IN THIS CORNER

How impressive was the Croatan’s 2A state championship?

The Cougars won the first state title for a soccer team in county history.

They are the first county squad in a team sport to win a state crown with an undefeated record since the Beaufort boys basketball team in 1961.

The Seadogs went 25-0.

A few teams came close.

The West Carteret volleyball team went 30-1 on its way to a 1988 state championship.

The West Carteret girls (1994) and East Carteret boys (2015) basketball teams each went 28-2 in their respective state title seasons.

Going undefeated in a state title season is nothing unusual at Croatan, however, as the wrestling team went 17-0 in 2010 and 18-0 in 2011.

Four of Croatan’s soccer playoff opponents were undefeated, including Carrboro (9-0) in the first round, James Kenan (11-0) in the second, First Flight (10-0-2) in the third and Hibriten (18-0) in the state final.

Richlands’ only two losses entering the regional final were to the Cougars. The Wildcats were 13-2-1.

The five opponents were a combined 62-2-3 when they played Croatan.

Also, at the times of the games, Hibriten and James Kenan were each No. 1 in the MaxPreps 2A rankings, Richlands and First Flight were each No. 3, and Carrboro was No. 6.

The Cougars played only one of those games at home, defeating Richlands 2-0 in the regional final. They had to go to overtime to beat James Kenan 4-3 in golden goal periods, First Flight 3-1 and Hibriten 4-1.

Croatan finishes the year ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps among teams in all classifications and is the only N.C. High School Athletic Association soccer team to go undefeated.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

(Send comments or questions to jj@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)

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