• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Jackets reach district championship with 2-1 win over Western Hills

The Woodford County High School boys' soccer team opened the District 41 tournament with a 2-1 win over Western Hills Monday, Oct.8 at Capital View Park. "Our effort was absolutely spot on," said WCHS Coach Fonyam Atanga. "Both teams gave a tremendous effort tonight. Western Hills never quit and fought right to the end. They pushed us hard tonight. I knew it would be a very close game and it turns out I was right." The Jackets struck first on a goal by senior Brandon Cromwell. The ball bounced off a couple of Wolverine defenders before Cromwell made contact and kicked it past the keeper with 22 minutes to play in the first half. "This game meant a lot, so it was important for us to stay in the game and not let the fans or the environment affect us on the field," said Cromwell. "Now that we are headed to the district championship, it would be nice to get a win." The Wolverines had a pair of solid chances at WCHS goalkeeper Connor Walsh but both were denied by the junior. WCHS senior Hunter Penn scored a goal with three minutes to play in the half but the play was called offsides, and the Jackets took a 1-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Jackets were relentless in their attack. Braden Reister and Henry Albor both hit the post with shots. With 21 minutes to play, WCHS senior Chris Phelps beat the Wolverine goalkeeper to give the Jackets a 2-0 lead. "It felt pretty good to win this one," said Phelps. "This was either going to be the last game I ever played, or we were going to win and continue our careers. Every time we play Western Hills, it's a tough matchup, and tonight we got the job done." As the game wore on, multiple Western Hills players were taken off the field with apparent cramping due to the heat and humidity. "I think we had a lot of intensity tonight," said WCHS senior Gavin Nicholson. "I think there are still some things we can learn from this game but right now I am really proud of these guys." Dennis Woodrum scored for the Wolverines with three minutes to play to cut the Jackets' lead in half. "I think we just need to stay strong defensively and stay connected, said WCHS senior Josh Cromwell. "I think as long as we keep playing Woodford County defense, we can play with anybody.." The Jackets will Franklin County for the district championship Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. West Jessamine Woodford lost its second straight game by shutout Thursday, Oct. 4 falling to West Jessamine, 2-0. The Jackets again failed to execute offensively and surrendered a pair of goals defensively. Model The Jackets lost 1-0 to Model School of Richmond Tuesday, Oct. 2 on Senior Night. The Jackets struggled to find any flow to their offensive game throughout the match. The lone goal of the game was scored by Model sophomore Johnathan Crosby with 18 minutes to play in the first half. The Jackets picked up the pressure in the second half but the Patriots were able to hang on for the shutout. After the game, WCHS recognized Josh Cromwell, Brandon Cromwell, Chris

Phelps and Gavin Nicholson for playing their final home game for Woodford County.

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