BIRMINGHAM, AL -
Winning is contagious in the Oak Mountain High School soccer program.
The girls (24-0-1) and boys (20-2-3) have both advanced to the AHSAA state semifinals Friday in Huntsville. The girls will play McGill-Toolen, while the boys take on Fairhope.
"The culture, we all love it," senior Keegan McQueen said. "Me, personally, from a young age I would come to high school games and look up to these guys and being able be here as a senior, I see how younger kids look up to high school players and they can't wait to be here."
"We've learned to play more as a team, fill each other's positions alot," senior Kathleen Dunn said. "We've realized we have to back each other up and not let one person do the job."
The boys team has only two losses the entire season. The girls have a near perfect season going, zero losses and one tie. Two successful programs, feeding off one another.
"The [boys team] has four state championships and the girls want to reach that same level of respect," girls head coach Pete Dakis said. "That's why they work hard."
"We're always out here together. They're very close, both of the teams," boys head coach Dan DeMasters said. "We try to push each other and challenger each, little jokes here and there. The energy definitely works between both teams. "
The girls have only one senior on the team and are ranked No. 2 in the nation. While the boys have a first-year head coach, but are led by a dozen senior players.
"The identity that we started is 'iron sharpens iron'," DeMasters said. "The verse we took that's what we're all about. It's about getting each other better."
"Playing as a team, we don't have that one superstar," Dakis said. "In previous years we had great players."
44 combined wins between the two teams, four more means two state championships.