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Senior Chelsea Wilson vies for position against East Laurens on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. (SHS Criterion Photo/Natalie Woodward)

The first soccer game of the season was Friday, February 6, 2014, against the East Laurens Falcons at the Devil’s home field. The temperature at kickoff was perfect soccer weather at 50 degrees.

Within the first few minutes of the game, East Laurens scored to take an early 0-1 lead,  but this did not stop the Lady Devils from pushing on to their fullest potential. As the Devils settled into the game, there were some attempts from forwards but the shots were either wide or to the keeper.

Even though we had the majority of possession, the Lady Falcons scored again with 26 minutes left to play, making the score 0-2.

Again, the Lady Devils persevered. Shortly after the Falcons scored, Reagan Thomas made a beautiful cross that floated across the box. She found Chelsea Wilson who headed the ball high and into the back of the net with 18 minutes left to play, resulting in a 1-2 score.

As the clock ticked down until under a minute to play, everyone expected the score to be 1-2 going into halftime, but the Devils thought differently. On a cross from Emmalyne Sisson, Wilson volleyed the ball into the upper side netting, tying the score up with only 14 seconds left to play in the half.

Six minutes into the second half, Thomas struck the ball from outside the 18 yard line, rattling it off the cross bar. The ball bounced straight up, though, and the keeper unsuccessfully tried to hit it out, resulting in a goal with 35 minutes left to play.

Quickly after this goal, Thomas once again took the ball and dribbled around two players. She shot the ball hard and to near post, resulting in a 4-2 score with 32 minutes left to play.

The Devils continued to hammer the Falcons and dominate possession. As the clock ran down,  sophomore, Ashley Williams, scored in the last 38 seconds, making the final score 5-2, giving the Lady Devils their first season victory.

Coach Brian Thomas commented after the game, “I thought they played good for their first time. After the two early goals, they settled down and played their game. We need to work on not giving up goals early which we talked about at halftime and fixed in the second half. Overall, I was pleased with our first performance.”

Their next home game will be Tuesday, February 24, against Wayne at 5:30 P.M.

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Schoolbus (Pixabay)

Of course, fútbol (soccer) and football are very different sports, but these differences go further than the field. At Statesboro High School, the trips to away games are practically opposites of each other.

Coach Pennington of the football team confirmed this. “It is expected that there will be no talking on the bus,” he said. “But we do allow players to listen to their music.”

Coach Thomas of the girls’ soccer team, however, said the exact opposite about their bus ride. “There is a lot of talking and laughter,” he explained.

Another strict rule on the football bus is the seating chart: each player and each coach has an assigned seat. With the soccer team, however, the only seating arrangement is the separation of players and coaches. This allows the coaches to talk to each other and individual players about game plans, which rarely ever happens on the football bus because the coaches hardly ever discuss plans among themselves and the athletes.

The biggest difference is not on the bus, but rather the actual travel itself. The football team, due to the fact that there are four buses, has a police escort to their away games, while the soccer team does not.

Though these two bus procedures aren’t similar at all, the behavioral outcome is always the same.

“There is never a problem,” both coaches agree.


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The Statesboro High boys’ soccer team played the East Lauren’s Falcons Friday, February 6, 2014. The temperature was a chilling 30 degrees at 7:30.

As the whistle blew, the Blue Devils quickly received a free kick outside of the 18-yard box, but there was no goal as a result of it. Quickly, the Devils took over possession, staying in the Falcon’s final third.

Freshman, Christian Garcia, got a pass in the box and tucked it away resulting in a 1-0 lead with 26 minutes left to play in the first half. The Falcons seldom had shots after Garcia’s goal; all were saved and punted to safety by Hunter Burger.

With 17 minutes left to play, a foul by the Falcons in the box resulted in a penalty kick. Luis Figueroa stepped up to take the kick, burying the ball in the back of the net, making the score 2-0. Quickly, one after the other, 3 more goals were scored, making the score 5-0. After their string of quick goals, the Devils retained control of the ball as the clock ticked down until half time.

As the second half began, the Devils struck quickly with Manny Rodriguez scoring only 30 seconds into the half. Rodriquez placed another perfect goal soon after, and Alex Wagner sliding another in under the keeper, making the score 8-0.

Freshman Connor Calhoun commented after the game, “On to Lakeside, great win boys.”

The team will face Lakeside on Friday, February 13 at home.


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Image Via Wikipedia Commons, modified by Whitt Van Tassell

Soccer is often worshiped like a religion; its star players are treated like gods in many countries. Though the sport is well loved, many may be unaware of the facts that soccer holds.

Today’s soccer ball didn’t have the same shape hundreds of years ago. Early soccer balls were made out of animal bladders, so the ball could inflate. The design of the soccer ball has gone through dramatic changes; it wasn’t until the 19th century that they took the look they have now. The soccer goal has also changed. Until 1882, there were no crossbars on the goals. This meant that any ball that landed in between the two side posts at any height was considered a goal. Just like the soccer goal and the ball, World Cup has changed. Unlike the World Cup today, in 1950, the original cup was made of paper Mache and had to be replaced due to heavy rain.

There are some things about soccer players that even the most avid fans may not know. Cristiano Ronaldo was nicknamed “cry-baby” when he was a child. Other than having child nicknames that follow them to the field, players have embarrassing moments or fears. For example, David Beckham suffers from ornithophobia, the fear of birds, and ataxophobia, the fear of untidiness. Italian striker, Giuseppe Meazzas shorts fell down when taking a penalty shot in the 1938 semifinal World Cup match, but he continued to calmly take the shot and scored the goal. In addition, Tim Howard, a player on the United States men’s national soccer team suffers from Tourette’s syndrome.

In every country around the world, except the United States and Canada, soccer is called “football”. The United States has almost 18 million official soccer players, more than any other country in the world. The United States (1919-1921) was the first professional soccer league in the United States in which players were paid 35 cents for every goal that they scored. Of all other sports, soccer is the most played sport worldwide.


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By: Jya Holloway

A month after the World Cup final match took place at the Maracanã, Brasileros began asking the question: “How do we move forward?”  Brazil was once an economic powerhouse.  From 2002-2011 it was the fastest growing economy under the presidential advisement of Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.  Current president, Dilma Rousseff, has made countless promises to boost the economy as well as social and political freedoms of lower class Brazilians; however, with a financial deficit due to the FIFA World Cup and upcoming 2016 Olympic games, there is doubt that she will be reelected this October.

With the amount of problems Brazil faces and the questionable image of the financial crisis of Brazil, there are many things left unsaid.  The lower class is taxed higher, receives less education, and is given less in return.  This led to protests whenever government officials released information on the World Cup’s estimated 11.7 billion USD cost and 240 billion USD in expenses for the 2016 Olympics.

Protestors took the streets of Sao Paulo, Rio, as well as social media, with phrases like “We don’t need the World Cup. We need hospitals and education.” Brazil’s press let it slip that 3.6 million USD were used as contributions to stadiums, roads, and airports which were taken from taxpayers. Government officials released statements that “It is unclear what percentage of profits was stolen, if they were actually stolen.” This raises the question of where are these misplaced funds going, not to mention the money lost in a cyber crime that supposedly amounted to 3.75 billion USD of stolen transactions for merchandise, tickets, packages, etc.


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   Haley Padgett    For many years, Statesboro High students have participated in the excitement of dressing up for Friday night football games according...