Sports Briefs: Metzger-Led U.S. Team Defeats Canada
The U.S. Under-18 National Team led by Pinecrest head football coach Chris Metzger came from behind to defeat Canada 29-14 in Austin, Texas, last Wednesday.
The game played at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex had a definite local flavor.
Metzger’s coaching staff included Pinecrest assistant coaches Jason Sparks (recently named head coach at Portsmouth High School, Ohio), Mike Vogt and Richmond Senior head coach Paul Hoggard.
One of the offensive linemen for the U.S. squad was Alex Norton of Richmond Senior.
Canada, which had defeated the U.S. team last summer, took advantage of a U.S. fumble, and a three and out, to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
“It could have all fallen apart at that point, but sometimes all it takes is one play to turn momentum around — to show a team that not all is lost despite how much is going against it,” Metzger, the head coach at Pinecrest for the last six years, told Joe Frollo of U.S. Football.
“All week we talked about building character and sticking to it. Those young men showed what representing their country meant to them.”
The U.S. defense shut down the Canadians after the rough start. Brandon Monroe of Loomis, Calif., helped get the U.S. ground game going, rushing for 238 yards on 32 carries and scoring three touchdowns.
A two-yard run by Monroe tied the game at 14-14 with 11:11 left in the game. His six-yard run with just over seven minutes remaining gave them the lead. Before the fourth quarter was completed the U.S. had erupted to score 22 points.
Norton also talked to Frollo after the game.
“I’m very proud of how this team played a whole game,” said the resident of Hamlet, who signed with Air Force last Wednesday. “I’d never seen a team come together so quickly.”
The players for the two countries mixed with each other for a long time after the game was over.
“We could talk for hours about how great winning this game was,” Metzger told his players. “But — and we don’t use this lightly — this was family, and that’s what made it special.
“From that first phone call I made to all you guys to this moment, how far we’ve come.”
Patriot Freshmen Fall to Hoke
The Pinecrest freshmen boys’ basketball team was defeated 42-27 at Hoke County on Thursday in its final game of the season.
The Patriots had trouble generating offense against a Buck squad that lost only one game. They cut a 12-point deficit to 31-25 with four minutes remaining in the game before the home team scored eight points in a row.
Patriot coach Steve Lassiter praised the defensive effort by Maliek Stanford that forced several Hoke turnovers. He also scored eight points to share team-high honors with Will Lassiter. Jadan Thomas was next with six points.
Lassiter summed up the team’s 6-5 season.
“This team pulled together very well as the season went on,” he said. “Despite losing a couple of players during the season, they improved their play as a team as the season went on.
“This team was very competitive and always stepped up their performance when the game was tight or when we were trailing going into the fourth quarter.
“Their four come-from-behind victories is a testament to their will to win and their ability to overcome adversity. These boys enjoyed practicing and playing and I enjoyed coaching them.”
Aberdeen Rec Offers Kickball The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department is taking registration for its spring kickball league.
The league is open to youth, ages 4 to 15 (as of Feb. 1)
Practices will begin in late March. Fees are $12 for residents and $25 for non-residents.
Registration begins Feb. 18 and runs through March 8.
Registration forms are available at the Aberdeen Recreation Station, located at Aberdeen Lake Park.
If anyone is interested in coaching or sponsoring a team, contact the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department at (910) 944-7275.
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