YEAR IN REVIEW: Goshen successful across all sports

Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2017

There was a lot of turnover in Goshen’s athletics heading into the 2016-2017 school year, but the school wound up having a very successful year.

Teams in all sports were able to advance into the playoffs over the course of the year.

Head coach Bart Snyder has quietly built the football program as one of the more consistent teams in the area. After seven consecutive postseason appearances, the Eagles entered the season with a lot of turnover in key positions including on an offensive line that had athletes playing the position, and even football, for the first time.

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Despite the inexperience on he line, the offense stormed out of the gates for the Eagles. They began the season 3-0 by outscoring their opponents 113-34. They strolled into their week four matchup with the top-ranked Elba Tigers. The Eagles scored just nine points and fell 30-9.

From there, the Eagles rattled off their second three-game winning streak of the season.

After finishing the regular season 7-3, the Eagles traveled to take on Verbena in the opening round of the playoffs. The Eagles routed Verbena 48-25. That would be their last win of the season as they fell to Southern Choctaw in round two.

Under second-year head coach Fred Lowery, the Goshen Lady Eagles advanced to their second straight regional semifinals.

The Lady Eagles fell to Central in the area championship, but with their second place finish, the Eagles traveled to take on Thorsby in regional play. The Eagles got 37 points from Bree Griffin on their way to a 67-61 win, sending them to Montgomery for the semifinals.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these girls,” Lowery said after the win. “To lose in the area finals and then be forced to come on the road, I can’t say enough about these girls and their effort.”

The Alabama State Dunn-Oliver Acadome was the setting for the Eagles’ regional semifinal showdown with the ladies of Choctaw County. Despite leading at halftime 28-26, The Eagles couldn’t clamp down on Indians in the third and fourth quarter and they fell 64-56.

Despite the loss, the Eagles advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive season and Lowery is excited about his team’s potential in the years to come.

“To get there two years in a row, losing only three seniors last year as well, we’re still fairly young,” Lowery said. “I think having this experience, being able to get here, seeing what it takes to win here, is going to be big for us next year. I am just happy and excited for these girls, to get to come here and represent Goshen High School.”

Also in his second year with the program, boys head coach Ethan Carroll had his sights on returning to the regional finals for the second year in a row. After winning the area tournament, they were off to a strong start.

The Eagles closed out the regular season undefeated in area play and hosted the area tournament.

In the area finals, the Eagles got a blocked shot from Tavares Adams with less than 10 seconds remaining, allowing them to cut down the nets.

Like the Lady Eagles, Carroll and the boy’s took on Thorsby in the regionals for a chance to head to Montgomery. Zack Alford led the way with 19 points and the Eagles won 63-45 improving their record on the season to 19-5.

The Eagles scored just six points in the opening quarter and they fell to R.C. Hatch 64-61 to end their season with a 19-6 record.

Perhaps the biggest turnover occurred on the softball field in 2017. Following the 2016, season the Eagles lost players such as Kati Thomas, Lexi Ellisor, among others. The new crop of Eagles led by Kate Warrick, Hannah Calhoun and Kelsey Gibson got off to a slow start in 2017.

The Eagles rebounded and bounced back to win the area championship after sweeping Luverne 17-1 and 13-1.

The Eagles advanced to the South Central Regionals in Troy where they matched up with Ariton in the opening round. Following a loss, the Eagles bounced back and won their next two games against Billingsley 10-0 and Reeltown 6-4 to stay alive.

The Eagles once again matched up with Ariton, but again they couldn’t match up with the Purple Cats and the Eagles had their season come to a close.

Under head coach Robby Kinsaul, the Goshen eagles closed out their season with a 14-9 overall record and a 2-2 area record. After finishing behind Luverne in the area standings, The Eagles were forced to travel to take on J.U. Blacksher in the opening round of the state playoffs. The Eagles struggled to score runs and they were defeated in two straight games 17-2 and 16-0 to end their season.

“We have a lot to look forward to next year,” Kinsaul said. “We will have a big senior class.”

At the end of the season Cory Peterson was named to the All-star game after finishing the season with .456 batting average.