WILMINGTON -- On Saturday, while the City of Boston gave the Red Sox the street parade they deserved, the Wildcats boys soccer team and the Town of Wilmington were busy celebrating a championship win of their own.
The top-seeded Twin Valley team blanked No. 2 Proctor, 3-0, on Saturday at Whitcomb High School, to claim the Division 4 title, and finish out a perfect season with 17 wins and zero losses.
"The boys are ecstatic over the ending," said Wildcats coach Buddy Hayford. "A great burden has been lifted from the team's shoulders."
This year's championship game was a rematch of last year's title match, and the Phantoms won that one, 4-3.
"It has been 365 days," said Hayford. "The boys said they were coming back to erase that memory. They did. And they did it with style and class."
Dal Nesbitt, who led his team on goals and assists this season, buried Twin Valley's first goal four minutes in from the post, with Nick Nilsen on the assist with a diagonal feed through the middle.
"We also scored early in the quarters and semis," noted Hayford. "It took the pressure off, and allowed us to relax."
Troy Felisko put away the Wildcats' second goal on a volley at the 20-minute mark, a result of a lot TV pressure in the box and Proctor's inability to clear.
With a 2-0 advantage heading into the second half, Twin Valley's Eli Park struck in the 64th minute. Originating with a Nesbitt long throw in and a Lozito skip into the small box, from a few yards out Park scored the finale.
"We all took a sigh of relief, because we knew we had won the game," said Hayford, whose team completed their flawless season with 16 shutouts.
Being the higher seed, Twin Valley had the option to choose someone from their school to sing the National Anthem, before Saturday's game. Caitlyn Reilly, who has performed the song at a few recent boys soccer games, had the honor.
Later that evening, the team was treated to a festive parade held through town to let the team know how proud the community was for their successful season.
"One of the many perks of winning a state title is that you get a little parade through town," said Hayford.
Fire departments from Whitingham, Wilmington, and the town's local Rescue squad were present to guide the boys down Main Street.
"What good people they are," said Hayford about his team. "Not a bad apple in the bunch, which is rare. In this particular group of 23, they are just wonderful. It was a good day to be a Wildcat!"