Miraculous Journey for Beginner Soccer Program
FARMINGTON — The journey from its covid-cancelled JV inaugural season to Saturday’s Class 4A State Finals appearance is nothing short of miraculous for the Farmington boys’ football program.
“It’s really a miraculous thing, man, and I think all the credit goes to the kids, first of all getting over the fact that it’s a two-year program, I’m a new coach for them, I don’t I’m not a big footballer, and of course just the fact that most of them play other sports,” Farmington head coach Josh Fonville said.
Farmington beat De Queen 1-0 in the Class 4A state semi-finals on Saturday to claim the school’s first title in men’s football. Fonville praised the work ethic of the boys involved in the program.
“It’s really just a tribute to hard work and dedication and what they [wanted out of it]and just the mindset they established in themselves to want to win and I don’t care how many games we won 1-0, I’m ok with that,” Fonville said.
Farmington (12-2-3) takes on Clarksville in a 4A West Conference championship rematch won by the Panthers, 3-0, May 6 at Clarksville in a battle for the Class 4A state championship Saturday morning at 10 a.m. . The complex is the site of the Arkansas Activities Association which attempts to centralize finals for all spring sports.
The scoreline for the 4A West Conference championship game was disappointing, however, as Farmington played substitutes and Clarksville scored two late goals.
For Fonville, it’s exciting to see so much hard work paying off. He returned to the position in December finishing football and in January began doing the first training sessions. Finally, towards the end of January, they began the actual training.
“I knew we were probably going to be a bit late because we didn’t necessarily have an offseason. But damn it, they just did so much work and they were willing to stay on more or on the grass, they worked hard to try to improve,” Fonville said.
Fonville credits much of the credit for the program’s success to volunteer assistant coach Mark Rogers. Rogers drew the Xs and O’s in a way that Fonville describes as “just brilliant” and really benefited the Cardinals.
“He played to our strengths for sure. It was an amazing run. I knew when I took over I was like, ‘Man, we’ve got so much talent if we can put all that together,” Fonville said.
At first, the Cardinals were a little slow to score, but the team peaked at the right time with primetime wins over Wynne (2-0), Pulaski Academy (3-2) and De Queen (1 -0) in the state tournament. to advance to the county final.
“We were just trying to find ourselves in our non-conference games. I knew there were pieces there that gave us a legit shot and so with that we’re definitely in the position where we put it together and that starting to really show right now,” Fonville said.