As strong as Augusta Prep's boys soccer team has been in past years, the 2006 outlook was mediocre at best early in the season.
After the team's first six games, Augusta Prep sat with a dismal 2-4 record. Nine games later, the Cavaliers boast a 10-5 record and have finished the regular season at No. 2 in the Region 4-AAA standings.
"It's the same kids, but we've moved people around and made some adjustments," Augusta Prep coach Forrest Wimberly said. "I'm definitely proud of what the boys have done so far."
The strong finish also gave Augusta Prep a home game in the first round of the state playoffs. The Cavaliers will face Tattnall Square Academy at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The advantage came after Augusta Prep knocked off region rival John Milledge this past weekend, 9-1.
Augusta Prep senior defender Chris Burch said it wasn't a pep talk or luck that caused the dramatic change. Instead, it was an adjustment in strategy.
"We changed our formation to a 3-5-2," he said. "It's a little bit harder on the defense, but it's challenged us in a really good way."
The results came quickly. Augusta Prep upset Georgia Independent Schools Association No. 4 First Presbyterian on the road Sept. 29. Suddenly, in a season considered a rebuilding year at Augusta Prep, that same team now sits in prime position for one of the best state playoff runs in school history.
"The way the state brackets are set up, we actually may have a good chance at winning the state quarterfinals and advancing to the final four," Burch said.
If the heavily favored Cavaliers take care of business Tuesday against Tattnall Square, the team will advance to the state quarterfinals two days later. A win there would put Augusta Prep in the GISA Class AAA state semifinals Oct. 26.
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