South Stokes Lady Sauras improved their record Monday night after defeating North Stokes 9-0 in a soccer match shortened by the mercy rule.
Sauras coach Danny Bowman watched quietly from the sidelines, a stark contrast to his animated coaching style seen in years past.
Players and fans alike were thankful to see him in any form. After suffering a heart attack on December 21 requiring quadruple bypass surgery, doctors later told him the prognosis could have been fatal.
“I get tired real easy; I probably shouldn’t be doing this but I’m taking it slow,” he said.
The beloved coach believes he has a new lease on life and has shared it with his team.
“I’ve told the girls to come out and play as hard as you can. Win, lose, or draw, leave it all on the field and then, go home. It’s been funny, they looked at me, especially those that have played for me in the past and say, “What?” Bollman laughed.
His motivational words seemed to sink in and helped the ladies bank their third win of the season.
“Compared to other games we did well. I was pleased with the way we moved the ball and talked,” he said.
Freshman Madison Green found the back of the net in the 34th minute and went on to add two more goals.
“I really feel like we’re starting to gel and play well together. We’re very young. We have five freshmen and five sophomores. That’s a young core, but they’re playing well with the 17 and 18 year olds.”
Three minutes later Taylor Moulton helped build the Sauras lead off a goal and an assist from Green.
South continued to control the ball and made another attack attempt but was thwarted by North’s goalie Meghan Mabe.
Brittany Shouse added her first goal of the season minutes before halftime off an assist from Haleigh Yontz.
Freshman Lillie Weaver went on to score the initial goal of the second half with an assist from Green.
The Lady Vikings have two wins under their belt this season, but struggled to connect the midfield and forwards. North did push the ball ahead late in the game on a breakaway opportunity but couldn’t get past South’s keeper Mary Weaver.
Rachel Brown added to South’s scoreboard along with two goals from Hannah Fischer in the final minutes.
West Stokes is powering through the season with an 8-2 record, with the the past six wins resulting in shut outs. The Lady Wildcats travel to Beulaville to play East Duplin next Tuesday, March 29 in a non-conference matchup.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.