Lake Travis Boys’ Football defeats Plano to win Class 6A State Title

GEORGETOWN — Lake Travis didn’t get his state football championship until goaltender Adam Schantz put his fingerprints on the ball.

For the record, Lake Travis and Plano were tied 0-0 after settlement. They were tied 0-0 after extra time. The Cavaliers won 4-3 on shots to claim the Class 6A championship on Saturday night at Birkelbach Field.

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It was a game Lake Travis should have won in regulation. The Cavaliers dominated the game and took an 8-2 shots on goal advantage. Plano keeper Henry Huffstetler was magnificent all night, repeatedly blocking Cavalier shots that seemed destined for the back of the net.

But when it mattered most, it was Schantz who held the game’s MVP trophy.

In a game that seemed to never end, Plano took his first three shots on goal. Lake Travis responded with three straight shots on goal.

That’s when Schantz took over.

Lake Travis head coach David Bammel waves to fans and carries the Class 6A Boys Soccer State Championship trophy after victory over Plano in Georgetown.  The team won 4-3 on penalties.

With the scoreboard in front of him showing 3-3, the second Cavalier changed the score of the game by fending off a shot from Wildcat forward Aaron Myers.

Lake Travis capitalized on the break when Senior Cavalier Alex Bethke, a Mary Hardin-Baylor pledge, kicked in a kick that landed on the right corner of the neck to give the Cavs their 4-3 lead.

Plano’s last chance for a win was dashed when Schantz knocked down midfielder Diego Valera Zamora’s shot down the left side.

Game over.

“I don’t crack under pressure,” Schantz said. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment – blocking a shot to win a championship – since I was 6 years old.”

Lake Travis has won its last 14 games and finished the season 24-3.

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Lake Travis, however, felt frustrated because so many opportunities were thwarted. In total, no team would score a goal in 100 minutes in total.

Lake Travis forward Alex Bethke celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against Plano during the Class 6A Boys State Soccer Championship in Georgetown.

In the second half, a 25-yard free kick from Cavalier midfielder Ben Platt hit the crossbar and went out of bounds. Earlier in the half, a shot by Lake Travis senior David Arellano Vargas bounced off Huffstetler’s hands.

Those heartbreaking moments only served to make the ending sweeter, Bethke said.

“The way the game went was perfect,” Bethke said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way. It felt like we dominated the game, though.”

Lake Travis was 4 for 4 with his shots on goal. The Cavaliers have received back-to-back conversions by midfielder Ben Platt, midfielder Connor Sanders, midfielder Pablo Gill and Bethke.

Schantz was rushed by cheery teammates after the PA announcer said he had won MVP. He said he took the lead against the Plano players because he looked at their feet for a split second before kicking the ball.

A raucous crowd dressed in red and black also showed their appreciation, standing and cheering in the dark night. Each Cavalier rushed to Schantz after Plano’s final penalty kick was knocked down.

After the team received their gold medals, veteran coach David Bammel rallied his troops. The soft-spoken coach then delivered a message the Cavaliers should remember, well, forever.

“You guys just made history tonight!

It was also a special night for Debbie Garinger, who is in her first year as principal of Lake Travis High. After putting the medals around the necks of each player in the celebration line, she joked that she had brought good luck to the team.

“My heart is filled with joy,” Garinger said as he watched the players and coaches soak up the night’s euphoria.

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