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Bradwell soccer 10-1 in region
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Bradwell senior Timothy Matavao leads the Tigers in a victory dance. - photo by By Jimmy Currier
 For the first time since 2002, Bradwell’s boys’ soccer team is heading to the state playoffs. However, coach Greg Cooke and his young team aren’t content with just qualifying for the Class AAAAA playoffs. They want to win Region 3-AAAAA and host a playoff game.
“I’m looking to win,” Cooke said. “We’re not looking just for a spot but our boys are looking to win. They’ve worked hard for it.”
The Tigers (10-1) clinched a playoff berth with Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Johnson.
Junior Reggie Battle scored the game’s only goal 20 minutes into the first half.
“It was a tough game but we came out and played,” he said. “We did what we had to do.”
The Atomsmashers tried to take Bradwell’s striker Chris “Prince” Schuster out of the game by triple-teaming the freshman. However, Schuster still worked Johnson’s defense and allowed Battle to score.
Senior Goalkeeper Michael Griffin and the defense earned their eighth shutout of the season.
“The strength of our mid-field and our defense stopped their attack and won us the game,” Cooke said.
“All I thought about the whole time was this team is going to be tough,” Griffin said. “Coach told us they were going to be tough and it was a tough game. They put a lot of quality shots on goal. I’m glad our defense, midfield and forwards stepped up. This was a key game and I’m glad we took it.”
Ethan Deemer, Tyler James, Joey Lliso, Chris Cardon and Daniel Lee all played well on the pitch for Bradwell.
The Tigers have three games remaining, including two this weekend.
Tonight, they travel to Savannah to play Windsor Forest at 7.
radwell defeated the Knights 2-0 on March 30 in Hinesville.
On Saturday, they travel to Kingsland to play Camden County.
The Wildcats defeated Bradwell 2-1 on March 3 in Hinesville.
Bradwell concludes its season on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match against Jenkins at Lewis Frasier Middle School.
If Bradwell wins their remaining games, they will win the region crown.
It won’t be easy because playing back-to-back soccer matches is one of the most taxing feats in sports.
“You can’t rebound physically. We are at a disadvantage,” Cooke said. “It’s not like basketball or baseball. Playing an 80-minute match on the soccer field and then asking any athlete to do it twice is difficult, but we have to play through that. My motto is any field you drop the ball and we will play. There can be no excuses.”

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