In a nonconference boys varsity soccer match between crosstown rivals, Patton and Freedom played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday evening at the Catawba River Soccer Complex after an emotional and touching ceremony.
Prior to the game, both teams came together to honor and remember José Sic, a former Patriots player who passed away in November 2018. Sic had friends who played at Patton as well. Sic’s jersey number, 9, was retired, with FHS coach Larry Taylor saying during the ceremony that in remembrance of him no other player would wear the number while he coached the team.
During the ceremony, team members gave a framed jersey — the last jersey he wore for the school — to Sic’s family.
Spurred on the emotions beforehand, Freedom came out swinging and scored in the 2nd minute with Greyson Ward sliding a low shot into the back of the net, with the assist coming from Patrick Sandy.
Patton tied things at 1-1 in the 63rd minute with Andres Mateo scoring a goal after a shot from fellow teammate Erick Velasquez struck the crossbar and rebounded back into the penalty box.
Panthers goalkeeper Ethan Vue saved six shots, and Freedom’s Cole Johnson ended with three saves. Freedom outshot Patton 7-3, with Freedom receiving eight corner kicks and Patton one.
The result ended PHS’ eight-game head-to-head winning streak in the rivalry.
Patton 3, E. Rutherford 0
The Lady Panthers won for a second straight day Wednesday, claiming their home opener to move to 2-0 start a season for the first time since at least 2008. Set scores were 28-26, 26-24 and 25-16.
Patton was paced statistically by Izora Gragg (17 assists, eight aces), Ella Gragg (16 kills), Kenady Roper (15 digs) and Cameron Greene (two blocks).
The JV Lady Panthers improved to 1-1 after rallying for a 17-25, 25-3, 15-10 triumph. Kinley Attaway had 12 assists and seven aces, Katelyn Thao had nine digs and Sydney Morgan and Hayley Caraway both had five kills.
Draughn 3, Mitchell 0 (TUES.)
The Lady Wildcats (1-0) won their nonconference opener Tuesday in Bakersville, 25-11, 25-10, 25-9. No details were available.
Patton vs. S. Caldwell
The Lady Panthers were scheduled to host the Spartans to open the season in nonconference action Wednesday. No details were available.
Patrick McCormack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.