BROOMFIELD — The boys soccer program at Jefferson Academy, which fell in the opening round of the postseason during its pandemic campaign a few months ago, has the look of a team destined for a deeper run this fall.
“Yeah, it’s a great start,” Jags coach Matt Cassell said, “a great start.”
Wednesday, the No. 1 team in this week’s CHSAANow.com 3A poll scored 30 seconds apart early in the opening half, a waterfall effect, as it eventually ousted the Thornton-based Stargate School 9-0 to move to 6-0 on the season.
Chrisly Kelly scored in the 10th minute and had a hat trick, Logon Johnson followed in the 11th, and Jeremiah Davis and Chyler Ward each had two goals as the Jaguars (6-0, 2-0 3A Metro League) piled on from start to finish in continuing their dominating ways through this first month of the season.
The bang-up start comes a little more than four months after the Jaguars finished 5-2-3 during a strange 2020-21 season that was moved from fall to spring in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Then, they dealt with COVID issues and were forced to play their final five regular-season games in six days. They finished third in the 3A Metro League and were the 15-seed in a condensed 3A playoff field, where they bowed out to Liberty Common 1-0 in the first round.
But hey, building off adversity never hurts.
“I felt like since last season went on so long, we just kept the ball rolling throughout the offseason,” Ward said. “It was easier to come back and pick up the things we had ended with.”
So far, so good.
Drew Smith set up chance after chance and his lone goal of the night made it 8-0, kicking off a running clock with 20 minutes remaining. Kelly scored the ninth, but an emphatic performance from Stargate goalie Aiden Hartman kept the mercy-rule clincher out.
The Jags’ nine goals were countered with maybe one flimsy shot on net in the 66th minute by the Eagles (2-5, 0-2). Meaning, Andrew “Bear” Bauer’s latest shutout came rather easy.
Jefferson Academy has now outscored opponents 39-4 this fall.
“I feel like we have a lot of players who can do fantastic things,” Ward said. “And putting them all together on the same field, and getting them to combine passes and play at the same time is just phenomenal.”
A game starting under a blinding sun, shone from over the tips of the mountains, dimmed as the lead continued to grow.
Kelly and Johnson started it, scoring the soccer equivalent of a layup as both needed just a tap in front of the net to finish. Davis made it 3-0 in the 15th and Kelly added another in the 24th as he corralled the ball with his back to the goal, then flipped around and banked a chance off the post that ricocheted in.
Ward and Davis went back-to-back later in the half to push the lead to 6-0. Kelly finished off his hat trick in the 70th minute.
Jefferson Academy’s 6-0 start to a season appears to be the best in program history. It started 5-1 during the 2016 season, reaching the state finals, and then went 5-0-1 the next season, eventually finishing 16-1-1.
Jefferson Academy will look to push its record to 7-0 when it travels to Bishop Machebeuf Monday afternoon.