TCHS honors players at soccer banquet

May 21—TIFTON — Tift County soccer recently held its 2024 banquet, wrapping up a season that saw both varsity squads make late runs.

Varsity head coaches Bobby Earls and Sherri Constable emceed the event. Constable also spoke for the junior varsity girls as their head coach, Jen Walls, was unable to be in attendance after giving birth.

Constable was pleased with the season. The team had eight wins this year, their most since 2019.

"I think we worked hard," she said. "We learned to play with each other."

Earls described his season as a challenging one, in which only four starters returned.

"We could have let those obstacles be a reason to quit," he said. "However, we came to practice every day, put in the work and did our very best to be competitive." Earls said he challenged the squad after the first match against Colquitt. What followed was much tighter matches, finally resulting in a region win over Houston County and a tie in the final against Crisp County.

Abby Goddard led the Lady Devils with 18 goals and Jordyn Shivers scored 10. Jordan Lopez was the leader for the boys, with six goals. Brock Harden scored four times.

Constable told the junior varsity Lady Devils she was looking forward to what they would do on the field in 2025. She additionally thanked the middle school program, saying if it did not exist, the high school teams could not exist. The squad won three games, two of them blowouts over Cairo.

Rob McDearmid has high hopes for the JV boys, who were 7-3-2 in their regular season, then defeated Thomas County Central in their first playoff game before falling to Colquitt County in the championship.

"Next year, I expect we hoist that trophy," he said. "We're just going to get better and better as we progress."

There was a special presentation during the banquet for longtime friend of the program and community coach, Mitchell Dorminey. Dorminey thanked the players for putting up with him.

New Tift County High principal Jennifer Johnson also spoke. Drawing a comparison to Lot's wife in the Bible, Johnson advised players to "look in front of you, not behind you."

Coaches handed out many awards during the banquet.

All-Region honors saw Diana Reducindo, Goddard, Lopez and Eric Palomares earn first team. Second team selections were Laura Bautista, Yareli Espinoza, Braylon Samuel and Harden. Osvaldo Silos, Cristian Salazar, Amanda Tovar and Caroline Dotson earned honorable mention.

Each coach named an academic winner for each grade. Seniors were Levi Mendez and Elli Warren. Juniors were Preet Patel and Reducindo. Sophomore merits went to Lily Robinson and Samuel, with Shivers and Alexander Torres freshmen earners.

Each team had their own set of team awards. Most were voted on by the players, with a few named by coaches.

For the varsity girls, Shivers won Best Forward, with Midfielder and Defenive honors going to Dotson and Bautista, respectively. Garretson earned Most Improved, while the Hustle Award went to Espinoza. Tovar earned the Coaches' Award, while the Blue Devils Award went to Warren.

Constable said there were two Most Valuable Players, Reducindo and Goddard.

Likewise, Earls had two MVPs for his team, those being Samuel and Palomares.

Other Blue Devils earning team awards were Christopher "Capi" Hernandez earning Most Improved, with the Hustle Award going to Juan Rodriguez. Best Forward was Lopez, with Oscar Peña Martinez Best Midfielder and Omar Acosta Best Defender. Palomares was the Coaches' Award winner with the Blue Devils Award won by Victor Hernandez.

Tift's junior varsity Lady Devils saw Kyli Garretson win best forward; Araceli Acosta named Best Midfielder' Katie Marie Hobbs earn Best Defender; Litzy River was named Most Improved; Hustle went to Yahaira Rios-Garay; Coaches' Award to Leean Snyder and Sigrid Martinez earned Most Valuable Player.

For the JV Devils, David Olguin earned Best Forward; Hernandez was named Best Defender; Jose Palomers earned Best Midfield; Juan Olguin merited the Hustle Award; Most Improved went to Cedric Robinson; J.J. Puente earned the Coaches' Award and MVP went to Jose Palomares.