Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> JHS outlasts Badgers

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville boys’ soccer team bounced back from just its second loss of the season with an overtime victory over Beebe on Monday at Jan Crow Stadium. After the Red Devils and Badgers played each other to a 1-1 tie in regulation, Jacksonville outscored Beebe 4-2 in the penalty kick round for the victory.

“We practice penalty kicks every day in practice,” said Jacksonville coach Adam Thrash. “I think that’s probably the first time we’ve ever made four.”

Jacksonville goalkeeper John Herrmann blocked the first Beebe kick initially, but couldn’t get up and recover in time to keep the backspin of the rebound from rolling into the corner of the goal. Beebe’s second penalty kick fooled the Devil goalkeep and scored easily. The third was almost a repeat of the first, with Herrmann blocking the initial kick, but this time he was able to make a diving, slapping save just before the rebound spun back across the goal line.

Herrmann straight rejected the fourth attempt, so when Jacksonville’s Cortez Jordan made the fourth Jacksonville kick, it sealed the Red Devil victory.

“John Herrmann is such a great competitor and kid,” Thrash said. “It was great to see him come through like that.”

Beebe (4-5) scored early in the game on a free kick goal by T.J. Lovston. The Badgers held that lead for the rest of the first half, then came out in the second half playing a five-defender defense that confused the Red Devils much of the time.

But a single mistake by Beebe led to the game-tying goal in minute 29 of the second half. Stevie Eskridge lobbed a pass towards the Beebe goal where Jordan had gotten behind the entire Badger defense.

he pass went over his head, but Jordan, a speedster who signs a letter of intent today with Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., was able to chase it down and head it into the goal just as Beebe goalkeeper Connor Patrom approached to catch the ball.

The win followed a shocking 3-2 loss to J.A. Fair on Thursday. Jacksonville (7-2) had beaten Fair easily in the first meeting, but Thrash benched four starters for last week’s game after missing or showing up late for practice.

“They weren’t happy with me after that game and they were vocal about it,” Thrash said. “But we set rules at the beginning of the year. What kind of example am I setting if I don’t follow through with those rules? There are certain expectations people have when you say you’re going to be part of a team.”

The head Red Devil was pleased to get the win on Monday, but still felt his team could’ve performed better.

“I really thought Beebe played harder than we did for most of that game,” Thrash said. “We showed a lot of heart at the end and we were able to come through in the clutch. I need them to understand how much better we could be if we would play that way from start to finish. I have a lot to learn, too. This is my second year coaching soccer. I never played soccer, so I’m learning as we go just like they are. So I have to try to be patient with them sometimes, too.”

Beebe won the girls’ game by forfeit. Jacksonville coach Jerry Wilson elected not to play the game after getting minimal participation in practice last week.

The Red Devils will host Sylvan Hills on Thursday while Beebe hosts Pulaski Academy.