Sunshine – yes, it still exists – bathed Polk County Middle School’s soccer pitch in a warm glow Wednesday afternoon.
Not that the Wolverine boys soccer squad noticed – their postgame smiles shone far brighter.
Polk County Middle delivered perhaps its best performance of the season, routing Apple Valley 6-1 in a Blue Ridge Middle School Conference match.
The Wolverines (8-2) not only avenged a 4-0 loss earlier this season at Apple Valley, they also put themselves back in the chase for second place in the Blue Ridge’s East Division. Undefeated Flat Rock leads the division, but Apple Valley now also has two league losses, with both Apple Valley and Polk County having one more game with the Eagles.
“After getting pounded in the first game up there, to come back and pound them here is a good feeling,” said Polk Middle head coach Travis Aldred. “I couldn’t be prouder of the kids.”
A pair of goals by Grayson Jones and a tally from Jackson Geddings staked Polk Middle to a 3-1 halftime lead. The Wolverines then quickly put to rest any hopes Apple Valley had of a second-half comeback, Geddings scoring five minutes into the second period.
Isaac Edwards added a goal midway through the half, firing a rocket from the right wing into the upper left corner of the net, and Gage Lewis tallied late in the half for the final margin.
Polk Middle’s defense played well throughout, and Aldred cited that as one of the keys to turning around the performance at Apple Valley to Wednesday’s effort.
“We’ve been finishing lately, which helps,” Aldred said. “We’re giving 110 percent in both halves instead of one. For the whole team, just their sport of soccer, their knowledge of what they’re doing, is way better.”
Polk County travels Monday to Hendersonville before closing its regular season on Wednesday, hosting Flat Rock at 4:30 p.m.