Abe Mars battles a Sacred Heart defender for a loose ball.
Abe Mars battles a Sacred Heart defender for a loose ball.
CLINTON - For the second season in a row, the Philadelphia High School soccer team finished as the North State Class 1A-2A-3A champions.

The Tornadoes saw their season come to an end Saturday in Clinton with an 8-0 loss to Sacred Heart.

They lost to the same team in the finals last year, 3-1.

Though disappointed his team had not brought home the state championship, coach Adam Huddleston said his team had nothing to hang their heads about.

"We just couldn't do anything with them," Huddleston said. "But we are the North State champions. People can say what they want to about the competition in the North half but we did what we had to do to get here.

"I'm proud of my team. They came together and worked hard. We played great in our game with Forest for the North half. We have a good group coming back and we hope to come back to Clinton next year."

As usual, the soccer team wasn't put together until after football season which put the Tornadoes starting almost a month later than most teams.

Philadelphia finished second in their district this season behind Southeast Lauderdale.

They won a big game over Clarkdale on the last day to advance.

And when the playoffs started, they kept on going.

Last Tuesday, they defeated Forest 3-2 to reclaim the North State championship.

They faced a Sacred Heart team whose players focused on soccer in the traveling leagues during the off season and were just too much for a team that came together in December.

The Crusaders led 4-0 at the half, and came out with three straight goals to put the game on ice.

Members of the Philadelphia team were Marcus Wood, Luke Eldridge, Garrett Threadgill, Hunter Ketteringham, Gray Moorehead, Mathew Ferris, Hamza Mumtaz, Malek Moore, Isaac Martin, Luis Olmedo, William Smith, John Harold Smith, Abe Mars, Chase Bradeley, Cody Stephens, Peyton Person, Nick Black, Robert Marahai, T.J. Hudson and Fent Mars.