Cavaliers prevail in season opener
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a winning start for the Callaway High’s boys’ soccer team, which outlasted Tatnall Square Academy 2-1 on Wednesday night at Callaway Stadium.
Callaway built a 2-0 lead on goals by seniors Elbin Jacob and Joe Neese, and it held off a hard-charging Tatnall Square team in its regular-season opener.
“I’m real proud of the guys that they just fought through,” said Callaway head coach Mike Petite. “We were under siege at one point. They were on us, and we held our composure.”
Callaway grabbed a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the game on a goal by Jacob, with Neese providing the assist.
It remained a one-goal game until Neese scored on an assist from Nelson Herrera midway through the second half.
Tatnall Square got within one goal on a successful penalty kick with 12:37 remaining.
Callaway goal keeper John Will White, who had an outstanding game, made a great effort and got a hand on the ball but wasn’t able to keep it out of the net.
Tatnall Square had some good looks at the goal after that, but Callaway held on for the hard-fought win.
“I thought we really had a good run of plays, had a lot of possession and did well,” Petite said. “That second half, I don’t know if we got satisfied or they came out and did some different things, but we were able to hold on. That’s important. We’ve got to learn how to finish a game, and we were able to, especially after a penalty.”
It had been nearly two weeks since Callaway played a preseason game against Cedartown, and Petite was happy to see his players get on the field.
“This is our first game in 13 days,” Petite said. “We had a scrimmage, and we haven’t been able to play. This is our first regular-season game. We’re not match fit yet. It doesn’t matter how much we condition and practice, it’s just not the same.”
In Wednesday’s girls’ game, Callaway hung tough with Tatnall Square before losing 1-0.
Callaway was in the game thanks in large part to the effort of goal keeper Kayli Melson, who had an exceptional game.
The only goal Melson allowed came on a penalty kick.
Callaway had a chance to tie it late with a penalty kick of its own, but it was unsuccessful.