Second-round loss ends RHS’ season
By Brannon King / For the FCT
Going into their match May 1, the Russellville boys soccer team knew their second round play-off game against defending 4A-5A champion Randolph was going to be a challenge. The Randolph team possesses talent and experience, and it showed as the Raiders ended the Golden Tigers’ season with a 6-0 win.
The Russellville program, only in its second year, showed at times that it could hang right with one of the top teams in the state.
The 2018 Randolph squad has yet to allow a goal in the playoffs and has defeated opponents by a 19-0 margin, including a win over St. John Paul II in the match after they took down RHS.
“They are very, very talented,” Russellville head coach Trey Stanford said of Randolph. “At first, we started out pretty strong, I thought. We just had some bad luck about midway through the first half. You could tell the heat was taking a toll on us.
“The second half, I thought we played way better. I thought we moved the ball better, and I thought we controlled the ball a lot more in the second half than they did, honestly.”
When looking at the tradition of winning that Randolph has accomplished, Stanford said he sees qualities his program can also possess. “That’s the program that we strive to be like,” he said. “They’re the top of the line, and they’re first-class. Their coach does a great job of running a first-class program, and they have a great fan-base.”
Stanford said the sky is the limit for RHS soccer going forward. “I wouldn’t trade this group for anything,” he said. “They had a great two years, and they played hard,” he added, of his group of seniors.