Robert Garza received an email two weeks ago from an unlikely source. The email didn’t come from a parent, player or opposing coach, but from Garza’s high school soccer coach, Jeff Reaman. Reaman, now an assistant at Centreville High School, had a few words of encouragement for his former player turned coach whose team just won the National District championship.
Reaman let Garza know just how proud of him he is and that he felt like a proud father watching his own son accomplish so much this season at Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon’s magical run came to a close last Thursday evening as Robinson defeated the Majors 6-5 in overtime of the second round of the Northern Region tournament. Garza channeled his inner Jeff Reaman when reflecting on his team’s 2012 National District championship run.
“I felt like a proud poppa sitting back and watching these kids play. I feel like they are my own kids. And I feel proud for all of the hard work that we’ve done and to come out and play inspired ball,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s a true testament to not only the coaching staff, but to the players and the community and all of the young players who want to come to our program. All I can do is sit back and smile.”
Mount Vernon’s regional tournament overtime loss signaled the third consecutive year that the Majors have been dispatched from the tournament in overtime. Robinson defeated Mount Vernon in double overtime in 2010 while Langley defeated Mount Vernon in double overtime a year later. On Thursday, the Majors and Robinson were tied at 1 before Mount Vernon loss the game in overtime on penalty kicks.
“There were a lot of tears afterwards. I tried to console the players and get them off of the field. I let them take their time a little bit,” Garza said. “I told every single one of them that I was proud of them, and that what they’ve done for Mount Vernon and the Mount Vernon community, no one can ever take that away from them.”
The 2012 Majors had arguably the school’s best season to date. The team’s accolades include: peaking at No. 5 in the Washington Post’s All-Met rankings, No. 8 in the state of Virginia and No. 19 in the nation by ESPNHS, a feat that no other Mount Vernon soccer team has accomplished.
Individually, Simond Kargbo (Jr.), Amardo Oakley (Sr.), Erik Rodriguez (Jr.) and Bryan Castellon earned First Team All-National District honors. Rahim Costa-Dorsey (Jr.), Damaro DaCosta (Sr.), Cedric Ekoue (Jr.) and Diego Castro (Soph.) earned Second Team All-National District honors. Foday Sillah (Jr.) and Reymi Rodriguez (Sr.) were named honorable mention.
Kargbo and Oakley also earned Second Team All-Region honors while Erik Rodriguez and Castellon were named honorable mention.
While disappointed that his team’s season has ended, Garza looks forward to some well-deserved down time this summer that includes travelling, spending time with friends and long-term girlfriend, Jennifer Mischell.
“As much as I wanted to keep going, you do become mentally and physically exhausted. I’m really looking forward to some rest, going home at a decent time and having a home-cooked meal,” he said with a laugh.