UNION, NJ – The Burnet Middle School Barbarians took home the top prize last week at the Garden State Esports Middle School Rocket League competition.

Competing against the equally accomplished Thorne Middle School Lions, the Barbarians won a best of five match, three to one.  The Burnet Middle School Barbarians team players are:

  • Daniel “GamerDWTW” Aleu
  • Gabriel “itsjustgabe90” Arreaga
  • Leandro “Titoloverang” Burgos
  • Daniel “Dniel” Bzdel
  • Darian “Alkaline_uwu” Cancel
  • Jesse “Cheese” DeJesus
  • Angel “mc.sprite” Echevarria
  • Ogechukwu Anthony “ca$h:)” Ekeh
  • Taylor “Jazzyjazzyjazz24” Hodges-Freeland
  • Steven “itzShakey” Jean-Baptiste
  • Donovan “Don_Jimenez” Jimenez
  • Joset “CravingRocket41” Lazo Valle
  • Cristian “CMES16” Mesidor
  • Yadier “Ballerbish” Yi

The team is coached by Burnet Middle School Computer/Technology teacher and Esports Coach Eric Churus. "It was through a lot of hard work and dedication that these players were able to overcome the challenges they faced and went on to clinch the Championship," said Churus.

Sign Up for Union Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

After the tournament, Barbarian player Darian “Alkaline uwu” Cancel was awarded the Player of the Game award.  Other achievements included:

  • #1 Top Play of the Game - Leandro “Titoloverarg” Burgos
  • #2 Top Play of the Game - Jesse “Cheese” DeJesus and Steven “ItsShakey3211” Jean-Baptiste
  • #4 Top Play of the Game - Cristian “CMES16” Mesidor

As described by Coach Churus, the tournament matches were:

Match 1

BMS Barbarians:  Darian Cancel, Daniel Bzdel, Daniel Aleu

TMS Lions:  The Big Kzer, Jerseyboi, A_Train_907

The Barbarians came in and took over in the first game securing a 5-0 victory.  The second game saw the Lions come back and score on an impressive aerial shot from to secure the victory.  Game 3 would swing back the way of the Barbarians ending in a shutout

Game 1:

Things started out strong for the Barbarians with a beautiful air dribble to double tap goal by Cancel.  This was followed up by two more quick goals.  Aleu had a beautiful aerial goal to put the Barbarians up 5-0 and secure their victory.  The Barbarians came in with full force and hit the ground running.

Game 2:  

A great bump left an open net for a quick goal for the Lions to put them up 1-0.  Cancel tied up after with a solid read to tie up the game.  Burnet regained a lead after a strategic pass from Aleu to Cancel.  Solid defense by Bzdel and Aleu kept BMS in competition as well as pressure on the Lions by keeping the ball on their side.  The game ended with an aerial goal by the JerseyboiRL taking advantage of a triple-commit by the Barbarians.

Game 3:

A great back and forth between the teams was ended by a long goal from Bzdel pushing the ball past the Lions defense and into the goal.  BMS followed up quickly after a great save by Aleu turned into a pass and goal with a redirect from Cancel.  Pressure was put on by the Lions after falling 3-0 but a great save by Aleu locked in the shutout to clinch game three and Match 1.

Match 2:

BMS Barbarians:  Leandro Burgos, Jesse DeJesus, Steven Jean-Baptiste

TMS Lions:  Freezyfridge/Freezyfrog, Snoweagle25, Blunoohoo

A game 1 loss put the barbarians on their heels and the Lions in a strong position to take the match.  The Barbarians however would rally in game two with some great solo and team play to win.  Game three would be a defensive battle but an overtime ground pinch would earn the Barbarians the win the match.

Game 1:

After several back and forths BMS went down by one goal.  Working hard BMS started to apply pressure but Blunoohoo pulled off an amazing clear/goal combo going up 2-0.  BMS finds its first goal after a great pass from Jean-Baptiste to Burgos.  The rally would be short-lived as Freezyfrog scored the Lions third goal off the next kickoff to go up 3-1 and win the game.

Game 2:

The Barbarians opened game 2 with an early goal by Jean-Baptiste off a triple-commit by the Lions and pass from Burgos.  This would be followed up by Burgos scoring the second goal from great offensive pressure.  Not to be outdone Jean-Baptiste would come in with his own goal  on an open net to put the Barbarians up 3-0.  The Lions begin to rally on offense and are stopped by a great save by DeJesus.  The final goal for the Barbarians was from a great pass from DeJesus to Jean-Baptiste to finish the game 4-0.

Game 3:  

This match proved to be a defensive standoff with both teams failing to produce a goal in regulation time.  Amazing saves were performed by both teams.  DeJesus made a critical save in the final minutes of the match and held that line as the clock started to find down and pushed the game into overtime.  Burgos would make an incredible pinch save as the ball was nearly in the net to save the game.  Soon after he would make a ground pinch to score the winning goal.

Match 3:

BMS Barbarians:  Yadier Yi, Cristian Mesidor, Donovan Jimenez

TMS Lions:  The Big Kzer, Jerseyboi, A_Train_907

The Barbarians would start match 3 with only two players due to a connection issue.  By the time the third Barbarian connection the Lions had pressed their 3v2 advantage to go up 7-0.  Game 2 proved to more competitive with evenly numbered teams but the Lions would continue to prevail clinching match 3 and forcing match 4.

Game 1:

Game one would prove brutal for the Barbarians as one of their players would have difficulty connecting for a majority of the match.  This would lead the Barbarians to play the initial game of the match 2v3.  The Lions would go to put on a scoring clinic against the disadvantaged Barbarians.  Mesidor and Jimenez would  put up a solid amount of defense trying to by time for Yi to connect in.  Yi would make it in but the damage had been done with a score of 7-0.  Great saves would be made by all three players but the final result would be Lions 9 Barbarians 0.

Game 2:

The Barbarians would initially fall down to 1-0 early in game 2 on a goal by A_Train_907.  They almost fell down to 2-0 but a fantastic save by Mesidor on an open net would keep the score 1-0.  Saves would also be made by Jimenez and Yi as the Lions continued to put pressure on the Barbarians.  Unfortunately, the pressure proved too much and the Lions gained their second goal with a shot by The Big Kzer.  Mesidor would make a goal late in the game to bring the Barbarians up 2-1.  An open net goal with little time left on the clock  would seal this third match for the Lions.

Match 4:

BMS Barbarians:  Angel Echevarria, Gabriel Arreaga, Taylor Hodges-Freeland

TMS Lions:  Freezyfridge/Freezyfrog, Snoweagle25, Blunoohoo

Match 4 would start with the Lions taking an early lead but a late game rally by the Barbarians would force an overtime that the Barbarians would claim victory in.  Game 2 would prove itself to be a battle of attrition as no team was able to hold onto the lead for long.  In the end the Lions made a great read to secure the final goal of the game and the win.  Game three would start off rough with the Lions scoring a quick goal but this seemed to fire up the Barbarians who would score twice to take the lead.  The Lions would rally back to tie but through solid team play the Barbarians would score twice more locking in the match and championship victories.

Game 1:

The Lions would take an early lead with a quick goal by Blunoohoo early in the game.  An incredible save by Echevarria would keep the game at 1-0 as the Lions took a long shot down the field.  Several scoring opportunities presented themselves to the Barbarians but luck was not on their side playing missing some difficult shots.  Hodges-Freeland would help create opportunities for her teammates through several calculated bumps and clears.  Echevarria would tie the game from a great pass by Arreaga and push the game to overtime.  Arreaga would take the shot from midfield to win in overtime and put the Barbarians within one game of the Championship.

Game 2:

The Barbarians would take an early lead with an aerial goal from Arreaga.  A quick response from the Lions Snoweagle25 would tie the game at one a piece.  As the pressure came from the Lions Arreaga made a great save to keep the game tied.  A pinch shot by Freezyfridge would put the Lions up this game 2-1 at the mid point.  An own goal by the Lions would then tie the game at 2.  Arraega would perform a great dribble going past all three Lions and into the goal to go up 3-2.  The Lions not to be deterred would respond quickly to tie the game once again.  A fantastic read by the Lions would result in an open net goal putting the Lions up 4-3 and win the Game.

Game 3:

Snoweagle25 scored early in the match after a great read would take the lead 1-0.  Arreaga would respond with a goal of his own to tie the game up.  A great pass by Echevarria would set up Arreaga for the second goal  and the lead.  The Lions would tie the game shortly after on a pass from Snoweagle25 to Freezyfridge but Arreaga would respond and retake the lead with a kickoff goal.  A fake by Arreaga would set up Echevarria for a goal to go up 4-2.  The Lions rally to one goal and almost a second after the following kickoff hitting it off the crossbar.  Strong defense by Hodges-Freeland,  Arreaga, and Echevarria would come through to win the game, match, and championship.

The fifth game was played but not aired as the champions were already established.