Heading Back to The Top

Adam Abougendia, Sports Editor

 Zeros on the clock, and that was it. A repeat. A repeat of the previous two years, two years of suffering and regret. Once again, the Pembroke Pines Charter boys soccer team was knocked out by Belen Jesuit in the regional finals. Seniors last ride cut short, freshmen’s first heartbreak, and everything in between. Emotions were riding high and just like that, their season was over, by the same team who had won back to back state championships. However, a new wave of Charter ballers are here and hoping to lead the legacy that once was, Pembroke Pines Charter Soccer. This time though, they’re some new faces to help them out… 

  This year, the squad has 10 new players including three who are new to the Charter system. These new additions have played for top teams in the state of Florida and for top high school programs, are looking to relive the glory of the 2019 Jaguars who made the state championship, but this time, bring it back to Sheridan Street. 

  The biggest transfer to the school has to be Rafa Calmon. Rafa comes from Everglades High School after living in Brazil for much of his life. The attacking minded midfielder hopes to bring tons of goals, assists, and a bit of that Brazilian flair that he is well known for around the county. He expressed, “Getting brought over to Charter was one of the best decisions I’ve had the opportunity to make. The guys here have made me feel so welcome and I’m excited to get the season started. Playing with all the guys from my club team along with my club coach, everything leads towards a state championship”.

  Going along with Calmon, Charter has plenty of in house talent that has never stepped foot onto the Jaguar pitch. Andre Casas, Christian Blanco, and Joaquin Campo are three guys who have all played at the highest level of soccer here in the state of Florida, MLS NEXT. 

  Casas, though, had the opportunity to represent the Jaguar colors in his middle school years along with much of the high school team now. However, he has never had the chance to play at the highest level of high school soccer and hopes that his first season with the team, has the perfect ending. “I made a promise to my best friends in my freshman year. In senior year we would all play high school soccer together and hopefully win a ring together” Andre explained. “I think the squad on paper is stronger than ever, it really just comes down to how hard we work when it matters most”. 

  The team will once again go up against top opposition in the state such as state champions Cypress Bay. Along with Cypress, they will play other prestigious programs such as Somerset Academy, STA, and Cardinal Gibbons. The journey back to the promiseland starts on November 8th against Taravella at the Jaguar den. With plenty of senior talent, as well as promising underclassmen. Coach Marc Lue Young and his squad hope to head back to Stetson University and return with that covenant 5A state championship trophy in his hands.