RCHS girls soccer team – repeat champions
The Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) girls soccer team finished another stellar regular season this year with a win over Arvada West High School in the final game, a record of 14-1 and the Continental League championship. Going into state playoffs, RCHS girls are ranked 7th. The Lady Jags varsity team went on to lose in the state quarterfinals against Broomfield. The team has 20 players, with six seniors this year.
RCHS is one of 11 5A schools in the Continental League, and the competition is tough. “It is certainly one of the most competitive leagues,” said Mat Henbest the head girls soccer coach. “The League earned six playoff spots out of 32 total teams in the 5A tournaments this year,” he added. RCHS girls soccer has won the League title the past four years.
While the official season runs February through May, many of the players play competitive club soccer year round. Preseason RCHS workouts begin in January, tryouts are held late February, and regular season play ends in mid-May, with state playoffs in late May.
Henbest, also a social studies teacher, has been with the team since 2008. He is impressed with the skill and determination of his players. “Our soccer coaching staff is blessed to have many hardworking and talented students tryout each year,” he said.
This season, Henbest has been especially impressed with the positive and confident spirit of the girls he coaches. “This group of seniors is the most accomplished of any group in the past,” he said. “These girls have been League champions every year they played,” Henbest added.
Henbest, a soccer player himself, loves his job, and his enthusiasm helps inspire his players. “It’s fun to help young people improve, reach goals and accomplish things they didn’t think they were capable of,” he added. He concluded that he appreciates the parental support for the soccer program that makes the planning and executing of each event much easier.
By Celeste McNeil; photo courtesy of Mat Henbest