The 13th Annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard passed through Mississippi on Friday, Apr. 6 to recognize Gulfport (Miss.)
High School and its boys soccer team for winning a state championship and earning a high national ranking.
Having upended Madison Central 2-1 in the MHSAA Class 6A
state championship contest, the 18-4-3 Admirals finished the season ranked No. 2 in MaxPreps' National Rankings
, and are one of just 10 boys soccer teams nationally to earn an invitation to the prestigious Tour of Champions.
The awarding of the Army National Guard national ranking trophy took place at the opening of an Admiral baseball game against Harrison Central. Coaches, teachers, staff, students and even the opposing team and their fans attended the presentation. A short downpour just before the presentation was scheduled to begin, nearly sent Admiral soccer players, coaches, athletic director Bryan Caldwell and members of the Mississippi Army National Guard running. But just as quickly as it started, the rain stopped and the trophy presentation began.
Caldwell took the microphone and talked briefly about the many accomplishments of the Admirals, and of the pride felt by the high school and the City of Gulfport. MaxPreps representative Susan Ellis then explained MaxPreps' process for determining the team rankings for the Tour of Champions, and how being ranked No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps is truly an honor.
Ellis then introduced Staff Sergeant Dustin Cooley of the Mississippi Army National Guard, who made the trophy presentation. SSG Cooley spoke of the amazing accomplishments of the Admiral soccer team and head coach Henrik Madsen. As SSG Cooley congratulated the Admirals on receiving recognition for being ranked second in the nation, Sergeant Jacob Blowout presented the Army National Guard national ranking trophy and nationally ranked rafter banner to the coaches and the Admirals.
Madsen thanked MaxPreps and the Army National Guard for the recognition, and thanked his players for their efforts and dedication during the season. Parents took photos of the players with the trophy and soaked up the special moment. Madsen and a couple of his players were interviewed following the presentation, and they all spoke of the efforts of the team and were appreciative of MaxPreps and the Army National Guard for the recognition.
Congratulations Coach Madsen, and the Admirals, on a great year and for being ranked No. 2 in the nation for the 2017-18 season! Click here
to view the Gulfport TOC photo gallery and for more information about the Soccer TOC, please visit the MaxPreps Tour of Champions site