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SMITH COLUMN: Three matches, three shutouts, impressive day

January 27, 2013

It was quite a day of soccer in Starkville on Saturday.

Three high school matches, three wins and all by the same 2-0 score.
Call it the day of the Starkville shutout trifecta.

First, it was the Starkville Academy boys team defeating Presbyterian Christian for the first time, then the Starkville Lady Yellowjackets advanced to the Class 5A North State title match for the first time with a win over Center Hill, and the Jackets followed that up by eliminating a very tough Hernando team.

Soccer in Starkville is starting to become a big deal and it is nice to see all of these teams enjoying success.
The Volunteers saw their records improve to 9-2-1 overall and 6-1 in Class AAA, District 2. Mainly because of rescheduling due to the weather, SA has been involved in a nice string of matches and are playing for the best seeding possible for the postseason.

After a tough 4-0 loss to Jackson Prep on Thursday night, coach Robert Gardner has done a good job of keeping the Vols focused and took care of business against PCS.

Gardner got the effort he has been looking for from his team all season and it was good that it came against a team like PCS.

At Starkville High School, the playoff wins keep coming for both boys and girls teams.

Lady Jacket coach Anna Albritton called the victory over Center Hill "satisfying" after a tough loss to New Hope to end the regular season.

There are some members of the girls team who are fighting pain to be able to contribute. That says a great deal about the determination of the players and how much they want to win.

The Starkville boys continued their march toward a possible repeat for a Class 5A State championship.

Taylor Wise had a goal in each half, the second on a penalty kick in the final 2 minutes, to cap a special day for him. Earlier Wise signed a scholarship to continue his career at Hinds Community College.

The Jackets and Lady Jackets have yet to be scored upon in the postseason. If that continues, you can find both of them playing in Clinton next weekend for State titles.

Starkville can be proud of all of the soccer teams that competed and represented well on Saturday.
It was certainly an impressive day of solid performances, especially defensively.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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