FARMINGTON — The Farmington Scorpions haven't lost a boys' district soccer title since current head coach Byron Farnsworth was a player.
Of course, Farnsworth was a sophomore on the 2005 Aztec Tigers team that beat Farmington High for the district championship. On Thursday, it was Farnsworth who coached the Scorpions past crosstown rival Piedra Vista in a 5-2 game that gave Farmington its eighth consecutive district title.
"Farmington has done a phenomenal job with its soccer and establishing a program," Farnsworth said.
FHS has been able to remain dominant in local boys' soccer despite undergoing three coaching changes in the past three years.
"It tells you a lot about the kids who join the Farmington soccer program. They are willing to work hard and put it all out on the line every game and every practice," said FHS senior captain Nathaniel Pavlik. "With those kind of kids, no matter what coach comes along, we will always have a good program."
The Scorpions (12-6 overall, 4-0 District 1-4A) defeated Piedra Vista (9-10, 2-2) 5-2 thanks to three second-half goals. Farmington received goals from Pavlik, Jorge Chavira, Isaac Valencia, Joaquin Gonzalez and Ismael Quintana.
"The boys played extremely well. It was a tight first half, but we adjusted at halftime, and the boys turned it on," Farnsworth said. "We showed what we have been working on all year. I think we are peaking at the right time."
Farnsworth credited the Panthers for playing another physical game, and he expects Piedra Vista to be a tough team in the state playoffs.
"PV has done extremely well. Pablo Quintana has done a great job coaching those boys. They have improved a lot, and I think they should get a high seed in state. They have an opportunity to go on a good run," Farnsworth said.
Austin Denney scored on a penalty kick for the Panthers on Thursday, and Joaquin Sais scored another to briefly give PV a 2-1 lead in the first half.
"It was a good game, just like it is any time these two teams play," Quintana said. "FHS is a great team. They have a real shot to win state. I hope we can see them at state, and we can both represent the town well."
Piedra Vista's regular season came to an end on Thursday, but Quintana hopes a big 4-0 win against Los Alamos and a tough non-district schedule will help his team get into the playoffs.
"We can go toe-to-toe with any team in the state. We have the heart to compete, and I hope we get in," he said.
Farmington plays again on Saturday at home against Hope Christian. Farnsworth hopes a win Saturday will be enough for his team to earn a top-four seed in the state tournament, which would give the Scorps a first-round bye.
"I think Albuquerque Academy, Capital and Roswell are the top-three, but I definitely feel like we should be No. 4," he said.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.