Sebring shuts down Red Devils
Allen Moody | Highlands TodaySEBRING - The Sebring Blue Streaks had a bit too much for Avon Park on Saturday at Firemen's Field. Sebring cruised to a 3-0 victory, but it certainly wasn't due to lack of trying on the part of Avon Park.
Published: January 15, 2013
Published: January 15, 2013
"We played the first half with 10 guys," said Avon Park coach Victor Munoz. "It was a very good effort."
The Blue Streaks moved some players around a bit during the match, giving coach Keith Bowyer the chance to do a little bit of experimentation.
"It was a fun game," Bowyer said. "I got to put a lot of my second string players out there and get them a lot of playing time. I put some of my first string in positions they're not used to playing, which is kind of good for them to develop their game."
The Blue Streaks got on the scoreboard midway through the first half, when Hunter Livingston knocked a penalty kick home and made it 2-0 in the final four minutes of the half when Neil Wilson knocked a ball into the back of the net.
One player arrived at halftime for the Red Devils, which put them at full strength with 11 players, but that was negated when one player received his second yellow card of the match, sending him to the bench for the remainder of the match. Munoz said the players may not always agree with the officials, but have to understand who it is that's in charge on the field.
"They need to learn to keep their mouths shut and respect those calls," he said. "It's a process. New kids, they think it's always their way."
The Red Devils managed to keep the Blue Streaks off the scoreboard until 13 minutes were remaining in the match, when Sebring's Brian Westergom headed a ball into the back of the net to account for the final score.
"I'm fairly happy," Bowyer said. "They played with a fair amount of intensity. We need to ramp up our intensity a little bit for districts, but the excitement and intensity of that district match always seems to ramp then up. We're passing well and working on some other things behind the scenes."
Sebring had some solid scoring chances during the match, but some nice saves by Red Devils' goalkeeper Brooks Whidden, along with some key defensive plays by Rigoberto Luevano and German Badilla helped keep the Blue Streaks at bay.
Bowyer said he would like to see the Red Devils continue to improve, as it's good for all the teams in the county to have strong, local competition.
"I hope they continue to develop," he said. "They're definitely better than they were last year. Victor has been there a few years now and coaching continuity is huge."
Munoz believes the team will continue to improve and right now just asks them to play hard.
"I'm very happy with the effort," he said. "I can't ask for anything more."
Both teams will be in action on Thursday, with Sebring playing Lake Placid and the Red Devils hosting All Saints Academy.
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