For the Bulldogs, they kept their winning ways as they blew past the Blue Devils, 7-1.
“Model is a very young team,” Head Coach Chandler Gray said. “Coach Marshall Rice started five sixth graders and only two eighth graders. We were able to secure a solid lead in the first half and that allowed us to put some younger or less experienced players in for almost a full half which was our first objective for the game.
“These younger guys will be the cornerstones for us in the next few years, so we want them to get in and play in a real association game.”
Against the younger Blue Devils, Jose Guzman scored two goals to lead the way. Juan Barrientos, Ishmael Cornejo, Sergio Gonzales, Luis Cordero and Marlon Otero added one goal each.
“We talk about aggressiveness in the offensive third all the time,” Gray said. “Today we were able to do that. What I want to see is the talented players we have at midfield and forward taking the shot when the chance is given.”
Gray noted several players who stood out against Model.
“Some of the guys who have really worked hard to make those around them better got a chance to get on the scoreboard today,” Gray said. “Jose Guzman is normally our keeper. He was the player of the game against Coosa last week. He has been a monster in goal and he got his chance to play forward today and he scored twice. The same for Luis Cordero. He is our top fullback and directs a lot of traffic for us in the defensive third of the field. He works hard in a position that does not get a lot of credit. He got a chance to play forward today and he scored a goal.”
Gray pointed out the play of Marlon Otero as well.
“Marlon Otero has played the middle forward position and attracts a lot of attention from the defense,” Gray said. “He has played hard and passed well to set up the other forwards to score. To get some defensive pressure off him, he moved to mideifled today to play with his brother Noel Otero and he would up getting a goal as well.”
Gray said his team has quickly bought into the team first approach.
“These young men have bought into the idea that it is far better to be a player on a winning team than to be the start on a mediocre one,” Gray concluded.
As for the Lady Bulldogs, they lost 1-0 against Model.
Lynda Wiggins team had defeated Rockmart in the season opener 3-2 and Coosa in their second game 5-0.
In their win over Rockmart, Adilene Campos scored two goals and Karimy Cornejo scored one. Against Coosa, Adilene Campos erupted for four goals and Cornejo added one.
Members of the middle school girls soccer team this spring are Tania Uriostigui, Esmerald Zambrano, Rubi Ogero, Makayla Owens, Dakotah Cubillo, Aneliz Almonte, Emma McElwee, Samaria Bahena, Laura Mendez, Norma Escalante, Gloria Macedo, Adilene Campos, Karimy Cornejo, Tia Davis, Nautica Heath, Emma Short, Nancy Cervantes, Kelly Hurley, Dayra Campos, Samantha Gentry, Jayden Heck, Alyssa Leatherwood and Yukari Moldonado.
Adilene Campos and Cubillo are the team captains this spring.
The Bulldogs had entered the Model game fresh off a 5-2 win over Coosa.
In that contest, Christian Castro scored one goal and had a penalty kick in overtime. Ishmael Cornejo scored one goal in regulation and connected on a penalty kick in overtime and Sergio Gonzales made a penalty kick as well.
Cedartown led 1-0 at halftime in that game thanks to a Castro goal.
“At the half, Coosa really regrouped and scored a couple of goals,” Gray said. “Their players were huge and it was very much their size and power against our quickness and athleticism.”
Jose Guzman made one of the best plays of the season in this contest to help propel Cedartown to a win.
“He made a save late in the game that even the Coosa fans cheered for,” Gray said. “The shot came from his left and he dove to get a hand on it. It was all he could do to get to it and it deflected straight up with a Coosa player bearing down on him.
“Lying on his back, he swatted the ball away from the goal with his left hand. What should have been a goal for Coosa, turned into an energy booster for our team and Cornerjo scored on a break away to tie the game with about four minutes left.”
After neither team scored in overtime, the game went to penalty kicks.
“I felt like after watching both keepers we had an advantage if we went to penalty kicks,” Gray said.
Cedartown scored on all three of their kicks while Coosa did not score once.
“This was a very intense game,” Gray said. “When I shook hands with Coosa Coach Mark Dulaney, he said that it was as exciting a game as he had ever been involved in.”
Gray said he is really enjoying coaching the middle school boys this year.
“I can’t say enough about these kids,” Gray said. “Coaching them is like driving a Corvette. I point in the direction we need to go and they do the rest. These are really high quality young men and they love to practice and play.”
Members of the team are Jose Avilas, Lane Bonds, Dylan Mesta, Gabriel Avilas, Kristian Pizano, Jose Guzman, Juan Alvarado, Noel Otero, Ishmael Cornejo, Eddie Sandoval, Ever Morillon, A.J. Heath, Luis Cordero, Daniel Barrientos, Christian Castro, Juan Barrientos, Sergio Gonzales and Marlon Otero.
All photos by Brad Easterwood