By Gene Phelps
Northeast Mississippi had two state champions in soccer last season – (4A) Pontotoc boys and (5A) Oxford boys. The (1A-2A-3A) South Pontotoc girls were runners up to Hattiesburg Sacred Heart.
The 2012-13 Daily Journal Player of the Year, Pontotoc’s Rafael Vidana, returns for his senior season. The forward scored 29 goals last season, including three in the state title match.
“He had a good season and so did we,” said Pontotoc coach Michael Loden, whose team finished 19-3-1 and won 16 straight. “We may not be quite as good at some spots this year, but we’re going to be deeper as a team.”
The defending 4A champs open their season at 7 p.m. Tuesday hosting 5A champion Oxford. The girls match is scheduled for 5 p.m.
On the girls front, New Albany’s Katelyn Watson, a forward/center midfielder, returns for her senior season. The Mississippi State commitment scored 12 goals last year.
Pontotoc has its talented center midfielder Rebekah Miller returning to the lineup.