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Wilkes Central High School Athletics

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Moreno, Privette lead Eagles past Vikings

MORENO, PRIVETTE LEAD EAGLES PAST VIKINGS

Wilkes Central senior forward Kevin Moreno scored the first goal of the night Wednesday in Hays in the Eagles’ Mountain Valley Athletic Conference match with North Wilkes. And he spent the rest of the night getting his teammates involved. Moreno finished with three assists and what proved to be the game-winning goal as Wilkes Central dispatched the Vikings 4-0. The match was closer than the final score might indicate. North Wilkes (1-8, 0-2) had chances in the first half to cut into the early Central lead, but ultimately couldn’t connect. The Eagles led 2-0 at the half and then saw the speedy senior Jack Privette notch two straight goals after the break to put the game away. “We have a couple of guys up-top who possess a lot of speed,” said Eagles’ Head Coach Jim Caudill. “When those guys are possessing the ball and connecting like they did tonight, they are very hard to defend.” Moreno connected first, in the 14th minute, from the right and off an assist by Privette. Then Moreno helped get Jesus Adan-Gamboa on the score sheet with an assist on a score in the 29th, as the Eagles controlled possession early. That 2-0 lead held as North Wilkes finally started to get some runs at Central keeper Michael Davis. In the 35th minute, North’s Jorge Martinez appeared to score after a big push aided by Javier Ocampo; however, the side judge ruled Martinez offside, negating the goal and keeping the deficit at two. Ten minutes into the second half, Privette found the net from the right. He was fired back across the face of the goal and high; North keeper David Cornelius had decent position, but Privette’s shot was too tall to handle, and the margin swelled to 3-0. Four minutes later, the Eagles were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box, and North constructed a five-man wall to try and block a possible shot. The Vikings’ defense held, and North cleared the dangerous ball out of trouble to stay within striking distance. But in the 66th minute Privette put the match out of reach. Moreno sent a through ball in on the run and Privette quickly outraced the North back line for possession. The shot was just as quick after the first touch, and the ball scooted into the net. North Wilkes had one last set play in the 76th minute that came close. On a corner kick from the left, Leonardo Ocampo booted the ball to the far side of the pitch, where Alex Ruvalcaba raced in with a nice header. The ball, tough, bounced hard off the crossbar and out. “We’re very young, but we’re learning to play within the team concept,” said Caudill, whose team improved to 6-1-1 overall and 2-0 in league play despite losing six seniors to graduation from last fall’s roster. “And we just came off a very tough match last night against North Surry,” continued Caudill (the Eagles battled to a 1-1 draw Tuesday against undefeated North Surry). “So it was important that we came out strong tonight and didn’t suffer any let down. We had tired legs, but I’m very pleased with the effort against North Wilkes.” The Vikings were also coming off a tough match, having lost 9-0 to Starmount in the MVAC opener Monday. Head Coach Brian Holloway was happy to see a rebound from his squad. “We’re still recovering from Starmount,” said Holloway. “This week has been two games against two very good opponents. But the effort tonight was much better.” Holloway also got another good outing from his keeper, who inherited the job after the speedy Leonardo Ocampo was moved into the pitch. “We needed Leo up top to help generate more offense,” said Holloway. “He was great in goal, but he’s a very good player in the field, too. “So David has stepped in and done a solid job taking over as goalie. He hasn’t played the position since middle school, but he’s shown over the past couple of matches that he’s quickly learning how to tend goal at a high level.” North Wilkes next faces East Wilkes at home Monday evening. On the same night the Eagles will try to keep their conference record spotless when they travel to Millers Creek to face bitter rival West Wilkes.

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