Brookhaven Academy makes school history with playoff win
Published 8:33 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024
BROOKHAVEN — Thursday was a historic night for two reasons. Brookhaven Academy reached the 20 win mark on the season with a 8-0 dispatching of Parklane Academy and will host the boys soccer South State Championship.
Head Coach Alex Brown told his team they are right where they wanted to be from where they started in the season. Brookhaven Academy will have to stay focused when they play the winner of East Rankin vs Oak Forest Academy, both are solid squads.
“I’m really proud of the boys tonight. I thought we did a good job of controlling the game and taking the sting out of the game,” Brown said. “We were really good in possession. I thought we did a great job of finishing our chances. I couldn’t be prouder of the boys and the work they put in. We just gotta stay focused on ourselves and keep working. I consider myself fortunate to get to coach such great kids. I love every minute of my job. Teaching these boys how to play football together is a blessing.”
Englishamn Noah Fisher-Butler finished the match with a hat-trick for Brookhaven Academy. Yojan Hernandez scored a hat-trick and Cooper Strickland scored two goals for the Cougars. All came off of beautiful team play. Midfielder Jesus Antonio Jr. said the team works well together.
“It feels great to be at this school. I came here and they welcomed me. I appreciate the opportunity and feel we earned this,” Antonio said. “We have worked hard and are always trying to improve. I hope we get a chance to win a state championship. I’m proud of this team.”
Antonio said one thing separating Brookhaven Academy from other teams he has played on is the seriousness and dedication they have. He said his teammates help coach him in the game and off the pitch.
His previous school was Crystal Springs High School. Antonio said the move to the new team was not hard at all and his new teammates welcomed him in.
“My teammates are so good to me. They helped me feel like a family,” Antonio said. “We are really like a family. That is what makes this team so special.”
He has played soccer since he was little but started playing on the school teams in seventh grade. His goal after high school is to play college soccer and get a degree in business administration.
Antonio said the business administration degree would help him open up his own business and help his dad run his construction business. His dad, Jesus Antonio Sr., is also the soccer player he tries to be like on the field.
“I aspire to be like my dad. If I could reach a certain level and play like him I would be happy. He is my hero and my idol,” Antonio said. “He is my inspiration and I try to play to reach his level.”