OLIVE BRANCH, MISS. — The Farragut High School hockey club has won Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association High School League championships, and the Admirals have won five consecutive Moore Cups as Knox County’s best team.
But Sunday, March 12, Farragut captured the one championship that had eluded it for the last five years: the Blue Division state title.
“We finally did this after five years,” Admirals head coach Jeff Lindsay said after his squad outlasted Germantown 2-1 Sunday afternoon at the Midsouth Ice House in Northern Mississippi. “This was a hard-fought and competitive state tournament. We finally brought the state championship back to Knox [County].
“Germantown came in having won the last two state championships in a row and I think that they were either undefeated all year, or maybe they had one loss.”
The Admirals came home with high school hockey’s ultimate prize, but it didn’t come easily.
Farragut, which got its goals in the championship game from Anthony Ragone and Ryan Preiss, answered an early wake-up call to the rink Sunday morning and finished its final preliminary game against Christian Brothers [a 3-2 victory] at 10:40 a.m.
That meant that the Admirals, who finished the season with a 17-1-1 record, had less than an hour-and-a-half to rest before facing Germantown in the championship game.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” Lindsay said. “And after the [Knoxville] Warriors lost the game before us, we knew that Christian Brothers had to beat us by eight goals to make it to the finals.
“We played well in that game and we outplayed them. We got a chance to play everybody. But we didn’t get done until 10:40 and we had to be back on the ice ready to go at 12 and we basically played four games in 24-hour period.”
Against Christian Brothers, the Ads had about “30 or 40 shots,” Lindsay said.
“Christian Brothers had a great goalie and if it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t have been in any of their games,” he added.
In the championship game, “We outplayed Germantown and we played well against them, but after the game the boys were exhausted,” he said. “I’m really proud of the boys. They really deserved to win this. They really worked hard in practice and they worked hard all year.”
The Admirals opened the tournament Saturday, March 11, against a very familiar opponent when they tangled with the Warriors. Knoxville handed Farragut its only KAHA league loss this year.
Farragut, in fact, has only two losses and a tie versus Knox competition the past two seasons.
Though the Admirals notched a 5-3 win at state against Knoxville, “The Warriors are a very good very competitive team. They were the one team in Knoxville that beat us this year,” Lindsay said. “They could’ve easily done it again.
“But we played well.”
Kenny Richter and Ben Baungardner each scored a pair of goals for the Admirals in that game. Preiss also had a marker.
Farragut won its second-round game 4-1 over Germantown as tourney MVP Garrett Rodgers and Corey Lindsay each scored twice.
Goalkeepers Zach Jordan and James Brinkley each picked up a pair of wins for the Admirals, who won it all without a senior on the roster this season.
Other team members are Brandon Alexander, Emerson Southern, Kevin Pierce, John Barckoff, Ian Tulk, Brandon Keane, Christian Callahan, Davis Eichelberger and Vincent Guglielmucci.
Lindsay is assisted by Jason Schaake and Harry Cadmus.