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BHS, Loyd Star on road; Franklin County at home for state playoff openers

Franklin County’s boys and girls put their region championship soccer credentials on the line tonight in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 1A-2A-3A state playoffs. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs host the North Forrest Eagles tonight, starting with the girls game at 5:30. The boys play at 7 p.m. at the Bude soccer complex.

Tonight’s winners play Saturday at sites yet to be determined. South State is Jan. 29. Championships in all classifications will be held Feb. 2 at Clinton High School’s stadium.

In other area action, Loyd Star’s boys, runners-up in the Region 6 Class 1A-2A-3A race, are at Sacred Heart in Hattiesburg tonight at 7.

Both Brookhaven teams were runners-up to Pearl in the region 5A race. The Panthers and Lady Panthers play at Pascagoula tonight.

Seniors playing for Loyd Star are Brenden Brister, Branden Canny, Braden Smith, Cori Crowe, Devlin Terry, Scott Barras and Brandon Cronin.

“Sacred Heart is a 1A school but they are supposed to be a really good,” said Loyd Star coach Dale Brister. “They work a lot of crosses on the field.”

Brister said the Crusaders won the state title in 2010. His Hornets are 6-8 on the season.

Ole Brook girls soccer coach Kevin Bower said his scouting report on Pascagoula was limited. “I know they have one girl who scores a lot. They have several girls who have scored this season. They have a pretty good goalie, too.”

Bower’s seniors are Kimberly Smalley, Case, Heather Brantley and Vanessa Martinez. They are 8-7 on the season and finished 2-1 in the region.

The Panthers (8-7, 2-1), coached by Anjan Karmacharya, beat McComb 3-0 Saturday to secure a berth in the state playoffs. Senior members of the team are Houston Case, Noah Allen, Damarius Newton, Andrew Culver, and Michael Curtis.

Franklin Co. Home

Coach Jeff Long has elevated the Franklin County soccer team to state ranking in his first season at the helm. The unbeaten Bulldogs stand at 18-0-1 on the season. The Lady Bulldogs are 15-3-1.

The FCHS boys are led by junior forward Hoby Mullins who has a state-beat 30 goals in 3A. DeQuay Allen, Greg Queen and Zayne Mullins also scored against Cathedral in a 5-2 triumph.

Goal keeper Trey Bailey made 6 saves for FCHS.

The Lady Bulldogs got 2 goals from SieDriq Middleton and 11 saves from goalie Macy Ziskin in Friday’s win over Natchez Cathedral.

“North Forrest comes from a weak division but I expect a tough game from them,” Coach Long. “Sacred Heart won that division.”

Seniors playing for the Lady Bulldogs are Haley Haygood, Chandler Ggalardi, Emily Smith, Anna Vien, Anna McKormick, Holly Smith and Kristin Emory.

Senior boys are Brendan Beach, Dequay Allen, Jonathan Rogers, Matt Brasher and Trey Bailey.