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Natchez High boys soccer season ends

NATCHEZ — Natchez High Bulldogs boys soccer fell short of making the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs.

The match on Jan. 24 between Natchez High School and Wingfield High was canceled, due to no referees showing up for the match. Josh West, Natchez soccer head coach, said he wrote both the soccer teams a message on Monday.

“In the message, I said, ‘We didn’t make the playoffs. I’m so proud of the team,’” West said. “We grew a lot as a team. We were playing soccer. We had the mindset of real soccer players and we were having chemistry. I’m extremely proud of our progress.”

The Forest Hill High School Patriots earned a spot in the playoffs with a perfect 3-0 record against other Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A-Region 6 opponents. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs finished in the No. 2 spot with a 2-1 Class 5A-Region 6 record.

From the season, West said he’s going to remember traveling to the Brookhaven High School Panthers for a Region 6 match on Jan. 14. West said the Panthers, a Region 6 foe, are an established soccer program.

“We were not knowing what to expect but always having butterflies of what we could do and become,” West said.

Tabius Woods scored the only goal for the Bulldogs in the first 20 minutes of the match and the defense held onto the 1-0 lead through the rest of the match. Woods finished with six goals this season. West said the team stormed the field after beating the established soccer team in Brookhaven High School.

In West’s first season as a head coach of both the girls and boys soccer teams, he finished with a combined record of 8-13. The Lady Bulldogs finished with an overall record of 3-6 and 1-4 against Region 6 opponents. West said the Lady Bulldogs played with a lot of energy, were fearless and passionate about playing soccer.

Woods led the Bulldogs in scoring and Luis Loy finished second on the team with three goals and first on the team with five assists. Damein Newman and Darrell Stewart both finished with two goals and Andrew Brigance and Malcolm Bouldin finished the season scoring one goal each.

As a first-year head coach, West said he learned a lot during the season, both about the team and about the opponents. West added he doesn’t know if he’s going to return as head coach.

“I learned what the competition level was and what needed to get done in order to win,” West said. “I learned what needed to be taught in order to achieve the competition level of other teams.”