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HAMMOCK: Prentice, Eagles leave impressive legacy

Staff Photo: John Bohn Collins Hill's Jordan Brust (14) goes up for a header with Centennial's Connor Davis (2) in the first half of the Class AAAAA boys soccer championship game Friday. Collins Hill defeated Centennial 3-1 to win the state championship title.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Collins Hill's Jordan Brust (14) goes up for a header with Centennial's Connor Davis (2) in the first half of the Class AAAAA boys soccer championship game Friday. Collins Hill defeated Centennial 3-1 to win the state championship title.

SUWANEE --All the new Collins Hill boys soccer has to do is hit a .667 percentage. Not winning percentage, though. That's state title percentage.

Drew Prentice won his second state title in three seasons as the Eagles' head coach Friday night with a 3-1 win over visiting Centennial, leaving quite the legacy in his final game with his team. Prentice is stepping down to become the director of coaching at the Dacula Soccer Club, but he left quite the mark over his short tenure in Suwanee.

Counting the title won in 2009 by previous coach Stan Carpenter's team, the Eagles now have three state titles in a four-year span.

"It's crazy, it's nuts (to win three in four seasons)," said Prentice, his mohawk (shaved Thursday night by his players) covered by a post-game dousing from the water bucket. "Just to be in the finals that many times is crazy. But winning three times for these seniors, that's incredible."

Needless to say, the bar has been set pretty high with the Collins Hill boys soccer program. It now falls to the new head coach, Mike Burrell, who takes over after a good run as Dacula's head boys coach.

He was one of the impressed spectators Friday night, watching from the sidelines as his good friend Prentice won another title.

"(Prentice) just brings so much passion and so much energy to these guys that a lot of high school coaches don't bring to their teams," Burrell said. "He's done a great job and he's got so much talent. He's a good coach. He's a good trainer. He comes up with creative ways to get these guys to play soccer. I'm proud of the guy."

It's fitting that the new coach comes in after a state championship year. It's the same way Prentice entered as the Collins Hill coach when the Eagles had just won state under Carpenter.

But it isn't just the Collins Hill coaches who are leaving a legacy. The Collins Hill seniors played their last game and established their program as the state's best at the moment for boys soccer.

Those seniors have won three state championships in their four seasons, assembling one of the greatest runs in Georgia history. Not long ago, the county's top boys soccer was played just at Brookwood and Parkview.

Not any longer. The best boys program currently wears green and white.

"It's absolutely unreal, it's unreal," Collins Hill senior Nomis Cisic said. "I'm so happy to be a part of this program. We kept the high expectations alive. I have no words. I don't even know how to describe how it feels."

Cisic scored the Eagles' first goal on a beautiful first-half volley set up by junior Amiri Abraham's header off senior Emmanuel Raji's cross. Raji's cross to Abraham for a header gave Collins Hill a 2-1 lead and Raji's header for a second-half insurance goal came from another senior, Carlos Estrada.

Those players leave with yet another trophy, as does their coach.

"Coach Prentice really carried on the legacy well," Cisic said. "He was a young guy when he came in and he inherited a good team, but he put us in the right positions to help us win like this."

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His regular column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock. For Hammock's blog, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willsworld.

Comments

Gwinnettsince1991 2 years, 5 months ago

It's really sad the budget cuts and the loss of teacher points is causing this school to lose its coach.

Congratulations the Collins Hill. Not since the days of Karl Bostick at Parkview has the state seen such a dominating force in boys soccer. well played..... well played.

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