Crosstown rivalry renewed

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Crosstown soccer rivals will collide tonight when Cathedral hosts Natchez High School.

&8220;It&8217;s our favorite game of the year,&8221; said Natchez boys head soccer coach Dennis Hogue. &8220;It&8217;s for bragging rights and our guys have been looking forward to this game for some time.&8221;

Hogue said despite the high level of anticipation, his players are relaxed and ready to play.

Email newsletter signup

&8220;This game is different because you are playing against friends,&8221; he said.

Hogue said the key to winning for the Bulldogs will be to present a

strong defense adding,

&8220;Offense puts the ball in the net, but defense wins the game.&8221;

Hogue&8217;s coaching counterpart and friend, Cathedral head coach Rick Freeman, said his Green Wave team plans to try to control the ball and the flow of the game.

&8220;We are a possession type team,&8221; he said.

Freeman said the Green Wave also has an edge from an experience stand point, since the Bulldogs lost seven seniors over the off-season.

Despite the possible slight edge of experience, Freeman said playing at home will not be a factor, since last season both teams split the series with the visiting team being the victor.

&8220;Its going to be a good, hard- fought, low-scoring game that, hopefully, we will win,&8221; said Freeman.

Lena Yarborough, Natchez High School girls head soccer coach, said this match-up is just as big for the girls. She said this is the game of the year for her squad.

&8220;It&8217;s going to be a fight and a close game for us,&8221; said Yarborough.

&8220;It&8217;s our favorite away (game).&8221;

She said, like the boys, the girls split last season&8217;s series with the Lady Waves.

Yarborough said with two starters out due to injury and a short bench, it&8217;s going to be a tough game for the Lady Bulldogs, but a fun one.