By Ronald Frazier
After having their five-game winning streak snapped, Glenwood’s very young soccer team got back on the winning track and defeated Emmanuel School of Montgomery to improve to 7-2 during the regular season.
“We are a very young team and have multiple 6th and 7th graders that are playing significant roles on this team,” said Glenwood coach Eddie Miranda. “They are an exceptional group of players and if we can keep them together, we have a chance to really do something special for Glenwood soccer.”
Glenwood has only three seniors on the year and two of those play significant minutes. The third senior, better known for his football play is senior Kayleen Bonds, who is filling in as goalie.
In addition, two players were vying for the start in goal, Benjamin Bankston and Grant Parham. Bankston is the current starter as Parham was hurt during the three-game Fort Dale soccer jubilee.
“We have three full game shutouts plus one in the Fort Dale tournament so keeper is a strong position for us,” said Miranda of his 2018 charges.
Miranda has no trouble in saying what players are the leaders of the team. They are Thomas Camacho, Cameron Stamps, and Jackson Curtis Jr. and Joshua Herring and Miranda has nothing to say but good things about these four.
“They have been great as team leaders and helping our young players while on the field and playing,” said Miranda.
Camacho, one of the three seniors leads the defense and was a member of the Glenwood boys’ team that won the boys title three years ago. Camacho was also the place kicker on the football team and at halftime of the games played saxophone with the school band in football uniform. Leading scorer for the Gators is Cameron Stamps and Miranda has high praise for this attacker.
“I feel although he is only a sophomore, he is a leader and is one of if not the most talented player in the league,” his coach said.
Miranda also gave praise to fellow attacker Herring, the final senior.
“Joshua has come from two years ago just playing a little bit to starting in his senior year. He has come a long way,’ said Miranda. Miranda also said the same thing of Curtis as being a “leader at midfield for the team.” “You need leaders like these four to step up. We have a lot of sophomores and under classman and growing as a team, you need these types of players.”
Glenwood has three regular season games left and all are key region contests. Currently, Glenwood is atop the region standings in first, which means they would automatically host the first round of playoffs on April 16. After being off this week, Glenwood plays Macon East on March 30 and Lee Scott on April 9 followed by the season finale April 10 with Springwood. All of these are region games. Glenwood won the first regular season meeting with Lee Scott on the road but lost to them in the short game Fort Dale tournament.
“They are a big rival and very talented but we can’t look ahead because we have to play Macon East first,” Miranda pointed out.
Lady Gators get four wins in a row
Glenwood’s Lady Gators captured two more victories to make it four wins in a row as they defeated Autauga Academy in a tight contest before mercy ruling Emmanuel Christian in the second contest this week before taking off next week for spring break. Emily Sawtelle was the offensive player of the day against Autauga on March 15 as she had the only goal of the game for a 1-0 win over the Lady Generals.
“It was a very hard fought game and well played by both sides,” said Coach John Robertson about his team’s victory.
There was no such concern in the second contest as the Lady Gators powered over Emmanuel in a game played in Dothan on March 16, 10-0. Jordyn Wheeler scored three Glenwood goals while Sawtelle, Karsyn Floyd and Sydney Norris also had two goals. Sawtelle also had two assists with her two scores. Getting her first varsity goal in the game was under classman Brooke Sydik with a score.
The Lady Gators will not play another game until March 30 when they will play Macon East in Cecil, Ala. They have only three more regular season contests after that contest and the first round of state playoffs begin.