LUTZ – After the most rollercoaster week in the program’s three-year history, the Steinbrenner boys soccer team silenced doubters and easily glided to an 8-0 mercy rule win over former district foe Jefferson on Thursday night.

“We just needed to get (the decision) past us and just move forward,” said Steinbrenner coach Chad Ebright.

And the team did just that.

The Warriors (2-13) may have had 10 wins removed from their record due to Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) sanctions, but the team pressed on with an array of goals in the second half from senior Derek Wilkosz, juniors Logan Siben and Derek Gebhard (2) and one from senior Mark Mayo to close out the evening.

“We knew we’d play good against Jefferson, we usually always do. The seniors, being their night tonight and they wanted a big win and the rest of the team came through for them,” said Ebright.

The Warriors are now focused on next week’s Class 4A-District 8 tournament, where they will be seeded sixth as a result of self-imposed penalties following the FHSAA’s probe and will play fourth seed Sickles in the first round.

Ebright says the gameplan for the tournament won’t be any different, and the team knows a target is still on its back.

“Our goal is to end their season, that’s what we want to do,” said Ebright. “It’s going to be hard fought both ways and hopefully we’re the best team.”

Siben added, the team is going to come out firing on all cylenders to capture what has eluded it, a district title.

“We just want to make it even bigger and come out and play strong like we always have and do as good as we can to go for a win everytime.”

Jeff Odom / Sports Editor

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