WCMS soccer wins at Jackson County, loses against DeKalb County


On March 18, the White County Middle School soccer team traveled to Gainesboro to take on Jackson County in what turned out to be a cold and windy night. After coming off a heavy defeat to Cumberland United, 0-9, and a draw against Smith County, 1-1, the Warriors were looking for some momentum heading into the match.

 “I told my guys before the match that they really needed to play with confidence after the previous week’s results and to focus on the fundamentals we’ve worked on all season,” said Coach Justin Rittenberry.

That is exactly what the Warriors did from the opening kick- off. With just 23:37 on the clock, Braxton Simmons tucked the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the match. It wouldn’t take long after that before Brenam Sandlin took the ball down the right side of the pitch and crossed the ball into Simmons for his second goal in the space of 2 minutes. Simmons added his third goal to complete his first half hat-trick while Azlan Mathurin, Levi Whitson and Brenam Sandlin each added another goal, and Jackson County conceded an own goal to end the first half with Warriors leading 7-0.

“It wasn’t the best half that we have played this season, but we just kept putting the pressure on Jackson County to force turnovers, and it worked out in the end for us,” Rittenberry said.

The second half was more of the same for the Warriors. Another goal from Simmons and Whitson ended the match 9-0, with 17:55 left in the second half.

For the second match of the evening, it was the White County junior varsity taking the field and trying their luck against Jackson County. It was a fairly quiet first half as Braxton Jones and Jaggar Osborne scored to make the half-time score 2-0. The second half was similar to the varsity’s first half as they scored 7 goals. Osborne added 2 more goals to complete his hat-trick while Jackson Burch added 2 goals. Kolt Pryor and Ace Grissom each added 1 goal while Jackson County scored an own goal to make the final score 9-0.

The Warriors were in action again on March 22 as they traveled to Smithville to take on DeKalb County. Both teams would battle the elements as rain was coming down during the entirety of the match. It didn’t take long for the hosts to go in front. After a throw-in, DeKalb County took the ball to the edge of the 18 and fired a shot into the bottom corner for the first goal, with just three minutes off the clock. With 20:23 left in the first half, the Warriors committed a handball offense in the penalty box to give the hosts a penalty kick. The hosts stepped up and dispatched the penalty to make the score 0-2. After the second goal, the Warriors stepped up the intensity, and their efforts were rewarded when Azlan Mathurin took a shot from 25 yards out and scored after a deflection off a DeKalb County defender to make the score 1-2 going into half-time.

The Warriors kept the intensity coming out of half time as both teams battled back and forth for the first 19 minutes of the second half. With 11:35 left in the game, the hosts swung in a corner, and, after a scramble for the ball, the Warriors were whistled for a high foot in the box and conceded another penalty. DeKalb stepped up and placed the ball down the middle of the goal for their third of the game and put the game out of reach. DeKalb would go on to score two more goals to end the match 1-5.

“I’m proud of the way the guys battled and gave it their all against a good DeKalb team. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the way we matched up with them, but it gives me confidence that we can compete with the better teams in our conference,” stated Rittenberry.       

That brings the Warriors overall and conference record to 3-2-1 while the JV squad’s record is 4-2. The Warriors’ next games will be April 8 and April 12 when they travel to Cookeville to take on Avery Trace and Prescott Middle School.   


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