• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Jackets win district title over Franklin County

The Woodford County High School boys' soccer team won the 41st District championship with a 2-0 victory over Franklin County Thursday, Oct. 11. Woodford played in its final 41st District tournament and will now be aligned with Anderson County, Collins, Shelby County, and Spencer County next season. Woodford scored a goal in each half and controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the game. WCHS sophomore Henry Albor was named MVP of the tournament. "I was surprised when they called my name," said Albor. "The whole team played hard tonight. We stayed together and fought through everything they gave us tonight. I'm proud of what we accomplished tonight." In the first half, neither team created scoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes. The Jackets became more aggressive as the half wore on, and WCHS sophomore Hunter Penn got the Jackets on the board, scoring on a corner kick from senior Chris Phelps. "We went into this game with the right attitude, and when we do that we usually get a positive result," said Phelps. "I think this win was well deserved and we felt a sense of accomplishment. Heading into regional play, we have to play hard and stay together, and we have a chance to be successful." Penn nearly scored again with seven minutes to play on a header but Franlink County’s keeper made a terrific stop. The Jackets did not allow a shot on goal in the first half. "It's special to be able to play in a game with this kind of atmosphere," said Penn. "What a way to leave the district, come into Frankfort and beat Franklin County. It's what we set out to do, and that mission was accomplished."In the second half, emotions were running high. A yellow card was given to the Franklin County bench for arguing a call with a referee. WCHS junior Braden Reister picked up a yellow card and Franklin County junior Alexander Bentley was also carded. The Jackets defense continued to deny any offensive opportunities created by the Flyers. "It's a great way to finish our final district tournament with a win," said WCHS senior defender Josh Cromwell. "If we can communicate and stay together, we have a chance to do something special at the regional level." The Jackets added to their lead when Albor beat the Franklin County keeper from point-blank range with eight minutes to play in the game. Woodford continued to control the ball and ran out the clock. "I couldn't be more proud of my guys," said WCHS Coach Fonyam Atanga. "I came into this game feeling very relaxed, and I could not understand why. Many emotions were going on during this game. We were knocked out in the first round by this team last year, and that was the first time we had not made it to the regional tournament in my time at Woodford. Tonight, I told them to have fun, and I think I surprised them with that comment."

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