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12U White Gators bring home finalist medal
Gator U12 White
White Gators 12U players are, from left, in front, Chris Martin, Zach Kimbler, Jacob Cassidy, Dylan McGarry, Jarrett Cummings; in back, Augustin Maldonado, Tareak Barnes, Myesha Robinson, Matthew Dawson, Joshua Kuhns and Keith Anderson. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
The Hinesville Gators 12U boys White team debutted in the Mount Pleasant Soccer Shootout recently and brought home the finalists medal.
Coached by DJ Kimbler and assisted by Chris Martin, the White team plowed through their bracket even though they were their first games together as a team.
The first game was on a cold Saturday morning against the SSC Revolution. The local boys won 4-3. Matthew Dawson and Tareak Barnes each had two goals in this, assisted by team veterans Christopher Martin and Zachary Kimbler. Defensive players Augustine Maldonado and Jarrett Cummings were able to keep the opposition at bay, helping maintain the lead throughout the game.
The weather played a huge factor in game two Saturday afternoon when a cold front settled over Charleston. Despite a fierce wind that created a ball control nightmare, the young Gators were able to find the back of the net six times. Dawson and Barnes both pulled out some hat tricks (3 goals) in this game off assists by Martin, and Keith Anderson. Maldonado and Cummings again played well defensively, holding opponents’ scoring down. This win put the Gators in the semi-finals.
The team played the semi-final Sunday morning against the MPSC Crew II.  Although the weather was still not cooperating, the Gators were determined to make it into the finals. Taking an early lead, Dawson scored an impressive four goals and Barnes had his second hat trick of the tournament. Martin, Anderson and Cummings all had assists. Rookie goalie Joshua Kuhns protected his goal fiercely and was able to keep the opponents down to one goal. The 7-1 victory ensured the Gators the number one spot in their bracket and put them in the championship.
After struggling in the wind in the first half of the championship game and giving up three goals to MPSC Crew II, the Gators revised the game plan in the second half. Playing a mostly offensive second half, the Gators had an astonishing 24 shots at the goal. Despite being covered by two or more opponents Dawson was able to keep the goalie of the opposition busy blocking shot after shot. Barnes scored his third hat trick in this game. The final 4-3 score edged the Gators out by the experienced Mount Pleasant team.
Team members are Matthew Dawson, Tareak Barnes, Chris Martin, Zach Kimbler, Keith Anderson, Jarrett Cummings, Myesha Robinson, Josh Kuhns, Augustine Maldonado, Dylan McGarry, and Jacob Cassidy.
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