ORANGE PARK, Fl. – For the first time in school history the Ridgeview boys’ soccer team has reached the Regional Finals. On Wednesday the Panthers will make the four and a half hour drive to the Florida Panhandle to face Panama City Arnold for a chance to make the Class 3A Final four.
“The teachers are buzzing, the students are buzzing,” said Panthers head coach Paul Tomaro. “The last two regional game that we’ve had at home we’ve had a great crowd. We’ve had a lot of students out and some of them have never been to a soccer game before.”
On Saturday Ridgeview beat Matanzas 1-0 in the regional semifinals. The win improved their record to (14-1-1). Of those 16 games there’s one that has defined their season.
“We played Ponte Vedra the first game of the season and we hadn’t beat them in the four years that we’ve been here,” said Panthers senior midfielder Dante DeSantis. “First game of the season we beat them and that started things off on a good run.”
DeSantis is one of several seniors that have been teammates since they were four or five years old.
“You always hear about a team being a family,” said Panthers senior midfielder Andy Prestridge. “But when you play with these kids for your entire life it really is a true meaning of family. You see them day in and day out and you can’t wait to win.”