CHS shows fight

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Central High School’s varsity soccer team was winless in 2016, but the Chargers are already showing a competitiveness in 2017 that could help to initiate a turnaround.

They hosted Buckingham County High School on Monday evening, playing to a 2-2 tie following the completion of regulation and two five-minute overtime sessions.

The Chargers led 2-0 at halftime after senior forward Ben Atkins scored two goals. In their second-half comeback, the Knights might have secured the win, but Central sophomore goalkeeper Earl Ginn successfully blocked a penalty kick.

“The defense did a good job with catching the other team in an offside position,” Chargers Head Coach Janet Johnson said. “We caught them offsides five times.”

In its season opener Thursday, Central fell 5-1 to visiting Randolph-Henry High School.

“But we only gave up one goal to them in the second half,” Johnson said. “We played really good ball that second half.”

Senior forward Kamren Field scored the Chargers’ goal in the second half.

Though sickness and minor injuries have had an impact on Central thus far, Johnson noted she is seeing positive things from her players as they begin to navigate the 2017 schedule.

“They are excited about the season,” she said. “They really seem to be motivated to win. They are working well as a team. I can say that the communication between the players is good, not that it can’t get better, but they are communicating better.”

Among the players she expects to stand out this year are Atkins, sophomore forward Tyler Neal, freshman forward Hunter Meade, sophomore midfielder Jordan King, sophomore midfielder/forward Colton Hinkle and junior defender/midfielder Darion Berrios.

Johnson also highlighted some newcomers to the team, including freshman defender Jonathan Hatchett.

The team is once again coed, with senior Savannah Mills providing leadership on defense and junior Olivia Major lending her passing skills to the midfield.

Central (0-1-1) visits Nottoway High School on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.