Holy Ghost captures 4th straight district title

Jake Weimert's teammates surrounded him.

There were short sprints to teammates to exchange high fives, hugs, and pats on the shoulder. The junior midfielder for the Holy Ghost Prep soccer team had just opened the scoring in the District 1 Class AA boys' final Thursday night at Wissahickon to put the Firebirds up a goal.

Holy Ghost, the defending state champion, was on its way to a 3-1 victory over Pottsgrove and its fourth consecutive district title, but Weimert had to tie his shoe, so the celebration was cut short.

"My adrenaline was pumping," Weimert said. "When it got through and bounced off the goalie, I knew I had to stay composed and put it in the back of the net."

Seventeen minutes into the first half, Mike Kirby sent a ball just to the edge of the 18-yard line. The goalie for the Falcons (14-7) challenged, but Weimert got a piece of it and controlled the ball before putting it in the net.

Weimert did it again for Holy Ghost (15-4-1) with five minutes remaining in the half, this time with the laces tied on his cleats. Joe Braun added another goal for the Firebirds a minute after that, putting Holy Ghost up, 3-0.

"Kirby, Braun, Weimert, those three guys together are just insane on the ball," Firebirds goalie Matt Lingerman said. "You've got the strength in Braun, and Kirby and Weimert have moves that I can't even think about.

"Score early and often, that's what they say," Lingerman added. "When you get a cushion like that, it takes the pressure off."

The junior keeper was impressed with his offense, but he was impressive in his own right, registering nine saves and playing with a lot of confidence.

He hopes the confidence continues next Tuesday, when the Firebirds will compete in the first round of the PIAA Class AA tournament, facing the winner from District 11.

"We are a separate team from them," Lingerman said of last year's state-championship squad. "While there are returning players, we are going to create our own legacy."

Pottsgrove 0 1 – 1

Holy Ghost Prep 3 0 – 3

Goals: P-Kevin Rodriguez; HGP-Jake Weimert 2, Joe Braun.

Saves: P-Liam Abdalla 2; HGP-Matt Lingerman 9.