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Byrd boys shut out Sulphur in soccer playoffs
February 9, 2018, 1:13 pm

By Jordan Spratt, Special to The Times

Being a top-seeded team in the playoffs and potentially playing your in-city rival for the fourth time, carries an immense amount of pressure. However, the Byrd Yellow Jackets proved that they are the pressure in this year's Division I playoffs, as they tactically dismantled the Sulphur Tornados 2-0.

This Byrd team has shown a propensity to feel out its opponent, allowing them to get comfortable in the first 10 minutes and then squeeze the life out of them for the next 70 minutes. Relative to perspective, Sulphur “took hold” of 58 percent of the possession early in the match, pinning the Jackets in their defensive third. 

It was clear set-pieces have been a focal point for Sulphur this season, with the quality of long throws that came from the incredible proficiency of Tim Thomas. Thomas earned the respect of Jacket fans and put the Jacket defense on notice with magnificent flip throw-ins, putting the ball in dangerous areas for a physically imposing Sulphur team.

In the 16th minute, Byrd coach Gary McCormick employed a tactical substitution in response to a personnel switch by Sulphur coach Trevor Foolkes. Foolkes put Thomas in the center of the field from his right back position to neutralize the effectiveness of Jackets attacking-mid, Isaac Morris.

“We moved Tim around early in the game. We felt like he had to keep an eye on number 10 and he did a great job at that. But Byrd has so many weapons -- we can’t keep that close of an eye on all of them,” Foolkes said.

Click here to read the rest of The Times article. 


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