Pacelli to host first soccer match

May 7, 2012 

Forgive Alec Silva if he sounds excited.

The Pacelli sophomore can hardly wait for tonight's second-round Class A boys playoff game when his Vikings play host to Hebron Christian at 5 p.m.

This isn't an ordinary playoff match.

Tonight is believed to be the first played on Deimel Field, normally home to the school's football and baseball teams. Pacelli, like all other Muscogee County Schools except for Brookstone, plays its home games at the Woodruff Farm Road Soccer Complex.

With spring football practice completed and the Vikings' baseball season finished, athletic director Chris Garner, football coach Randy Grace and baseball coach Justin Newman pushed for

the soccer team to play its postseason games on the school's campus.

"It'll be something we may never be able to do again," Silva said. "We got new nets, new equipment and our field has been all painted up. It's going to be awesome."

Pacelli coach Mike Dempsey said Grace and Newman wanted to give the team a home-field advantage. It wasn't easy converting the stadium turf into a playable soccer field. The temporary baseball fence was taken up and the pitcher's mound had to be cut down in addition to routine duties such as cutting the grass.

Garner and Grace have been promoting ticket sales around school and drumming up support.

"I appreciate those guys doing that," Dempsey said. "The coaches volunteered to sell tickets and the baseball parents got behind it. It's great to see the boys pumped up about it."

Senior Christian Trueax said he didn't believe it at first when the coaches told him they would be playing a home soccer game. He knew there would be too much work to convert Deimel Field in time for the postseason.

"We believe we're going to have a great turnout," Trueax said. "I believe our whole student body is going to come out and support us. This is going to be the biggest crowd we've had with the exception of maybe the Brookstone game."

Pacelli players have taken solace in the fact that they have made soccer history. They practiced on Deimel Field last week and on Monday. A victory sends them into the quarterfinals against the winner of the Paideia-Mount Paran game on Friday.

The Vikings don't want to just stop at one home postseason game. For them to play host to a second home game, they need to secure a victory tonight, then hope that Mount Paran upsets Area 4 champion Paideia.

Trueax doesn't want to look ahead. Instead, he thanks Pacelli supporters for making tonight's game on campus possible.

"We'll be a little more intense and play harder," he said.

"We're going to play our hearts out for the people who helped us be able to play this game at home."

SECOND-ROUND SLATE

Boys

Today

Class AAA

Columbus at Sandy Creek, 6 p.m.

Class A

Hebron Christian at Pacelli, 5 p.m.

Brookstone at Atlanta International, 7 p.m.

Girls

Wednesday

Class AAA

Columbus vs. Eastside (at CSU), 5:30 p.m.

Class A

Brookstone at Calvary Day, 4 p.m.

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