Confederates put away Bulldogs in first round

The Bulldogs saw their season come to an end in the first round of the 4A playoffs Tuesday night as they fell on the road at Caledonia, 5-1.

Tucker Holmes scored the lone goal for NAHS, as the ‘Dawgs were able to keep the score tied at the half, 1-1. Taylor Chism notched the goal for the Confederates in the first half.

“I thought we matched well with them,” NAHS head coach Taylor Nichols said. “We dominated in the first half and had a lot of shots on their goal keeper, who is very good. We had the momentum going into the half and we talked about what we needed to work on during halftime.”

In the second half, however, Chism would explode offensively, scoring four more goals to propell the Confederates to the playoff win.

“We were a different team in the second half,” Nichols said. “We were not tired, we just shut down.”

Chism surpassed his career high for goals in a game with the five he scored Tuesday night, beating the record he set only last week, as he scored three in another Caledonia win.

“He is a good player,” Nichols explained. “He has good ball skill and is a good runner. He played very well because we had him unmarked so many times. I talked to our boys at the half and told them they needed to stay on him (Chism) and we tried double teaming, but he was unmarked several times.”

New Albany ends their 2008-09 campaign at 15-7 with a second place finish in the Division 1-4A behind Pontotoc.

“I hate that we ended the season on a negative note because how we played in the second half of the game last night is not a representation of how we’ve played the entire season,” Nichols said. “Since I started working with the boys in June, they’ve worked as hard as they could and they are all around great guys. They have great character, skill and dedication to this team, and they’re the best group I’ve ever been around.”

The standout statistic for the Bulldogs this season is that they outscored their opponents 66-30 with nine shutouts.

“We had a great season and I hate it ended like this,” Nichols said. “There were a couple times when they had to play four games in five days and that’s hard, plus with nagging injuries. I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the guys this season.”