Clippers Soccer Wins First State Championship
The Sturgeon Bay boys soccer team won the WIAA Division 4 state championship over University School of Milwaukee on Saturday, Nov. 7. With the win, the Clippers made school history as it was the first boys soccer team to earn the championship title. The Clippers (22-3-3) scored a goal in each half to beat the Wildcats 2-0.
“Every year we start off, that’s your goal,” said coach Todd Maas. “It’s not just to win conference. It’s to make a run at the gold ball. We set the bar high with our kids and we expect them to play a certain way.”
The Clippers took advantage of their height as Robbie Hohlfelder and Alessandro Nora both received crosses in front of the goal and put them into the net. Hohlfelder scored in the 25th minute while Nora sealed the deal in the 56th minute.
The win is just the 11th state title in school history and the first for boys soccer.
“We’ve always lost to the eventual state champion in the semifinal game,” said Maas. “To get there this year, we made school history.”
The state final game is usually reserved for schools in the Madison, Green Bay and Milwaukee area. The kids at Sturgeon Bay had something to prove against these metropolitan schools, but Maas didn’t let his players look at it that way.
“It’s a big stage and the aura of the place kind of takes over. It took a little while for them to figure that out,” said Maas. “Mentally, you have to make the game just a game instead of a game at state.”
Haas came to coach the team in 2009 and the Clippers quickly responded with strong seasons, winning five consecutive Packerland Conference championships and making three state championship appearances (2010, 2011, 2014). Until this year, the team had not scored a goal in the state tournament. Now they are going home with the golden soccer ball.
But instead of quenching the thirst for victory, Maas plans on moving into the next season with the same goals.
“You should have a strong will to get back there because otherwise you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” said Maas. “You have to have the drive and passion to achieve that goal because otherwise you’re going to fall short.”
This past week was a time for celebration as the team hosted a parade through downtown Sturgeon Bay and a celebration the same night at the high school. On Monday, Nov. 9, the team appeared on Door County Daily News WRLU with Green Bay Packers players Datone Jones and Alonzo Harris to talk about their championship run.