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RHHS contending for spot in Class AAA boys soccer postseason tournament

RHHS’ boys soccer program is continuing its upswing. After a SCHSL Class AA playoff berth last season, the Jaguars are hoping to see another postseason run in Class AAA.

The Jaguars began the week 1-4 in Region 8-AAA, placing them in fourth place just above Battery Creek. The playoff hopes remain alive.

Recently the Jaguars lost 5-2 to region foe Bluffton, one of the top 10 teams in the state. The game started with RHHS giving up two early goals, and the Jaguars trailed 3-0 at halftime.

Coach Tarken Best was frustrated, and the Jaguars played with frustration — one of their weaknesses, according to Best. For most of the game the Jaguars were locked within their own zone, playing Bluffton’s style of play.

But the Jaguars settled in during the second half, scoring twice.

“Right now for the freshman and new players that we have, they just have to get used to playing the way we play,” said senior midfielder Jorge Oliva. “Like passing more — making plays — instead of just pushing the ball forward. We’re weak on forwards, to be honest. Our midfielder Fernando (Trujillo) has scored four goals for us. Against Bluffton our two goals came from the midfield. Most of the other goals are just penalties.”

Crucial game vs. May River

The Jaguars have beaten Battery Creek and faced off against the Dolphins last Friday. But the Jaguars’ fate could be more in their control if they can steal a win against May River (5-5, 3-2 region).

When the Jaguars faced May River on March 24, RHHS took the game into double overtime and ended in a 2-2 tie where they eventually lost in penalties.

A home win against May River on Monday will go a long way in securing a possible playoff berth.

The Jaguars also have a non-region game to close the season against Barnwell.

In its season opener, RHHS beat Barnwell 4-2.

Oliva thinks his team can finish on a strong note. He thinks those wins could provide a lot of momentum for the Jaguars going into the postseason.

The core of the team remains the same, but the wins, he believes, can give the underclassmen some confidence.

Last season, RHHS made it to the second round of the playoffs, but this year the Jaguars hope to go further.

The playoffs begin in early May.

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