Meridian team eyes U-12 boys gold medal
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
June 16, 2002
Today, the Meridian Watts team will try and solidify themselves as the state's best 12-and-under boys team.
The Meridian team of head coach Kenny Watts used a high-scoring attack to go 3-0 in its bracket and earn a spot in today's gold medal game at the State Games of Mississippi soccer competition on Saturday afternoon at the Meridian Jaycees Field.
Meridian will face the Clinton Soccer Association's Earthquake for the gold at 1 p.m. at the Jaycee Field. Clinton won all three of its matches to win its four-team bracket.
The 12-and-under boys was one of six divisions being contested at the Jaycee Field for the State Games. Other games was played at Meridian High. The older divisions consisting of the 14-and-under and 16-and-under boys and girls were played at Northeast Park.
Watts was happy to see his team continue to rise to the occasion. Meridian won the 12-under state title for its age division.
Meridian opened the day with a 4-2 win over the Hattiesburg Fire. The Watts team then blanked the Northwest Rankin Patriots 3-0 to go to 2-0 in the bracket.
The Greenville Ice also picked up a pair of wins beating the Patriots 2-1 and the Hattiesburg Fire 3-2.
In the bracket final, Meridian gave up some goals but got many in return in claiming the 6-3 victory. The win clinched a berth in the gold medal game. The Ice (2-1) will play Grenada Sharks in today's bronze medal match.
Several age group brackets still had a game to be decided as the afternoon faded.
Under 8 Girls
In the 8-and-under girls, the Laurel Soccer Association's Ligthning appeared to be on its way to the gold medal game. The Lightning won both of its early games in compiling 17 points.
The Lightning started with a 2-0 win over the Hattiesburg Sharks. They then beat the Greenville Hall 1-0 to go to 2-0. That win essentially wrapped up the finals berth.
Greenville was left with nine points heading into a game with the Sharks. The Sharks got four points by drawing the South Madison Extreme 0-0. The Extreme had earlier lost to Greenville 2-0 leaving them with four points.
In the other bracket, the North Jackson Stars won two games and held the upper hand for the finals with 16 points. They would battle the GSA Lightning for the bracket title. GSA was 1-0-1 having beaten Meridian Pope 3-1 and tying the South Rankin Rockets 0-0. The Stars beat the Rockets and Meridian 1-0.
Under 12 Girls
The Greenwood Lasers were dominating in compiling 28 points to claim its M bracket in the State Games' 12-and-under girls competition. The Lasers will play for the gold on Sunday at the Jaycee Park.
Greenwood went 3-0 allowing just two goals. They started the day with a 3-0 win over the Clinton Fusion. They then beat the Laurel Da' Bombs 2-0. They closed the day with a 3-0 win over the North Jackson Red.
The Da' Bombs had nine points and was in control of going to the bronze medal game. They beat North Jackson 3-1. The Fusion and the Reds tied 0-0.
Under 10 Girls
The Greenville Sparks and the Clinton Craze were battling for a spot in the 10-and-under girls gold medal game. The Sparks won both of their games to go to 2-0 heading into its game with the Craze.
The Sparks opened with a 1-0 win over the Laurel Patriots. They then beat the Meridian Bennett team 3-0. Greenville had 18 points.
The Craze had 14 points after a 5-0 win over Meridian and a 0-0 draw with the Patriots. Both the Sparks and the Craze will advance to medal play.
Meridian was 0-2 going into its final game with Laurel.
Under 8 Boys
The South Madison County Lightning allowed just one goal in winning its bracket in the 8-and-under boys division for the State Games of Mississippi.
The Lightning (3-0) dispatched the Greenville Shockers 1-0 for the bracket title and a berth in today's gold medal game at the Jaycee Fields. The Lightning had earlier beaten the Ocean Springs Vipers 1-0 and the Meridian Strikers 4-1.
The Shockers finished 2-1 with a 4-0 win over Meridian and a 4-1 win over the Ocean Springs Vipers. They had 19 points to the Lightning's 25.
Meridian finished 0-2-1 after getting a 0-0 draw with Ocean Springs. Both teams ended with five points.
Under 10 Boys
The Biloxi Rockets secured a spot in the 10-and-under boys gold medal game today by compiling 29 points in earning three straight wins.
The Rockets have scored a tournament high 20 goals. They opened with a 6-0 win over the Greenville Stars.
Biloxi then beat the Meridian United 6-0. The Rockets then downed Southwest Rankin 7-2 to clinch the bracket.
Meridian went 0-3 on the day. They lost to Southwest Rankin 3-1 and 2-1 to the Greenville Stars.
Southwest Rankin earned a bronze medal berth by finishing 2-1 to earn 20 points. They beat the Stars 2-0.
In the other 10-and-under bracket, Ocean Springs won its first two games. They beat Clinton 1-0 and Azteca 4-1 to earn 17 points.
East Central and Clinton both were 1-1. Clinton whipped East Central 6-1 to even its record. East Central had earlier beaten Azteca 3-1.