Highlands Christian Academy’s (HCA) sports programs are proving that the future is now as three of its lower school sports team won South Atlantic Coast Conference (SACC) championships recently.
The girls elementary and junior high girls basketball teams were joined by the junior high boys soccer teams as titlists this year.
The girls’ elementary basketball team had an outstanding season finishing 5-1. The Knights squad is composed of 4th and 5th graders, and its lone loss of the season was to Abundant Life, who plays 6th graders on its team.
Brooke Vaccarro led the Knights in scoring and received the Outstanding Contribution Award as she scored 6 of the team’s 8 points in an 8-6 victory over Sheridan Hills in the SACC championship game. It was almost a repeat of the regular season where Highlands, with just four returning players from last season, defeated the Sharks, 7-6.
“I am so proud of my Lady Knights,” said Leslie Shein, who is an alumnus of the school and in her second year as coach. “These girls worked hard, encouraged one another, had great sportsmanship, and finished strong. They practiced hard throughout the season and it paid off!”
The school’s junior high girls basketball program needed to work overtime; however, it also brought home a title.
After dispatching Zion Lutheran, 28-19, in its opening game of the SACC tournament, the Knights were pushed to overtime; however, it prevailed with a 26-23 victory over Sheridan Hills.
“It was a very successful year for our team as we were able to achieve our goal of winning the SACC tournament,” said 5th year coach Scott Lassen, also an HCA graduate. “We had five returning 8th graders who were determined to win it all their final season.”
Seventh grader Raphael Menezes scored the lone goal of the game and fellow 7th grader Jason Thomfhorde recorded his fifth shutout of the season as Highlands Christian Academy blanked Coral Springs Christian, 1-0, for the boys’ junior high SACC title.
It was Menezes’ fourth goal of the season for the Knights, which went from third place in the league to first this year. The team finished the year 10-2.
“I’ve seen a good amount of improvement in the quality of soccer,” said second year coach Daniel Mauro, whose father Darryl is the boys’ varsity coach. “I am very proud of my squad and the boys should be very proud of their achievements, but not satisfied; there is more to come from these guys.”
Kyle Coulson was named the team’s MVP and led the Knights with 10 goals and 6 assists. The Knights were the top seed going into the SACC Tournament and defeated Westminster Academy 4-2 to advance to the championship game.