MADISON, Miss. – Madison Central High School was presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy at a school assembly on Monday. The honor is part of the inaugural MaxPreps Tour of Champions for Boys' Soccer presented by the Army National Guard and Madison Central is one of just ten schools being honored.
The Jaguars finished ranked No. 3 in the country by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 14,000 high school boys' soccer teams.
"MaxPreps is thrilled to work with the Army National Guard to honor America's finest high school boys' soccer teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said President and Founder, Andy Beal. "Coach Hinds and the Madison Central Jaguars have proven on the pitch that they are among the nation's truly elite high school soccer teams. We are happy to add boys' soccer to this year's tour and salute the coach, the young men on the team and Madison Central High School for a job well done."
Madison Central beat Ocean Springs 3-0 to win the Mississippi Class 6A state championship. This is the first boys' soccer state championship for the Jaguars. Madison Central finished the season at 20-3-1.
"We are very excited to be recognized by MaxPreps and the Army National Guard," said Madison Central head coach Cecil Hinds. "It is truly an honor. This is a first time accomplishment for the school and it is a testament to the hard work by this group of kids." Coach Hinds was named the Clarion-Ledger Coach of the Year.
A week after losing in the semi-final game last year, the Madison Central Jaguars started preparing for this year's season. They had come so close and they knew it would take a lot of hard work to go all the way. With 10 seniors on the team, they focused on playing together as a whole team. Their efforts and dedication proved to be worth it. The Jaguars scored 81 goals by 16 different players and only allowed 10 goals all season.
Coach Hinds cites Gillian Watson as the player who really made a difference on the field. Watson, a junior midfielder, led the team in goals scored with 16 and points with 39. He also scored all three of the goals in the state championship game. Freshman midfielder Ridge Brohaugh led the Jaguars with 9 assists. Goalkeeping duties were split between seniors Jared Ogburn, who had 10 shutouts, and Zac Tranum, who had 9 shutouts.
Madison Central has five seniors who will go on to play soccer in college: Zahir Bracey, Johnathan Goliday and Zac Tranum will all play for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Nicholas Bracey will play for Southern Polytechnic State University (GA) and Graham Ahlrich will play for Hinds Community College.
Master Sergeant Weylin Lott of the Mississippi Army National Guard presented Coach Hinds and the Jaguars with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a school assembly on Monday.
"For the first time, Army National Guard representatives will present the Army National Guard national ranking trophy to nationally ranked boys soccer teams," said LTC Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. "We take great pride in doing so because the trophy symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved."
MaxPreps uses an intricate computer program to determine team rank – known as the "MaxPreps Freeman Rankings." Prior season history, school size, and comments on message boards are not considered in the MaxPreps rankings. The computer-based system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system also takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents) and strength of schedule. For example, a team's ranking is hurt more by losing to a team that is ranked below them than to a team ranked ahead. Boys' soccer rankings are updated once a week.
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