Front row L-R: Mariana Rodriguez, Jazmin Gante, Jillian Richard, Ninfa Moreno; Back Row L-R: Neil Norris, Isaac Rodriguez, Jaron Potter, Parker Van Dyke, Zane Manley, Jackson Drake, Sam Vermillion, James Cobbs, Miguel Tizapa / Nick Griffin for The Tribune
CULLMAN – Tuesday night was Senior night for Bearcat Soccer, and the varsity boys hosted 7A powerhouse Vestavia Hills. The ‘Cats dropped the match 1-0 after the Rebels found the back of the net early in the first half. Cullman was able to hold Vestavia Hills to just one goal but couldn’t find a way to score.
The Bearcats will host Albertville April 12 for a matchup that could decide who will finish on top of the section.
After the game, seniors for both the boys’ and girls’ squads were honored alongside their parents at midfield. For the boys, James Cobbs, Jackson Drake, Zane Manley, Miguel Tizapa, Parker Van Dyke, Isaac Rodriguez, Jaron Potter, Neil Norris and Sam Vermillion made their way to midfield to be recognized for their years in the soccer program.
Head Coach Casey Harbin said he hates to see this group go but he’s still focused on putting together a strong run to send this class out on a high note.
“They’ve grown a lot since eighth grade. Some of them have grown physically and some of them have grown mentally and they’re a good group,” Harbin said. “They’ve been here a long time and been a part of the varsity program for a long time, so it hurts to see them go, but we knew this day was coming. If we can hit our next level, we can make a run to send them off on, but we’ve got to hit that level first and we’re not there yet.”
The Lady Bearcats had four more seniors to honor. Ninfa Moreno, Jazmin Gante, Jillian Richard and Mariana Rodriguez have played a lot of years in black and gold and their coach, Jacob Brown, said he will miss the intangibles they brought to the program more than anything else.
“I’ve had this group since they were eighth graders; they were one of my very first groups so we’re very close. I would say that we had a big shift two years ago when we lost a lot of people and everybody thought we were going to be down and these girls stepped up and filled those really big shoes that were leaving. I’m very proud of them for that and from a character standpoint, they’re the best you can ask for,” Brown said. “They’re great kids, great role models and great young ladies so its hard to ask for anything else out of a player. I’m proud of them and I’ll definitely miss them when they leave.”
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