The first step for Bobby Cardelle in becoming a great goal scorer was getting balls past his brother.
Before the two-time state champ became the best in the county, he had to be optimal in his own backyard. Bobby grew up in a soccer family receiving instruction from dad Frank, an assistant coach at Catawba, and practicing with his brother Frankie, now a senior goalkeeper for Catawba.
“When I first started playing or anytime I’d go to train, I’d play against [Frankie],” Cardelle said. “I figure if I can score on him, I can score on anyone.”
Cardelle pretty much scored at will this year, leading a Salisbury squad that boasted 11 all-county players to the Hornets’ second state 2A championship in three years. The 6-foot-1 midfielder scored 45 goals this year to give him 105 in his prep career and is the back-to-back County Player of the Year. Cardelle was the catalyst of a stout senior class that only knew excellence. The National Soccer Coaches Associated of America named Cardelle All-Region.
Salisbury has been the premier team in the area during Cardelle’s tenure, going 88-7-3 in the last four years. This season, coach Matt Parrish constructed another difficult schedule so the Hornets would be battle tested and it paid off after a 2-1 win against First Flight in the state championship.
“I remember growing up watching my brother play here,” Cardelle said of Salisbury’s program. “It’s an indescribable feeling. There were great teams that never made it. For us to win two state championships while I was there was incredible.”
The Hornets only tripped up once this year, in the third game of the season against Statesville. It then won 25 straight through the state title game, blowing through the Central Carolina Conference slate and outscoring playoff opponents 25-3.
Catawba and UNC Greensboro are options for Cardelle after high school and it’s a possibility he could play in the East/West All-Star Game in Greensboro. At 145 pounds, he’ll probably have to put on some muscle and get acclimated to the pace of the college game.
“It’s going to come down where I feel the most comfortable,” Cardelle said. “It’s all about the speed of play. Passing faster, reading the field faster is important at the next level.”
Salisbury lost to Trinity in the third round of the state playoffs in 2012 and set a goal to get back to championship-caliber immediately.
“From the beginning we knew we were capable of winning the state championship,” Cardelle said. “I know for me I wouldn’t have scored those goals if it wasn’t for the rest of my team supporting me.”
Cardelle says he’ll follow the program after graduation after making memories the past four years.
“We had 11 guys on the all-county team and they all deserved it,” Cardelle said.
Seven of the Hornets’ all-county players are seniors, which means the team will look a lot different next season.
Emmy Turcios, who scored the game-winning goal in both of the Hornets’ state championships, is another departing all-county senior. Turcois scored 25 goals and had 12 assists. Six-foot-four senior Clint Comadoll stopped opponents from progressing downfield and displayed scoring capabilities. John Canipe, 6-2, was another physical presence.
Zack Sukkasem could score when needed and provided leadership. Christian Uribe, Philip Simons, Michael Brown, Lucas Capito and Reilly Gokey were also picks.
The cupboard isn’t bare though. Sophomore goalie Max Fisher came a long way and only allowed three goals in the postseason. Brown will be a senior next year as will Gokey and Uribe in leading the SHS back line.
Carson had six representatives after the best season in its short history. Brandon Flores scored 39 goals in helping the Cougars to a 17-5 record and a trip to the third round of the state playoffs. Flores is just a sophomore and has a chance at Player of the Year next year. Senior Sam Cooley was a force in the backfield. Logan Correll, Ivan Hernandez, Garrett Owens and Pedro Perez were all-county as well.
Keeper Tony Ramirez and Angel Dominguez were picks from a competitive South Rowan squad. Charles Goff was an all-region pick for East Rowan.
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