The Legacy Sabers have already made history in 2023, winning the first regional title for the 11-year program, but they are far from satisfied, with hopes of lifting a state championship trophy in their own backyard.
The Sabers took the tough road to get to a regional title, having to win at Minot, and then back-to-back games with the Jamestown Blue Jays who led the west most of the year, the players feeling the momentum.
“It was a really, really good feeling,” says Junior Kamden Kooiman. “I’m happy that we were able to win it as a team because it was a bad memory losing it last year. So getting a chance to play in it this year was a good feeling and it gave us a lot of energy.”
One of the standouts from the season has been Liam Horner in the net, having to take over the position after all state goalie Nate Olheiser had to play in the field. All Horner has done is give up just one goal in six starts.
“Liam has stepped in right away and done his job,” says Senior Reece Snow. “I mean, he’s probably one of the best goalies in the state and he’s been our JV goalie for a couple of years now. It’s crazy to see what kind of talent we have on this team. And Nate as well. Nate obviously an all-state keeper and an all-state player in my opinion.”
With all the moving around, it hasn’t unfazed head coach Tom Marcis, who knows his players can handle it…
“I’ve always had this kind of philosophy having been a player myself was that you’re a soccer player,” says Marcis. “You do what the team needs you. Maybe they need you on defense this week, maybe they need you on the outside mid. If you’re a soccer player, you need to adjust and play wherever it is.”
On top of all the movement, Legacy scores from a lot of different positions on the team, with four players with at least 10 points this season.
“We have so many players that can perform on this team,” says Kooiman. “You place a lot of trust in everybody whenever you play the ball to somebody. I kind of have that confidence that they will know what to do with the ball and it’s all about trust with the team and I think we’ve built a lot of trust.”
As for the state tournament, it’s the last notch in the belt of a special season, the Sabers believe they can stay calm under the pressure of winning it all for the first time.
“You can’t expect that you are not going to give up a lot of goals,” says Marcis. “So if we give up a goal, keep playing our game, not panic. I don’t expect them to, but that is one of the things to expect. Expect that you might get scored on but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to score more than them.”
State Quarterfinals Matchups:
|Legacy Sabers||vs||GF Red River Roughriders||Thursday||12 pm|
|Minot Magicians||vs||Fargo Davies Eagles||Thursday||2:15 pm|
|Bismarck Demons||vs||Fargo Shanley Deacons||Thursday||4:30 pm|
|Jamestown Blue Jays||vs||West Fargo Packers||Thursday||6:45 pm|