West Hartford’s Hall High School won its first state championship since 1980.
By David Heuschkel
With his eyes still moist from sharing a touching moment with his son, head coach Zeke Seguro got soaked after players on the Hall High boys soccer team dumped a water bucket over him to celebrate the greatest day in his 25 years as head coach of the Warriors.
Led by sophomore Conlan Wilson’s hat trick, Hall beat Greenwich 3-1 to win the Class LL championship Saturday night at Veterans Stadium in New Britain and give Seguro his first state title since he took over the program in 1995.
“You work so hard year in and year out, as all teams do,” Seguro said. “To come so close and never quite get there, we’ve had some quality teams. It was worth the wait.”
It was Hall’s first state championship since 1980 and ninth title for the program. The Warriors (18-1-2 overall) came close a year ago, losing to Glastonbury 1-0 in the final on the same field.
“We wanted to come back and close the deal,” Seguro said.
Wilson scored the game winner with 17:32 remaining, converting a cross from Evan Jones to break a 1-1 tie. Wilson scored his third goal of the contest a few minutes later, set up by sophomore Tobias Ruffo to make it 3-1.
“Tonight was great. We just had a great team effort and the goals just came,” Wilson said. “We all worked together as a team. It was a great performance.”
Wilson’s first goal came off a nice touch by junior Drew Seguro, giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Greenwich tied it on Farid Ghaliya’s goal with 11:24 left in the first half and the Cardinals continued their aggressive attack in the second half.
But the momentum shifted back to Hall midway through the second half and the Warriors seized control when Wilson scored twice in a 3:15 span.
“It’s so gratifying,” Zeke Seguro said. “I preach nothing good comes easy.”
With a two-goal lead and 1 minute remaining, it suddenly hit Drew Seguro. Standing near midfield with tears streaming down his face, he went over to the sideline and wrapped his arms around his father.
“My dad, he’s been coaching [25 years],” Drew Seguro, a junior, said, his voice cracking. “I’ve been to all of his games since I was young and felt bad when his team lost in the tournament. All I wanted to do is win one for him.”
“To do it with my son is extra special,” Zeke Seguro said. “With a minute left, emotions came over me. It’s so surreal. It’s hard to put into words.”
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