"I think that is a very good West Jessamine team ... and I do feel like we've got a very strong team as well," McMann said.
The difference on the scoreboard was a second-half goal by Ryan Moberly, but Boyle forward Vann Pollack said that was just about the only difference between the two teams.
"West Jessamine deserves to be in the top 10 in the state, they're a good team, and I think that we showed that we can play with them," Pollack said.
'... A very exciting game...'
It was a better result for Boyle than in last year's opener, when the Rebels lost 7-1 to West Jessamine in Nicholasville.
"We knew it was going to be a very exciting game, and I don't think we let anybody down. I had fun watching it," McMann said.
Neither team got a shot on goal in the first 28 minutes. West Jessamine fired three times at the net in the final 12 minutes of the first half, but Boyle goalkeeper Connor Blevins, a freshman making his first career start after Pollack was moved from the goal to a forward position, stopped them all.
Blevins had two more saves in the second half, and he even got a hand on the shot that produced the game's only goal. Ryan Moberly, West Jessamine's leading scorer last season with 15 goals in 25 games, raced through a group of defenders after taking a pass from Craig Moberly, then fired a head-on shot from about 22 yards that Blevins dived for and deflected but couldn't stop.
"I think Connor got a hand on it, but it still had enough power on it to make it in," McMann said.
West Jessamine outshot Boyle 15-9 overall and 10-6 in the second half, when Nolan Stone and Mason Lyverse had the Rebels' only two shots on goal.
Boyle had no shots on goal in the last 22 minutes and only one shot of any kind in the last 13 minutes, and McMann said he thought the Rebels might have tired.
"I think near the end, it looked like our conditioning might have started to have an impact on us. I don't know if we're in quite as good a shape as they are, and it seemed like they were keeping it in our end," McMann said. "But our guys kept pushing. I've got a lot of guys that are going to be exhausted and sore."
Pollack said that's the kind of effort the Rebels want to put forth every night.
"One of our goals this season was to make sure we leave everything on the field, and I think that after this game, I don't think there was a single person on our team that thought they didn't play their all," Pollack said. "I think we all played extremely hard."
McMann said that's what makes the opening-night loss easier to take.
"It was a great game, and they won, and that happens," he said.