Weekly Highlights

Friday, Dec 21 2012 11:42 AM

Warriors win Garces Festival Tournament

Related Photos

Tehachapi Soccer made history when they became the first boys team to win the Garces Holiday Festival. Pictured in the photo are Zach Satton, Chris Boyd, Julian Chavez, Kevin Saldana, Tyler Todd, Victor Rodriguez, Lucas Rowe, Cameron Gamble, David Veszpeller, Alex Benitez, Hunter Kenyon, Freddy Benitez, Kevin Rooney, Jeremy Duff, Noah Finch, Jose Barajas, Kyle Mathes Orr and Mark Minjares

In what has already been a season of 'firsts' for the THS Soccer Program, the Warriors have just earned another big one.

The Warriors are the first THS boys team to win a Garces Holiday Festival title, which in its 23rd year recognized as the biggest high school soccer tournament in the nation.

Tehachapi (12-3) earned a championship victory with a thrilling 4-3 overtime win over Liberty-Madera.

"I was proud of the way our kids played, they never gave up," said head coach Roger Rijfkogel. "To win a tournament like the Garces Festival, that's big time. And the way they did it made it even sweeter."
The final game was a nail biter from start to finish, with the Warriors faced with a 3-1 deficit in the second period before recording the improbable comeback.

Mountain Soccer was tied 1-1 with Liberty-Madera at halftime when Jose Barajas connected on a goal off an assist from David Veszpeller. However, in the second half, the Hawks scored two unanswered goals to seemingly put the game away.

But the game was still very much alive, with Tehachapi tying the game on a Jeremy Duff goal off a Mark Minjares assist and Barajas finding the net on the game tying goal before the end of regulation.

With momentum on their side, Barajas struck a golden goal header through the net on a cross from Minjares cross during the second 10-minute overtime to give Tehachapi the championship victory.
"It was a good showing for our guys. We knew they had the capability to win and they fought hard to do it. They kept their cool under pressure in the extra frame and finished," added Rijfkogel.

Earlier in the tournament, the Warriors also defeated Shafter 3-1 and Tranquillity 8-0.

Against Shafter, Cameron Gamble, Barajas and Duff had goals, while Victor Rodrguez, Minjares and Veszpeller had assists and Zach Satton had five saves.

In the victory over Tranquillity, Satton recorded the shutout and had three saves, while Barajas had four goals, Veszpeller two goals, and Gamble and Rodriguez one goal each. Barajas was also credited with two assists and Alex Benitez, Chris Boyd, Duff, Veszpeller, Minjares and Gamble with assists.

The Warriors will next be in action next Thursday against Paraclete at home. The game will kickoff at 6 p.m. at Coy Burnett Field.

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