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ACCS without starting goalkeeper

Adams County Christian School’s soccer team will face a stretch of district opponents over the next few weeks without starting goalkeeper Damion Johnson.

Johnson played 510 minutes making 6.5 saves per game and allowing 2.9 goals per game before his final game against Oak Forrest Academy on Dec. 7. Rebels head coach Jimmy Allgood said Johnson was still with the team but is suspended from playing for now.

Allgood said the Rebels are playing field players Zach Maples, Jason Martin, Brody Watts and Tripp Cotton in the goalkeeper position for a couple of weeks, and has done so the previous two weeks.

Allgood said playing without a starting goalkeeper in soccer, is like playing baseball without a starting pitcher and catcher. He said the goalkeeper is like a quarterback in controlling the offense and is key to the success of the team.

“In my opinion a strong offense does not happen unless great things are done on defense,” Allgood said. “If you can’t stop teams from scoring with a seasoned goalie you are playing in a position in which you have to change some things around. You have to adjust better on defense to protect a non-seasoned goalie.”

Midway through the season, the Rebels have won five games lost six and drew one game. Three of those loses have come in a row with the biggest being a 9-0 defeat against Bayou Academy on Jan. 4.

The Rebels will play five district games over the next five weeks without an experienced goalkeeper, Allgood said. Attacking midfielder Alex Patterson, who is working through an injury, is another blow to the team.

On Monday, inclement weather in Natchez canceled a home match between ACCS and Oak Forrest. A winter storm precipitated snow, sleet and rain across the Miss-Lou area and closed ACCS for school.

Allgood said the game would be rescheduled, because it has playoff implications. A date for the rescheduled game will be announced at a later time. He said typically the last week of the season is left open for games rained out, or in this case snowed out.

Allgood said the keys to success for his team in the second half of the season is to have good possession and trapping. He said putting the pieces together to fill in the gaps in his team left by not having an experienced goalkeeper, or an attacking midfielder is another key to the Rebel’s success.

“Right now we are in the transition of trying to get all of the pieces of that puzzle right,” Allgood said. “So we can go through district play, and be as strong as we can be against these upcoming very good teams in our league.”

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