Contrary to popular belief among fans, coaches don’t talk a lot about getting “revenge,” especially when a team goes on to win a state title.
But sometimes, it’s just because it's understood.
One of the few losses the Kilgore Bulldogs had last year came at Tatum, a bit of a head-scratcher, considering Kilgore’s district losses in the last eight years have been few and far between. Tatum pulled off the upset last year, but coach Tom Wait’s Bulldogs were having none of it Wednesday night.
Playing a day later than scheduled after thunderstorms forced the change, the Bulldogs got out with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Eagles at Eagle Stadium. Kilgore’s Lady Bulldogs were especially impressive in a 7-0 rout of the Lady Eagles here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, also played Wednesday.
Both Kilgore teams were to visit Gladewater on Friday night, following the deadline for this issue of the News Herald. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs will visit Henderson (a 5:15 p.m. junior varsity start) and the Lady ‘Dogs will host Henderson (JV starting at 5).
Kilgore 1, Tatum 0 (boys): The star of this one just might have been KHS goalkeeper Kaleb Jett, who had four saves to help keep the Eagles out of Kilgore’s net.
Tatum had six shots on goal, and four of them were stopped by Jett.
Offensively, Elian Torres had the Bulldogs’ only goal – the only goal of the game, in fact – scored in the first half. Kilgore’s defense stood tall. The ‘Dogs had 17 shots on goal, with Tatum’s keeper managing eight saves.
The Bulldogs, the defending District 16-4A and 4A state champions, are 7-5-2 overall, and a 2-0 in district play.
Kilgore 7, Tatum 0 (girls): This one was a bit of an adventure.
They actually started the game, and played about 20 minutes, on Tuesday, but lightning forced the stoppage. They re-started the contest on Wednesday, and Kilgore didn’t take long to pick up where it left off.
And when Kilgore's Lady Bulldogs got rolling, they flexed their muscles.
Coach Heidi Hagan has a talented group of freshmen who have played youth soccer together for years, to the point they don’t look like freshmen. One of them, Zoe Craven, gave Kilgore an early lead, scoring a goal with 24:09 showing on the first-half clock. Craven led the way for Kilgore’s cross-country team to compete in the state meet last year.
Senior Kaitlyn Word scored the first of her two goals in the game just about five minutes later, and then Cristina Rosas, another freshman, scored with 4:10 left. Word added her second goal with 1:38 left, and the Lady ‘Dogs held a very comfortable 4-0 lead at the halftime break.
They weren’t through. Tori Shipman, a junior, scored on a header with 26:39 left in the game. Rosas added her second goal, Kilgore’s sixth, with 22:51 showing, and Kylie Nichols had the final say, dropping one more into the net with 12:50 remaining.
The Lady ‘Dogs are also the defending district champs, and are also 2-0 in district play so far this season.