Blanks and booms

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Boys soccer: JF 6, Liberty 0

By Mike Forster


They're starting a new tradition.  Unfortunately for Liberty, the Minutemen were the first to be pilloried in that new tradition.

Jefferson Forest, which will not win a Seminole District regular season title for the first time in over two decades, took out its frustration on the Minutemen, pounding the Libertarians at Minutemen Stadium.

The Red & Black came out of the blocks with gusto and vigor, rarely taking their collective foot off the gas.  Jefferson Forest dominated every aspect of the game, especially the only one that really counts.  JF put the ball in the net half a dozen times, while shutting out the normally productive Liberty offense.

Four minutes into the contest, the score stood 2-0, as David Heimer nailed an indirect kick and Matthew Crider fired a shot off a ball that had caromed off a pair of Liberty defenders, knocking the ball into the upper right corner, over keeper Hunter Patterson.

Crider and Heimer would strike again in that first half, as would Aaron Crance, giving the Jeffersonians a 5-0 edge at the break.

"We had a really bad first half," bemoaned Liberty Head Coach Eric Seckman.  "JF's goals were good ones, but we can't afford to make mistakes; particularly with our clearing."

Teddy Delledera would add the final nail in the coffin.  His tally, off a feed from Crider, would be all the scoring either team would see during the final 40 minutes.

Coach Seckman can take solace in the fact that his charges played JF nearly straight-up for the second half.  "I told them at halftime that they have pride to play for," said Seckman.

While its defense stiffened, Liberty had a tough time getting past the Jefferson Forest midfield, let alone its solid defensive backfield.  As a result, Thomas Cavanaugh, who was serving as JF's keeper o' the net, faced but a single shot all evening long.

"Our midfield won a lot of seconds (loose balls)," said Jefferson Forest Head Coach Jedd Zaring.  "They moved quickly in transition to a high-pressure offense."

From this reporter's vantage, Jefferson Forest has not looked better this season.  Sure, the wins over Brookville have been well-fought and the matches with district-leading Glass have been just a wee bit more favorable to the Hilltoppers.  But against Liberty, JF showed many flashes of brilliance in subduing a program that is in the ascendent.


What's next?

Barring divine intervention, E.C. Glass will win the Seminole District's regular season title.  The Glaziers are 8-0 in district play, while Jefferson Forest stands 6-2-1.

Glass would, therefore, have to lose three times in its last four contests (Brookville, Liberty, Amherst and Heritage) for JF to retain the crown.  That's not going to happen.

It is obvious, however, that JF is already putting the end of its 20-year district reign in its rear-view mirror and is looking forward to the post-season.

"In a lot of ways, this is early season for us," said Zaring, noting that Delledera and Crider are now simultaneously on the attack, something new.

Liberty, meanwhile, is 3-5-2, aiming for fourth place, a marked uptick.