Maranatha stops THS
The sun tried to peak through the fall clouds Thursday in Shawnee, but the thick wall wouldn't let much light through.
During Thursday's 4-1A regional soccer game, Maranatha was the wall of clouds, while Tonganoxie was the undermanned sun.
The Eagles scored in the first few minutes against Tonganoxie and never looked back. The Chieftains, meanwhile, had their shots early as well, but most of the game was spent defending. Maranatha Academy rolled in a shutout, 5-0.
Maranatha (11-5-1) scored three goals in the first half and two in the second for the regional championship win. The Chieftains, who finished the season 6-11-1, had to settle for no goals in their final game of the 2002 campaign.
"We didn't execute well," senior Jacob Walker said. "We couldn't get the ball down field."
Walker was one of four seniors playing his final game Thursday. Mathias Smith, Paul Clair and Caleb Poterbin also finished their high school soccer careers Thursday. Seniors Taylor Sneed and Jake Wyrick didn't play in the final two games because of actions that didn't represent the team well, THS coach Harold Pittman said.
As the frigid temperatures continued to swoon Thursday after Tonganoxie's loss, Walker and his fellow seniors trotted off the soccer field one last time.
"It's tough knowing that's the last game you're going to be playing in high school," Walker said.
The game also marked Pittman's last game at Tonganoxie High School. The seventh-year coach and Tonganoxie Christian Church associate minister will be moving to Oklahoma to take a similar position there.
"It didn't hit me until halfway through the second half," Pittman said. "I'm really going to miss it, not just because of soccer, but because of all the good guys who came through the program."