It was a pretty good Saturday for the Jefferson City Jays. Sevens were wild.
It started with a dominating 7-0 win against the Nixa Eagles at Eddie Horn Field. It ended with the Jays claiming the first Central Missouri Activities Conference boys soccer title with a 7-0 win against the Battle Spartans in Columbia.
"To go undefeated in the inaugural Central Missouri Activities Conference is special," Jays coach Scott Blake said. "Being the first one to win the conference, it's one for the record books and for JCHS."
Jefferson City possessed the ball as well as they have all season in the opening win against Nixa.
"From the get-go, we were able to control the ball," Blake said.
Jefferson City scored three goals in a five-minute span midway through the first half.
Breck McGrail got the Jays on the board on a give-and-go assist from Ethan Blake. Bassil Ahmed then made it 2-0, scoring off a throw-in, before getting his second goal of the game off an assist by Darby Hall.
"It was good to see us score off sustained play, not just dump and chase it," Blake said. "The maturity of our team showed in taking high percentage shots, creating high percentage shots."
Ahmed picked up the hat trick with his third goal about six minutes into the second half to make it 4-0.
Logan Barger scored with a little more than 12 minutes to play off an assist by Ryan Gerke. Less than a minute later, Cole Heiberger made it 6-0.
Jefferson City's final goal came with a little more than a minute remaining when McGrail ended a scramble in front of the Nixa goal by putting the ball into the back of the net.
"We were very patient," Blake said. "We call it 'recycling,' where we have an initial attack but it gets stopped and then we have to start a second attack or a third attack."
Toby Hughes and Parker Gourley shared time in goal in the shutout. The Eagles had four total shots, none on goal.
"I know Nixa is a young squad, we were there a couple of years ago," Blake said. "They're going through some growing pains, but their future is high quality."
The Jays then got on the bus to go to Columbia to face the Spartans.
Ahmed and McGrail had two goals each in the win. Ethan Blake and Gerke also scored, with Battle recording an own goal.
Blake, Chase Schnieders, Ahmed, Joe Kuster and Heiberger had assists.
The shutout against the Spartans was the 14th of the season for Jefferson City (17-2 overall, 6-0 CMAC). The Jays outscored their conference foes 30-1 this season.
"Our team chemistry is high, our guys are locked into the roles and are doing a great job picking each other up," Scott Blake said.
Jefferson City is back in action Tuesday against Liberty: Wentzville. The JV game will start at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity contest to follow around 6:15 p.m.
The Jays were supposed to host the annual Art Firley Shootout this weekend. But with COVID-19 concerns, Nixa was the lone visiting team in the field that could make the trip to Jefferson City.
"It's always a big weekend with high-quality teams," Blake said. "When you have teams like Rockhurst, C.B.C., Chaminade and Blue Valley Northwest, you're going to see some very good soccer.
"We miss them not being here."
Blake said the Firley Shootout will return to the schedule next year.