TO STATE! Harmon beats BVSW to claim its third regional title


By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

Sometimes, life comes full circle.

That's certainly the case for Harmon Hawks boys soccer coach Carlos Olivas.

Olivas, who graduated from Harmon High School, has played a major role in the school's soccer program. He played for a Harmon soccer team that advanced out of regional play.

Now, after tonight, he can say he coached the school to its third regional championship.

Harmon defeated Blue Valley Southwest 2-0 tonight at Art Lawrence Stadium. With the win, the boys soccer program won its third regional soccer championship in its history.

Mauricio Ruiz scored the game-winning goal for the Hawks, who improved to 17-1 on the season.

Harmon takes on Topeka-Seaman High School next Tuesday night. Art Lawrence Stadium at J.C. Harmon High School would again host the game at 6:30 p.m..

Harmon's soccer program is looking to win the school's first state championship in team sports.

"I'm still in shock, all credit goes to the players and managers on the team," said Olivas, the first-year head coach of the boys soccer team. Olivas also serves as the girls team and has turned that program around.

An early sign of this team's potential came in an early season tournament that featured some of the best teams in Johnson County. Favored to finish eighth in the tournament, the Hawks had a bit of a Cinderella run, finishing in second place.

The championship game was the only loss so far for the Hawks this season. They breezed through league play in the Kansas City Kansas - Atchison League, sweeping all of their league games.

Olivas said winning a regional title is different as a player compared to a coach.

"As a player, I really didn't understand the magnitude of what was just accomplished," Olivas said. "I'm very relieved and happy that we got this far, because I was hired to get us to the next level of competition."

A number of players earned spots on the all-league team:

1st Team: Javier De Lara (GK); Enrique Hernandez (FW) and Breyson Ruiz (MF)

2nd Team: Carlos Ruiz (MF) and Jesus Galvan (MF)

Honorable Mention: Giovanni Calderon (MF); Jesse Calderon (MF); Julio Sanchez (DF); Mauricio Ruiz (FW); Chit Loo (FW); Victor Mascote (DF) and Carlos Salas (FW).

(Stay tuned for more coverage next week.)