Last year was only the second year of the Long County High School soccer program’s existence, but both the girls’ and boys’ teams had quality years.
The Blue Tide wrapped up their year with a 7-7 overall mark and a 5-7 mark in Region 2-AA, which placed them fifth, just missing the playoffs. The Tide had to be considered the hard-luck case in the region, as each of their losses being by just one goal. This year, head coach Paul Austin said, the team’s long-term goal is to make the playoffs, while the short-term goals include focusing on upcoming games and getting better each week.
If one thing is a plus for the Blue Tide in 2015, it is that they have seniors Francisco Mejia, Alberto Nevarez, Carlos Nevarez and Tony Duenes returning. Underclassmen Tanner Brant, Cayetano Sanchez and goalkeeper Chris Cummings also return.
The Lady Tide also are looking to improve. Last year, they posted an impressive 10-4 overall record and an 8-4 region mark. They made the playoffs, but were ousted in the first round by Putman County. This year, they have a wave of returning players that include Alyssa Anderson, Harley Dawson, Samantha Garcia, Taylor Poole and Teresa Chihuahua.
The two teams began their season last week, with the girls beating Bradwell Institute, 3-2, on Thursday in Hinesville, but the boys falling to the Tigers, 1-0. This Friday, the teams travel to Toombs County to take on the clubs from Vidalia. The Lady Tide game begins at 5 p.m., with the Blue Tide following at 7 p.m.