Fall Sports Playoffs

Rhys Patterson, Sports Editor

As the fall sports season is coming to a close at Fuquay Varina High School, and that means one thing: Playoffs. The men’s soccer, football, and women’s volleyball teams have all either clinched a spot in NCHSAA playoffs this year or will soon. 

 

The volleyball season came to a close this past Saturday with a loss against the Chapel Hill Tigers in the first round of the playoffs. While there is disappointment that the season is over, the team will take away many good memories from the season. 

“I loved how all the girls supported each other through the good and bad. We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, and we never turned against each other or blamed anyone for our failures,” said senior Mackenzie Behr. 

After starting the season 1-6, the playoffs must have seemed like an afterthought for the Lady Bengals, but they were able to put together a very solid run in the second half of the year, finishing 7-7 in conference play. 

The Bengals were able to put up a great fight against the top seeded Tigers, keeping the second and third sets within reach, but were ultimately not able to pull off the huge upset. Still, the season was very solid and fun as a whole. 

“It was honestly a great way to end my high school career, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates,” said Behr. 

 

The men’s soccer team also got off to a fairly rough start to the season being winless after their first five games against tough non-conference opponents. After picking up their first win of the season against Athens Drive, a second showdown against Middle Creek took place. Fuquay played a stifling defensive game and a second half goal from senior Johan Rodriguez was enough for the Bengals to take home the victory 1-0. The upset win is seen as a turning point for the Bengals season.

“The win against Middle Creek made us see that we could beat anyone,” said senior Luke Duracinsky.

The Bengals have had a “next man up” mentality throughout the season. 

“We suffered many injuries throughout the season, but that only called up others to make a bigger impact and they stepped up to the challenge,” said senior Noah Mathew.

While the defense has been solid throughout the season, the offense also clicked in the latter half of the season allowing the Bengals to be successful.

“We have a solid defense and when the midfield and offense started working together, we started putting goals in the back of the net and winning games,” explained Mathew. “We have come together as a strong team this season, and I’ve really enjoyed playing my senior year with these boys.”

While the Bengals are not currently a lock for the playoffs, they are still projected as one of the last five teams in by High School OT.

 

A common theme for the Bengals sports teams this fall season has been a slow start followed by a great second half turn around. The varsity football team is no exception. Multiple heartbreaking losses against SWAC opponents put the Bengals at 0-3 to start the season. The team then put together a string of great performances against conference opponents and are currently 5-4 overall and 5-1 in conference play with one game left to play against Willow Springs.

“We knew that if both sides of the ball clicked then we’d win a lot of games with our remaining schedule,” said senior Luke Toscano. 

The strong second half should be enough to lock the Bengals up for a spot in the NCHSAA playoffs. Currently projected as the 25th seed by “High School OT,” the Bengals will likely have a chance to avenge one of their losses on the year against either Holly Springs or Cleveland.

“I would be excited for both. We think we can beat both of those teams and would love a second shot at them,” said Toscano. 

While the football team hasn’t technically clinched a spot in the playoffs yet, it feels all but inevitable with the team only needing to beat Willow Springs who is 1-8 overall and 0-6 in conference play.