Southside seniors sent off successfully

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019

CHOCOWINITY — A stellar season from the Southside Seahawks has dwindled down to its final couple of games after last night’s 8-1 win over Northside.

The Panthers have steadily improved throughout the course of their season, but the Seahawks’ offensive firepower has made many opponents victim of their attack.

Within 20 seconds, the Seahawks were on the scoreboard with Jaime Guzman’s first of three goals.

Guzman and Jairo Juarez both picked up hat tricks scoring three goals apiece on the evening. Victor Gonzalaz and Johnathan Hernandez picked up the other two goals.

At halftime, the PA announcer introduced all of the seniors along with their parents/escorts. All of the players had their future plans and favorite soccer memory from the last four years. The seniors started the half cheering on their teammates from the sidelines for the majority of the second half. They all re-entered the game with about 15 minutes left on the clock, only to exit after the next dead ball so they could get a standing ovation as they left the field.

Northside senior forward Max Geritz sunk the only goal for the Panthers on the evening with 11 minutes remaining in the game.

GOAL: Northside’s senior forward Max Geritz puts the ball into the side netting for their lone goal against the Seahawks on Monday evening. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)

For head coach Jay Petty, this senior group is a bit different. He has known some of the kids he’s coaching since they were in junior high and even younger.

“Just about everything (was working). The last couple of the games the seniors have really taken it upon themselves to play the best we can possibly play,” Petty said. “I’ve had some of these boys since sixth and seventh grade, and a couple of them I’ve helped in soccer since they were four, five and six years old. This has been a tremendous group. I’ve never had a group with as much talent across the board. It doesn’t matter if I got one guy having a bad night, I’ve got two or three other seniors that step up. They don’t skip a beat. And it’s not just soccer, they’re a great group of boys across the board.”

When the schedule originally came out the Northside was the last home game of the season, but Unity Christian scheduled a game against the Seahawks for Tuesday evening at Southside, marking the last home of the season.

The Panthers still have an outside shot at making the playoffs. They picked up a win against Riverside in a 4-3 overtime thriller to keep them in the playoff bubble. If Northside defeats Tarboro on their Senior night in their season finale, the Panthers would make the Seahawks the sole winners of the conference and they themselves will likely earn a spot to participate in the 1A state playoffs.