Islander leads Rocky Hill soccer team to championship
TJ Thran, a senior at Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich, was an instrumental part of the school’s recent New England championship in boys’ soccer. TJ, the son of Niki and Matt Thran of Jamestown, scored 12 goals for the Mariners as they completed an undefeated season against other Class D prep schools. They finished with a 13-4-2 record overall.
In the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class D Championship at Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Mass., on Nov. 20, No. 1 Rocky Hill took on No. 2 Forman from Litchfield, Conn. With memories of its loss in the fi- nals two years ago, Rocky Hill began the game intent upon bringing home a champion’s trophy.
Less than six minutes into the game, senior co-captain Zeke Farrell slotted a ball past the Forman goalkeeper thanks to a fine assist from sophomore Juan Giraldo. About 20 minutes later, Rocky Hill doubled its lead to 2-0 when sophomore Kamusu Zean scored thanks to a fine build-up from teammates TJ, freshman German Rodriguez and senior Seth Curtis.
Forman proved its worth as it narrowed the lead to 2-1 about the middle of the second half when a low drive beat the Mariners’ goalkeeper. However, late in the game, top-seeded Rocky Hill added an insurance goal as TJ calmly placed a ball into the back of Forman’s net. With the 3-1 victory, Rocky Hill rightfully earned the title, the first such award for any team in school history.
As one of eight seniors on Rocky Hill’s New England championship team, TJ certainly will be missed next year. In his four years at Rocky Hill, the Mariners amassed 49 wins along with three consecutive berths in the prestigious NEPSAC postseason tournament, making it to the finals during his sophomore and senior years.
The author is the head coach of the Rocky Hill boys’ varsity soccer team and is chairman of the school’s history department.