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Tallassee's Grant McCraney (right) and Sincere Dooley.
Photo by Kyle Thornton

Soccer showdown this week

By Michael Butler

You might say this one has been marked on the calendar for some time. Thursday's varsity boys soccer match at Brewbaker Tech in Montgomery will be for sole possession of first place in the Class 5A/Area 3 race.

It was Brew Tech that beat Tallassee in two one-goal games last year denying the Tigers a playoff berth despite its winningest season in program history (15-4).

"There is a revenge factor," said THS head coach Matthew Tarpley, whose team is 6-4-2 this season. "This week's match is huge. If we can pull out a victory, (it) will put us in the driver's seat in the race for the area championship."

Tallassee knocked down a couple of barriers last week with wins over Elmore County (3-2) and Beauregard (2-1) in its first area contests of the season. The Panthers made it to the Final Four in the 2023 post-season although THS swept them. The Hornets earned a split with Tallassee last year.

Tarpley called the Elmore County win last week an "epic comeback" after the Tigers rallied from two goals down in the final six minutes, but also referenced the importance of the win over Beauregard.

"Coming into the night, we were 1-6 against them since 2020. It was a great team win. We had six different players score and five players got an assist. (It) was a total team effort."

Tallassee and Brew Tech have already met once this season in a Montgomery tournament in February. The 2-2 tie did not figure into the area standings.

"We entered the game shorthanded," Tarpley noted of missing contributors Irvin Delfin, Yuren Rodriguez, Grant McCraney and Rush Wright. "The boys that played that game put forth maximum effort and we were pleased with the result. Now that we are full strength, we are looking forward to a great night in Montgomery."

The varsity girls match will start at 5:30 p.m. and be followed by the varsity boys action.