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Team led by youths
Freshmen score four of five goals in game
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Freshmen scored four of the five goals for the Tigers against East Jackson in a scrimmage soccer game at home last week.

The Tigers youngsters showed the crowd what could be a "special" season for this year's Dawson County varsity soccer team.

The Tigers dominated all phases of the game in a 5-0 victory.

Ninth-grader Brandon Lund scored three goals, one in the first half and two in the second, in his first varsity game.

Fellow freshman Sal Mendoza blasted a ball past the East Jackson goalie with just 6:50 remaining in the first half for his first varsity goal.

Finishing the scoring was junior transfer student, Talal Hamodi, who scored with 5:35 remaining in the first half to give Dawson a comfortable 3-0 halftime lead.

"I knew freshman Brandon Lund was going to give us another level of play at the top, but scoring three goals out of the gate was outstanding," said coach Jed Lacey. "Sal Mendoza also scored in his first varsity game using his ball skills and tenacity to push the ball through the goal.

"Man, you do not get to see two freshmen come play their first game and score four goals. It is going to be a fun year."

This year's team had several positions to replace after a talented senior class graduated last season.

Following last week's scrimmage, Lacey is excited about his team's future.

Goalkeeping chores were handled by sophomore Brooks Fulford and freshman Zach Arceneaux on Thursday. Both players combined to pitch a shutout.

"Looks like we are set for four more years of great goalkeeping," Lacey said. "Coach Dane Trosterud, who played at DCHS, will coach this year's talented group of goalkeepers for us.

"We had to replace defenders with new players or by moving players from other positions. Sophomore Drew Bishop, sweeper, was tremendous in manning the back of the pitch and answering all our questions [about] if we could continue the tradition of great sweepers running our defense. Drew has explosive speed and ball skills you do not usually get from defenders," Lacey said.

The rest of the defense will be manned by Cody Hall and Stanton Rogers who both started at midfield last season.

"Both of these players will give us vast knowledge, speed and toughness that will make our defense strong again," Lacey said.

Gunnar Armstrong, currently playing basketball, Drew Bishop, James Carr, Logan Hayes and Scotty Zadernak will all help on defense this season.

The midfield will be manned by Jose Mendoza, Talal Hamodi, Salazar Mendoza, Josh Sage, Jose Miranda, Sam Wentworth, Chris Bywaletz and Austin Stewart.

"For the first time it gives us two big time center midfielders on the field at the same time. Jose is our returning most valuable player and now match him with Talal and we can do special things from the middle of the pitch," Lacey said.

Last year's leading scorer, Josh Lund, didn't play against East Jackson but will be back for this week's games.

This year's roster will include four seniors: Stanton Rogers, Cody Hall, Sam Wentworth and James Carr.

Rounding out the roster will be juniors Gunnar Armstrong, Jose Miranda, Chris Bywaletz, Talal Hamodi and Josh Lund.

Sophomores players are Brooks Fulford, Drew Bishop, Jacob Miller, Logan Hayes, Scotty Zadernak, Austin Stewart and Josh Litherland.

There will be four freshmen on this year's team: Zach Arceneaux, Salazar Mendoza, Josh Sage and Brandon Lund.

Coaching this year's team wil be: Head coach Jed Lacey and assistant coaches, Benji Edwards, George Graves, Chess Hamby, Dane Trosterud and Elizabeth White.

The Tigers will travel to play Buford at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Buford is currently ranked No. 7 in AA.

Dawson will play its first home game Feb. 21 against White County. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.