Physical matchup favors Gaither

Published February 5, 2005

TAMPA - By the time the district championship between top-seeded Gaither and No. 2 seed Alonso was over, 13 cards had been issued, including cautions for shoving, tackling and kicking.

Even minutes after Gaither won 2-0, players from each side continued yelling profanities at each other.

"I thought it was horrible," Ravens coach Ray DiPompo said. "I don't think (either) team plays that way.

"It was sort of like a "You do something to me and I'm going to do something to you,' kind of thing. I think both teams were at fault."

Coach Ernie Sims disagreed.

"As a coach, you definitely hate to lose," Sims said. "We pride ourselves on playing physically. That's how we were successful last year and that's how we've been successful this year. My players are not dirty players."

Gaither grabbed the two-goal lead in the first half on goals from junior Korry Kubly and sophomore Ben Foerstner.

Foerstner, who put Gaither up 2-0 in the 23rd minute after he collected a rebound off Alonso goalkeeper A.J. Madero's hands, was later ejected when he got his second yellow card for diving shoulder first into an Alonso player. Alonso's Jason Wyatt and Bobby Durham also were ejected.

The Ravens and Cowboys could meet again in the regional tournament.

With the win, Gaither (22-2) will host a regional quarterfinal match against King. Alonso (13-11-3) will play at Brandon.

"We hear Brandon's nice this time of year," DiPompo said.