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Grangers break through for title

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

They came so close the past two years.

In 2017 and 2018, the LaGrange Grangers were on the cusp of winning a region championship, but they had to settle for a second-place finish both years.

The Grangers came into this season committed to bringing home the region title, and they made it happen.

LaGrange’s boys’ soccer team beat Sandy Creek 4-1 on Friday night at Callaway Stadium to finish with a 6-0 record in Region 5-AAAA play.

“It’s great, to finally bring it home after getting second my sophomore year, and getting second last year,” said Butler Evans, LaGrange’s senior goal keeper. “To finally win it, we’re writing our book right now.”

The Grangers jumped on top early in Friday’s game, with Johnny McDonald and Jimmy Cancino scoring to give the home team a 2-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

The Grangers were in control the rest of the way against a talented Patriots’ team that entered the game with a 4-1 region record.

“It’s unbelievable,” senior Robert Reese said. “This is our first region championship since I’ve been here. But we worked hard for it. Even this week, we had two other games before this. We just stayed in shape, kept it technical, and had good substitutes that came in and played hard.”

McDonald and Cancino finished with two goals apiece.

McDonald also had two assists, and Cancino and Logan Lopez each had one assist.

Shane Pulliam, LaGrange’s second-year head coach, said the team has come a long way in a year.

“They come out, and they willingly do the work,” Pulliam said. “We focused on what we’ve got to do, and how we’re changing things. This year they knew what to do, and now we’re going to work to win.”

LaGrange finishes the regular season with games against Opelika, Auburn and Smiths Station next week before hosting a state game.

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