By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
Amory’s guys soccer defenders have come up with a pretty good moniker to define themselves. “The Dirty Birds,” Ryan Hill said while the group was getting ready to take a team photo late last week.
Will Alexander’s jersey wasn’t very dirty, but the junior said his skills were, so go ahead and count him in the mix too.
For a group that had to replace eight and a group that frankly no one expected anything of, this Panther team has earned a right to deem its own nicknames heading into Tuesday’s playoff opener.
Last week in Caledonia though, an opposing coach was allegedly deeming his own nicknames toward the Panthers.
Let me say this before I go any further. I have talked with the coach in question who, on Monday, said nothing of the sort happened, but talk was flying after Amory’s 3-0 win, a very intense win, that one of Caledonia’s coaches was shouting expletives and hurling insults at Amory players, even using the word classless a time or two.
In what is turning into a rivalry, it all started a week earlier at Amory, when the visiting Confederates (ironically a well-named group) beat the Panthers in a shootout. The win was followed by Caledonia jumping around at midfield and celebrating very loudly on opposing turf.
A celebration was indeed called for, but dancing and singing on an opposing team’s field as the other team is trying to huddle for a postgame chat?
I’m all about a good time and a good celebration, but that type of celebration is a good way to start an all-out melee.
Amory’s players made sure to watch the hoedown and kept it top of mind a week later at Caledonia when it all but clinched the Division 3-4A title. With it still fresh seven days later, the Panthers handed the hosting Feds a 3-0 shutout after a game that had as much shoving and cheap-shotting as you hear about at a Mike Tyson bout. (Get it? Hear. You know, the whole ear-biting incident).
Anyways, after the game, the talk wasn’t about the win. It was about the remarks from the Confederate coach in question. Even a parent or two got involved and how could you blame them? If someone had called my child the thing I was told a coach called one Amory player, it would have required handcuffs and bail money, in that order.
I wrote a column last week about players who think they’re bigger than the team. Wonder where they get those attitudes. Care to shed some light coach?
Look, if someone says it didn’t happen and there’s no video to prove them wrong, then it didn’t happen. But if more than a few people say they heard it happen and there’s no evidence to prove they didn’t, then it did happen.
You decide. And while I must continue to use the word ‘allegedly,’ all I know is that I have the audio of one very angry parent who had just come from the Caledonia sideline after the game. As they passed by the recorder during a postgame interview, they weren’t too happy with whatever they heard on the far side of the field.
Allegedly nothing was said, but last time I got that mad, it wasn’t over something that allegedly happened. That’s all I’m saying.