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Tribal trio helps Sonic Blast win GHSL championship

PEMBROKE PINES — The Sonic Blast youth soccer team enjoyed a perfect ending to a perfect season.

The team, which features a trio of players from the Seminole Tribe (Sam Josh, Xiya Osceola, Xavier Osceola) and is coached by Tribal employee Kenny Bayon, capped off an 11-0 season March 10 with a 2-0 victory against the Tsunami of Sunny Isles in the Greater Hollywood Soccer League’s U14 winter league championship game at Pembroke Pines Recreation Center.

The Sonic Blast, which received two goals from forward Yoelkis Rodriguez, kept the Tsunami off the scoresheet thanks in part to flawless goaltending from Josh, who posted his sixth shutout of the season, and tenacious defense from Xiya Osceola in the backfield. (Xavier Osceola did not play in the game).

The Sonic Blast, with Tribal members Xiya Osceola (front row, fourth from left), Sam Josh (back row, second from right) and Xavier Osceola (not in the photo) and coach and Tribal employee Kenny Bayon, celebrate after winning the Greater Hollywood Soccer League’s U14 winter league championship March 10 in Pembroke Pines. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Although the game was evenly played, there were portions when Sunny Isles applied strong pressure and Josh needed to be sharp to keep them scoreless. He batted away a couple corner kicks.

Josh stepped up for the team by stepping into the role of keeper at the start of the season.

“He was playing wing and we needed a goalie. We tried him at goalie and he played awesome,” Bayon said.

In front of Josh was a rock-solid defense that included Xiya Osceola, one of five girls on the team in a league that features nearly all boys. In the championship match, she won physical battles for the ball and didn’t get beat all game.

Xiya Osceola, one of five girls on the Sonic Blast, competes against the boys from Sunny Isles in the GHSL U14 winter league championship game March 10 in Pembroke Pines. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“She didn’t play a lot at the start of the season, but she earned a starting position on defensive wing,” Bayon said. “She’s not intimidated. She’s got good speed. She’s athletic and powerful. It’s her first year with us and she played very good defense.”

Xiya’s brother Xavier, who also plays basketball, provided plenty of scoring punch during the season. He scored three goals in a game against Miramar. In another game, the Sonic Blast trailed by a goal, but rallied for a 2-1 that Bayon said was due in part to Xavier’s strong passing.

“He’s good at dribbling and passing. His basketball skills show on the soccer field. He’s sort of the point guard of our team,” Bayon said.

Sonic Blast goalie Sam Josh sends the ball away. He notched a shutout in the championship game. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Bayon, whose son Kenden plays on the team, said he was proud of the entire team’s effort throughout the season. Even though it’s a recreation team, the Sonic Blast sought tournaments where it could face travel teams in order to prep for the playoffs.

“We entered a lot of tournaments to get ready,” he said. “The kids worked really hard. I told them ‘you guys earned this.’”

The team is sponsored by the Davie Police Athletic League.

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