Adams County Christian School boys soccer shuts out Cathedral, wins district
By Bill Barksdale
NATCHEZ — Cathedral’s grass soccer field was slick and muddy on a cold Thursday night, but nothing deterred Adams County Christian Academy Rebels from shutting out the Green Wave 3-0 in the final game of the regular season.
The AC victory crowned the Rebels as district champions and they enter the playoffs with home field advantage against Park Place Christian Academy on Monday.
Cathedral committed two fouls inside the box, which awarded two penalty kicks to Adams County. The first penalty was a slide tackle of Juan Boteo.
The second penalty came in the second half; a push in the back of Nolan Owens. Owens scored his 28th goal of the season on the penalty kick.
“Every time I take a penalty kick or am in a clutch moment, Coach Jim Bob always believes in me and gives me confidence that I can score,” Owens said. “That’s what I love about all our coaches, they have faith in me when I’m under pressure.”
Both Boteo and Owens easily put the ball into the net on their respective penalty kicks, giving the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Jimmy Allgood, Rebels soccer head coach, said the first half was a little shaky for the Rebels.
“But we settled down and communicated, passed and trapped,” Allgood said. “The team that I was looking for showed up in the second half.”
Tripp Cotten scored the third goal of the night for the Rebels. The goal was his 16th of the season. Cotten said Boteo flicked the ball over the last defender and Cotten took the shot on goal.
“At the beginning of the game, I felt like I was rushing and my shots weren’t going home. But during halftime we talked about slowing down and being more intentional about passing. In the second half, we were better about waiting for the ball and piecing passes together.”
Boteo serves as one of the standout leaders of the Rebels. He leads the Rebels with 23 goals and 22 assists in the season thus far. Boteo said the Rebels have worked hard to reach this point of the season.
Thursday night was the third time ACCS was triumphant over Cathedral this season. Allgood said he is amazed by the season the Rebels have had so far.
“We are district champions once again and I am very proud of our guys,” Allgood said. “We had a lot of shots on goal and were successful at controlling the game. Goalkeeper Jasin Wesberry had a lot of saves and played fantastic as did all of our players.
“I’m very pleased of the progress we made since the first match of the year. They are exactly where they need to be, going into playoffs.”
Thursday was Senior Night for Cathedral’s two seniors, Dow Hairston and Alex Dale. Hairston, who played just one year for the Green Wave, said he felt good about playing on Thursday night.
“It was great to play the entire time for my last game,” Hairston said. “I gained more confidence as the game went on.”
Cathedral had several opportunities to score but was unable to capitalize on them. Cathedral Head Coach Dennis Hogue said the Green Wave were good to coach this season.
“I’m super proud of them,” Hogue said. “Losing just two seniors means that next year this same group will be bigger, stronger and more mature.”
With 12 minutes left in the match, the Green Wave sent freshman Brycen Hughes in as goalie to replace Joseph Garrity. Garrity was moved to forward to help provide the Green Wave a spark of energy.
“We hoped the momentum might swing in our way,” Hogue said. “Joseph is one of our most vocal team leaders. With his talents, he can play any position on the field.”
Adams County Christian Academy will take on Park Place Christian Academy in the first round of the MAIS Division II playoffs at 4:30 p.m. Monday at ACCS.