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Derby’s Paul Burke – Coach of the Month – Presented by Advanced Physical Therapy

By Joanna Chadwick

The Panthers boys soccer team advanced to the Class 6A quarterfinals with a 15-1-2 record. They won the regional championship 1-0 over Lawrence Free State on senior Andy Denesongkham’s goal. 

The Panthers tied with Maize South for the AVCTL I title. The teams settled for a 0-0 tie when they played on Sept 27. DHS also tied host Eisenhower 0-0 on Oct. 21. The Panthers beat Bishop Carroll on penalty kicks to win their first Titan Classic championship on Sept. 11. 

They only gave up five goals through 18 games before falling to Washburn Rural in the quarterfinals. 

Burke took a few minutes to reminisce about the soccer season.

VYPE: What made this past soccer season special?

Burke: We had a very solid senior class that we knew would give us enough experience to lead us in the right direction. We had a bunch of solid underclassmen that we just needed to step up and fill in some spots. We also knew we would be really good on defense with a really good group of players back there, again just needed players to step up on the offensive side of the ball. 

VYPE: What got the Panthers back to the Class 6A quarterfinals?

Burke: Our leadership and experience of being in some big games before. Also, hosting regionals this year instead of going on the road.

VYPE: What moments during the course of the season stand out?

Burke: I would say winning the Titan Classic over a very good Bishop Carroll team, and then the two big games against Maize South and Eisenhower and getting those results.

VYPE: What else do you want to share about the season?

Burke: It was just an awesome team, fun to be around the guys, and for them to perform at the level they did all season was just really special. 

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