Coming off one of its best seasons in well over a decade Sexton’s varsity soccer team was primed and ready for this season. Last year’s team made it to Division 3 district semi finals before losing a great game, 6-0 to Williamston. Last years loss to Williamston was not because of lack of talent. The score was 1-0 at half. Sure, blame inexperience, language barriers, diversity (those are opportunities in my book). But tired legs were the biggest factor in that game. Playing with only 12 players made it difficult to maintain that aggression Sexton had in the first half and into the second against a team like Williamston who won five district championships and runner-up in last two state championship games.
Fatigued legs after 20 minutes of running can be stressing but try two, 40 minute half’s. That is what coach Teague’s 11 student-athletes did in their 2016 debut game versus Charlotte. The same with 12 players in its 2015 season exit. Again, Sexton has a young inexperienced team, returning only four or five players from last years team. The talent is there and so is the grit as shown in that first game on August 19, 2016. I loved watching the game as it was aggressive, skillful (yes! ankles were left behind and yes Sexton student was the “ankle breaker”), and just FUN!!
Charlotte went up 1-0 rather early and a Sexton player scored for Williamston (no name needed!) when trying to kick the ball out-of-bounds. Despite that error the student showed GREAT determination to defend his goal. Fatigued started showing with about 10 minutes left before half. Now mind you, the adrenaline for first game of year, and for some of the players first game period! Let alone no substitutions for over 30 minutes! Students were hands-on-knees-spent! Before the half there was an AWESOME save by the goalie (his first game at that position) but we gave up another goal before the half (3-0).
The second half remained exciting as the “Sexton 11” only allowed one more goal to Charlotte (4-0). Sexton’s 11 were rewarded for their grit and heart inside of two minutes when a student-athlete scored the teams lone goal and the game ended in a 4-1 loss.