Last week Nitschmann Middle school coached by Scott Rodenbach clinched the first ever BFF Cup with a 8-1 win over Northeast Middle School at BASD stadium. Even more impressive is that they did this during a year where they did not have a true home field. Their current home filed is still under construction along with the rest of the middle school and home games were being played at Monocacy park. Nitschmann finished with a 7-1 record. Nipping closely on their heels was East Hills with a 6-1 record. These two teams were very evenly matched and East Hills would have possibly entered a tie-breaker scenario with Nitschmann had they been able to make-up a weather postponed game with Beca earlier in the year.
The game of the year was a 4-3 victory by East Hills over Nitschmann on May 4th. The intensity was off the charts and really caught me by surprise. It became crystal clear that the Liberty- Freedom rivalry gets its start right here long before the players ever reach high school. It was so cool to see so much passion and school pride on the field at this age. In fact all the Bethlehem teams showed it. Another favorite game i witnessed this year was the 1-1 draw between Northeast and Broughal on April 20th. Once again all the kids left it out there as both teams looked for their first win at the time. Last but certainly not least the Beca squad was extremely competitive and ended up finishing right in the middle of the pack at 3-3. All of these middle school teams feature Bethlehem's future stars and often highlight a culmination of all the hard work done behind the scenes at the local clubs and rec leagues. Its rather special to see this talent for the first time on the scholastic stage. All and all i managed to get out and cover 5 games this year including each team at least once. All those pictures can be found at the bottom of the home page or in the archives.
A few months ago when we realized we wanted to expand our middle school coverage we weren't sure how. I quickly realized that there needed to be a home for local middle school soccer coverage and we were happy to provide it. Upon seeing a full season up close its clear the kids deserve it and we are glad it worked out so well. The response that the Bethlehem Futbol Factory has gotten from investing this time and funds has been outstanding. Its funny we made a small scoring mistake on the site and an hour or so later we started getting messages from all over letting us know. That was really the first time we realized that kids and parents alike were actually paying attention and that the BFF Cup was a good thing :)! That was easily one of the coolest BFF moments since we started the site a little over a year ago. Another nice thing about this mistake was getting introduced to Dana Burke. Her soccer connections made gathering info in the second half of the season MUCH smoother than the first half. Big thanks to her, Fulvia Alderiso of Beca and all the coaches for really getting on board with our little concept.
The one thing that stuck out to me was how amazing a (Bethlehem) championship game would be at this level. I don't know what is holding that reality back. But i will certainly be asking around. I think having the final games at the high school fields is an awesome idea but why stop there? Lastly i just want to apologize to everyone - coaches, parent, and players alike -- i kind of made the tie-break rules of the BFF cup on the fly and did not expect that they would ever be in play. As it turned out they were to some degree near the end of the year. The last thing i want to do is encourage "blow-outs" and that scenario presented its self a bit near the end. That tie-breaker will be revisited and changed for next year to be sure.
If you are new to us please visit the site bethlehemfutbolfactory.com. Right now the heart and soul of the site is the twitter account @bethfbfactory, give us a follow and stay informed about everything that is Bethlehem Soccer! Thanks to all for the great support! A big congrats to Nitschmann for winning the 2017