Eastern Wake: Sports

EWSA ’97 Hammers take second in State Cup

The East Wake Soccer Association ’97 Hammers finished second in the N.C. United States Youth Soccer State Cup tournament in May, 2015. Pictured are (front row, from left) Derek Kaple, Chris Walker, Daniel Alioto, Christian Guzman, Ruben Santiago, Ryan Patton, Layne Gairrett and Eric Loredo; and (back row, from left) Coach Lee Byford, Justin Charamut, Ryan Killen, Jacob Mann, Andrew Peterson, Gray Sutter, Lachlan McGrath, Cooper Dean, Nate Gage, Eli Strong, Jesus Ibarra, coach Andy Thompson and Danny Ibarra.
The East Wake Soccer Association ’97 Hammers finished second in the N.C. United States Youth Soccer State Cup tournament in May, 2015. Pictured are (front row, from left) Derek Kaple, Chris Walker, Daniel Alioto, Christian Guzman, Ruben Santiago, Ryan Patton, Layne Gairrett and Eric Loredo; and (back row, from left) Coach Lee Byford, Justin Charamut, Ryan Killen, Jacob Mann, Andrew Peterson, Gray Sutter, Lachlan McGrath, Cooper Dean, Nate Gage, Eli Strong, Jesus Ibarra, coach Andy Thompson and Danny Ibarra. COURTESY OF KIPLEY KILLEN

A boys team from the East Wake Soccer Association has reached new heights for the local club.

After finishing fourth in the state during the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association U17 Premier division’s regular season, the ’97 EWSA Hammers placed second in the N.C. United States Youth Soccer State Cup tournament in Greensboro in May.

The State Cup is the premier tournament executed by the NCYSA governing body. The Hammers compete at the highest levels of club soccer within the state.

The Hammers’ exit in the State Cup came by way of a 3-0 loss to Charlotte United Football Club Gold in the championship match on May 17. No other EWSA team made it as far in the tournament.

The Hammers advanced to the final with wins over Raleigh TFCA Select (4-1) and Greensboro NCSF Premier (5-0), a 0-0 tie with Wilmington CFSC Hammerheads Elite and a 3-1 semifinal win over Raleigh TFCA Alliance.

The strong showing in divisional play and in the State Cup earned the Hammers an invitation to compete in the Region III Premier League in the fall – a privilege many larger soccer leagues have not had extended to their teams. Regional competition consists of some of the top teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The Hammers team consists of players from high schools throughout the Triangle area including Clayton, Corinth Holders, East Wake, Knightdale and North Raleigh Christian Academy. It also has players from Bunn, Clinton, Franklinton, Hillsborough, Mebane, Raleigh and Wilson.

The team is coached by Lee Byford this season.

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