Quincy soccer wins Northern Section CIF Championship; Coach commends the players and not just for the win
By Mari Erin Roth
“There was a moment in the practice where I asked our seniors to speak to the team. Many of them had played all four years at QHS and some were only experiencing their first year,” said Quincy High School head soccer coach Greg Prouse on Nov. 3. “They echoed each other’s words when they pointed out that something felt different this season, that whether new or old to the sport, they felt like they were playing on a ‘team’ in every definition of the word.”
Well, that team, the Quincy Trojan soccer team has done it again, only better than ever. They have risen to the top of their league and have now won the Northern Section CIF Championship game that was played in Tulelake against the Honkers Oct. 29 by a tight score of 2-1.
It is a pretty great story actually. In the 2022 soccer season, the Quincy Trojan team has lost to just two teams: the Fall River Bulldogs, who are in the Shasta-Cascade league, and the Tulelake Honkers who share the Pioneer league with the Trojans. The season schedule started off with a game Aug. 16 in Tulelake with the Honkers! Tulelake won the game 3-1. The Trojans won their next two games in tournament play Aug. 19 with Butte Valley of Dorris (9-1), and Trinity of Weaverville (5-0). That same day they played Tulelake again and lost, 4-2. Fall River was at the tournament and beat the Trojans the next day in a 4-4 final with the Bulldogs scoring the one point that took the game. Tulelake was up to face QHS again that afternoon and won 2-1. Another tournament a week later, Aug. 26, brought a win over Modoc (6-0), and a win over Trinity (3-1). Day two of the tourney was with Tulelake, who again won, (5-2).
Into September marched the Trojans burning an 8-game winning streak, Lake Tahoe Prep (8-2), Trinity (3-1), Paradise Academy (8-2), CORE Butte (5-0), Loyalton (6-0), and even Fall River (3-1), Portola (5-0), and Loyalton (10-2). September was a QHS soccer month; the Trojans did not lose once in September. Then came October. First up, Oct. 1, the Fall River Bulldogs beat the Trojans again but by a much tighter 1-0. Paradise fell to the Trojans, 9-2, as did every single opponent the Quincy team played afterward. Lake Tahoe Prep (FF), CORE Butte (7-2), Portola (12-0), Loyalton (10-1), Paradise Academy (9-1), Modoc in playoffs (6-0), Weed in playoffs (2-0), and finally, the Tulelake Honkers in the Championship (2-1) who had not lost to the Trojans since the very first time they played one another in that very first game of the season on Aug. 16.
“When the game got under way for the championship, we found ourselves down a goal at halftime,” said QHS coach Prouse. “Nobody yelled at each other, not one dropped their heads. They told each other to play for each other for the next forty minutes and leave everything out on the field.”
Watching the way coach Prouse interacts with the team is an experience. The bond and cohesiveness are hard to miss. There seems to be total agreement on a shared goal. There is a willingness, a mutual helpfulness that rings loud and clear. And it ripples through the organization. The families, the supporters, the fans, all seem 100 percent on board, all on the same mission. Coach will want this all to be about the kids, and it is, but the leaders deserve some credit … for not taking credit. As a result, everybody seems to win, except of course the competitive opponents of the QHS soccer team.
“That’s what I feel was different about this season and helped lead us to victory,” said coach Prouse. “They played for each other. Not glory, or selfishness but the desire to just take the pitch and have fun. I noticed all season that when we lost, each player asked what they could do to get better. When we won, it was as a team. Experienced players would work to share the ball and help new players to have a memorable year.”
Coach Prouse and the Trojan soccer team have a good record. They work well together. The pairing was an instant hit in the seasons just before Covid when coach began at QHS. The first season with Prouse was a breakout year with a dynamite team of stellar athletes. Each year the team has done incredibly well, inching closer and closer to the ultimate championship trophy. “Besides winning the whole competition for the first time, I also got to coach 30+ wonderful athletes,” said coach Prouse. “I had 11 seniors be the example any coach would want a senior to be. I had amazing support from my assistant coach Peter Hoffman, and great organization support from team mom Laura Miller, without which we could not have brought back the season Kick Off Tournament we held this August in Greenville. We played 27 games this season and walked away champions. While that is the ultimate goal, the true joy for me this season is coaching a true team and watching them find success.”
Yes indeedy. Thank you everyone for your contributions.