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Tharptown soccer earns play-off spot

In the school’s first year to compete in a competitive AHSAA sanctioned soccer region, the Tharptown Wildcats are going to the playoffs.

Tharptown completed a sweep of region teams this past week to secure the runner-up spot in Class 1A-3A Region 7. The Wildcats will travel to Mars Hill April 27 for the school’s first play-off appearance in the program’s first year.

“I am really excited and proud of these guys for the way they compete and willingness to work hard and get better,” said Scott Vance, the school’s head soccer coach. “We started the program last year but only got to play three games before we were shut down due to COVID. This is the first year we could compete in a region and have a chance to make the playoffs.

“So it says a lot about how hard they have worked and their natural talent and ability.”

Vance, who is assisted by Carlos Perez and Dixie Chavez, said his assistant coaches have been an invaluable help and praised their dedication to the program.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of Carlos and Dixie,” said Vance. “They know the game, they know the fundamentals, and they are both graduates of Tharptown. I know they have a special pride in this accomplishment.”

Tharptown beat J.B. Pennington twice this past week. In the first game, at Tharptown, the Wildcats won 6-5.  Tharptown got goals from Dylan Valdez, Rojelio Juan, Anthony Hernandez and Ishmael Perez and assists from Perez, Ricardo Hernandez and Winston Nolen.

In the second match, on the road in Blountsville, Tharptown won 3-1. Edwin Vela, Juan, and Luis Valdez scored goals. Vela and Valdez also had assists.

Tharptown won a road match at St. Bernard Prep in Cullman 3-1. Valdez, Avie Aguirre and Nolen scored the goals. The assists came from Vela, Leo Lucas and Perez.