Three Collier County boys soccer teams have a chance to make program history tonight.
Community School, Gulf Coast and Immokalee each play in their respective classifications regional finals. A victory would mean each team's first regional championship, and first trip to the state semifinals.
It will be a quick turnaround. All three won emotionally-charged semifinals late Saturday. That gave them just two days to celebrate, come down from their highs, refocus and prepare for the next opponent.
"We just have to get ready. That's the bottom line," Immokalee coach Saintano Damas said. "That's what we've been doing every game. We try to change things that are not working, and try to add to things that are working. That's (how) we've kind of been evolving."
All three local schools must win on the road. In Class 1A, Community School (16-3-0) plays at Melbourne Central Catholic (16-6-1). Immokalee (17-2-3) is at Palmetto (24-1-3) in 3A. Gulf Coast (16-3-3) travels to Seminole (16-5-4) in 4A.
The Indians, along with Gulf Coast, get a second straight shot at their first regional titles. Both teams lost in the regional finals last season.
For Gulf Coast, it's another chance at revenge. After Barron Collier beat them to win the district championship a week before, the Sharks beat the Cougars in the regional semifinals.
Now Gulf Coast faces Seminole, which beat the Sharks in their first regional final appearance last season. The Warhawks finished as 4A runners-up last year, and have played in the state championship game four times since 2003, when they won the title.
"It's another team that left a bitter taste in our mouth," Sharks coach Alan Scott said. "I'm glad it's Seminole because you have to beat the best to be the best. Seminole has, year in and year out, proven that they are the team to beat."
After returning most of its players from last year's team, which also won its first district title, Gulf Coast had big goals for this season. The Sharks aren't playing up the revenge factor because, to them, Seminole is just another team on the way to accomplishing those goals.
"This team's destined for a state championship," said senior goalkeeper Eric Scott, the coach's brother. "It's just about taking each step and not thinking about Seminole. It's a regional final."
Like the Sharks last year, Community School is in the midst of a historic season.
The Seahawks won their first district title since moving from fall soccer to the winter season in 2008. Last week, they won their first regional game, then won its second with a 4-0 victory over Evangelical Christian to get to the regional final for the first time.
Community School has allowed one goal in the past seven games. The Seahawks face an established winner in Melbourne Central Catholic. The Hustlers have won eight regional championships since 1997, and won state titles in 1998 and 2003.