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Bulldogs lose to Churchland

The King’s Fork High School boys’ soccer team lost to Churchland High School 4-0 in the semifinals of the conference 17 tournament.

The Bulldogs went scoreless against the Churchland Truckers in the conference tournament semifinals on Thursday night. The Bulldogs were missing key players and had to substitute throughout the game.

Coach Michel Bilé described how difficult it can be when important players are missing.

“When you are missing key players you have to depend on substitutes, so you really can’t substitute your other key players as much,” he said. “They played a good game, we just had to get the ball in the net.”

He did credit defensive plays by goalkeeper Kai Lakes and defender Nadim Barakat. Lakes made some key saves that, without them, could have made the game a lot worse.

Bilé said the Bulldogs made progress this season. Last year, they only won five games, but this season they won eight. Kings Fork played a tough schedule this season, and Bilé recognized that his team did well.

“We competed successfully with a lot of 6A schools,” he said. “A school like Hickory was undefeated in the Southeastern District, and we took them to overtime.”

When asked how his team could improve for next season, Bilé stressed the importance of players to get individual touches on the ball during the offseason. He also would like his team to work together on positioning so during the game they will make better decisions and know where the players are.

“We are learning to work together as a team and communicate and try to encourage more students to try out and be a part of the team,” Bilé said. “When you have the same people playing every day, the wear and tear can get to the body.”

The Bulldogs team is young. Bilé is losing only three seniors this year, and the major contributors to the team are sophomores. He believes this year’s progress can be built upon next season.

“The team this year did much better in terms of success and team play than the team last year,” Bilé said. “We have good depth, and I believe we will do better next season.”