Photo courtesy of Newsome boys soccer team. The Newsome boys soccer team defeated Riverview 2-1 in double-overtime on February 6 in the 7A-District 8 championship game.

The Newsome boys soccer team had a tremendous turnaround season, going 14-2-3 overall after a 5-11-4 campaign the previous season. They also won their second district title in the last three years when they beat Riverview 2-1 in double-overtime on February 6 in the 7A-District 8 championship game.

The Wolves hosted the first round of regionals against East Ridge outside of Orlando from Clermont on February 13 and lost 4-0.

They are led by eight-year Head Coach Allen Ware. Ware coached at Brandon for 15 years prior and at Bloomingdale for a couple of years before getting the Newsome job. Ware thinks that East Ridge was the best team they have faced all season.

“Last year, we had one of our worst years in a long time,” said Ware. “To lose 11 games last year and to end up 14-2-3 this year, it’s the turnaround, the buy-in the boys had, that is what the coaching staff is most proud of. The boys have done everything they could, they don’t want to lose. They fight every game.”

Newsome was led on the field by Owen Lucey, who was the team’s leading scorer with 11 goals. Senior Zian Church added five goals and junior Matt Almond has helped anchor the back line of the defense.

Lucy, a four-year starter, has been a key player for the Wolves not only in this season’s turnaround but also as a building block for the program, having helped shape the soccer team in recent years.

“He’s taken over our leadership role this year and somewhat last year too as a junior, but this year especially he has taken over that role,” said Ware. “He’s determined, he doesn’t accept losing.”

Twice Newsome has gone to the final eight, which is the furthest that the Wolves have gone in the state tournament in the school’s history. Ware said that the Wolves would have had to play better than they have all season, mixed with the right combination of luck to go along with tremendous skill and a lot of heart to be able to claim the title, but things just didn’t go their way this time.

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.