by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

After going through three consecutive runner-ups in the 5A Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) State Title game, the Long Beach Bearcats Boys Soccer finally brought home the gold ball as they dominated the Center Hill Mustangs 3-1.

“Coming into it, the kids were prepared for a rematch,” said Long Beach Boys Soccer Head Coach Andee Wilbun.  “I’m proud of the boys that we got it done.”

Everything about the year was different, including the playing field.  The last three years the competition was played at Brandon High School where this year it was switched to Madison Central High.

The Bearcats (11-2-1) jumped on the Mustangs early, as Long Beach Senior Forward Carlos Torres scored the first goal of the contest in the 37th minute followed by Ethan Myers knocking a ball through the net in the 29th minute.

The Long Beach defense and Goalkeeper Justin Rolison held firm, helping the Bearcats post a 2-0 halftime lead.

Stacking the defense in the second half was the primary purpose of the Bearcats as they didn’t want to allow any soccer ball inside the box.

Torres got through a Mustang defense with 9 minutes left in the game to score the Bearcats final goal and seal the game.

Center Hill knocked in a goal with just 3 minutes left for a 3-1 Long Beach lead, but the game was over.

The boys state title was the first in school history.