MCHS soccer kicks into season with wins
Boys and girls teams move to second round of Lamar Trojan Cup tournament
By Nick Nunn
Amidst incessant rain, the Morgan County High School’s soccer season began Tuesday night with games against AAAA opponent Griffin High School in first-round play of Lamar County High School’s Trojan Cup.
The Griffin Bears were no match against Morgan County’s soccer teams, which are ranked first in the tournament thanks to last season’s combined 21-6-1 record.
Soaked and shivering – neither team was granted even a seconds’ reprieve from the precipitation during the games – the girls’ and boys’ teams fought to early-season victories; the girls outmatched the Bears 2-0, while the boys dominated Griffin 8-0.
In the first half of the girls’ game, it took a little time for the team to settle into a good groove, but, once they did, they controlled the field, rarely letting Griffin into their backfield.
Despite being able to get into position to take a few close shots early in the first half, the team had to wait until less than a minute was left in the first period before they got on the board. The first Morgan County goal of the year was scored on a penalty kick by Holly Peppers.
The Morgan County girls’ confidence began to rise throughout the second half. The Lady Dogs held onto control of the ball for most of the 40-minute period, during which Susanna Peppers scored Morgan County’s second and final goal of the night, allowing the team to walk away with its first victory of the season.
In the first half of the 8-0 scoring extravaganza that was the boys’ game, there were initially few signs of the coming blowout.
OJ Brown and Ricky Mendez scored the two Morgan County goals that came in the first period, but, in general, control of the ball appeared to be evenly matched between the teams before the half.
In the second period, Morgan County was able to exert complete dominance over the Bears. Matt Cantero, who served as goalkeeper for most of the game, stood alone and mostly inert in the rain because of a lack of activity in Morgan’s backfield.
During the back half, the goals for Morgan County were scored by Clark Orr, who earned two for the team, Jonathan Camacho, Ricky Strott, Nic Connelly, and, surprisingly, a Griffin player, who inadvertently deflected the ball into the goal he should have been defending.
Connelly’s goal, which was scored right before the final buzzer, earned special praise from Coach Brandon York after the game.
“The match ended with a brilliant fadeaway goal by Nic Connelly that was released seconds before the final horn,” said Coach York. “That possibly was the prettiest goal I've ever seen from a high school player.”
Concerning the game as a whole, Coach York stated, “Our lads played hard from whistle to whistle. We had a clear gameplan and were able to take advantage of our speed on the wings.”
This week, the MCHS soccer teams stay busy with games against Monroe Area High School Friday at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. before traveling back to Lamar County on Saturday before the second round of tournament play against a yet undecided opponent.
Also, the Morgan County Middle School’s soccer teams have their first games of the season today, Thursday, Feb. 14, against Greene County’s Carson Middle Schools. The game times will be 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. in Greene County.
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition