Ridge Seniors Seeking Deep Run in the Playoffs
Mon. January 21, 2013 at 2:25 a.m. | By Nathan Halverson
Israel Miranda and Abdel Martinez are just two of 10 seniors on Ridge Community High School's boys soccer team. (Photo by PIERRE DUCHARME | THE LEDGER)
By NATHAN HALVERSON | LEDGER CORRESPONDENT
DAVENPORT | Senior captain Israel Miranda looks forward to the upcoming Class 4A, District 7 boys soccer tournament.
"I have been waiting for this and want to rub it in my brother's face." Israel was referring to Ernesto, who graduated from Ridge in 2011 and was a key part of the Bolts' success in the past.
Miranda is one of 10 seniors for host Ridge Community. The Bolts (No. 1 seed) come in at 14-3-2 and 12-1-1 in the district and will play No. 8 Bartow (1-18-0, 0-14-0) in the second game of the tournament at 8 tonight.
Ridge dominated Bartow in two earlier meetings, winning by a combined score of 15-0. Lake Region beat the Bolts 2-1 on Dec. 4 and is the only team in the district to defeat them.
It will be the second time that Ridge has hosted the district tournament. Despite losing to Haines City in the 2010 district championship, Ridge beat George Jenkins 2-1 and advanced to the regional semifinals. Auburndale beat Ridge 2-0 in the regional semifinals that season.
"We came back the next year and won districts," Ridge head coach Micheal T. Blethen said.
Ridge beat Osceola 3-1 to win the 2011 district championship but lost to George Jenkins in the first round of the regional quarterfinals.
"It's going to be a slugfest," Blethen said of the tournament.
Senior forward Abdel Martinez, who is second on the team with 14 goals, is looking forward to the tournament. "We are confident, and I think we are going to go far this year," he said.
Senior Antonio Arias leads the Bolts with 21 goals and freshman Eduardo Ferrara is third with 12.
No. 2 Lake Region (13-2-2, 10-2-2) plays No. 7 Lake Gibson (6-12-1, 2-11-1) at 6 to open up the tournament. The Thunder outscored the Braves 17-2 in two previous meetings.
Francisco Gonzalez leads the Thunder with 23 goals and senior Brent Moore is second with 22.
No. 3 Kathleen (16-5-1, 10-4-0) plays No. 6 Lakeland (7-11-3, 5-7-3) at 6 in the first game Tuesday night, while No. 4 Haines City (10-6-2, 6-6-2) will be take on No. 5 George Jenkins (11-10-2, 6-7-1) at 8.
The Class 3A, District 13 tournament starts at 6 tonight with Tenoroc taking on Winter Haven. In the late game, McKeel Academy will face Lake Wales at 8.