By Leila Dycus intern
Recently, the Morgan County Middle School Soccer teams wrapped up their season in a record breaking way. A canceled game against Greene County caused the game against George Walton Academy (GWA) on April 10 to be the middle school’s last match. The GWA game proved to be one of the most important of the season for the Bulldogs.
In this match the MCMS boys trailed GWA 2-1 at the end of the first half. Coach Cameron Woodard challenged the boys to finish the game strong. Woodard said that the boys answered and all the players from goalkeeper to forward players played extremely well. The boys went on to win the game. The boy’s win over GWA locked the season’s win into double digits.
The boys won 10 of their 11 games, only losing to Oconee County. Coach Woodard said that the team never had the chance to take on Oconee at home, where they played their best all season. Not only did the boys break records in the number of games that they won but they also broke records in the number of goals they scored. This season the MCMS boys netted 60 goals and only gave up 8 points. “I would say I thought there was a vast improvement over the season,” said Woodard. “There was an unselfish attitude among the team that lead to the goal setting record.” As a community coach Woodard works to further soccer in the Morgan County community.
He feels that the success of the middle school teams this season is helping in these efforts. “I told them from day one that my goal in being part of this team is for them to win a region championship by the time they’re seniors in high school and that’s becoming more and more obtainable with each group coming through,” said Woodard. The girls also had a record-breaking season. The MCMS girls finished their season 9-1.
However, the girls had one team forfeit, which Coach Hiram Johnston counts as a win for his team, taking their season into double digits 10-1. Coach Johnston felt as though the entire season went well for the girls. In almost every game they played the MCMS girls kept the opponent from scoring. Several games ended in mercy rule, 10-0, and the ones that didn’t were still won by eight or nine goals.
“I think the way they came together as a team this season was what I am most proud of,” said Johnston. “We had a pretty balanced team, the younger players improved a lot and the older players really helped the younger players.” The Bulldogs’ high scoring games and their ability to keep many teams from scoring led to an overall impressive season.
Coach Johnston said that many of the sixth and seventh grade girls would be returning for next season. The solid eighth graders will move forward to high school ready to play. Both groups of strong players indicate that there is a promising future for the middle school soccer program.