Westwood Rockets boys’ soccer team competed in the 9th annual Raider Invitational middle school tournament over the weekend. The Rockets came in as the smallest school by a lot. One school has almost 1,500 more students than Westwood. The coaches were honest with the players about the size of the schools, but the players didn’t let that affect them. The players even stated they came to win it all, not just compete.
Westwood started off by playing Algood out of Cookeville on Friday. The coaches stated it was an amazing game. Both teams played well, and at the end of the 1st half, it was 0 to 0. In the second half, Westwood scored 3 goals, and that’s how the game ended.
Saturday, Westwood played Cumberland County and at the half, and it was 1 to 1 at the end of the half. The game went on to finish in a tie and went into a PK shootout. The teams got to the 7th shooter, then Coach Smith put Jobson Lemons at Keeper, and he stopped Cumberland County’s shot to win that game and move on to the championship. In the PK shootout, Westwood used shooters Joan Deanda, Jodson Lemons, Aiden Walker, Aaron Jaimes, Michael Vieras, Rogelio Ramirez, and Erick Moncayo.
In the championship, Westwood played Harris, who they played earlier in the season, which ended in a 1 to 1. tie. This time, Westwood went up 2 to 0 at the half. The Rockets scored another goal in the second half to win the game 3 to 0.
Goals were scored by Joan Deanda, Jobson Lemons, Aiden Walker, and Aaron Jaimes during the games. Walker had the most goals in the Tournament.
Coach Kevin Smith stated he knew his team could win, but they gave 100% every play. He knew they had the ability and the correct game plan, but his concern was the kids play that many games in a short time with the heat. Coach Smith stated that the one thing about Westwood that separates them from a lot of teams is the drive the players play with and that at Westwood, the coaching staff pushes the players to be better every day.
Coach Nazario Smith stated he was amazed at how well the team did, even though the Rockets are young and gave up a lot of size and speed to the other schools.