The teams played a short game as it was called in the 41st minute due to lightning, but head coach David Paradis said the game went well.
“It went very well. We moved the ball well and set up a lot of good counter attacks,” said Paradis.
One key element that contributed to the Feb. 12 win was the number of returning players. Paradis said his team returned 11 players that saw varsity time last season.
There were five players Paradis named as being the key returners for the team — Matthew Bryson, Alec Durbano, Ross Pasley, Axel Ritcher and Harlan Ritcher.
Bryson was the team’s leading scorer from last season. Pasley is the top forward for the team while the Ritchers hold down the midfield as the start of the line of defense. Durbano is the team’s top defender.
Pasley and Harlan Ritcher scored the two goals for Cartersville against Cherokee off free kicks in the 20th and 30th minutes of the game.
With several players returning this season and over half of the team being seniors, Paradis said that creates the team’s strength.
“The team’s strength is their knowledge of the game and their teammates. The seniors have been together for four years and they know what each other is going to do. The team chemistry is there already,” Paradis said.
The second game of the season, Feb. 15, was against Cass. With these schools being rivals, prior to the game, Paradis said it would be a big deal.
“This will be a big game to set the trend for both teams as we go into region play soon,” said Paradis.
For this season, Paradis said the team has three big goals it would like to accomplish.
“The first and main goal is to make it back to state. We would also like to go out and win the region and I think we’re definitely capable of doing that with the returners we have. I would like to get into the second round of state. Last year we lost to the runner-up in the first round,” Paradis said.
Prior to the postseason, Paradis said his team needs to get quicker in order to compete in the state tournament.
One thing Paradis noted about his team is that they are a “good, tough bunch of kids that love to play soccer and are always willing to learn more.”