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Toombs Takes It All!

Toombs Takes It All!
The Toombs County High School soccer team won their first ever GHSA State AA Championship last week in Macon.Photo by Mike Branch
Toombs Takes It All!
The Toombs County High School soccer team won their first ever GHSA State AA Championship last week in Macon.Photo by Mike Branch

Courtesy of TCHS

It was a historic night in Macon at Mercer University on Wednesday of last week as the Toombs County boys’ soccer team won their first-ever GHSA State Championship. The boys defeated the Blue Devils of Model by a score of 2-0 to finish the season with a 20-3 record.

The match started slowly for the Bulldogs as Model came out on the attack, and Toombs spent much of the first 10-15 minutes defending. The field at 5-Star Stadium at Mercer University is larger than what the Bulldogs are used to playing on at The Pit, and it took them much of the first half of the game to figure out the different spacing and to get a feel for the larger field.

Once the Bulldogs settled in, they began to take control. In the 27th minute, Miguel Granados intercepted the ball and played a nice string of combinations with Yovanny Zamorano before Granados executed a back-heel pass to Zamorano, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the night.

Less than five minutes later, Zamorano was fouled in the penalty area, and Braylen Dietrich converted the penalty kick to give the Bulldogs a commanding 2-0 lead. The score remained 2-0 going into the halftime break.

In the second half, the Bulldogs were unable to add to their lead, but that did not matter. The defense, as they had done all season and throughout the State Tournament, stifled their opponents and shut out a very good Model offense to secure the 2-0 victory and the program’s first-ever State Championship.

Toombs' defense was key to their success all year long. In the Bulldogs' five State Playoffs matches, they scored 27 goals and gave up just 1. Yes, only 1 goal to some of the best teams in the State in AA. On the season, the Bulldogs' potent offense scored continued from page

a total of 83 goals, while their stiffling defense gave up just 18 goals.

Head Coach Jeremy Moore said, “It was our night. These young men made up their minds several weeks ago that no one was going to beat them in the playoffs. They have believed for a long time that they were the best team in AA, and they went out and proved it each and every round of the tournament.

“Throughout the playoffs, we scored 27 goals and only conceded one. I think that speaks volumes about the level at which we played every match. The joy and emotion you saw from these players after the final whistle blew tells you all you need to know about how much it means to them. You see the fans, the community, their families cheering their hearts out the entire match and getting behind this team; it feels surreal. I think every coach dreams of making that run and winning a State Title, and this night was the fulfillment of many years of dedication and commitment from everyone involved.”

The Bulldogs finished the year with a 20-3 record, a Region Championship, and their first-ever visit to the Final 4 and the State Championship, culminating in the State Title.

More photes page 12B TCHS

Alejandro Tinoco fires one toward the goal as the Bulldogs attacked during the first half of the State Championship.Photo by Mike Branch

Yovanny Zamorano gets past a defender and was then fouled in the box, leading to Toombs’ second goal of the game on a penalty kick.Photo by Mike Branch

Miguel Granados sends a corner kick in as Toombs was in control late in the first half of the Championship Game.Photo by Mike Branch

Osvaldo Tinoco chases down a ball that was sent into Model’s end as he tries to make something happen for the Bulldogs.Photo by Mike Branch

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