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Jack Oakey’s assertiveness Thursday night lifted the Collins boys’ soccer team to its second consecutive district title.
Oakey, a senior midfielder, helped create two of the Titans’ three goals – all in the second half – in the their 3-0 victory over crosstown-rival Shelby County in the 30th District Tournament final at Anderson County. Both teams advanced to the 8th Region Tournament.
“In the second half a determined Jack Oakey just drove the ball in and had that mentality, ‘I want to score,’” Collins Coach Scott Cress said. “It was good. That’s the mentality we need every now and then.”
With the teams – the Titans were seeded No. 1, the Rockets No. 3 – locked in a scoreless tie early in the second half, Oakey drove the ball down the sideline then sent it into the middle of the field, where James Thompson got a head-touch before senior Phillip Burkhardt received the ball and beat Shelby County keeper Luke Dove for the decisive goal with 27:49 to play.
Later Oakey helped the Titans add to their lead, assisting Gentry Gaither’s goal.
Junior midfielder Johnny Nava converted a free kick for Collins’ final goal.
The third-ranked Titans (14-3-2 after the victory) outshot the Rockets (8-12-1 after the loss), 6-1, in the first half.
“We were able to control possession, and we took great shots, but Luke [Dove] was just having a great game,” Cress said.
Oakey, senior defenders Chris Shuck and Caleb Vogel and sophomore midfielder Blake Shelton represented Collins on the all-district tournament team.
“Blake Shelton played incredible,” Cress said.
With three starters out – senior Jeff Cook (injury) and the Lanham brothers, Austin and Mark (vacation) – and another (Ryan Metcalf) returning from injury Shelton “came through,” Cress said.
“My hat goes off to Collins' players, as they played a hard-fought game against us in the district final,” Shelby County Coach Tony Wood said. “We have a young team that came out focused and played a tight game during the first half, but Collins' experience prevailed in the second half, giving them the competitive edge."
The Rockets’ representatives on the all-district tournament team were Dove, fellow junior Ramon Rios and sophomore Cole Meredith, who scored two goals in Shelby County’s district semifinal victory over Anderson County.
“Looking to the future, I believe the experience gained during this year’s district championship will pay huge dividends for Shelby County High School, and we will end up on the other end of future district championship games,” Wood said.
30th District Tournament final
Thursday at Anderson County
Collins 3, Shelby County 0
CHS goals:Phillip Burkhardt 1, Gentry Gaither 1, Johnny Nava 1.
CHS assists:Jack Oakey 2, James Thompson 1.
ALL-DISTRICT TOURNAMENT TEAM –Chris Shuck, Caleb Vogel, Jack Oakey and Blake Shelton (Collins); Ramon Rios, Luke Dove and Cole Meredith (Shelby County).