The varsity boys soccer team made history for the second time on Saturday, October 29 in Charlotte, NC. The team won their second-straight state championship, they are the first team to win a back-to-back state championship in school history.
In a rematch of the last two state championship games, the Eagles defeated Carmel Christian 1-0 to clinch their second-consecutive North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 4A state title. The Eagles dominated the game from start to finish. Jon Goedeke ‘25 scored the lone goal in the first half off of a corner kick by Rafa Castillo ‘23.
“Rafa played in a great ball on our corner kick, and Jon did a great job finding the ball to dispatch it into the net,” Head Coach Andrew Wiese said of the goal. “All the credit goes to the players. We talked about our game plan but they had to put it in motion. Their dedication to that is what made them successful at the end of the game. They showed incredible heart, and they justly got the result for which they worked so hard.”
Rabun Gap ended the season with a 18-2-2 record, winning their last seven games. The Eagles finished No. 3 in the state of North Carolina and are ranked as No. 28 in the country by Maxpreps.com. This was Rabun Gap’s fourth consecutive trip to the state finals, with state runner-up finishes in 2019 and 2020; and a state championship in 2021.
"No championship is ever won easily. All credit to the boys, culture changes when coaches change. But our strong leadership helped maintain not only the team workrate but also the team culture. I could empower our player-leaders to take charge on the field and they rose to the occasion,” said Wiese. “I couldn't be prouder of this team. They persevered, worked, and truly were a team. We only got better as the season went on, and winning the Championship was the icing on the cake."
The varsity soccer program represents nine countries and has eight players from local communities.
The team is led by Head Coach Andrew Weise and assistant coach Terry Klinect. The state championship team included the following players: Shaun Ayivor ’24 of Accra, Ghana; Jack Barta ’23 of Franklin, NC; Kyle Brako ‘23 of Accra, Ghana; Rafael Castillo ’23 of Monterrey, Mexico; Nolan Conrad ’24 of Rabun Gap, GA; Hugo Garcia Rodriguez ‘23 of Monterrey, Mexico; Jon Goedeke ‘25 of Hamburg, Germany; Marcelo Gonzalez ‘24 of Guadalupe, Mexico; Memo Haro ‘24 of Monterrey, Mexico; Davis Hill ’25 of Clarkesville, GA; Christopher Hohmann ‘25 of Frankfurt, Germany; Dawson Kirkland ‘24 of Franklin, NC; Cade Klimasewski ‘25 of Rabun Gap, GA; David Laguarda ‘26 of Madrid, Spain; Filip Matic ‘24 of Cacak, Serbia; Julian Mulholland ’25 of Franklin, NC; Theo Ochieng ‘24 of Herlev, Denmark; Ben Oeft ‘25 of Frankfurt, Germany; Emilio Roman Hinojosa ’23 of Monterrey, Mexico; Motiejus Samsonas ‘24 of Vilnius, Lithuania; Winfred Sarpong ’24 of Alliston, Canada; Diego Sisamon ‘24 of Zaragoza, Spain; Stonewall Strickland ‘26 of Waynesville, NC; Gus Williams ’25 of Demorest, GA; and Sean Zavala ’24 of Rabun Gap, GA.
“This is another historic moment for Rabun Gap and our growing soccer program,” said Head of School Jeff Miles. “I am so proud of our players and coaches for achieving their second consecutive state championship. Our student-athletes are outstanding young men, on and off the field.”Click here to see more photos.