LUMBERTON — The facility that has housed Lumberton soccer since 2012 is coach Kenny Simmons’ haven, and on Monday his paradise opened for the 2017 boys soccer season with some new features making it seem more like home.
Before the Pirates topped Red Springs in their season-opening win, the program unveiled its brick walkaway memorial and stone placard that had been a work in progress for five years.
“We’re glad we can finally unveil it. It’s a long time coming and I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Lisa Ard who really pushed me to make it happen,” Simmons said. “This is my sanctuary. I’m at peace when I’m out here.”
The new walkway, coupled with the new signage behind both goals of sponsors on one end and awards and accolades on the other makes the field entering its sixth season of action have more of a home-field feel.
“We put the program’s accomplishments down there. We’ve got a good tradition here and we’re proud of it,” Simmons said.
Even with the new features around the facility, Simmons plans to continue to expand the facility that is down Linkhaw Road from the school and football field are always running through his mind.
“There’s some things we still want to do out here. We want to get our practice field completed, some bathroom and concessions in the corner,” he said. “There’s a lot of little things we could do to make it an even better facility, but it’s a good high school soccer facility and we are proud of it.”
In the match, senior captain Rene Altamirano scored four goals — two in each half — to lead the Pirates to the mercy-ruled shortened contest.
“It was good night for us to come out and test the waters. We’re a work in progress and I’ve got a lot of guys that can play so competition for playing time and starting spots is intense,” Simmons said.
Altamirano’s second goal of the first half came off an assist from Christian Santos put the Pirates up 3-0 midway through the period. The lead grew to 4-0 on a Josh Britt goal, before the Red Springs (2-1-1) chipped away with a goal less than seven minutes to go in the first half.
In the second half, Altamirano scored a goal 35 seconds in to give Lumberton (1-0) a 5-1 lead. His second goal of the second half made it a 7-1 contest. Cole Lewis chipped in two goals in the second half. Bill Davis, Noah Taylor and Santos also added goals in the win.
Red Springs travels to Purnell Swett and Gray’s Creek goes to Lumberton today.
Lumberton volleyball tops St. Pauls
LUMBERTON — The Lumberton volleyball team picked up a three-set win over St. Pauls at home on Monday.
The Lady Pirates won with scores of 25-14, 25-12 and 25-15.
London Thompson had eight kills, Katie Kinlaw added five kills, Erin Maynor had 12 digs and Christina Dickerson had 22 assists.
Lumberton stays home to open conference play against Hoke on Thursday.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.