Tiger Sharks soccer earns decisive victory

Led by senior Jaydon Gant’s hat trick, the Port St. Joe boys soccer team wrapped up a successful week of action with a convincing 4-0 shutout win over rival Rocky Bayou Christian on Saturday, December 10. 

Earlier in the week, Coach Brian Burkett’s Tiger Sharks defeated Bozeman 7-0 on Tuesday, December 6, and followed that up with a 3-1 win at Franklin County two days later. 

Back from concussion protocol, junior team captain Taylor Burkett started the scoring against Rocky Bayou with a goal less than 10 minutes into the contest, aided by junior Lance Larry’s assist. 

Barely two minutes later, junior goalie Fisher Vandertulip recorded the first of his seven saves on a free kick that resulted from a St. Joe penalty. 

Ten minutes later, Gant connected on his first score, courtesy of senior Christian Peacock’s corner kick assist, to give the Tiger Sharks a more comfortable 2-0 lead. 

After a Burkett assist, Gant found the Knight net once again with eight minutes remaining before the half, and St. Joe held a commanding 3-0 advantage. 

In the second half, Larry notched his second assist with 34:20 showing on the clock, setting Gant up for his third goal of the day, and 17th on the season. 

With a wider lead, Coach Burkett began substituting for the rest of the match, and when the final whistle sounded, the Tiger Sharks owned a 6-2-1 record overall, with a district (2A D1) mark of 3-0. 

Against Bozeman, St. Joe took a 4-0 lead in the first half on their way to an easy 7-0 shutout. Five different Tiger Sharks found the Buck net, led by Larry’s two scores and an assist. 

Freshman Rhett Jemison scored, as did Gant, junior Estevan Angel, and Vandertulip added two goals of his own after being allowed out of his goalkeeping duties for the final 30 minutes of the match. Freshman Connor Howell secured the St. Joe goal after taking Vandertulip’s place. 

Gant added an assist, and Angel assisted his teammates three times. 

In a tougher match last Thursday, St. Joe defeated Franklin County 3-1, with goals by Peacock, Jemison, and freshman Josiah Beach. Larry added another assist to his season total, and Vandertulip had eight saves on the night. 

While Coach Burkett and the team welcomed Taylor Burkett back into the lineup, there are two more Tiger Sharks with injuries: sophomore Tucker Ashcraft, and freshman Jacob Medina.

“Hopefully, (Ashcraft) will get clearance to start practicing with us, and we should definitely have him back by the beginning of the year,” said Coach Burkett. “We should hear something about Medina, too.” 

The Tiger Sharks look to continue their winning streak on Tuesday, December 13, against the visiting Jefferson County before their rematch with Franklin County on Thursday, December 15.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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