Green Hope plays Myers Park for 4A title in Chadwick's finale with Falcons

Green Hope plays Myers Park for state 4A title.

mblake@newsobserver.comNovember 19, 2011 

Coach Andrew Chadwick knows that win or lose today, this will be his final game as Green Hope's boys' soccer coach.

The man at the helm for the past decade decided early this year that this was his final season, and it just so happens his team has made it all the way to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship game.

The Falcons are 24-1 and ranked No. 7 in the country by ESPN Rise. They will face Charlotte Myers Park, ranked No. 18 nationally, at 5 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park as part of three state championships held today.

Chadwick was a volunteer assistant for Green Hope for two seasons before taking over as the head coach.

He said he planned to do it for only two years.

Ten seasons later, the Falcons have gone 184-44-18, played in six 4A East finals with today marking their second state championship appearance.

"I have loved it," Chadwick said. "No matter what happens on Saturday I will probably shed a tear. They don't pay much, but that's not why I do it."

Chadwick works at Research Triangle Park and is not a Green Hope faculty member.

His decision to step aside centers around spending more time with his two children, ages 5 and 3.

"I know next August it'll be very hard for me when they start preseason workouts," Chadwick said. "But it's selfish that I take this away from my own children. It's time to coach two kids with the last name Chadwick. And I'm looking forward to that."

His final playoff run hasn't been without drama. In the fourth round, the Falcons trailed Fuquay-Varina 3-0 at halftime.

Chadwick told his team at halftime that they'll face adversity in their lifetime. His message - "if you believe and leave everything out there, you may not win, but you'll never regret it" - prompted not only a come-from-behind 4-3 win, but also an unexpected email from a parent, thanking him for the impact he was having on his players.

"I didn't think about (having that impact) when I started, I was worried more about formations and systems," Chadwick said.

No one area of Green Hope stands out above the rest.

Senior Drew Altman has a team-high 17 goals, less than half than the top scorers in the Triangle. Junior Ryan Thompson has 16 assists.

The only player who has committed to play in college is sophomore Evan Krause, who injured his knee in the second round and is out for the rest of the year.

As he has all postseason, Chadwick will be wearing a suit and tie - the same ones, for superstitious reasons.

He began doing dressing up for games when the Falcons had their senior night. The players encouraged him to keep it up for the postseason, and the coach obliged.

And why not?

"It's my senior year, too," Chadwick said.

The games: The championships start at 11 a.m. as Carrboro (24-1-2) looks for its first state title in the 2A match against Salisbury (23-1-1). Cardinal Gibbons (23-2-1) will try to improve upon last year's runner-up finish in the 3A final against Charlotte Catholic (22-3-0) at 2 p.m.

Myers Park (22-2-1) and Green Hope clash in the day's final match at 5 p.m.

Blake: 919-460-2606

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