HOLMDEL, N.J. - All the hard work to win a state championship for the second straight season and be ranked the No. 1 boys soccer team in the state of New Jersey, helped the Holmdel High School boys soccer team earn well deserved national recognition. On Tuesday in front of their teachers, classmates and family members at Holmdel High School, the Hornets were honored by MaxPreps for being one of 10 high school boys soccer teams in the United States to be selected in its 8th annual Soccer Tour of Champions.
The special ceremony helped put on by MaxPreps saw the Hornets be presented a trophy by the New Jersey Army National Guard for their achievements this past season.
This is the 14th year MaxPreps has being doing its Tour of Champions to honor high school sports teams from all across the U.S. Holmdel was one of a total of 20 high school soccer teams across the country honored in the MaxPreps Soccer Tour of Champions this year
“Our kids had belief that they can be the best team in not just the state of New Jersey, but in the country too,” said coach John Nacarlo. “Through hard work and dedication they were able to achieve their goals.”
The word success doesn’t even come near to describe the accomplishments that the Hornets have achieved over the last two years, making memories that these band of brothers will always remember.
In the midst of losing a beloved friend and teammate in Jack Dowd, the Hornets family bond showed as they honored their fallen teammate by roaring to a 22-1-1 record and winning the NJSIAA Group II Championship.
This past fall, Holmdel put together an historic season.
For the second straight season, Holmdel won a single-season school record 22 wins to finish the season 22-0-1. They outscored their opponents 88-12 during the season and posted 12 shutouts.
In route to their second straight state championship, the Hornets scored a total of 32 goals in their six playoff games, outscoring their foes 32-3 in the process.
It all led to Holmdel winning back-to-back state championships with a 3-1 win over Gled Rock in the Group 2 finals, marking a perfect ending to a magical two-year run that most high school sports programs could only dream of.
Winning the program’s third state championship also helped Holmdel finish the season ranked as the No. 1 boy soccer team in New Jersey.
“The comradery our team has over the last two years has been indescribable,” Joe Arena said. “Most of us have known each other since we were five years old. That type of chemistry has been built up over a lifetime and it really showed these past two years.”
A team of brothers were all smiles as they stood in front of their entire school to receive their award, taking in and enjoying a moment that they all will remember.
Nacarlo, who recently announced that he would be stepping down as Holmdel boys soccer coach, couldn’t have been happier to watch his team take in all the joy and fun of earning the type of the success they have all worked so hard for over the last couple of seasons.
“Hats off to these boys. This type of success we have had over the last two years, that doesn’t happen very often,” Nacarlo said. “These kids were a great group to coach. They bought into it everything. They earned this.”
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