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Story by Zach Womble/MainStreetPreps – Hendersonville Standard
Photo by Don McPeak
HENDERSONVILLE – Saturday was a good day to be a Beech Buccaneer, especially if you were a senior. For 11 of the boys in blue and orange, the day couldn’t have gone any better.
After finishing off graduation, the Bucs set the eyes on the Class AA sectional match against visiting Sycamore, the runners-up in Region 6AA.
Disposing of the War Eagles 2-0, the Bucs book a trip to Spring Fling for the first time in school history.
“Soccer is a player’s game and players make the plays and all I do is teach and guide and try and give them ideas of how to solve problems on the field,” Beech coach John Ferguson said. “At the end of the day they decide it. For the boys, it was the same as the girls, they believed they were good enough to do it and once they believed it they went out and did it.”
Despite many shots on goal and multiple corner kicks and free kicks for the Bucs in the first 40 minutes, Beech entered the locker room tied 0-0 with the War Eagles.
“There weren’t any real adjustments,” Ferguson said. “There weren’t real adjustments because we were getting what we wanted. It was more or less let’s make sure we are closer to them and not give them space and put pressure on the ball. We felt like we could dribble and it felt like we were matched up to take their players on so those two things we changed.”
JD Moffitt pushed the Bucs in front seven minutes into the second half when he beat his defender on the right side of the pitch before burying a shot over Sycamore keeper Eli Pallares in the left corner 16 yards out.
Just six minutes later, Sycamore put itself in an 0-2 hole on an own goal off an AJ Hill pass.
“I hate that for any kid on any team,” Ferguson said of the own goal. “That is a gross feeling because it really was a good hustle play on his part.
“Tonight from a finishing perspective it felt like the regular season where we couldn’t get on the end of one.”
This marks the second team Ferguson has taken to Murfreesboro this season to compete in the state tournament. The Beech Lady Bucs won the state title back in October over Seymour.
“Really, it’s just the style of play,” Ferguson said. “There is no Kendra Mueller on this team, superstar that can change a game on their own. However, we do have a group of players that collectively put their thumbprint on the game. Our center midfielders did a great job stuffing out their threats tonight. Alex Esser had a fantastic tournament. He has played great and one of the big reasons we are here now.”
There is no secret formula to bringing home another gold trophy, but Ferguson did say that if they continue to play within themselves and control what they can control they will give themselves a chance.
“We can make sure we are good one the ball, good with our first touch and make sure we finish the chances we create,” he added. “I feel like we got a good look at a state level team in the post-season when we played MLK. They were a great team and that was a big win. In fact, that was our signature win so far. That is a team that had a chance to do stuff at state so to beat them was huge. We just need to keep believing in each other and play hard.”
On the other side, Sycamore was undoubtedly disappointed in the result. However, that shouldn’t stop coach Taylor McCullugh and the rest of his seniors from having fond memories on a great season.
In reality, the War Eagles won their first District 12AA Championship since 2005, recorded 13 wins and played in their first sub-state game in school history. These 10 seniors have also compiled an impressive 47-21-10 record.
“This is the best group of seniors that have ever gone through this soccer program,” McCullugh said. “They have left the program in much better shape than what they found it and that what they were here to do. They made it this far by hard work and pure determination. It was their perseverance that got them this far and they just wanted it every day, every game. We felt like we deserved it tonight but unfortunately it wasn’t on our side.”
Sycamore ends the 2019 season 13-5-3.
Boy’s Soccer won the 9AA district tournament – sweeping through the competition without giving up a goal! Congrats guys! In the quarterfinal round the Bucs defeated Greenbrier 5-0 as Brent Becknall started things off with the first goal. Alex Esser, John David Moffitt, Caleb Fellers and Kani Sampson all scored in the win.
In the semifnal match versus Springfield the Bucs won 3-0. Becknall started things off with a header at the 3 minute mark and Caleb Fellers finished things off with two more goals. The first of a free kick from about 20 yards out and the last one from the top of the 18 just inside the right post.
In the finals, Beech took on county foe and now 9AA nemisis White House. “How Sweet It Is” to smack the Blue Devils around the pitch!! Again, Becknall starts it off just 2 minutes in from right in front of the net!! Fellers with another at 5 minutes in… the route is on! Sampson with a header of Esser’s corner kick at 20 minutes. Two minutes later, Zameul Suarez Franco slam dunks from in front of the net to make it 4-0. Esser adds the fifth goal and Kevin Figueroa finishes it off with goal #6 at 55’. Bucs are 9AA district champs!!
SOCCER WILL HOST A REGION SEMIFINAL ON MAY 13 AT 7PM FROM MLK HS FROM NASHVILLE (10aa)
BASEBALL: The baseball team was eliminated one game away from the championship game in the Station Camp bracket. The team lost to Gallatin 4-2 on Sunday and came back with a 3-0 win over Lebanon. An impressive pitching performance by Drew Robertson striking out 4 batters and allowining only 1 hit. In the loser’s bracket semifinal vs Station Camp the Bucs lost in 10 innings. They had at least 4 opportunities to win but failed to execute bunts, run bases smartly or get a ball in play to score. The Bucs finish the season 19-17 and were tied for second during the regular season.
SOFTBALL: The Lady Bucs also fell in the district tourney, losing their opener to Station Camp 9-5, beating HHS 14-1 and dropping a 8-7 walkoff game to Lebanon. The Lady Bison put up a 3 spot in the 6th inning to seal the game. The Lady Bucs finish 21-14 on the season and uncharacteristically have not made it out of district play 3 of the last 4 years.
Sr. Night was moved up due to weather concerns on Thursday – they just snuck it in as a series of thunderstorms rolled thru middle Tennessee last night. The Lady Bucs stormed past Gallatin 16-10 as Kailey Brown and Carly Sperlich each hit a 3 run HR.
There were several big hitters last night as Ella Bishop went 4-4, Jessica Arrington went 3-4, and Tessa Haley, Taylor NIx and Claire McDonnell each had two hits.
The softball team has won three of its last four games and will host Gallatin on Thursday at 6pm for Senior Night. There could be changes due to weather related issues so stay tuned for any changes.
The Lady Bucs beat HHS yesterday 12-1. Carly Sperlich and Claire McDonnell had the big sticks with 4 rbi each. Sperlich had two doubles and McDonnell had a HR. Kailey Brown, Ella Bishop and Tessa Haley had 2 hits apiece to aid the offense.
Sydney Johnson’s 2 run HR carried the Bucs to a 4-1 win over the Lady Bison on Monday.
9AAA district tourney play will begin next week.
The Baseball Bucs won 9 of their last 10 games to close the regular season at 18-15. The team has steadily improved over the course of the season and is ready for the 9AAA tournament starting on Saturday.Why is the prom always during the district tournament??
The Bucs finished tied for 2nd with Station Camp and Mt. juliet. The Bison hold the tiebreaker over Beech, but the Bucs have swept MJ and will get the #3 seed. The entire tournament field is being determined today – we will update this story later with more specifics.
Beech vs Gallatin 11am Saturday
Station Camp vs Lebanon 2pm Saturday
IF it gets rained out – Sunday at 3pm and 6pm
The last two nights Beech has defeated Lebanon 3-1 and 6-3 behind two good pitching performances by Matt Riley and Drew Robertson. Josh Maskill was 2/2 with 2 rbi. Haven Mangrum and Caden Cutrell each had 2 hits and scored two runs in last nights 6-3 win.
Monday night the Bucs took advantage of Lebanon’s poor defense and pitching in the 5th inning to score 3 runs with one hit. It was enough as Beech won 3-1 on the road.