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Polk soccer celebrates seniors, win over Crest in regular season finale

They held a postgame barbecue dinner Wednesday night to honor the 13 seniors on Polk County’s boys soccer squad – and a trio of underclassmen made certain the meal would be a festive one.

Wil Rimer and Brad Blackwell each scored in the final seven minutes, both on assists from Jeremy Allsbrook, as the Wolverines closed their regular season with a 2-0 win over Crest in a non-conference match at Polk County Middle School.

Senior Night ended as have so many evenings this season for Polk County – with a victory. Owners of just six wins a year ago, the Wolverines closed this season with a 12-5-2 record, a six-match winning streak and an automatic playoff berth after finishing second in the Western Highlands Conference.

“After last year I didn’t know what to expect, for sure,” said Polk County head coach Lennox Charles. “Obviously this group of seniors, and juniors, have stepped up and done a really good job.

“I’m happy for them. Most of the two-year varsity players hadn’t had a winning season and haven’t been to a playoff game. For them it’s nice to have them be able to go into the end of their senior years and have both things.”

The Polk County junior varsity also ended its season Wednesday in winning fashion, taking a 4-1 victory.

With Tyler Campbell nursing an injury, Rudy Macias and Wilson Edwards split time in goal, and they and Polk County’s back line kept Crest (9-10-1) from mounting few serious scoring threats. The Chargers also played without leading scorer Nate Kennedy.

“We’ve gotten some breaks, and I hope they continue in the playoffs,” Charles said. “Their best player was out with a concussion. But this will be good for us. They were athletic and they were aggressive and we had to deal with that.”

Scoreless for much of the night, the match finally turned the Wolverines’ way in the final minutes.

Having come close to scoring on a couple of occasions in the final 15 minutes, Polk got the breakthrough goal with 6:30 left in the match as Allsbrook rolled a low corner kick at the right side of the net, where Rimer weaved past a Crest defender and nudged the ball into the corner of the goal.

Rimer nearly scored again a minute later, but a second goal was soon in coming, Allsbrook lofting a pass from the right wing toward the left post, where Blackwell waited and beat the defense with a header for the 2-0 lead.

Polk County’s defense made certain that lead would stand, sending the Wolverines into the postseason on a roll and undoubtedly making the barbecue taste just a bit sweeter.

“The big challenge for us now, because the season has gone better than we expected, is to not be satisfied that we had a good season and made the playoffs,” Charles said. “There’s a lot left now that can be accomplished.”

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