The season ended in bizarre fashion for the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School boys’ soccer team.

The season ended in bizarre fashion for the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School boys’ soccer team.

On Jan. 18, the Tiger Sharks opened District 2-1A tournament play against Tallahassee John Paul II at Tallahassee Maclay High School.

The teams battled on even terms for more than 60 minutes before the Panthers converted a header into a goal to win 1-0.

“The Tiger Sharks dominated possession in the second half of the game, but came up short and could not score,” said Port St. Joe coach Eli Duarte.

However, in the ensuing days, John Paul was forced to forfeit the game for use of an illegal player.

The Tiger Sharks (who finished with a 5-2-0 district record) were awarded with win but under Florida High School Athletics Association rules once the quarterfinal game was complete, the recourse is that the semifinal bracket is vacated by John Paul.

“It was a bitter-sweet ending for the boys who deserved another chance to prove their creative attacking soccer,” Duarte said.

The loss to John Paul was the final game for the lone senior on the squad, Jake Dickinson, who scored three goals during the season, was the team’s lead defender and who played “an inspired” match against John Paul, Duarte said.

The team’s leading scorers were freshman Marlon Lopez, who scored 11 goals and added six assists, along with junior captain Jacob Lacour, who added 12 assists to eight goals.

Sophomore Isaac Rocha had four goals and two assists and junior Max Harrison and freshman J.J. Laine each scored three goals; Harrison also had three assists.

Sophomores Kjeil Dickinson and Blake Wood each had two goals and two assists; freshman Jacob Kennedy had two goals and junior Dell Pickett had one.

Freshman Kobe Dickinson and junior Noah Campbell each had two assists and single assists were recorded by sophomore Braden Baumgardner and freshman Austin Haynes.

Freshman Joel Bogeart recorded 81 saves on the season.
“The team is very young and next season looks very promising,” Duarte said, adding that Port St. Joe is hoping to host the district tournament next season for the first time since the district was expanded in 2012.

“The coaching staff thanks all volunteers, school officials and the booster club who have been instrumental in the helping the program run and succeed.”