Pride was the only thing on the line for Coahulla Creek High School’s boys soccer team.
North Murray was playing for a region title.
Despite being a man down in the waning minutes of Friday night’s game at Coahulla Creek, the Mountaineers got a goal from Ismael Cruz in the 78th minute to take a 1-0 win over the Colts.
The win pushed North Murray (12-3, 11-1 Region 5-3A) back to the top of the region standings after Cartersville — which beat the Mountaineers earlier this week — lost on Thursday night. The Mountaineers can earn a region championship for the second year in a row with a win versus Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in Wednesday’s season finale. North Murray won the Region 7-2A title last year.
“All year it seems like it has been up and down with our play even though we have gotten a lot of wins,” North Murray coach Matt Chambers said. “I think that loss to Cartersville really focused the team for this game and we thought we had given away our season. We got a second chance to win region, but you won’t get any second chances in the state tournament.”
Coahulla Creek coach Eric Parker said coming into the game his team was locked into the region’s No. 3 spot for the state playoffs. Even though his Colts (11-5-1, 9-4) had nothing to gain or lose, Parker was proud of his team’s effort and knew the game would be tightly contested.
“We are two very similar teams, who both play that fast-paced Mexican style of futbol,” Parker said. “We had our chances, but we didn’t put the ball in the net. They got the through ball to Cruz, and he finished.”
Chambers also knew it would be close after the Mountaineers won on penalty kicks when the teams met earlier this month in Chatsworth.
North Murray’s defense, keyed by goalie Manuel Gonzalez, recorded its eighth shutout of the season.
“It is one of those deals where whoever makes the first mistake, the other team is going to take advantage of it,” Chambers said. “Manuel is a brick wall back there. There is no other way to explain what he does back there.”
Gonzalez had eight saves — including stopping two deflections that banged off the crossbar — as the Colts took 13 shots on goal. Coahulla Creek’s Missael Fraire was just as effective, making seven saves, until Cruz got past the Colts’ defense and beat Fraire to the right.
“I was disappointed we let them score with 10 on the field,” Parker said.
North Murray was down a player after midfielder Jacob Dotson became irate after a no-call on a tackle at midfield.
Dotson screamed at the official and was given a red card. He then verbally taunted the official, clapped his hands in his face and stormed to the bench area, kicking a soccer ball that nearly hit his teammates before taking his jersey off and throwing it on the track surrounding the field. A Whitfield County sheriff’s deputy and Coahulla Creek Principal Phillip Brown escorted Dotson off the field.
According to the Georgia High School Association’s Constitution and By-Laws, any player who receives a red card is suspended for the following game. Players will receive a two-game suspension for a red card with “foul or abusive language.”
Chambers declined to comment on the situation or speculate on how many games Dotson would miss.
• Coahulla Creek girls 2, North Murray 1: Jenny Contrera scored a pair of first-half goals, and the Lady Colts (6-10, 4-8) made that stick in the win over the Lady Mountaineers (1-10, 1-10).
Alonda Bennett scored the only goal that Coahulla Creek goalie Melissa Cabrera allowed in the game.
• Murray County boys 2, Morris Innovative 1: The Tigers (7-9, 6-9 Region 7-2A) led until the final 10 minutes, when the Indians (12-3-1, 12-2) scored twice.
Murray County’s Jose Ruiz scored in the 71st minute to tie the game 1-1. Around 30 seconds later, Alberto Soto assisted Humberto Alvarez for the go-ahead score.
“They played a really good game,” Indians coach Marco Burgueno said of Morris Innovative. “Hats off to them, because they played us well. We had most of the possession throughout the game, but we just couldn’t put it in.”
Miguel Villafuerte scored at around the 50th minute to put the Tigers ahead.
“We controlled the game and Murray County did everything we wanted them to do,” Morris Innovative coach Ernie Dempsey said. “I felt like we were the better side tonight. We played phenomenal and we probably should’ve had two more goals.”
• Murray County girls 5, Morris Innovative 0: Freshman Vivian Gamboa scored twice, while Nayeli Jacobo added two goals and an assist to lead the Lady Indians (9-7, 9-5 Region 7-2A).
Paiton Bradford scored the other goal.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Pack made one save in the senior night game, while Murray County took 51 shots.
“It was nice to win on senior night,” Lady Indians coach Mandy Ledford said, noting the team was without senior forward Cheyenne Sancho, who injured her left knee in Thursday’s game versus Coosa.
Murray County finishes the season at Model Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and at home versus Calhoun Wednesday at 5 p.m., and Ledford hopes to have Sancho back for at least one of those games.
The Lady Tigers (1-15, 1-14) only had 10 players for the game.
Pride was the only thing on the line for Coahulla Creek High School’s boys soccer team.
- North Murray High School Mountaineers
On a mission
The local girls who visited the Dominican Republic last week on a mission trip through Score International tell a matching story.
Toward the end of a visit to Pasitos de Jesus, a girls orphanage in Boca Chica, the children began singing the Gospel song “Mighty to Save” to their visitors.
“It sent chills down your spine,” said Kala Franks, a rising senior at Coahulla Creek High School. “I felt they were ministering to me rather than us ministering to them.”
In the lineup again
When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.
Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round
Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.
All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age
Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.
N. Murray second at Cam Newton
Members of the North Murray High School football team and coaching staff pose with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, standing center, after finishing second in the third annual Cam Newton Foundation 7 on 7 Football Tournament at North Cobb High School in Acworth. The Mountaineers will advance to face other regional tournamentwinners at the Charlotte (N.C.) Championship Tournament on July 10-12. Northwest Whitfield also competed in the tournament with linebacker Clay Phillips (not pictured) being selected as a Tournament All-Star.
All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year
As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.
Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A
In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
“There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”
N. Murray cheer duo headed to DSC
CHATSWORTH — For North Murray cheerleader Tori Stainton, earning a spot on Dalton State College’s competition squad is the fulfillment of a long process. Classmate Stacia Baker went for a tryout on a whim and found her own spot with the Roadrunners.
No shortage of highlights this year for Phillips
CHATSWORTH — When Grace Phillips finished posing for photos of her signing a volleyball scholarship with Andrew College on Monday in North Murray High School’s library, a crowd of supporters gathered for the ceremony put their hands together.
It wasn’t the first time she’d heard applause during a memorable and achievement-filled senior year.
Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney
With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.
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- On a mission