Sean Moser and his St. Paul’s soccer team are in the process of picking out a design for their state championship rings.
That’s the easy part.
Heck, they placed an order last year, so they are familiar with that process.
The tough part will more likely be just fitting all of their accomplishments on one ring.
They now have another one to add.
The Wolves, back-to-back Division I state champions, now have to somehow find room to squeeze “No. 1 in the nation” on there as well.
St. Paul’s finished No. 1 in the season-ending CBS MaxPreps rankings, a list of the top teams that play soccer in the spring.
“We’re still discussing what we want to put on the rings, but we might throw in the inscription of being No. 1,” Moser said.
St. Paul’s finished the season 30-0-3 in a season where they reached the No. 1 spot in the rankings, slipped to No. 2 and then vaulted back to the top in the final rankings released last week.
“It means a lot,” said St. Paul’s senior midfielder Barrick Roberts. “It just shows what the program has done over the past couple years under coach Moser. We didn’t pay much attention to the (national) rankings during the season, but our fans did. We were always just talking about being the best team in the state.”
The Wolves are no strangers to the national rankings, finishing fourth in 2011, 10th in 2012 and eighth last season.
“I knew I had eight starters coming back from last year, so I thought we could go out and play tournaments against some of the good teams in Florida and Mississippi,” Moser said. “I made the schedule that way to challenge us because we had a senior-laden team. In the back of my mind, I knew if we came out and played well we had a chance to do better than that No. 4 finish.”
St. Paul’s dominated this season, outscoring its opponents by a jaw-dropping margin of 121-9. They didn’t give up a goal the last eight weeks of the season.
“We had a good combination of size, experience and speed in the back,” Moser said. “Some teams put their big boys in the back and get beat with speed. Some play with speed in the back. We had some good size, good experience and good speed in the back. And we had (keeper) Collin Hanley.”
Hanley was joined in the back by fullbacks Colin Ross, Brent Neal, Matt Dysart and Austin Wiles.
Joining Roberts at midfielder were Eric Guin, Byron Morgan, and Brett Feringa.
Michael Boudreaux and Davis Nietzschman played forward for the Wolves, who defeated their five playoff opponenets 18-0.
“This team was special because of the depth and the experience,” Moser said. “
Sometimes when you have a plethora of talent, you may get a kid who wants to be a star and you may have to try to take him out of the limelight. But this team had a lot of superstars, but they were very unselfish.”
Ross, Wiles and Boudreaux (all juniors) will be the only returning starters next season off of the senior-laden squad, so Moser know duplicating this year’s accomplishments won’t be easy.
“I don’t know how we’ll top it,” said with a laugh. “I guess will have to do more next year than just watch them play and make adjustments.”