By Thomas Sellers Jr.
BARTLETT — One of the top teams in District 14-3A coming into the season was the Bartlett Panthers.
On April 2 the Millington Trojans got a chance to see if their district foe could live up to the hype. The Trojans hung tough with the Panthers throughout the first half only trailing 2-0.
But the next 40 minutes at the Bartlett Stadium was dominated by Bartlett scoring six goals in the cold, rainy conditions leading to a 8-0 victory for the Panthers.
“I tell you what I saw tonight,” Millington Head Coach Larry Dagen said. “I saw a lot of individual thought instead of team thought. It can’t exist, especially in this game. That team over there was pretty well disciplined. They did real good.”
In the first half there was an 8 minute stretch the Trojans controlled the action. But the absence of Servando Mireles and injury to Ethan Dupree limited Millington’s ability to possess the ball.
When the second half began, the wet field and drizzle seemed to give the Panthers the advantage. The experience Bartlett players navigated their home field with passes setting up shots and breakaway attempts.
“We let these conditions get to us,” Dagen noted. “We’re not a real good possession team that I wish we were. Our guys, the one thing they always do, they played hard tonight. They did it again tonight too.
“That’s Millington,” he added. “We’re not blessed to have all those club players. The bottom line is our guys played hard. I’m proud of my guys and they’re good kids.”
Dagen said he will use the Bartlett game as a chance to teach his players the important concept of team.
“We can’t have that individual thought process,” he concluded. “Instead of coming together as a team, we let it get away from us.”