SMS continues dominance

For years now, Selbyville Middle School’s soccer team has been the pinnacle of their respective conference. They’ve lost only two games over the last eight years and a 6-1 win over cross-town rival Sussex Central Middle School on Oct. 16 paved the way for their seventh undefeated year since 1998.

Selbyville (8-0) scored 48 goals through its first seven games in 2006 and according to head coach Neal Barch, that total could’ve been much higher, since his team has more stocked talent than a tournament fishing hole.

“Most of the starting 11 have been playing since 9 years old at the River Soccer Club, and they’re pretty hot,” Barch said. “A lot of years, you have nine or 10 good players on a team. This year, we have three guys on the bench that could start, but the starting 11 are playing so well and won their slots [earlier this season].”

“When you’re playing so well, how do you take them out?” he asked rhetorically.

Their scoring totals might have been even higher, but Selbyville has given up only two goals through their first seven matches, so Barch has had the flexibility to play all of his players. And despite sputtering early against Sussex Central Middle (6-2), Selbyville’s offense regained its form and scored five first-half goals on four assists.

Nick Izzo led the Indians with two goals, while Caleb Buchler, Victor Cuencea, Dylan Lynch and Jesus Hernandez each chipped in with goals of their own.

“It took us about 10 minutes to score our first goal when, usually, we’ve already scored three goals by then. But I think they were a little nervous because they heard Sussex Central was pretty good,” Barch said.

Izzo scored the Indians’ last goal, to give the Indians a 6-0 lead. Barch said the play signaled a good time to transfer players to and from the field, and give everyone some playing time.

“I’ve been in games were a team has lit us up 12-0, so once we get to a situation” — such as the six unanswered goals — “I don’t like to see the game get out of hand,” Barch said.

“I can recollect a game we played against Dover Air where we went up three goals in the first six minutes, so I played my reserves the rest of the half and then put my starters back in. And I think that’s why teams don’t mind playing us — at least we have some class.”

At 8-0, Barch couldn’t be happier with his team’s accomplishments so far, but he’s happiest with their attitudes and efforts on the field.

“The guys are having a great year, but what’s best is that come to play every game and we have no head-cases,” Barch said. “They love the game, and they go out and play, and play well.”

The Selbyville Indians will host Mariner Middle School on Oct. 23 for a 4 p.m. game.