The Fayette Citizen-Sports Page

Friday, February 23, 2001

Several tournaments keep soccer squads busy


The soccer season began last weekend with jamborees around the state, testing team's skills in games that would not count on their record. For some teams, the season began on Tuesday, at least it was supposed to. McIntosh's boys and girls were scheduled to meet North Clayton. The team never arrived at McIntosh, so the two varsity squads compted against each other. The Chiefs and Lady Chiefs are scheduled to meet Lovejoy at home tonight with games beginning at 6 p.m.

Starr's Mill's boys and girls will be playing in a tournament up at Brookwood High School, facing some stiff competition. The boys will face South Gwinnett at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and will meet Brookwood at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The girls will also have games on both days and will face Harrison High School at home on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Sandy Creek will get their season under way on Tuesday as they host Westlake. The boys team has six seniors, four of which are starters. Daniel Denny and Michael Sullivan are lettermen on defense while Dustin Ruth and Jacob Thomason are lettermen on offense. Thomason is returning to the squad after major knee surgery. Other key players are Rico Romero on defense and David Agomfur on offense. The junior varsity boys team, under the direction of first year coach Stephane Allagnon will play tonight at home at 6:30 p.m.

This Friday also marks the return of the Lady Cougar/Cougar Classic soccer tournaments at Newnan High School. Both the boys and girls tournaments should be the most competitive since the tournaments began in 1994. Once again both sides will feature an Alabama - Georgia challenge with three teams from each state competing.

The 7th Annual Lady Cougar Classic will feature three state playoff teams from 2000. Fayette County High School, Georgia state semifinalists from 4-AAAA, Oak Mountain Alabama state finalists from 5-A, and Homewood, Alabama state quarterfinalists from 6-A. Newnan and Griffin competed in their area playoffs last year while Mountain Brook from Alabama just missed the 6A state playoffs as two teams from their section placed in the semi-finals. Fayette County, Griffin, and Newnan's histories are well documented but the Alabama teams may be a mystery for some.

Mountain Brook is a former three time state champion in the 6A classification in Alabama and should be competing to the final game for a state birth this year. Homewood qualified for their first state tournament last year and look poised to do so once again despite a recent rash of injuries. Oak Mountain is Alabama's newest power with a second place finish in the 5A state tournament in their first year of varsity competition. They have already claimed one tournament title this year by winning the Robert E. Lee Invitational Tournament on Feb. 16 and 17. All three Alabama teams are ranked in the state's top ten all-classification rankings in various polls. Alabama will be well represented.

The Cougar Classic tournament is the eighth held in Newnan since 1994 (the girl's were rained out in 1996). This year's edition will also feature top talent from both states. Newnan barely missed an area playoff birth last year by finishing fifth in the highly competitive Area 4-AAAA while Griffin usurped Fayette County's perennial spot in the state playoffs with an upset in the same area tournament semifinals.

Alabama will present three teams who qualified for the 5A state tournament last year. Wetumpka leads the class after finishing second by qualifying for the state final with wins over the other two schools. Gadsden, a perennial state power, was beaten by Wetumpka in the state semifinals in 2000. Oak Mountain, in their first year of varsity soccer, fell in the quarterfinals in the same tournament. This year's boys tournament will also feature a return to the six team format after last years four team competition.

The public is invited to come out and see some high quality boys and girls soccer this weekend in Newnan. All Lady Cougar and Cougar matches will be held at Drake Stadium with the remaining games featured at Whitlock Soccer Park. The games get underway with 6:00 pm matches on Friday, Feb. 23 as the Newnan girls will take on Oak Mountain at Drake Stadium, followed by the same boys teams at 8 p.m. and Fayette County schools taking on Homewood (AL) in girls (field 6 at Whitlock) and Wetumpka (AL) in boys action (field 8).

There will be a girls and boys game at each time at Whitlock Soccer Park and a game featuring the Cougars or Lady Cougars at Drake Stadium. Tournament kick off times are as follows: Friday, Feb. 23 at 6 and 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 24 10 a.m., and 12, 4, and 6 p.m.

Sister Edge has been selected to represent Newnan High School, the Newnan community, Georgia and the Southeast this summer in a national soccer tournament in Hawaii. Edge follows Amanda Morton as a representative of the Southeast from Newnan High School to participate in the TourneySport USA soccer tournament. This is an invitation-only tournament with players nominated by high school coaches across the nation. Those selected for the program represent the best high school junior soccer players in the United States.

Edge is a junior for the Newnan Lady Cougars this year and will be a third year varsity starter this spring. She is currently fourth all time in Newnan soccer history in scoring after finishing second and third on the team in scoring the last two years.

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