• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS boys’ soccer wins conference tourney title


CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION. The Woodford County Middle School boys’ soccer team celebrates its 4-3 overtime win against No. 2-seed McNabb Middle School in the Bluegrass Conference Tournament championship game, which was held at Grant County Middle School on May 8. Members of the 2017 team are: Henry Albo, Cai Coburn, Owen Damm, Caleb Evans, Micah Evans, Brandon Figueroa, Fabian Garcia, Connor Gililland, Gael Gonzalez, Jonah Hall, Andy Johnson, Chase Jones, Jonathan Leon, Isaish Lester, Kyle Miller, Edgar Moreno, Tyler Moskovitz, Jack Shea, Jake Stewart, Alex Valdivia and Graham Washington. (Photo submitted)

After starting the year with a 3-4 record, the Woodford County Middle School boys’ soccer team rededicated themselves and rallied to win the final three games of the regular season finish 6-4. Then, after finishing as runners-up in the Bluegrass Conference Tournament in 2015 and 2016, Woodford won three straight games in the tournament, which included a 4-3 overtime win against No. 2-seed McNabb Middle School, to capture the tournament title under head coach Mike Hayes. The team had also won the title in 2012 and 2014 with Hayes at the helm. “Over the years I’ve had some outstanding teams and players,” said Hayes. “While I’ve had teams overcome adversity before, I might almost have to say I’m most proud of this 2017 WCMS boys’ soccer squad due to the amount of adversity they had to overcome – 3-4 at one point I had to check our vital signs. Then, to roll off six straight victories on the way to a tournament championship (and) taking out all teams seeded higher than we were (was an) outstanding display of grit and determination from all of these young men. While it may seem a bit corny, I’ve deemed these guys the “Undeniables.” In the run-up to the tournament, Woodford won three games in a row to finish the regular season. They defeated Grant County Middle School 9-0 on the road on April 24, then defeated Scott County Middle School at home 3-0 on April 25, and closed out the regular season at home on April 27 with a 2-1 win over Campbell. The Tigers entered the Bluegrass Conference tournament as the No. 5 seed and went on to defeat three teams they had lost to during the regular season. Woodford opened their tournament run with a 1-0 win over No. 4 Elkhorn on May 1 in Frankfort. In the next round, the Tigers travelled to Lexington to face No. 1-seed Lexington Christian Academy, the regular season champions who had undefeated 11-0 record. In the game, Woodford was up to the challenge and won the game, 1-0. Then in the Bluegrass Conference Tournament championship game on May 8 at Grant County Middle School, Woodford defeated No. 2-seed McNabb Middle School 4-3 in overtime. With the win, Woodford completed its season with a 9-4 record and the Bluegrass Conference Tournament title.

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