On its quest for consecutive state championships, American Heritage anticipated obstacles along the way.
Before the season began, the Patriots lost nine players to an academy rule that forced top players to compete for the club year-round and forgo the high school season. Of late, players caught the flu.
Tuesday night, senior Julian Franco received two yellow cards, forcing his team to play a man down for the final 24 minutes.
Yet despite all that, senior Jamar Campion-Hinds’ header on senior Christopher Mealer’s throw-in in the 77th minute stood and pushed American Heritage past Merritt Island 2-1 in the Class 3A regional final at Patriot Field.
"I just thought that we can’t go into penalty shootouts, we’ve got to win this game trying to win the state title two years in a row," said Campion-Hinds, who will play collegiate ball at FIU. "It was just for me to work my hardest and do the best I could and jump as high as I could."
Senior Donald Tomlinson’s feed inside the box to Campion-Hinds in the 39th minute gave the Patriots (23-3-2) a 1-0 lead.
Merritt Island’s Ian Carey scored the equalizer in the 55th minute on a penalty kick. Junior Nicolance Regant had received a yellow card for pushing down a Mustang forward inside the box on a free kick.
During the first-half water break, the Patriots switched keepers when senior Djman Suarez got shaken up on a corner kick when he collided with two players. Suarez reentered the game a few minutes later.
American Heritage, which outshot Merritt Island (18-2-1) 12-8, will face either Palmetto or Immokalee Friday night in the state semifinal.
"We want it," coach Richard Jobson said. "These boys – the guys that stayed here – said ‘We’re going to win it,’ and that was their goal from the start of the season. You can’t stop them. When your heart’s there, everything’s willing."
CHRISTINA DE NICOLA
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 8, WESTMINSTER ACADEMY 2
WP: Linette Flores. LP: Jensen Strandberg. Top performers: Linette Flores 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 runs. Jenna Ghibaudy 2-3, single, double, 3 RBI. Taylor White 2 singles
MONARCH 17, DEERFIELD BEACH 0 (4)
WP: Kaylyn Kirk. LP: Chursino. Top performers: Ashly Rohloff 2-3, 4 RBI. Stefany Collins 1-3, 4 RBI, HR. Kayla Wilson 2-4, 3 RBI. MON 1-0
LOURDES 8, FERGUSON 2
WP: Amanda Marrero. Top performers: Amanda Senra 2-3, 3 runs. Nina Cruz 3-3, 3 RBI. LOU 1-1
• Cardinal Gibbons 7, Monarch 0: Northecide won singles 8-3. Ernewein won singles 8-3. Gagne won singles 8-1. Gomez and Lang won doubles 8-6. Henriques and Kruger won doubles 8-6. Stark and Cole won doubles 8-4
• Kings Academy 5, Calvary Christian 2: Groeneveld won singles 8-1. Barrienton won singles 8-2. Swindle won singles 8-4. Groeneveld and Kahn won doubles 8-4. Evans and Gutierrez won doubles 8-4
• Cardinal Gibbons 5, Monarch 2: Landi won singles 9-7. Nguyer won singles 8-6. M. Norton won singles 8-3. Watkins won singles 8-0. Cumming won singles 8-3. DeAlmeida and Nguyer won doubles 8-4. Norton and Landi won doubles 8-4. Mantilla and McCallum won doubles 8-3
• BRITO 7, KEY WEST 2
WP: Richie Sotolongo (1-0). LP: Miller. Top performers: JC Millan 2-3, 2 RBI. Henry Blanco 2-2, 2 RBI. Marco Bolano 2-4, 3 RBI. BRITO 1-0
PRESEASON TRACK & FIELD
• Pine Crest Preseason Classic — Girls — Long jump: Dani Pendergast 14-04.5. Triple jump: Sofie Bates 31-03.25. Shot put: Ashley Okeke 25-10. Discus: Nicole Thraum 63-04. High Jump: Nyla Lindo 4-10. Pole vault: Taylor Logue 9-06 . 3200 relay: Ransom Everglades 10:32.97. 100 hurdles: Hallie Meland 19.05. 100 dash: Daysi Wilkinson 13.83. 1600 run: Julia Montgomery 5:26.51. 400 dash: Emily Cohen 1:02.95. 400 relay: Pine Crest 54.62. 800 run: Ella Wurth 2:25.76. 800 relay: Pine Crest 1:54.88. 1600 relay: King’s Academy 4:14.58.
Boys — Long jump: J. Paul Schumacher 19-05:5. Triple jump: Jonathan Saintil 43-00. Shot put: Kaelen Crowley 43-04. Discus: Kaelen Crowley 126-08. High jump: Nikolas Punchard 5-04. Pole vault: Conner Wright 12-06. 3200 relay: Dade Christian 10:17.60. 100 dash: Bryson Mercer 12.49. 1600 run: Scott Simpson 4:41.57. 400 dash: Gregory Roy 51.72. 400 relay: Pine Crest 47.34 . 800 run: John Decker 2:06.98. 800 relay: Pine Crest 1:41.87. 1600 relay: King’s Academy 3:41.17
District 11-8A semifinals at Deerfield Beach: Piper-South Plantation winner vs. Douglas, 6; Deerfield Beach vs. Taravella-Coral Springs winner, 7:30
District 12-8A final at Flanagan: Western-Cypress Bay winner vs. Miramar-Flanagan winner, 7
District 16-7A semifinals at St. Thomas Aquinas: Nova vs. McArthur, 6; South Broward vs. St. Thomas Aquinas, 7:30
District 15-6A semifinals at Stranahan: Fort Lauderdale vs. Archbishop McCarthy, 6; Pines Charter vs. Stranahan, 7:30
District 16-5A quarterfinal at Dillard: Mourning vs. Pompano Beach, 7
Cooper City at Cypress Bay, 6:30
Region 3-8A quarterfinal: Deerfield Beach at Flanagan, 7
Region 3-8A quarterfinal: Miramar at Douglas, 7
Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Nova at Coconut Creek, 7
Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Northeast at South Broward, 7
Region 4-6A quarterfinal: Miami Northwestern at Archbishop McCarthy, 7
Region 4-6A quarterfinal: Fort Lauderdale at Miami Norland, 7
Region 4-5A quarterfinal: Riviera Beach Suncoast at Dillard, 7
Region 4-5A quarterfinal: American Heritage at Boynton Beach, 7
Region 4-4A quarterfinal: Miami Jackson at Coral Springs Charter, 7
Region 4-4A quarterfinal: Cardinal Gibbons at Miami Monsignor Pace, 7
Region 4-3A quarterfinal: Boca Raton Yeshiva at Coral Springs Christian, 7
Region 4-3A quarterfinal: Sagemont at Lake Worth Trinity Christian, 7
Region 4-2A quarterfinal: Greater Miami Academy at Sheridan Hills Christian, 7
Region 4-2A quarterfinal at Miami Beach JCC: Posnack vs. Miami Beach Hebrew Academy, 7
Blanche Ely at Miramar, 4
Boyd Anderson at Everglades, 6:30
Plantation at Cardinal Gibbons, 4
Coconut Creek at Deerfield Beach, 4
Coral Glades at McArthur, 6:30
Northeast at Coral Springs, 6:30
Dillard at Mourning, 4
South Broward at Douglas, 4
Flanagan at Piper (Sunrise Athletic Complex), 4
Fort Lauderdale at Hollywood Hills, 4
American Heritage at Hallandale, 4
Nova at Monarch, 4
Stranahan at Pines Charter (Silver Lakes Park), 6:30
Taravella at Pompano Beach (Four Fields), 4
Douglas at Cardinal Gibbons, 3
Plantation vs. Coconut Creek (Windmill Park), 3
Cooper City at West Broward, 3
Northeast at Deerfield Beach, 3
Flanagan at Monarch, 3
Fort Lauderdale at Western, 3
South Plantation vs. Miramar (Lakeshore Park), 3
Pines Charter vs. Taravella (Cypress Park), 3
Pompano Beach vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Plantation Com. Center), 3
District 15-7A semifinals at Boyd Anderson: Northeast vs. Boyd Anderson, 6; Monarch vs. Blanche Ely, 7:30
District 16-5A semifinals at Dillard: Hallandale vs. American Heritage, 6; Mourning-Pompano Beach winner vs. Dillard, 7:30
District 13-4A semifinals at University School: Cardinal Gibbons vs. University-Coral Springs Charter winner, 5; North Broward Prep-Somerset winner vs. Pine Crest-Chaminade winner, 7
District 14-3A semifinals at Coral Springs Christian: Westminster Academy vs. Sagemont, 5:30; Calvary Christian-Highlands Christian winner vs. Coral Springs Christian, 7:30
District 13-2A final at Zion Lutheran: 7