WCHS boys’ soccer advances to 41st District final
The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team wasted no time getting on the scoreboard against Frankfort on Monday, Oct. 10, in the first round of the 41st District tournament. Playing in front of a home crowd at Community Stadium, the Yellow Jackets pressured the Panthers the entire game and finished the night with a 9-0 win and a chance to play for the 41st District championship on Thursday. “I thought we played much better than we’ve played lately,” said Woodford head coach Fonyam Atanga. “I mean, we’re finally almost back to where I can go back to the rotation I had when we had a good run. Once Chris Jackson gets cleared to play, then we’ll have that full rotation. But, for now things are still not where they need to be, but we’re getting closer. I’m happy with the performance. It’s always good when you score nine goals in a game, and it’s even better when you don’t give up a goal at all.” In the championship game on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m., Woodford will face Franklin County, who advanced to the final with a 3-2 win over Western Hills on Tuesday, Oct. 11. In the win over Frankfort, senior Maclain Evans got the ball then dribbled down the left side of the field. Then he made a nice cross over to junior Avery Whisman, who was open in front of the net. He got it and kicked it past the Frankfort goalkeeper at 38:07 to give Woodford a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Brandon Cromwell got the next goal for the Yellow Jackets. He received a pass near midfield, drove down the left side of the field, curled in towards the net and beat the keeper on a nice shot for the 2-0 Woodford lead at 35:01. Frankfort’s defense began to pick up a little, but at 19:41, Woodford got on the scoreboard again. The play began when senior Jose Caloca kicked a corner kick towards the net. The Frankfort keeper was able to knock the ball down and away from the net, where players from both teams tried to get control of it. In the scramble for the ball in front of the net, senior Alex Karbach got it and kicked it into the net to give the Jackets a 4-0 lead. Neither team scored the rest of the half and the teams went into the locker room with Woodford leading 4-0. In the second quarter, Woodford came out quickly and at 36:35, Cromwell got the ball, drove it down the middle of the field and shot it past the keeper to make it a 5-0 ball game in the Jackets’ favor. Just 17 seconds later, a wide-open Evans took a pass in the middle in front of the net and scored to make it 6-0. Then at 32:14, Woodford was awarded a penalty kick. Evans took the shot, but the Frankfort keeper stopped it. However, the ball went out over the end line again, and Woodford was awarded another penalty kick. While Evans missed the first PK, Atanga asked him to take another shot. Unfortunately, the keeper stopped his shot again. But the senior kept his composure and focus, got the rebound and scored to give the Jackets a 7-0 lead. “He’s a senior on the team,” said Atanga. “He’s one of our captains. When we get to this postseason time, if we ever, in any of these games, get in a situation where we have to do a shootout, I want to be able to count on him. … So, that’s why I insisted on him taking the second one, even though he missed (the first one). I want to be able to count on him if we get to the point in the rest of our games where we have to do a shootout. He’s one of our better players. If I’m unable to count on him taking a penalty kick, that’s one less guy that I feel should be able to make one than we have. “So, I wanted him to go back there and take that (shot). I wanted to work on his confidence. Now, he did miss the second one, but he kept his composure like I’ve been imploring him to do, and the ball came right back to him and he finished it.” Evans then got another goal at 23:24, when he received a pass, drove in towards the net and shot it past the keeper for the score, which gave Woodford an 8-0 lead. Christopher Phelps then scored the final goal just before the whistle to give Woodford a 9-0 win. The Jackets played a solid game against Frankfort. Now they’ll have to repeat their strong performance on Thursday against Franklin County so that they can capture their fourth-straight district title.