Natchitoches Central High School soccer concluded its boys’ and girls’ teams’ seasons this week with both teams having earned first round playoff berths.
The Chiefs fell 5 to 2 in a hard-fought contest against New Orleans’ Military and Maritime Academy on Saturday, February 4 at home. Scoring for the Chiefs were Joe Maggio and Josh Chesal. This season marks the second time in program history that the NCHS boys’ team has made the playoffs and the first time they have earned a home field playoff slot. It should be noted that the Chiefs only have 13 players on the team and were forced to play 2 games with only 10 players instead of the usual 11 on the field. Solid coaching and hard work overcame their lack of numbers and brought them to the playoffs.
The Lady Chiefs’ first round playoff match was at East Jefferson High School on Thursday, February 2. They fell 2 to 1 in a close match that went down to the wire before a heartbreaking loss. This year’s playoff appearance is the first in several years for the
Lady Chiefs. Third year Head Coach Eden Rodriguez, herself a 2013 NCHS alumna and veteran of the team she now coaches, sees a “…constant rate of improvement…” in the 27 young women of her team.
One of the notable things about NCHS Soccer is the durable bonds built by the program. Boys’ Assistant Coach Lincoln Hall, Girls Head Coach Eden Rodriguez, and girls’ assistant coach Ashley Fortenberry are all NCHS Alumni who played for the Chiefs during their student days. Coaches Hall and Rodriguez are also teachers at NCHS. Boys’ Coach Rusty Stultz is the parent of four NCHS and LSMSA alumni, all of whom played on the boys and girls teams as students. The boys’ and girls’ teams have been a consistent presence on their schools honor rolls throughout the program’s history. The soccer teams are filled with the kind of young people that exemplify everything good about high school sports.