It was freezing, the wind cold and fierce.

And the Clearview boys' soccer team, having lost a bitter 1-0 game to West Orange in the Group 4 state final, was about to make a long walk off the field and back to its bus.

There was every reason for the team to take a few minutes to sulk over the end of the season.

But there was coach Dodd Terry, talking with a smile, typically levelheaded, quick to find perspective - and his team, typically, following suit.

"This team made school history," said Terry, this year's Inquirer coach of the year in South Jersey boys' soccer. "And we're real proud of them."

The history was his team's South Jersey Group 4 championship. It was the first sectional title in any boys' sport in Clearview history, coming after the Pioneers had started the season 1-3.

How the Pioneers earned the title - an almost unthinkable upset of Washington Township - was perhaps more memorable than the win itself.

Like every other team that faced the Minutemen this season, Clearview was thoroughly handled in a 4-1 regular-season loss to Washington Township.

With each dominant win, Washington Township's lore grew. The team entered the sectional final with a 25-0 record, having outscored opponents by 84-8.

And calls that the Minutemen were one of the best teams ever in South Jersey were growing louder.

But Clearview never lost perspective, never wavered, remained levelheaded, fought, and sealed a shocking 1-0 upset on the road.

"I love Coach Terry. He's a great guy. He loves this team; he fights for us," senior defender Shane Burke said.

"We started off slow, but he helped make us believe we could turn it around. He helped us take it one game at a time. He told us not to think about November until we got there."

Clearview (13-6-4) undoubtedly improved as the season went on. When November finally came, the Pioneers played their best soccer, not allowing a goal through their first five postseason games and prevailing in penalty kicks in the state semifinals before falling in the final.

But that title-game loss did not spoil a historic season.

"It was a remarkable experience," Terry said. "It's been an amazing journey. And I'm just so grateful to the players. I've had the time of my life."