South Side soccer stands as SAC champs

October 5, 2020



In a league race that came down to the wire, the South Side boys soccer team came away with the Summit Athletic Conference Championship.

The Archers edged Wayne, 1-0, in their final regular season game of the season on Tuesday, September 29; then watched as conference co-leaders Bishop Dwenger and Concordia both dropped their second league games - leaving South Side as outright champions.

It’s South Side’s first SAC title since 2009.

“It feels really good to do something that hasn’t been done in that long,” sophomore striker Nico Lopez tells “I’d say this is my second home. This is a family, and everybody’s tied together. if anybody needs anything, we can talk to each other, and we can trust each other.”

First-year head coach Mitch Palmer calls his team a cohesive group that is supportive each other.  As a result, South Side has improved from a 7th-place SAC team to champions in a year.

“We’ve been preparing for this a long time,” Mitch, who took over for his brother, Eddie, after spending a year as South Side’s junior varsity coach, says. “I’ve been working with every single one of these guys from the time they stepped on the field. For some of them longer because I coach at (Memorial Park) middle school.”

South Side’s success in the standings can be linked to the offensive output.  The Archers have scored 18 goals in 9 games this season; in contrast to the 13 goals in 14 games they played a year ago.

“Every win, we stayed content,” Ko, who leads the team with 6 goals, says. “It’s good that we went through all the hard teams at first; because later in the season, they developed and got better.”

As the Archers enter the postseason, the competition promises to get tougher. South Side opens the 3A Columbia City Sectional against Wayne on Monday, October 5. It will be the fifth time in the last 2 seasons that the Archers and Generals have played. Other teams in the sectional include Columbia City, New Haven, Huntington North and Homestead—none of which South Side has played this season.

“This year, you could tell we were playing with a lot more freedom,” Mitch adds. “As much as i enjoy it, I enjoy knowing how much it means to them more.”

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