By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Sports Writer
On the heels of an up-and-down regular season, the Oxford Wildcats boys’ soccer team made a strong statement in their Michigan High School Athletic Association district-opener at Brendel Elementary School in Grand Blanc vs. Swartz Creek on Oct. 15.
Jumping out to a 5-0 halftime lead, the Wildcats easily dispatched the Dragons, 9-1, to advance to the district final. Senior Nick Morawski paced Oxford with three goals, while junior Marco Artero added two.
Senior Brady Taylor scored the lone goal for Swartz Creek.
Earning the right to face the Grand Blanc Bobcats on Oct. 17 for the district championship, a trip to regionals at West Bloomfield High School was on the line.
The Bobcats had advanced to the district final by defeating the Flushing Raiders.
A very back-and-forth game, the Wildcats’ season ended at the hands of Grand Blanc, 2-1.
“It was a great season,” head coach John Thaler said.
“We (the coaching staff) are all very proud of the boys.”
While the team is graduating seven seniors, including Chris Escalante and Nick Morawski – two of their top scorers – there are plenty of reasons for optimism regarding the 2020 season, too.
Goaltender Tristan Bennett, one of the Oakland Activities Association’s best, will return for Thaler next year. Artero, Pedro Bottene and Zach Townsend – among others – will be back, as well.