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Cavaliers set for road test

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The Callaway Cavaliers have faced a challenging schedule this season, and head coach Mike Petite hopes that has the team prepared for Friday’s state-playoff showdown.

Callaway’s boys’ soccer team, which finished third in Region 5-AA to advance to the playoffs, will be on the road against Region 8-AA runner-up Riverside Military Academy.

The winner will face Fannin County or Pace Academy in the second round next week.

“They’ve worked really hard this week in practice,” said Callaway head coach Mike Petite. “They’ve been focused. They know that we have an opportunity up there. We know it’s going to be tough. They’re going to be disciplined, they’re going to be driven, they’re going to be motivated. But, our guys are anxious to go and play. They know we’ve had a super-hard schedule, and the schedule was designed for this moment, to get in these tough battles, to play against teams much bigger, much stronger.”

Callaway (6-11-2 overall) went 2-4 in the region to earn a playoff spot, while Riverside Military went 5-3 in Region 8-AA.

For the Cavaliers, there has been a learning curve this season.

It’s a team that came into the season without much experience, and the team’s two leading scorers are freshmen Greyson Batchelor and Jostin Raymundo.

Petite has been happy with the work ethic of the players, though, and he’s pleased to see they’re eager to get the soccer program on the same footing as some of the school’s other successful sports programs.

“We’ve come a long way,” Petite said. “We’ve got guys that are bought-in, and they don’t seem satisfied. They’ve seen what other teams have done, football, baseball, and they want to be that team now. That’s motivating. It’s not a jealousy thing, it’s we want to be next. They want that, and they’re been working toward that. They know what it takes.”