When one thinks of Oak Hill Academy, the thought usually turns to blue-chip high school basketball players headed to big-time programs.
The Warriors will indeed bring their basketball traveling circus to the area next month, when Oak Hill and Hargrave Military Academy will play their annual game at Surry Central. But on Friday night, an open date for Mount Airy’s football team brought Oak Hill’s soccer team to town for some Friday night “fútbol.”
Alas, Oak Hill’s soccer team became just one more victim of the undefeated Granite Bears. Mount Airy, the state’s second-ranked 1A soccer team according to MaxPreps.com, routed the Warriors 9-0 in a match that ended in the 65th minute when the Bears reached the nine-goal threshold to invoke the mercy rule. They led 7-0 at halftime and slowed down the scoring pace after the break, but Oak Hill was still unable to go the distance.
Mount Airy (14-0 overall) has now defeated six of its opponents by a nine-goal or more margin, the threshold needed to require the referees to call an early halt to a match. The Bears have outscored the opposition 95-4 this season, and two of those four were scored when No. 3 Bishop McGuinness played Mount Airy last week (and lost 4-2).
Six different Bears scored goals in the match, with senior Julio Contreras picking up the hat trick. Austin Tumbarello found the back of the net twice and also had an assist. Other goals were tallied by Axel Perez, Melvin Gonzalez, Bryan Valadez and Luis Osorno. Jesus Luna had two assists, with Valadez, Osorno and Jarrett Jimenez also claiming an assist.
Tumbarello’s two goals gave him 30 for the season. He trails Edison Perez of Granville Central by one for the lead among 1A soccer players in North Carolina. Contreras’ hat trick upped his season total to 18, and he is 12th in the state. The pair are second and 10th, respectively, in total points (goals plus assists, with the former double-weighted).
Mount Airy players were credited with 54 assists in the match, led by Jackson Tumbarello with 10.
Jesus Valadez was credited with four saves in picking up another shutout. Valadez, with a goals-against average (GAA) of 0.424, leads the state’s 1A ranks in best GAA, and is third among all North Carolina goalkeepers at any level of competition.
The Bears will host North Surry on Monday evening. The Greyhounds have come closer than anyone to beating Mount Airy, having held the Bears to a 1-0 win on Aug. 30.