The Granite Bears opened the soccer season with a 9-0 blanking of Thomasville Tuesday.
Both Jeremy Chappell and Felipe Chavez had hat tricks as Mount Airy ended the game with about 15 minutes left on the clock.
Chappell, just a sophomore, scored twice in the first half, then ended the game in the second half with his third goal.
The Bears attacked the Bulldogs from the opening touch. Thomasville tried switching the field from right to left by passing backward, but the Bears’ front line chased the ball down and made a steal just seconds into the game. They would continue to badger the ball handler with Chavez, Chappell, Mitchell Brown and Jose Perez applying the pressure.
“They dropped it back, and we attacked,” Coach Will Hurley explained. “I don’t think they were expecting us to be so aggressive.”
On the first goal, senior co-captain Brown took the ball up the left side and slid the ball along the front of the keeper’s box to Chavez.
A few minutes later, the Bears attacked again. The keeper was pulled to the left side to make a block, but off the rebound, Brown rolled a low shot between two defenders into the right corner for a 2-0 lead.
Perez, a freshman, had a couple of scoring opportunities come up dry, then he scored off a couple of touches following a long throw-in from co-captain Carlos Carrillo.
Chavez scored again, and Chappell had two goals as the Bears led 6-0 at the break.
Sophomore Chandler Snyder had two assists in the game.
“If we stay healthy, we can score a lot of goals,” said Hurley. “We have a really good front five.”
While the offense was generating points, it was the other side of the ball that earned the coach’s praise.
“I thought our defense played awesome,” he said. “When it plays that well, it fuels the offense.”
Junior Scott Kunkel got the start at keeper and made five saves.
Defensive stopper Carrillo also had one goal save in the first half. On a long, high shot toward the goal, Carrillo raced in and headed the ball away.
Mount Airy was scheduled to start Monday with Starmount, but the game was postponed by rain.
Hurley said he also found out that Winston-Salem Prep will not field a team. Mount Airy had heard that the Phoenix would have a team and already put two dates on the schedule.
One of those two dates could be a spot to reschedule Starmount.
The Bears JV team still has to wait for its opener. Thomasville didn’t bring a JV team, so the squad will have to wait until Thursday at West Wilkes.