes of gameplay.  “In the last 10-15 minutes of the game definitely felt the most important,” he said. “Reagan had a counter-attack, and at first it was just me and Carlos defending it until the rest of the team came back to help. But at that moment, I felt like if we had prevented this attack, we had the game in hand.” Lewis still has two more years on the team to carry out his long-desired goals for the team. 

Shiloh Corbie, a Senior Midfielder, felt the reality of the game. Corbie has been on the team since his freshman year, and now a senior, he feels the pressure at an immense level than ever before. He reflects on one of the game’s most important moments: “At this stage in the game, the fatigue was a battle I had to face simultaneously. We turned the ball over from a free kick and did not have many players back to defend the counterattack. I began to sprint back to defend, and while I was doing so, I looked to the side and saw Rafa (#10) sprinting with everything he had left. This inspired me to run even harder, regardless of the fatigue. Fortunately, I got a clean block, and we regained possession,” he recalled. “This moment shows how contagious my teammates’ efforts are, especially in this stage of the playoffs when everything is on the line.” 

Corbie knew this could be his last game as a Pines Charter Midfielder. Once the referee blew the whistle, signaling that the game was officially over, he and his team were given a second chance. “We were ecstatic,” he said. “Not because we were regional champions, but because we were a step closer to becoming state champions. It felt like we were also playing to avenge last year’s seniors who graduated.”

Juliette Montes

Senior Mateo Cortes and stat-leading striker felt prepared as an individual player and a team. Averaging the most goals per match, Cortes knew his purpose in this game since his first season on the team. “We’re not the only ones who deserve the ring,” he said. “Our coaching staff, trainers, and family deserve it too.” 

With a combination of film reviewing, their game plan, countless hours of practice, and passion for the game, the boys had one simultaneous response: 

“We are family. We will win this together.”

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About the Contributors
Valerie Questell
Valerie Questell, Editor-in-Chief
Hi, everyone! I'm Valerie Questell. This is my senior year, and I am blessed to lead our 2023-2024 CHAT Newspaper staff as Editor-in-Chief. Journalism has always been my dream profession and I am excited to use that dream to expand our newspaper. Please contact me if you have a story idea, interested in journalism, or have any questions/concerns about our publication!
Juliette Montes
Juliette Montes, Photo Staff
Hi! My name is Juliette Montes, I'm currently a senior, and this is my first year in the CHAT. I will be a Photographer/ Broadcasting Member in the CHAT. I love art (photography/cinematography/painting). In my free time I like to read, travel, and hang out with my friends and family. I’m beyond looking forward to becoming a reliable asset to the team, and creating an immersive CHAT for everyone to enjoy:) If you ever need to contact me, reach me at [email protected].
Marcus Deane
Marcus Deane, Photo Staff
Hello, my name is Marcus Deane. I am a senior and this is my first year in the CHAT. I will be working in the photography and video team, capturing sports and events. I am excited to introduce new photos and be the first drone photographer in the school. Contact me at: [email protected]!

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    Alexa ShamusMar 8, 2024 at 8:25 PM

    This is an amazing accomplishment for the PPCHS Boys Soccer Team. Congratulations!