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All-State midfielder Irvin Delfin returns for his junior season
Photo by Kyle Thornton

Expectations high for soccer team

By Michael Butler

Tallassee head soccer coach Matthew Tarpley was asked when the program might compete for a state championship.

"If we stay healthy, I think we can do that this year," he answered.

The Tigers team set the mark for most wins in a season last year going 15-4 and outscoring opponents 125-22, yet it missed the post-season.

"We lost the ones we couldn't," said Tarpley. "I feel it's a blessing in disguise. It's motivated this group of boys that we have back. They remember it. They understand. That's fueled their fire this off-season. Each game matters."

The goal differential in those four defeats was five goals. Three of those setbacks came in area play.

"We're fairly confident that we'll finish one or two in our area which will get us into the playoffs," Tarpley noted of the 2024 season ahead. "We could make a run."

Tallassee returns all-state player junior Irvin Delfin. Delfin was one of only three underclassmen selected and set the THS record for goals in a season with 30.

"Irvin's a phenomenal player. To be selected by all of the high school coaches as one of the best midfielders in the entire state, regardless of classification or school size, is truly remarkable," Tarpley said. "We've got a couple of new faces, Lewis Moseley and Luis Ruemmler. Luis is an exchange student. Lewis has been focused on his club soccer until this year. He is an exceptional player, very technical and smart with a high soccer IQ."

Tallassee opens the season at Class 7A Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 3, the first of 27 games on the slate.

"We scheduled the max. We beefed up the schedule in hopes of making a late-season push."

Tarpley is coaching all three Tallassee teams; the varsity boys and girls squads, as well as the junior varsity group.

"We've got 60 kids in our program - about 20 on each team. The JV are mostly younger kids; seventh, eighth and ninth graders. The varsity girls are back for their second year."

The girls went 4-13 in their first year as a program.

"They competed and worked hard," said Tarpley. "They had fun, enjoyed being together and learning."