COLUMBUS – They’re on the board.
The LaGrange Grangers knocked off Kendrick 5-2 in a boys’ soccer match on Wednesday to get their first victory of the season after opening with back-to-back losses.
It’s a new-look LaGrange team this season after the departure of more than 10 seniors from last year’s squad.
LaGrange coach Keita Placide said getting a taste of success is important for the team.
“Tonight made them believe a little bit more, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Placide said. “But I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”
The Grangers fell behind 1-0, but they rallied and dominated the rest of the match.
“The kids played solid tonight,” Placide said. “I’m really proud of them. There are a lot of kids moving up from JV to varsity. And it’s a different level.”
Yeison Diaz led LaGrange with two goals, and Matthew Thomas and Robert Reese had one goal apiece.
LaGrange also got a goal when a Kendrick player accidentally kicked the ball into his own net.
Placide said Thomas, a senior, provided exceptional leadership.
“My captain stepped up and really took charge tonight,” Placide said.
In Wednesday’s girls’ game, LaGrange rolled to a 10-0 victory.
Catherine Patton got LaGrange off to a quick start with a pair of early goals, and she ended up scoring four goals.
Hannah Asbell had a hat trick with three goals, Eva Hutton scored two goals, and Ashari Pollard had one goal.
LaGrange’s two goal keepers, Sara Kate Doerr and Hannah Karcher, had a quiet night because LaGrange’s defense kept Kendrick’s players from getting anywhere close to the goal.
Coach Andy Fritchley said center backs Ellie Doerr, Bethany Boyd, and outside backs Vanessa Lopez, Katelyn Peters, Jenny Jimenez and Emma Ward each contributed to the stingy defensive effort, and that midfielders Hayley Brazell and Lindsey Woodham “worked the ball with ease connecting passes and switching the field of play.”
LaGrange’s teams will be on the road against Douglas County on Friday.
BASEBALL: The Callaway Cavaliers opened their season with an 11-1 road loss to the Hardaway Hawks on Wednesday.
Josh Hanson got the start and pitched three innings, and Dylan Johnson threw the final 2 2/3 innings.
“They both pitched well,” Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said. “Josh gave up some hits, but he struck out five, and Dylan ended up striking out six. So we struck out 11 in the game. We just gave up some hits, and had some inconsistencies on defense. And gave up too many free base runners. It’s just the things that young, inexperienced teams do.”
Devin Brock and Jordan Bonner both had hits for Callaway, and Ty McCann scored the team’s only run.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Hubbard said. “We’ve got to get some guys healthy. We’ve got some guys hurt right now. It’s tough right now. And we’ve got some young guys playing, and learning. What comes with having guys that aren’t experienced, we’re taking those lumps right now.”
Callaway will be on the road against Pike County on Friday, with first pitch set for 5:55 p.m.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports