CCHS shines well in Soddy-Daisy tourney

Mar. 31—The Cumberland County High School Jets are continuing to play good soccer as they had a busy weekend last week at the Soddy-Daisy Invitational. The Jets lost their opener to Lenoir City, but closed out the tournament with victories over Bradley Central and host Soddy-Daisy.

"In the first game, we lost to Lenoir City by a score of 4-2. Gabriel Alva and Edgar Magdaleno scored for us," said Cumberland County coach Cub Whitson. "In the second match we beat Bradley Central 3-1 on goals by Gabriel Alva and Nicky Azzani. We beat Soddy-Daisy 4-1 in the final match, and we got goals from Gabriel Alva, Nicky Azzani and Jamie Perez."

The two wins push Cumberland County to 7-3-2 on the season.

"We're seeing a lot of good things from the guys," Whitson said.

"We have a very solid core of players. I think we're only going to get better as the season goes along, as long as we can stay healthy. It has definitely been some good stuff so far.

"The thing is it was kind of an off weekend for us. We don't think we played that well, but we were still able to wins in two of the three games, mainly because the boys have decided to make winning a habit. Which is great."

Whitson said he's been extremely excited about the maturity he's seeing on the field from his players.

He said his players are coming together and the chemistry they're showing, on and off the field, is getting better.

"I thought there would be a good chance we could get off to a good start this year," Whitson said. "We go into these tournaments not neccessarily to win it all, but to test the level of competition. So, to get those early wins is fantastic.

"To win seven games against very good competition is pretty great. I won't say I didn't expect it. Whenever the boys are doing what you ask of them, and they're playing as a team and building from each match, then good things are going to happen."

Cumberland County's offensive surge this season has been essential for the Jets as they look to chase district, region and state titles. They scored nine goals over three matches in the tournament.

"I think our offense is sparked by the dynamic abilities of each of our forwards," Whitson said. "They all have their own style of how they like to score. You take one scoring option away from us, and we still have at least two more options. They're only going to get better as we go during the rest of the season. They're all great individual players, but when you put them together, they're a deadly combination."

But Cumberland County's defense has also stepped up. The Jets are scoring at a pretty good clip, however, CCHS is also keeping opponents out of the net.

"Dylan Modano is our anchor in the back. He's been terrific," Whitson said. "The other boys are learning every game. They're tough, they take it personal when we're scored on. We've got a lot of work to do still, but I am proud of what they've been able to accomplish."