Raleigh’s CASL soccer team wins regional, heads to national championship

CASL Red South soccer team poses after punching its ticket to the national championship. (Contributed)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Even during practice drills the CASL Red South squad gets a bit salty when not performing up to standards.

“If we let each other slack off, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we’ve done so far,” Red South player Max Wiley said.

After winning a state title a few weeks ago, Red South traveled to College Station, Texas and won the Region III championship. Two impressive accomplishments but still, this team wants more.

“We’re not satisfied,” said goalie Davis Leonard. “We want to win it all. This is our dream and we want the dream to come true.”

Red South, representing North Carolina, will now play in the Final Four against teams from California, Illinois and Virginia in the national championship to be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma July 14-17.

Head coach Jordan Dickerson is not surprised this group has gotten this far.

Four years ago he got a glimpse of what was on the horizon.

“I knew these kids when they were 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,” recalled Dickerson. “I knew if I could bring them all together, that we could create something special if they would buy into one another and they did. They did from day one.”

Talent was never a problem. The trick was to get players from all parts of the area to come together as one. It didn’t take long.

“We play together,” said James Paden, the team’s captain. “We play as one heart, one beat and it’s just awesome.”

And the friendships forged from competition may last a lifetime.

“We’ve just formed such great friendships and connections and I can’t imagine us leaving each other behind,” Wiley said.

The squad is asking for support for air travel and transportation for several of the players To help, please go the GoFundMe page at https://gofundme.com/2anduxrk

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