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Soccer teams make history

A bit of history took place Monday night at Centennial Field with the playing of the first ever Bainbridge Middle School Bearcats and Lady Cats soccer matches.

The opponents were the Thomas County Central Middle School Yellow Jackets and Lady Yellow Jackets. The boys match ended in a 1-1 tie, and the girls match, which the Lady Yellow Jackets led just 3-0 at halftime, ended a 10-0 Lady Yellow Jackets victory.

Midfielders Daniel Provence and Preston Norris combined for a goal in the 35th minute of the second half to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead. Provence lifted a free kick into the penalty area from the right side that was press trapped by Norris, who quickly sent the ball to his foot and tapped in a shot from close range.

The Yellow Jackets tying goal came in the 43rd minute when they followed up a scramble for the ball in front of the Bearcats’ goal and shot it in from 5 yards out.

Chip Ariail, who coaches the varsity Lady Cats, said he was proud of both middle school squads.

“Thomas County Central’s middle school teams had several club players who have many years of experience,” Ariail said. “Our girls squad hung in there and battled in the first half, but our lack of experience showed and Thomas County Central was able to attack us successfully in the second half. I must give our girls credit, they battled throughout despite the score.”

Ariail thought the Bearcats middle-schoolers played hard and had several nice attacks, just missing on several occasions.

“I thought goalkeeper Dominique Douglas was a nice surprise in his first match, making several nice saves to stop several Thomas County Central goal attempts. Eighth-grade midfielders Daniel Provence and Louis Mejia did a good job maintaining the midfield on defense and the attack.”