Shortly after Hinesville’s 10U Gator Girls were crowned the Georgia Rec Cup Champions, the Gator boys’ team followed suit by earning the champions’ trophy and state title at last weekend’s Georgia Rec Cup in Fayetteville.
The Gators topped the JBS Breakers, 7-0, in the title game.
Coached by Jared and Keith Anderson, the Gators advanced to the championship game by winning the first two games of the semifinals May 12.
The boys won, 3-2 and 10-0, before the skies opened up and covered the field with 3 inches of rain.
In the final game of the round-robin May 13, the game was tied, 6-6, before the wet field forced the officials to decide the game on penalty kicks and points.
With the overall lead in points, the Gators advanced to the championship game.
Jared Anderson said the boys seemed a little nervous the first 10 minutes of the state title matchup.
“They were controlling the game with great passes and crosses, but were unable to finish,” Jared Anderson said. “Then around the 12th minute, Palmer Whitney put the ball in the back of the net on a cross from Chris Dargan to give the Gators their first goal. Evan Toole scored two goals in the first half, one unassisted and one on a pass from Dargan. The boys went into halftime leading, 3-0.”
In the second half, Palmer scored his second goal of the game, and Dargan punched one in off a Kendall Anderson assist.
Dargan later passed the ball to Mark Alan McGarry, who hit the net, and Casey Rearly added the final goal off an assist by Keagan Toole.
Rearly was the Gators’ goalkeeper in the first half of the game, and Evan Toole covered the net for the second half.
Jared Anderson said 7-year-old Keagan Toole displayed his talent and contributed to the Gators’ defense.
Coach Anderson added that Kendall Anderson helped control the game, playing defense and midfield in the first half, and then playing midfield and forward in the second half.
“Kyle Osteen really did well in the goal half the game and played solid defense the other half,” Jared Anderson added. “Dustin Brown played great defense as well, in particular saving a goal from being scored when the goalie had to come out.”
The coach said it was the fourth tournament for the Gator boys this season.
“They were semifinalists in a Tallahassee tournament in February,” Jared Anderson said. “They won the North Florida Cup on Jekyll Island in March and lost in a penalty-kick shootout in the championship game to the eighth-ranked team in Florida at the Rose City Challenge in April. The hard work every Tuesday and Thursday has paid off.”
The Gators will finish this season playing in the Shamrock Cup this weekend in Savannah.
The team is planning on playing at the academy level (11U) during the fall season.
May 12-13 in Fayetteville
Hinesville Gators 3, SUFC Team One 2
Hinesville Gators 10,
East Cobb YMCA 0
Hinesville Gators 6, Smyrna Knights 6
Hinesville Gators 3, South Cobb Brazil 1
May 19 in Fayetteville
Hinesville Gators 7,
JBS Breakers 0