Entering last Tuesday, the Greyhounds had gradually shown improvement, but had not yet seen the fruits of that labor result on victories through six contests.
Jones County had to endure the cold, wind, rain and even an overtime that gave way to penalty kicks, but in the end, JCHS edged Stockbridge 7-6 in the region opener, setting off a jubilant celebration by the Greyhounds.
“We told them going in that we were 0-0. Now, we’re 1-0 and we’ll keep pushing to get better every game,” Greyhounds head coach Will Gallamore said. “The kids didn’t play perfect, but this was the hardest that they have fought all year. We’re super proud of them and are really blessed.”
Forcing penalty kicks, not to mention overtime, was a task in itself for Jones County. But with less than two minutes to go, down 2-1, an arching kick from near midfield ended up being just the ticket for the Greyhounds, tying the score at 2-2.
In overtime, JCHS came back again. After the Tigers jumped in front, another long kick made its way in, helping to force penalty kicks.
Coming up with key saves down the stretch and in overtime, Ethan Kitchens helped secure the win, including multiple ones in the penalty kick round. Cade Jenkins drilled in three goals in the win, but he was hardly alone in the scoring effort that not only put multiple goals in net during penalty kicks but also helped apply pressure throughout the game to help control the game’s tempo.
“It came down to the kids and they wanted it,” Gallamore said. “Their hard work paid off.”
Others scoring goals for JCHS were Nathan Corrigan, Kolby Knowles, Trevin Baxter and Justin Flippen.
The Greyhounds, who played Tuesday at Eagles Landing, go to Union Grove Friday and host Ola next Tuesday.