KILGORE — The Jacksonville High School Indians soccer team brought home another championship trophy this past weekend, winning for the second time the Michael Merritt Memorial Soccer Tournament in Kilgore.

The Indians are the first team to win the tournament twice. They have also won both championships by the biggest margin of victory.

Two years ago, the Indians beat Athens 5-2 and this year beat Mt. Pleasant 2-0. All of the other championships have been decided by one point.

The Indians defense recorded three straight shutouts, which has never been done before in tournament history. The Indians did not give up any goals in the three games they played.

The tournament started on Thursday with the Indians playing Kilgore at 3:30 p.m. Jacksonville dominated most of the game and scored both of their goals and the only goals of the game. Nael Ziedan scored the first goal of the game in the 34th minute to give the Indians the lead. Josh Nannen scored the second goal unassisted in the 41st minute to give Jacksonville a 2-0 halftime lead.

Kilgore’s defense played well the second half, but the two goals were all the Indians needed to notch the win, which advanced them into the winner’s bracket.

Jacksonville played Hallsville on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Hallsville beat Palestine 1-0 on Thursday. This game was much like the Kilgore game, but much more physical. Several cards were given out for rough play.

It only took five minutes for the Indians to score against the Bobcats. Josh Nannen received a pass from Cliff Perdue and scored to give Jacksonville the 1-0 lead. That was the only goal of the game until the 65th minute of the second half. Abner Madrid took a nice shot from 25 yards out that hit the top of the goal and shot down into the corner for the Indians second and final goal of the game. Again, Jacksonville’s defense played mistake-free, recording their second shutout of the tournament.

The Indians out shot Hallsville 24-5. The win placed the Indians in the championship on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Mt. Pleasant.

Jacksonville went into the championship scoring four goals and giving up none. The Indians knew this game, against a very strong Mt. Pleasant team, was going to be tough. Jacksonville came out on fire, scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. Max Rodriguez scored in the 10th minute when a shot deflected off a Mt. Pleasant defender and Rodriguez blasted the ball into the back of the net. Just five minutes later, Alex Onofre scored the Indians’ second goal, in the 15th minute, to give Jacksonville yet another 2-0 lead. That was all the Indians needed to win the 2006 Championship of the Michael Merritt Memorial Soccer Tournament.

“The defense was outstanding the whole tournament,” said Jacksonville head coach Jason Lawless. “It is hard to play three games in a tournament and not allow any goals.”

Lawless was drenched with water after the game as the Indians celebrated at midfield.

Four Indian players were chosen to the All-Tournament Team. Josh Nannen was named as the tournament’s MVP, scoring two goals. David Adair, Jonathan Sanders and Abner Madrid were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Indians played at home on Tuesday against Pine Tree at 7:15 p.m. Results from the match were not available as of press time.

Jacksonville travels to the Pine Tree Tournament Thursday through Saturday. The Indians will play Mt. Pleasant at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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