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Cathedral battles sloppy field, falls in first round of playoffs

NATCHEZ — Cathedral and Resurrection Catholic School had to battle each other and the playing field Tuesday night in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs.

And it was Resurrection that was able to overcome two opponents, as the Eagles from Pascagoula netted a 5-0 victory against the Green Wave.

A day after rain made Cathedral’s field muddy and slippery, the Green Wave couldn’t seem to get their offense going. The results brought a disappointing end to the Green Wave’s season.

“Sloppy conditions contributed to crazy bounces and calls by the refs,” Cathedral boys coach Rick Simons said. “I’m proud of my team for not giving up and playing a full 80 minutes.”

The Green Wave didn’t know what time the game would start until three hours before the game, Simons said.

“At first they were saying it was at 5,” Simons said. “I think we’re the only team from the South that decided to actually play their game tonight. We wanted to be respectful to the other team, since they were already here (after traveling from Pascagoula).”

Eagles sophomore Bay Lawrence tallied a hat trick, with two of his three goals coming in the first half to give Resurrection a 2-0 at intermission.

Midway through the second half, Lawrence scored his third goal on a header, extending the Eagles’ lead. Resurrection’s Will Daniel then scored a goal at the 8:20 mark, and Forrest Moorer made it 5-0 with a goal with 6:28 left to play.

“I’m proud of the team and the way they played. I wish we could play a few more games,” Simons said.

The loss gave Cathedral a 13-5 record to end the season. Despite losing nine seniors, the Green Wave were able to go undefeated in their region for the first time since 2003.

“I think we can repeat (as regional champions) next year and go a little further in the playoffs,” Simons said.

“Going from a team of nine seniors to a team of two seniors and going undefeated in district is kind of unheard of, especially for a small school.”

Simons said he hopes Natchez will soon get a recreational soccer league to help develop local talent at a young age.

“There’s no true rec league right here that would allow kids to play spring, summer and fall soccer,” he said. “Once that happens, we’ll be winning district championships left and right.”

Winning another district championship will also come down to his returning players’ dedication, Simons said.

“If they get their (butts) out in practice, we’ll be winning a lot of games,” Simons said.

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