Bulldogs' soccer teams end 22-23 post-season run

by Sean Dunlap

The post-season run for Franklin County High School’s varsity soccer teams came to a close Wednesday, Jan. 25 with both teams dropping Class I second-round decisions at the Dawg House.


The Lady Soccer Dawgs, who finished their 2022-2023 campaign as the No. 1 seed from Class 1 District 7, faced off against the Sacred Heart Lady Crusaders of Hattiesburg in the early game.

In the end, Sacred Heart scored once in the first half and found the net three times after intermission to claim a 4-1 win over FC.

Franklin County’s lone goal — scored by senior forward Brooklynn Cupit — came with less than seven minutes to play in the contest on a through pass from fellow senior Karlee Wallace, who was credited with her team’s lone assist.

The Lady Soccer Dawgs were limited to just nine shots and two shots on goal with Cupit and Wallace recording two shots apiece with one SOG each.

Additionally, Gre’yonne Queen finished with two shots while Edniya Gordon had one as did seniors Lilly Hutto and Kaitlyn Fussell.

FC wound up with 81 defensive take-aways against the Lady Crusaders as Addison Cooper paced her team with 13 stops and Ken’niya McGowan had 11.

Three other players had double-digit stops for Franklin County as seniors Amberly Wallace, Karlee Wallace and Hutto were credited with 10 each.

Others on the take-aways list and their totals included: Braxton Martin, nine; Fussell, five; Cupit and Marlee Tindle, four each; Queen, three; and Gordon and Meg Kelly, one apiece.

Goalkeeper Katherine Romero stayed busy during the 80-minute affair with 11 saves to her credit.

For the season, Romero accumulated 104 saves in 20 games with a 14-3-3 record in front of the net along with 10 shut-outs.

The Franklin County girls finished with a 15-4-2 record during their campaign.

The program swept its District 7 opponents with a 10-0 run en route to earning a ninth regional crown during the past 11 seasons.

“This squad had a tremendous season and the senior leadership made for a strong team bond,” FC Head Soccer Coach Jeff Long said. “We all had a blast this season and I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.”


The visiting Rock-A-Chaws of Bay Saint Louis scored twice in the first 40 minutes against the Soccer Dawgs and added three more goals in the second half to blank Franklin County, 5-0, and knock the home team out of post-season play.

The Saint Stanislaus offense had 31 shots and 26 shots on goal in the game while the Soccer Dawgs were limited to just six offensive shots with one shot on goal.

Jamari Tolliver finished his efforts on the night with three shots and the lone SOG while JaQuez Anderson and Xavien Felton recorded two shots and one shot, respectively.

FC’s defense stayed busy from start to finish with 75 stops in the outing.

Mason Emfinger paced the team with 13 take-aways and Preston Cupit added 10.

The team’s lone senior, Chris Carraway, had nine stops as did teammate Drew Mullins while Kolby Cox accounted for seven and Tolliver, Xavien Felton and Terrence Fields finished with six apiece.

Further, Keyundre Felton had five stops, Anderson recorded three and Max Turner contributed one.

Dakota Chisholm worked for 65 minutes in the goalkeeper slot and matched a previous career-high total with 17 saves against the Rock-A-Chaws.

Chisholm appeared in 19 games during the season and had five shut-outs along with 133 saves. He was 15-2-2 in his position.

Blake Mann came in as keeper for the final 15 minutes of the contest and earned four saves.

Mann made his presence felt in three contests and finished his season with 14 total saves.

Franklin County, which had a 9-1 record in MHSAA Class I District 7 play and won its 11th straight regional crown in the process, finished its season with a 16-3-2 mark.

“I wouldn’t trade these young men for anyone because they play the game with passion and they are a great group that make my job enjoyable,” Long said of his boy’s program.

“Injuries hampered us a bit this year, but younger players stepped up and gained valuable game experience. This group is already preparing for next year, we will return 99 percent of the team and look forward to another great season.”