Jags beat Seckinger 3-0 in physical matchup

With playoffs and the end of region play looming, the Cedar Shoals boys varsity soccer team captured a necessary 3-0 win over the Seckinger Jaguars on March 15. The Jags, 7-2 in region play, entered the game second in the region behind Johnson High School. Seckinger, 3-1 in region play, remains close behind in fourth. Head coach Conor Naughton attributes their increasing wins to the strong bond the team has formed.

“I think every single player contributed tonight in a huge way whether it was on the field or bringing energy from the bench, supporting each other. We’re all together and I think that’s what makes this team good,” Naughton said. 

This bond became clear against Seckinger, when deep into the second half, Seckinger senior midfielder Josh Matveld put in a rough challenge on Cedar sophomore attacker Justin King. After being taunted, King pointed to the scoreboard with three minutes left in the game. The defender responded negatively, and a shoving match broke out, resulting in four red cards, two for each team. Junior defender Kevin Soliz and senior goalkeeper Jose Lopez-Hernandez were given a red after pushing Seckinger players.

“We’re a team, we’re a family, so I was there trying to hold him back. When I saw somebody chokehold somebody we all went over there,” sophomore midfielder Ever Barrera said. 

Per GHSA rules, Soliz and Lopez-Hernandez will receive a suspension and miss the next game against two-time defending state champions Johnson High School. Naughton does not doubt that the team will adapt.

“We know how deep this team is, how much talent we have, how ready every single person on this team is to fill in when called upon. We know that we’re not really going to see much of a drop in quality or our level of play, so we’re very much of the mentality of the next man up. It’ll be a nice chance for some guys to get new opportunities,” Naughton said. 

The Jags face off against Johnson at Johnson High School next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available on GoFan. 

Katie Kulik

Freshman Katie Kulik is a new staff writer for Cedar BluePrints. After high school she wants to become involved in ministry and eventually become a youth pastor. She is currently involved in softball, swimming and tennis. Kulik’s favorite thing about journalism is being able to express herself.

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