The Warriors got a win in their one and only scrimmage of the year Thursday night as they defeated the East Paulding Raiders by a score of 2-1. The rain held off until the final whistle to allow both teams the chance to see what their respective sides looked like before the regular season games begin next week. Along with new faces on the field, it was also the debut for new head coach Samer Kaddah who secured a win in his first unofficial action.
The first half began with the Warriors controlling the flow of the game. Despite chances flying left and right, including a missed opportunity off the crossbar, Cherokee could not find the back of the net as they failed to place shots on frame. With seven minutes left in the half the Raiders capitalized on a Cherokee mistake as they struck a rocket into the top left corner of the goal to take a 1-0 lead into the half.
Following the halftime adjustments by both teams, the Warriors came out firing. Center Forward Isai Gonzalez (Junior) placed one in the back of the net ten minutes into the half to even up the score. Minutes after being subbed in, Freshman Erik Peinado made his first varsity game a success as he found the goal off of a beautiful assist from Mario Ramirez (Junior) to put Cherokee ahead 2-1. Despite chances to increase their lead, the game would end by that final score of 2-1 in favor of Cherokee. Junior Govani Hernandez took over in goal in the second half, posting a clean half.
This was the first action for both teams this season and since it was just a scrimmage will not count towards their final records. Cherokee outshot East Paulding 19-6 (9-3 shots on goal). The Warriors have a busy week ahead with three games to kick off the regular season. Cherokee will travel to Kell Tuesday night at 7:30 to begin the season. Kell is in action Friday night on the road at Woodstock. With Coach Kaddah having played four years for the Kell Varsity team and spending some time as an assistant coach with the program, added on to his first regular season game as head coach, there will be no lack of motivation for the team to get off to a fast start. The Warriors will also host county rivals River Ridge and Sequoyah next week.