The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) varsity Pirate soccer team played an exhibition match against the RFHS Alumni soccer team Tuesday, Jan. 14.
The Alumni team led 3-2 with 25 minutes remaining in the second half before the RFHS varsity team led a second half comeback to defeat the Alumni team 4-3.
RFHS Head Boys Soccer Coach Mike Elkins said the Alumni team gave his squad a tougher game than he anticipated.
“No disrespect to Calallen or GP, but I think I’d rather play them again than our alumni. Our alumni were a pretty tough group,” said Elkins.
In the first half, the varsity team took an early lead over the Alumni with a goal by Axel Espino.
The Alumni team answered soon after with a goal by Hector Elizondo (class of 17’).
Espino scored once more and put the varsity squad up 2-1 at the half.
In the second half, the Alumni team got a game plan together and scored two straight goals to take a 3-2 lead. Brothers, Cesar Gaytan (class of 10’) and Eli Gaytan (class of 13’) scored both goals to put the Alumni team ahead with 25 minutes remaining.
The varsity squad showed its resilience, and youth, as they outlasted the Alumni to score two more goals in the final 20 minutes. Hugo Gutierrez and Espino recorded the final two goals, giving Espino a hat trick and ending the possible upset by the Alumni team.
Elkins didn’t know what kind of turn out to expect before hosting the game. He was shocked that the Alumni returned 25 former players to the pitch.
“I was just hoping that the alumni could put 11 on the field,” said Elkins. “That’s huge (to have 25 come out).”
The oldest returning alumnus was Phillip Davila, class of 98’.
This was RFHS’ first alumni soccer game in Elkins tenure as head coach and he hopes to host another one next year or the year after.
RFHS’ next game is 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 at home against Alice.