Highlands varsity soccer game against Franklin called early for safety concerns

Highlands varsity soccer team took on Franklin on the road Monday and had the game called with approx. 10 minutes left in the second half due to safety concerns for the players. Franklin won 4-1.

Both teams were playing physical ball and the severity steadily escalated throughout the game. Highlands coaches did not want to take the risk of an injury to a player.

Highlands Luis Torres controls the ball before moving it up field against Franklin.

“It was not a safe environment for our players,” said Highlands Athletic Director Brett Lamb. “There was a lot to lose and nothing to gain.”

Highlands Gig Chalker disagrees with a referee’s call and was issued a yellow card on Monday against Franklin.

Shortly before the game was called, Highlands Gig Chalker was called for a foul and red carded. The referee then made physical contact with Chalker and tempers on the Highlands side of the isle flared. The game was called shortly afterwards.

Highlands next plays at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 at home against Pisgah.

Lingering on the field after the game was called, Highlands Brent Sleight isn’t ready to throw in the towel against Franklin just yet.

Highlands Nathan Keener making his way up field.

Highlands Ethan Tate seconds before a penalty kick from the edge of the box.

Highlands Pablo Jiminez steals the ball against Franklin on Monday.

Highlands Dillon Schmitt (on ground) is called for the foul and is stepped on by a Franklin player after falling down. Highlands Carlos May-Gomez tries to diffuse the situation.

Highlands Lane Tingen (far right) comes from out of nowhere to attack the ball against Franklin.

Highlands Brent Sleight races to get a shanked pass against Franklin on Monday.

Highlands Carlos May-Gomez controls the ball before kicking it up field.

Highlands Connor Briggs makes his way towards Franklin’s goal on Monday in Franklin.

Highlands Jeffery Olvera shadows his mark waiting for the right moment.

Highlands Luis Torres jumps over a fallen Franklin player.

Highlands Gig Chalker puts the pressure on a Franklin player on Monday.

Highlands James Earp goes around a fallen Franklin player to move the ball up field.

Highlands Brent Sleight doesn’t have too many options on a throw-in against Franklin.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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