Clewiston kicked the 2A District 12 tournament off by beating Gateway Charter 2-1 in the semifinal match. CHS senior Jesse Paniagua and sophomore Josue Gonzalez each had one goal in the game which earned them a trip to the district championship, where they would face an unexpected foe.
In the other district game happening that day, Bishop Verot pulled off an upset against rival LaBelle, winning on penalty kicks in overtime. It was a stunning loss and quick exit for a LaBelle team that had made it all the way to the state semifinals the year before. On route to that state semifinal appearance, LaBelle had defeated Clewiston in the previous district championship. Tigers coach Skip Crawford said seeing LaBelle fall out of the tournament unexpectedly helped remind his team to focus on the game ahead of them and not take anything for granted.
“We were very surprised that Bishop beat LaBelle,” said Crawford. “We just realized we have to take care of what’s in front of us. You can’t start worrying about what’s going to happen next game, you have to take care of this one.”
Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Members of the Glades Day boys varsity soccer team pose with their district championship trophy after beating Berean Christian.
Clewiston and Bishop Verot each scored one goal in the first half of the district championship which was played in Clewiston. But in the second half the Tigers would dominate, scoring two more goals in route to a 3-1 victory district championship victory.
The Gators first match-up in the 1A District 11 semifinal saw them playing Jupiter Christian, a team they had already beaten before during the regular season. Things weren’t much different in the playoffs as the Gators rolled over Jupiter Christian 2-0.
That win earned the Gators a trip to the district championship where they would face Berean Christian. Gators coach Marbil Sorto says the championship match was a tough game.
“Berean is a good team,” said Sorto. “But our kids played better and harder. We wanted to be the champions. We beat Berean earlier in the season but it’s always tough to beat a team two times. We had some great passes and were able to get one ball past their goalkeeper and that’s all it took.”
GDHS senior Alejandro Acosta scored the only goal of the match to give the Gators the 1-0 victory and their first district championship. The win also earned Glades Day a ticket to compete in the state tournament.
The Gators will kick off the state tournament in the regional quarterfinals against St. John Paul II Academy on Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be played in Belle Glade.
The Clewiston Tigers will be facing DeSoto County on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in their regional quarterfinal match in Clewiston.
Both the Glades Day Gators and Clewiston Tigers boys soccer teams were able to win their district championships on Feb. 1.