Winning a state title is always a big deal, and after nearly 20 years, the Gulf Coast Texans finished on top in the Florida Youth Soccer Association State Cup tournament.
Five Navarre Raiders helped produce the Pensacola-based club’s first state title since 2002.
Jennifer and Jessika Seward, Autumn and Jade Slaybaugh and Anakah Madril played on the U19 team that rolled through the title game with a 5-1 win over Clay County May 19 in Auburndale. That win came on the heels of a 4-1 victory over Wellington in the semifinal round May 18.
“We put in a lot of work for it, always training, and it all paid off,” Madril said.
Jade Slaybaugh said it took some time for the reality of being a champion to finally sink in.
“We had to wait to be called onto the stage. It felt like things were going in slow motion,” she said. “I was sitting in the car and it hit me that we just won the state cup. It felt good.”
It was anticlimactic to a degree considering the Texans knocked off IMG Academy in the quarterfinal round of the tourney in Bradenton in early May.