by Hunter Dawkins
Opening the new year in a non-conference home matchup, the Long Beach Bearcats soccer split very close contests with the boys winning their fourth consecutive game 2-1 while the girls dropped one 1-0 against 6A George County. The Rebels kept the errors to a minimum in both games to keep the play close.
BOYS: Long Beach 2 George County 1
Coming off a district victory on the road against Hattiesburg to end the year, the Bearcats (8-2-3, 3-0) have attempted to dominate ball control for much of the game. Spending a majority of the first half dividing possessions across the midfield line, Long Beach finally found an open break when the Bearcats Senior Midfielder Stanley Trzaska kicked a pass to Senior forward Dylan Stephens for a breakaway goal with 4:35 left in the first period.
Shortly after, Long Beach Senior Fullback Kevin Treminio knocked in the second goal off his corner kick deflection under the clock stoppage in the first half. The score at the half was Bearcats 2-0.
George County jumped on Long Beach early in the second half, scoring a goal to cut the lead with 34 minutes left in the game. The Bearcats poise and preparation from practice kept them in control for the rest of the game.
“A majority of what we practice is game type drills,” said Long Beach Head Soccer Coach Andee Wilbun. “We’ve changed up a few things from the last couple of years and we’ll see how it goes.”
GIRLS: Long Beach 0 George County 1
The Lady Bearcats (6-7-1, 2-0) lost their third consecutive game to the 6A powerhouse Lady Rebels, but the matchup was close as Long Beach kept its composure.
Both teams will play on the road Friday against district opponent Picayune at 5:30pm for the path towards the MHSAA 5A Playoffs.