• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Jackets whip Madison Central 3-0 on senior night

SENIOR NIGHT was held Sept. 28 at Community Stadium before the game against Madison Central. From left are coach Mike Hayes, Jacob Christian, Chris Jackson, Chris Ramirez, Marcus Watson, Noah Hayes, Drew Blaydes, and Coach Fonyam Atanga. (Photo by Bill Caine)

NOAH HAYES battles for a ball in the second half of the senior night game against Madison Central Sept. 28. The Jackets won the game 3-0.  (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys' soccer team celebrated with a 3-0 win over Madison Central on senior night at Community Stadium. A small ceremony was held before the game to celebrate the seniors and their years of contribution to the soccer program. Drew Blaydes, Jacob Christian, Noah Hayes, Chris Jackson, Chris Ramirez and Marcus Watson were all honored along with their families before the start of the varsity game. "This is an amazing group of guys," said Coach Fonyam Atanga. "Most of these kids have been here with us for all four years with Chris Ramirez being the exception because he came in this year. They are a small class of seniors but they all play very important roles on this team. I like that these kids started here as freshmen and stayed all four years and they understand how much work it took to get to this point. I think every season it is very important to honor the seniors because they are true student athletes. They keep a hefty schedule with games and practice and still have to keep their grades up and these guys did a great job with that." When the game began, the Jackets came out fast with speed and energy and instantly had the pressure on the Indians' defense. Junior forward Chris Phelps sent a rocket into the back of the net in the third minute to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. Phelps weaved through several defenders to find space to make the attempt that sailed past the keeper. "We came out fast tonight and scored quick," said senior midfielder Chris Jackson. "We held tight to the lead and never let up and that is what we are supposed to do. I feel like the team is playing well right now so we feel good about the next few weeks. The senior night festivities were wild to be part of. Watching the seniors from the past three seasons come out and then it's your turn is special. The young guys look up to you as a senior so it's an amazing feeling to have a night like this." In the eighth minute, sophomore Mason Coburn scored off a Phelps assist to make the score 2-0. Phelps dribbled up the right side of the field to find Coburn streaking up the middle and put the ball in a perfect position for a shot attempt. The goal was Coburn's first of the season and Phelps's eighth assist of the year. Phelps beat the keeper once more in the seventeenth minute to make the score 3-0. Phelps scored his ninth goal of the season and put the game out of reach early on. The Jackets continued to be aggressive for the remainder of the first half, with shot attempts that sailed too high and were wide of the net. In the second half the game, play went back and forth with neither team able to score. The Jackets did a great job of controlling the ball for much of the half allowing only a handful of chances for the Indians. Ramirez had a fine night in goal, getting his sixth shutout win of the season. "The defense played great in front of me like they always do," said Ramirez. "Our guys are always ready to defend the homefield and they kept the ball out of danger most of the night." On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Jackets beat West Jessamine 1-0 in a showdown of two teams best known for their defense. The lone goal of the game was scored on a miscommunication between a West Jessamine defender and goal keeper resulting in the Colts putting the ball into their own net. The Jackets had many chances in the game with a total of 16 shots on goal but came up empty handed each time. Woodford's defense allowed only a handful of chances by the Colts and controlled the ball for the majority of the game. The lack of production on the offensive end left coach Atanga frustrated after the win. "We went back to our old ways from the beginning of the season," said Atanga. "We cannot be wasteful and tonight we were. We are not taking care of the ball the way we should and these are things that can't happen this time of the year. There are so many things that frustrated me tonight and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We need to clean this up quick because we play again on Thursday and we start district play next week."

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