JACKSON County’s breakthrough season won’t extend into the state playoffs.
Making its first region tournament appearance in recent memory, the Panther soccer team (6-6-1) was eliminated from the 8-AA playoffs Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to Dawson County at home. Only the top four teams out of the region playoffs move on to state.
But, overall, coach Joseph Brubaker was encouraged by a season in which the program realized its major objective heading into the year.
“To get here (the region playoffs), was the goal of the season,” he said.
The contest was tied at zero at the half, but Dawson County scored 19 minutes into the second half and added another goal with just 6:18 left to end Jackson County’s season.
Brubaker said his team – which finished second in Region 8-AA South in the regular season with a 4-2 mark – didn’t seem merely content to have made the region playoffs.
“Which was good to see,” he said. “I thought we competed well. Obviously, there are opportunities that everybody wants to look back on and say ‘maybe here, maybe there’ but I’m glad we send the seniors out getting this far.”
The Panthers will lose seven seniors to graduation next year as they try to make a return trip to the region playoffs in 2012.
“We’ve got to replace about four or five starters, so we’ll see,” Brubaker said. “We’ll have to have some guys step up.”
In other Region 8-AA soccer tournament action, the third-seeded Jackson County girls also saw their season end with a 6-2 loss to eighth-ranked Union County on the road. Sydney Baird and Kaitlin Parker provided the goals for the Lady Panthers.
Jackson County finished the year at 4-7. The team went 4-2 in subregion play.