Area soccer teams take aim at district championships

soccer nwfdn
FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 09:48 AM.

NICEVILLE — In his 12 years at Niceville, head coach Wes Nelson contends that he has never seen this measure of parity in district play.

Enough, however, to knock Niceville from its district championship mantle, which the Eagles have assumed for eight straight years? That remains to be seen.

Adding credence to the parity argument is head-to-head play. While Niceville did finish the District 1-4A slate undefeated, second-seeded Navarre and third-seeded Fort Walton Beach each defeated the Eagles 1-0 in non-district tilts.

And fourth-seeded Crestview, which will play fifth-seeded Tate tonight at 5:30 on field 4 at the Navarre Soccer Complex for a chance to face Niceville in the semifinals, recently played the Eagles down to the wire in a 1-0 loss.

“I think this year is one of closest districts I’ve been a part of,” Nelson said.

Looking for their ninth straight postseason trip, the Eagles’ road to the playoffs is shorter than the rest of the district field. Rewarded for their undefeated record in the eight-team league, the Eagles were shoo-ins for the top seed and the bye that comes with it.

“That was No. 1 seed is big because everyone has to play one game before us,” said Nelson, who noted his team will take advantage of the rest.

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