While Apalachee is assured a playoff spot, the Wildcats came into Monday’s final regular season match in second place behind Gainesville in the GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA standings. To overtake the top spot, they knew they would have to beat the Red Elephants by at least four goals.
However, the Red Elephants (14-2-0) scored four first-half goals en route to a 7-1 victory.
In fairness to Apalachee (12-3-1, 7-3 region), it was missing several starters who were on spring break and had to use junior varsity players.
“We were missing five starters. Obviously I did not pick the day to play. That was done by our administration,” Apalachee coach Chad Hooper said. “I knew that when we were missing five starters, we wouldn’t have a chance, to tell you the truth. I was told that we could not forfeit, even though I would have rather taken the 3-0 loss, but without five key starters, and guys that have played less than 20 minutes, I knew that it was going to be a rough game. The odds were against us as soon as the game time and day were picked.”
Apalachee will now enter the state playoffs as the No. 2 seed from Region 8 after Habersham Central beat Dacula on Tuesday night to push the Falcons into third.
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