Soccer Dogs Take Two Region Wins

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Special to the Citizen

In soccer action this past week, the boys defeated Franklin County 3-0 on Friday and then disposed of Jackson County in Penalty Kicks to remain in first place in 8-AAA.

In Tuesday’s contest, Phillip Webb, Tristin Sewell, and Grant Friddell all played extremely well on offense.  Coach Aaron Paul said, “Our offense has found some rhythm this year with senior leader Tristin Sewell. Tristin made a PK with 10 minutes left in the first half, followed by Phillip with a goal with about six minutes left in the first half. Patrick Griffin passed the ball to Finn Williams who assisted Phillip on the goal.”

Next up was Finn Williams’ shot that bounced off the keeper and Sewell finished off the score.  Collin Sitzmann did a fantastic job in goal while Harry Yost, Sam Kuperberg, Ben Adams, and Andrew Watkins on defense kept the Lions out of the goal. Patrick Griffin, Wesley Butler, and Yusuf Baig all did a solid job in the midfield.

The Dogs followed the win up against Jackson County with one of the most exciting finishes under Paul and in recent memory.  The first half ended up tied 0-0 before Sewell struck gold on an assist from Friddell to take the 1-0 lead. Seconds later Jackson County retaliated by sneaking one in to tie things up.

With 25 minutes left in the game Webb scored a goal on an assist from Tristin Sewell to make it 2-1 Morgan. The Panthers, with about 20 minutes left in the contest, snuck another goal in on a miscue from the defense and lack of communication around the goal.  The game ended at regulation tied 2-2. After two five-minute overtime periods the game was stilled tied at 2-2 and proceeded to penalty kicks to determine a winner.

Morgan kicked first with Carlos Hernandez making the first PK for Morgan. Jackson County then missed their PK.  Sewell made the second PK for Morgan and Sitzmann blocked Jackson’s attempt.  Watkins made good on the third PK for Morgan, and Jackson County made their third shot.  As the tension mounted and the score at 3-1 in favor of Morgan, Kuperberg missed his shot, and Jackson made theirs to leave the score at 3-2. Wesley Butler shook off the pressure and took the fifth PK to seal the win for the Dogs.

After the game, Paul commented, “Jackson County played us the absolute best both times we played. Coach Betz does a fantastic job with his program and you can tell how great of a coach he is just by watching his players on and off the field. I have the greatest respect for what Coach Betz is doing at Jackson County and I have greatly appreciated his friendship and competition over the past few years.  This was my second overtime game as a soccer coach (the first coming against Jackson County when we played a few weeks ago) and was also my first game that ended in PKs. I was extremely proud of the fight that the team showed throughout the entire game and they never gave up. Our guys fought until the very end and I am extremely proud of how we responded to adversity and came together as a team to get the win. With this win we remain #1 in region play. We have the next week off, and then play East Jackson at home on April 11, before playing a makeup game the next day against Hart County.”

The JV boys took a nice win over region foe East Jackson.  Jack Davis, Collin Sitzman, and Caleb Knight (two) all had scores in the game against East Jackson on Wednesday. Michael Peters, Kyle Page, and David Newell all played extremely well on defense with Spencer Comacho and David Rachkovsiy giving support in the midfield. Connor Clark and Will Kuperberg all played extremely well on offense providing multiple scoring opportunities. Collin Sitzmann also played well on offense.  Knight did an excellent job on the wing position with two goals scored late in the game.

Coach Aaron Paul said, “We have a really talented group of ninth and tenth graders that will contribute greatly to the entire program for the next two or three years. We have one JV game left against Apalachee at home on April 6.”

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