But Borge has decided to move on to other responsibilities and that the 2012 season will be his last as Antioch’s head coach. While Borge’s team lacks the talent of some of the past squads, the group of nine seniors, five juniors and seven sophomores is possibly the most memorable he’s coached.
“They play together more as a team,” Borge said. “On the other teams in the past, there’s been one or two stars; especially on the championship teams. Here, there’s a lot of team unity, chemistry – there’s no division.”
The Panthers are off to an up-and-down start in Bay Valley Athletic League play. They opened with a 1-0 victory against Freedom but fell 3-2 to Deer Valley in a game they trailed 2-0, tied 2-2, and loss on a late goal.
No matter where they finish in the league standings, Borge’s players have impressed their coach with their academic diligence and their camaraderie. “I have very good students,” he said. “That’s one area where this team stands out. I have an average of two to three guys that I lose a quarter because of grades. This year I lost only one. They support each other.”
That sentiment is echoed by Borge’s players. First-year varsity sophomore midfielder Enrique Sandoval, for instance, said his team displays remarkable unity: “Everyone’s more connected with each other; it’s just a warm feeling. Everyone’s known each other for a long time. It’s not just here at school. We’ve all known each other for a while and played (together) on other teams.”
Borge is quick to emphasize that his team isn’t playing for him. But senior defender Danny Guzman isn’t so sure. That this is his coach’s last season, as well as his own, is a motivating factor. “We’re trying to show him that in his last year,” Guzman said, “we’re trying to do it all.”