The event features Flagler and Volusia counties top seniors.
Early in the first half of the East Coast Florida Boys Soccer All-Star Game on the night of Friday, March 29, forward Nate Thompson found the perfect opening to score. He beat his defender down the field and was one-on-one in the box with the opposing team’s goal keeper, Cameron Bowling.
Thompson and Bowling both starred at Seabreeze High School the past four years, and now they had the opportunity to play against each other.
Thompson wanted nothing more than to score on his former goalie, and Bowling absolutely could not let his longtime friend score on him.
Bowling dove toward the ball, stuffing Thompson’s shot attempt.
Thompson gave Bowling a friendly shove as he trotted back down the field.
“I wanted to score on him so bad,” Thompson said with a smile after his team’s 4-2 win. “Cam did a good job. He’s a great goalie, and I’m OK with it.”
Bowling added: “If I let him score, I would not have heard the end of it.”
It was the fifth year the event, which features Flagler and Volusia counties’ top seniors, has been held — this time at the Daytona State College Soccer Stadium.
Connor Rioux, Will Crotty, Benny Hartsell, Thompson and Bowling represented Seabreeze, and Kyle Cavedo, Derick Nyamison, Danny Nunez and Malik Alkhateeb represented Mainland.
Rioux and Bowling were on the same team, while Crotty, Hartsell and Bowling were on the opposing team.
“It was fun playing with all my buddies again,” Bowling said. “I’m honored to be in this game. I never thought I would be here when I was a freshman.”
Despite it being a friendly all-star game, the competition was still fierce. There were several times when Crotty and Thompson fought for the ball against one another, and late in the second half, Bowling and Thompson went head-to-head again — this time in the field.
Thompson had the last laugh, dribbling past his former teammate with ease.
“We’re a competitive group. We like to go in hard," Thompson said with a laugh. "We don’t play soft."
However, the chance to play with, and against, his former Sandcrabs teammates is a memory that will always be cherished.
"This is something that will probably never happen again," he said. "It’s a great send off as we go into college and go our separate ways.”