Houston County falls shy in bid for soccer title

Sun News correspondentMay 22, 2013 

The Houston County boys soccer team lost 2-0 to McIntosh in the championship game of the GHSA Class AAAAA playoffs Saturday at Carrollton. The Bears (21-1) were trying to become the first public school from Middle Georgia to win a GHSA soccer title, but McIntosh (23-0) proved too difficult a side.

The Chiefs scored in the ninth minute and then again late in the second half to seal their fourth boys soccer title. Houston County goalie Bryce Dawson kept the team close with a couple of big saves, but the Bears generated only two legitimate scoring opportunities. Neither bore fruit.

That was hardly the case in Houston County’s 5-0 state semifinal win over Starr’s Mill on May 15. Bears’ striker Steven Moore scored the first of his two goals in the first minute of the game. Drew Behrman curled in a corner kick and Andrew Weber scored with an assist from Everick Little. By halftime, Houston County led 4-0 and was all but assured a spot in the title match.

Bagaoisan, Coggins ink college deals

A pair of Veterans High seniors accepted athletic scholarships during separate April 25 ceremonies at the school. Leeanne Bagaoisan signed to swim at South Georgia State College in Douglas. Aspen Coggins will play volleyball at LaGrange.

The daughter of Fairylun and Henry, Bagaoisan began swimming as a 6-year-old while living in Hawaii. She became serious about competitive swimming after moving to Warner Robins. She qualified for southeast sectionals while with Swim Macon as a 10-year-old.

“Ever since then, I’ve been building up to getting better,” she said.

Several of her friends from Warner Robins Aquanauts already swim at South Georgia. They’ve offered rave reviews of the team’s coach C.M. Jenkins.

Bagaoisan said she likes that swimming “frees my mind.”

“It makes me in a better mood,” she added.

Bagaoisan said she plans to study sports medicine and physical therapy.

Besides volleyball, Coggins also played basketball and soccer at Veterans and had opportunities to continue those pursuits at the next level. She chose volleyball in part because she’ll have the chance to contribute immediately at LaGrange.

According to Veterans coach Nicole Miranda, LaGrange doesn’t have a setter, the position Coggins filled for the Area 1-AAAA champions.

“I had to find a setter when our program got underway,” Miranda said. “(Coggins) raised her hand and said, ‘I’ll do whatever you want me to do coach. I just want to win.’’’

Coggins came late to the sport at which she ultimately excelled. Her parents Barry and Laurie surprised her one day before she began her freshman year at Houston County. Her father signed her up for a volleyball camp at UGA. Coggins had never before played the game.

“At first I thought there’s no way I’ll be able to play this sport,” she said.

Like Bagaoisan, Coggins also has an interest in a career in physical therapy.

Rival beats Westfield at tourney

Deerfield-Windsor swept a second-round doubleheader with Westfield, knocking the Hornets out of the GISA Class AAA state tournament. Both games were decided by one run.

In Saturday’s opener, Deerfield scored four unearned runs thanks to five Westfield errors on the way to a 7-6 victory. The Knights completed the sweep when they rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win. Westfield finished the season with a record of 19-7.

Thompson to play at Albany State

Northside senior Kiara Thompson accepted a scholarship to play volleyball and continue her education at Albany State University during an April 26 ceremony at the high school.

Thompson made the most of her high school career, participating in several sports and activities while excelling academically. At Northside, Thompson also played basketball and ran track. She chose to play volleyball at Albany because the sport “came more natural to me” and allows her the opportunity “to showcase all my athletic ability at once.”

The daughter of Chandra and Joseph, Thompson plans to study life science with an eye toward a career in the medical field. She said members of her own family have dealt with medical issues over the years.

“That makes you want to help people and do something about it,” she said.

Disappointing double

Historic seasons came to an abrupt end May 14 for both the Veterans baseball and girls soccer teams.

The baseball team was swept out of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs by Troup County. The Tigers took both ends of a doubleheader by identical scores of 4-1. The defeats ended a season that saw the team win its second consecutive region title. In addition, the Warhawks (27-5) reeled off 24 consecutive wins during their run to the quarterfinals.

The girls soccer team lost to Columbus 1-0 in the semifinals of the Class AAAA playoffs. Veterans (15-4-1) was the first girls team from Houston County to reach a soccer Final Four.

Contact Chris Deighan at cdeighan@cox.net.

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