CCHS honors soccer seniors against Benjamin Russell

Published 12:26 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Chilton County High School celebrated its two senior soccer players on April 6 as both the boy’s and girl’s teams hosted Benjamin Russell High School. The matchup was both teams’ final AHSAA Class 6A Area 5 game of the season.

The girl’s game kicked off the night to a hard rain shower, but Benjamin Russell wasted little time to grab a 1-0 lead. The Tigers managed to settle into their formation in the first half to hold the score at 1-0 at halftime.

CCHS is over half eighth and ninth graders, and has only one junior and one senior on its roster. CCHS girl’s soccer coach William Brooks said, theoretically, they should be a junior varsity team. However, he wanted to compete at the varsity level with this group to build their mettle for seasons to come.

“This game tonight, they had the talent,” Brooks said. “We are seeing improvement … By the time all these eighth and ninth graders become 11th and 12th graders, they are going to be a great team because they have the talent.”

Benjamin Russell came out quick in the second half slotting home two goals in five minutes to go up 3-0 after the 56th minute. They added another goal in the 59th minute after a through ball from the midfield put their striker one-on-one with the CCHS keeper that was also slotted home.

Benjamin Russell put the finishing touches on the win with a goal in the 79th minute as well.

“Last year, we were in survival mode,” Brooks said. “This year, you can tell our talent is getting better. They are coming along … The heart of our team is coming back for two or three more years, and I think we will be in a position when they understand they can win, I think we are going to surprise a lot of people.”

In between the two games, Dariana Salinas and Paul Romero, were honored for their contributions to the Tiger’s soccer program.

Romero and the boy’s team started their game a little shaky, giving up the opening goal to Benjamin Russell just a few minutes in. After a chance broke down for Benjamin Russell in the CCHS half of the field a few minutes after the opening goal, the Tigers broke out on the counter attack. As the attack was building up, Gentry Elmore took a chance from the midfield and chipped the Benjamin Russell keeper from around 25 yards out to level the score at one.

The Tigers continued to play well throughout the first half and went into the break with the game tied at one goal apiece.

“It just got away from us in the second half,” CCHS boy’s coach Stacy Adams said. “We told them at halftime it was one of the best they had all season as far as working together and competing … We will put this one behind us, and hopefully get a better result next week.”

CCHS came out a bit flat in the second half and Benjamin Russell pounced on the opportunity to score three goals in the half to get the 4-1 win.

“Obviously, there is room for improvement, but as a whole they are getting better,” Adams said. “I think they are a great group of kids, and looking back where we started we have gotten better. As a whole, we have taken more steps forward than we have back.”

The boy’s team hosts Helena High School on April 10 at 7 p.m. in their next game. The girl’s team hosts Stanhope Elmore High School on April 11 at 5:30 p.m. in their next game.