By Curtis Carden
The future is bright for the Unicoi County High School boys soccer program, according to head coach Justin Ciralsky.
Blue Nation’s first-year program kicked off the season with a pair of high octane games against District 1-A/AA foes. The Blue Devils ended the week in Colonial Heights on Thursday, March 17, against Sullivan South. The Rebels were able to dispatch of the Blue Devils 4-0.
“I thought we played a solid first half,” Ciralsky said. “South scored off a pretty crazy goal where it bounced off one of our players.”
Josh Johnson tallied two goals for South, while Noah Mintz and Cole Killen fired in the final two scores.
The Blue Devils were able to keep the Rebels off the board until the 44th minute. Ciralsky cited Daniel Meza and Luis Reynoso as a pair of Blue Devils who were able to keep the team going Thursday.
UCHS (0-2) opened the season on Tuesday, March 15, in Mosheim and fell to West Greene 5-1. Blue Devil Sam Murillo netted the team’s first goal of the season.
With a pair of learning curves under their belts, Ciralsky said the team has showed a lot of promise with a long season ahead.
“That was the third time they have played as a team,” Ciralsky said. “There has been a lot of good things happen on the field. Between the traveling, going about 45 minutes to a game, it can wear mentally … but I think with this upcoming stretch of games we can learn from this and look to hit our stride.”
Ciralsky also thanked the community support for the opening contests, adding the Blue Devils were well represented on the road.
The Blue Devils will return to action on Thursday, March 24, with a trip to Elizabethton to square off against the Cyclones.
UCHS returns to Carter County for their next contest against Hampton – another first-year program – on Tuesday, March 28. Both games are slated to start at 6 p.m.