Pine falls to Pope John Paul II in Tuesday’s league opener

Published 12:05 am Friday, January 12, 2018

SLIDELL — Pine’s Raiders were defeated by Pope John Paul II, 8-0, in the first District 5-IV contest of the season for both teams.
The visiting Raiders, who have a young team, hung in the game after Pope John Paul II scored the game’s first two goals over the opening nine minutes.
“Basically, we’ve only got a couple of seniors on the team,” Pine coach Monty Ingles said. “One of our seniors is missing. He’s one of our better players, but he’s been injured, so he’s not playing for us. What we’re seeing here is what’s coming up for us in the future. We’ve got one year for many of them and we’ve got eighth and ninth graders playing, so we’ve got a lot of guys coming up in the future.”
Ingles said his players are starting gel a little bit more as a team.
“We’ve had some ups-and-downs, but they’re gelling. They’re starting to act like a team. I’m proud of them,” Ingles said.
Pope John Paul II scored the game’s opening two goals over the first nine minutes.
The first came Zac Gressaffa tallied after taking a pass from Sean Riviere to make it 1-0.
Riviere made it 2-0 when he hit the back of the net from the middle of the field.
Pine hung tough after that. The Raiders had a couple of shots, but were unable to capitalize.
Pope John Paul tallied four goals over an eight-minute stretch.
Michael Tymkiw made it 3-0 after he got to a loose ball and scored inside of the 18 during the 22nd minute.
The Jaguars tallied twice in the 23rd.
Gressaffa had both goals to reach the hat trick and it was 5-0.
The final goal of the first half came when Lincoln Oertlin’s shot went off the crossbar and found the back-right corner of the net in the 30th minute.
It was 6-0 at halftime.
Pope John Paul posted the seventh goal 15 minutes into the second half. Pine had defended a pair of corner kicks, but PJP scored on the third opportunity when Brenden Kuzminski tallied.
Neither team scored again until the 37th minute when Wilson Varnado recorded the game-ending goal for the eight-goal mercy rule in the 8-0 final.
Wilson is one of six Bogalusa players in Pope John Paul II’s program.
The rest are George Arata, Colton Temples, Will Adams, Josh Gulczynski and Zachary Kirkland.
“George Arata has been outstanding playing defense for us since the season started and he’s become a very strong smart player in the back and he’s learning like a sponge, so we enjoy that as coaches and he’s open-minded and he keeps working to improve himself week-to-week,” Pope John Paul II coach Danny Clavier said. “He’s become a staple in our backline defensively.”
Clavier said the whole group from Bogalusa is very helpful and very talented.
“You saw Zach (Kirkland) play a little bit at the end. Kirkland brings speed and aggression to the back line. In general, the whole group of boys are a good set of boys that are a quality addition to our program, especially as young as we are and they’re all very young — freshmen and eighth graders, so they’re going to add a lot.
“Of course, Josh (Gulczynski), a sophomore, he adds a level of speed and aggression and then Colton (Temples), another sophomore, you saw quite a bit of him, we’re trying to find him with the ball. We’re trying to get him that magic goal. He’s the spirit of the team.”

Pope John Paul II’s George Arata, a Bogalusa resident, possesses the ball during Tuesday’s game at PJP.