Bad weather forces early end to JV season

March+22%2C+2018+-+JV+Panther+takes+on+a+McIntosh+player+in+Panther+Stadium.+After+the+final+game+of+the+season+at+East+Coweta%2C+which+ended+early+at+halftime%2C+the+JV+boys+ended+the+season+with+a+record+of+4-4-2.+

Katie Linkner

March 22, 2018 – JV Panther takes on a McIntosh player in Panther Stadium. After the final game of the season at East Coweta, which ended early at halftime, the JV boys ended the season with a record of 4-4-2.

Kyle Soto, Staff Writer

The junior varsity boys’ soccer season came to a dreary end on March 29 at East Coweta after the game was called at the half due to weather conditions.  

The game ended 1-1 at halftime, marking the conclusion of an average season. This year’s group of boys finished with a record of 4-4-2, although some of the final scores do not reflect how games truly could have finished.

We made a conscious effort to beef up the schedule and make it more difficult. It showed in regards to our record.”

— JV head coach Aaron Buck

“All in all I thought it was [a good season],” JV coach Aaron Buck said. “Across the board, every one of our players [became] better from day one and I count that as a success.”

When the Panthers traveled to McIntosh early in the season on March 1, the teams nearly tied. However, a penalty that later converted into a goal, gave McIntosh the win over the Panthers.

Another near-win was in the team’s second meeting of the season with Whitewater on Feb. 16. Again, the Panthers conceded a penalty in the dying minutes that allowed Whitewater to score the tying goal, leveling the game at 3-3.

“We made a conscious effort to beef up the schedule and make it more difficult,” Buck said. “It showed in regards to our record.”

Cancellations also plagued the season. Away games at Newnan and Northgate, scheduled for March 6 and March 19, respectively, were cancelled due to weather and Harrison’s Feb. 20 visit to Panther Stadium was cancelled due to construction within the stadium. However, Buck believes the only problem with the cancelled games is that the players did not play the total amount of games on their schedule.

“We got the vast majority of our training sessions in which are also important, because that’s where we’re going to make our improvement,” Buck said.

The low point of the season was falling to McIntosh at home 5-0, but the Panthers managed to defeat Sandy Creek and Fayette County 8-0 in their respective matches.

Buck believes the highlight of the season was the game at McIntosh even though the Chiefs walked away with a win. He believes the gap between Starr’s Mill and McIntosh is closing and he will be looking to continue to close the gap in the coming years.

“I think the 5-0 game was an anomaly,” Buck said. “McIntosh is often seen as the boogieman under the bed and we have to get over that hurdle, and we’re close.”

Sophomore Christian Castillo and freshman Brooklyn Muccillo received the call to play varsity for the remainder of the season. Both of these players played under Buck for two years.

“[I need to show] that I deserved it,” Castillo said. “There were a few question marks about who it was going to be.”

This Friday, the varsity Panther team host a double header against McIntosh with the girls starting at 5:55 p.m. and the boys starting after the Battle of the Troops ceremony. The winner of each match will move into sole possession of first place in Region 3-AAAAA.