It was like something out of a movie.
Skyview junior forward David Slemmer saw the ball high in the air, chested it at the 18-yard box, leaned back and launched a bicycle kick towards the right corner of the goal. Nothing but net. Slemmer’s unorthodox goal delivered the Skyview boys soccer team a 4-3 double overtime win over Ridgevue in the 4A State Championship game for the Hawks’ second title in three years.
For this achievement, the Skyview boys soccer team is the 2016-2017 Idaho Press Tribune’s Sports Stars Boys Fall Team of the Year.
“I didn’t run out and celebrate with the team right away because I was in too much shock,” Skyview coach Shawn Pelton said. “I’m still in disbelief that it happened that way. But it goes to show you just how bad this team wanted it. They put in the work every day this season and I couldn’t be prouder of them for this tremendous accomplishment.”
The road to another state championship was a long one for the Hawks (16-3-2). After winning the first state title in program history in 2014, they missed the state tournament entirely last season.
Skyview also had some hiccups of its own this season. The Hawks failed to beat rival Caldwell on three separate occasions, capped by a 3-1 loss in the 4A District III Championship game, the worst loss of the season.
“That loss really got to us,” senior Johnny Rojas said. “But instead of dwelling on the loss, we decided we were going to use it as motivation. We knew we were better than that and were going to show it when it mattered the most."
The Hawks made amends at the state tournament. They advanced to the title game with wins over Twin Falls and Blackfoot to set up a matchup with a very familiar foe, but it wasn't Caldwell.
Ridgevue instead was the opponent, a team Skyview had swept during the regular season, including a 5-1 drubbing the last time they had faced them. However, this wasn’t the same team.
The Warhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead four minutes into the game. But the Hawks clawed their way back in. They rattled off three straight goals to take their first lead of the game with 19 minutes left in regulation
The lead held until Ridgevue tied the game with a 1:32 remaining to force overtime. Skyview and Ridgevue remained knotted at the end of the first overtime, so another 20 minutes was put on the clock.
But the Hawks didn’t need another 20 minutes, they barely needed a minute. Slemmer’s goal a minute into the second overtime cemented his and the team’s place in program history.
“I was right there when he did it and it’s one of the best moments I’ve been a part of,” senior Omar Sosa said. “The game was packed with a lot of emotion, lots of ups, lots of downs and I’m really happy we came through at the end. It was the perfect ending to a great season with a great bunch of guys.”