RIDGELAND --- The No. 14 Holmes Community College Lady Bulldogs' magical season came to an end here Saturday night in the NJCAA Gulf South District Championship at Freedom Ridge Park as the Lady Bulldogs fell 7-1 to No. 3 Tyler Junior College.
Holmes finished the season 18-3 overall capturing the team's first MACJC State Championship and Region XXIII Championship along the way.
Tyler scored their first goal in the seventh minute to go up 1-0. They added another goal a minute later to lead 2-0.
Twenty-one minute in, the Apache Ladies scored again to make it 3-0.
Holmes got on the scoreboard in the 25th minute when freshman forward Cariel Ellis of Madison took a pass from freshman midfielder Mackenzie Thompson of Pelahatchie and took the distance blowing past the keeper and putting it in the back of the net.
Tyler scored in the 28th, 32nd and 33rd minute to lead 6-1 at halftime. Their final goal came in the 63rd minute of the match to end all scoring. The Lady Bulldogs had chances in the second half but couldn't get the matching goals to fall.
"The girls never stopped," Holmes Associate Head Coach Wesley Noble said. "We played an unbelievable team. Tyler earned every bit of it. The girls just kept battling through injuries, through little knocks and things like that. I'm very proud of how they fought the entire time."
After a disappointing run in the playoffs last season, Noble said the sophomores had their minds made up this year that would not happen again. "The sophomores, I couldn't be any more proud of them," he said. "They had a rough ending last year and getting upset. We talked about it over and over. If we learned to use it the right way, we'd get to a place we needed to get to, and that's what they did. They put us over the hump. They got us that first state championship and the first region championship.
"The freshman have been first class," he said. "A lot of them stepped in and played big minutes. We have girls who are high up in the stats who are freshman so I'm really proud of the whole group."
Noble said the team will celebrate its accomplishments the remainder of the semester. "We get over this one, and we celebrate," Noble said. "We enjoy the year. To be the only team in Region XXIII who got a chance to play tonight is special. That's what we told the girls. They earned the right to get here. We are going to celebrate this, and we'll start moving on for next year."
He said recruiting is going well with 10 commitments in hand. "We almost have this class finished," he said. "We have 10 commits right now, and we are looking to add a few more. We are really excited about the class that's coming in. There's a lot of talent and a lot of really good actual footballers who can help us go to a new level we haven't gone to I think. I'm really excited about that and have to finish it out."