Cavaliers hit road for state test

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – The Callaway Cavaliers finished in a three-way deadlock for the top spot in Region 5-AA, but the tie-breaker didn’t go their way.

So while Spencer and Lamar County will be at home today for the first round of the Class AA state soccer tournament, Callaway will be on the road.

The Cavaliers (11-7) are still playing, though, and that’s the main thing, and they’ll look to keep their season going with a win over the Pepperell Dragons (11-5-1) today at 5:30 p.m.

If Callaway wins, it would play either Dodge County or Fitzgerald in the second round next week.

Callaway is playing well.

Since falling to Lamar County on March 24, Callaway has won five of its previous six games.

The only loss during that stretch came against Troup, and Callaway scored a late goal to make that one interesting before falling 2-1.

The Cavaliers had a hard time finding success on the road early in the season, but they’ve had some good results away from home of late.

Callaway has, in fact, won its previous three road games since the loss to Lamar County.

“We struggled early in the year (on the road), but we’ve gotten better all year long,” Callaway coach Mike Petite said. “We’ve gotten better across the board, whether we play at home, whether we play on the road, how we practice. Everything has progressed, to get us to the point where we are now.”

Petite said getting to this point was one of the primary objectives coming into the season.

“This was one of our major goals was to make the state playoffs, and now number two is to win a state-playoff game,” Petite said.

This is Petite’s first season as Callaway’s head coach after coming from LaGrange Academy, and he said the players have embraced him.

“The guys accepted me right off the bat,” Petite said. “We’ve really gotten along. They’ve learned a lot about me, and I’ve learned a lot about them. And they bought into what we’re trying to do.”