February marks the beginning of the Chattahoochee soccer team’s path to the state championship. After coming off of a remarkable season in which they went on an 18-game winning streak, were the number one ranked team in the state of Georgia and won the Region-6 AAAAAA championship, Chattahoochee Soccer is reborn again. Despite losing former key starter Andrew Gray, who now plays football for Valdosta State, the success-driven soccer team is bringing back impactful starters, such as Shane Burke (SR) and Hunter Phelps (SR), and is on a mission to make it back to the top spot not only in the state, but in the nation. Nothing is impossible to this optimistic squad, who wants nothing more than to grasp the state championship trophy at the end of the season, and this goal is definitely attainable with the talent the team has on its side.
With a new season and former starters graduating come vacant roles to be filled, and the upcoming players seem to be up for the challenge. Look out for Drew Catapano (JR) and Alex Field (JR) to be the top scorers. Drew Catapano is the reigning Region-6 AAAAAA player of the year, and Alex Field brings a unique sense of skill and agility to the team. The future looks even brighter beyond this season due to the amount of underclassmen that will hold crucial roles on the successful team. Along with these polished juniors, Jackson Corrigan (SO) looks to fill the role of former shut down goal keeper Dara Mansouri, who was an all-region player last year. He is confident in his abilities and will be aided by returning starters Hunter Phelps and Jorge Herrera (SR), who look to hold things down defensively in order to take a lot of pressure off of Corrigan.
Hunter Phelps credits the team’s success to their unique team chemistry which is truly necessary for wins and championships. “We are all close on and off the field. We don’t only play together but also hang out together, which allows a greater bond to grow. They aren’t only my teammates but my brothers, and I feel like that shows on the field,” said Phelps.
Being the best in the region places a huge target on the team; every team ranging from crosstown rival Johns Creek to North Forsyth wants to knock the Hooch soccer team off of their pedestal. Of course, another region and state championship run will not come easy, for it will take countless hours of practice and camaraderie, which is something the team is familiar with. This 2016 season is looking bright, and the Hooch soccer team is trying to continue with their success all the way to state.