Soccer teams open 2023 at home Thursday
With both Franklin County High School soccer teams defeating Munroe to close out 2022, they open up the new year at home Thursday, Jan. 5 against Noth Bay Haven.
The Lady Seahawks soccer team, 2-7-1 heading into 2023. is young with a capital Y, and playing with heart, guided by Anna Bull, a knowledgeable, seasoned coach, assisted by Matt Duggar.
On Dec. 13, they got a 6-0 win at Quincy Munroe, with a pair of goals by team-leading Jade Lively, one by fellow sophomore Layla Acree, and one each by eighth graders Wendy Bernabe, Lilah Millender and an own goal by Kate Ward.
Goalkeeper eighth grader Brooklyn Klink had four saves
“We played a great game,” said Bull. “The offense really came together.”
The Port St. Joe’s girls soccer team, now 5-4-2 and 3-1 in the district, scored an 8-0 win over visiting Franklin County on Thursday, Dec. 15.
“The girls fought hard, but we were missing five starters, and just weren’t able to pull it together,” said Bull.
Tiger Shark coach Justin Gerlach said that the win over the Seahawks “was the first time in a while that I felt like our team played close to their potential. I feel like our team hasn’t shown up to play against Franklin like we should have in the last several meetings.”
Freshman Alexa Pavon, sophomore Jessica Dunn, and senior Jesslyn Kuhnel each kicked in two goals, with sophomore Lillian Williams adding another. Pavon also assisted in two of the scores.
Seahawks down Munroe, fall to St. Joe
The Franklin County Seahawks boys soccer team heads into the new year with a 3-6-1 record posted by a young, sturdy team with not as sophisticated an arsenal of weaponry as wielded by their opponents.
Defensively, they are no pushover, with a well-designed game by coach Lee McLemore and assistant Ken Fedak showing itself on the field.
If the players stick with the program, which can be a problem, especially when coaches turn over, the Seahawks are growing the seeds of a winning program. The team is loaded with juniors, freshmen and middle schoolers.
At home on Dec. 13, they won for the second time this season against the cellar dweller, Munroe, the boys earning a 5-2 victory.
Junior Gideon Dively had two goals and three assists, junior Will Chipman two goals, freshman Tucker Alford one, and junior Brayden McCall two assists.
Freshman Kingston Williams played all 80 minutes, had eight saves and gave up two goals.
Against Port St. Joe Dec. 15 in Gulf County, the Seahawks were outmatched by a superb Tiger Shark team, now 8-2-1 and undefeated in district play, by a 6-1 margin.
Tiger Shark Taylor Burkett had an assist in addition to his two scores, with senior Jaydon Gant kicking in one goal and assisting on two others. Junior Lance Larry and seventh grader Finley Spring each had a goal and an assist, while senior Tad Russell and freshman Josiah Beach also scored. Senior Christian Peacock added an assist.
Gant leads the entire state, regardless of classification, in scoring with 22 goals. The talented senior is also sixth in the nation.
In goal, Tiger Shark junior Fisher Vandertulip recorded seven saves.
Down by four at the half, the Seahawks got their lone goal in the second on an assist from Dively to junior Esteban Bernabe.
As goalkeeper Williams played 60 minutes and gave up four goals and had eight saves.
The Seahawks took a long winter break, a wise couple weeks given the weather, and are back in action at home Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. where they host North Bay Haven, 3-5.
Attendance at the game guarantees an evening of competitive soccer, with a diminishing possibility of chilly temperatures. There’s a lot to like in the energy of the play, on both sides of the soccer ball.