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A-D-M has good chance to get back to state

Under the leadership of head coach Bill Shields, the A-D-M boys’ soccer team has made it to the state tournament five times, including three-straight season from 2011-13. In these five seasons, the Tigers have a record of just 1-5 in state tournament games, but they have shown the ability to get there on a pretty consistent basis in recent years.

In 2006, the Tigers made their first state tournament appearance but lost in the first round. They made it back in 2009 but had a similar fate, losing in the first round.

2011 was the first season of the Tigers’ three-season run to the state tournament, but they still couldn’t win in the first round of the tournament, losing their first game. It was in 2012 when they were finally able to get their first state-tournament victory, beating Webster City 3-0 in their first-round matchup.

The Tigers lost their next game, however, to Dubuque Wahlert by a score of 3-0 and took fourth place in the tournament. Wahlert went on to win the state title in the next game against Norwalk by a score of 1-0. The Tigers made their third-straight state tournament appearance last year, but lost in the first round to Waverly-Shell Rock by a score of 3-1.

Making a third-straight state tournament appearance looked to be in jeaopardy last season as the Tigers had a 6-9 record after a 4-3 loss to Winterset on May 8, 2013, which was their fifth-straight loss. From there until the end of the season, however, the Tigers strung together seven-straight victories and advanced to the state tournament once again. They only gave up four goals and had four shutouts over that stretch.

The Tigers stand a good chance to make the state tournament again this season. They are returning seven players this season who started 15 games or more last season, including their goalkeeper Darold Baker, who is a senior this year.

Jacob Hutzell will also be returning to the team. Hutzell led the team in scoring last year with 33 points (15 goals, three assists). Johnny Reel had 24 points (11 goals, two assists) last season and will also be returning to the team for this season.

With major parts of a state-qualifying team from last season returning this season and with Shields at the helm, the Tigers are strong contenders to make the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season.

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