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SOCCER: Tough matchups face Floyd County squads

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Armuchee begins play in the prep soccer state tournament today and the Indians and Lady Indians are going to face so tough opponents. 

The No. 2 seeded Lady Indians will host Lovett, the No. 3 seed out of Region 6, tonight at 6 p.m.

The No. 4 seeded Indians will play Friday and will travel to take on GAC, the No. 1 team in Region 6, on Friday at 5 p.m.

“Nobody likes to go up against Region 6 because it’s a tough region,” said Armuchee soccer coach Don Bettler. “They have four teams that always go to the state tournament and they all deserve to. Usually they’re all ranked in the top 10 and that’s true this season.”

Bettler hopes a string of success for the Lady Indians will play to their advantage against Lovett. The Lady Indians locked down the No. 2 seed last week with a 7-0 win against Chattooga. Armuchee also played a tough game against region foe Calhoun. They finished tied at the end of regulation and lost on penalty kicks.

“The girls are coming off a really good run,” said Bettler. “The game against Calhoun — that was a really strong game for us.”

The Indians won’t have the advantage of playing at home as they travel to face GAC. The Indians are also hampered by injuries of two of their standout players. Brett Warner tore his ACL earlier this season, and Graeme Bettler broke his collarbone during a recent game against Model.

“The guys are a little more nervous,” said Bettler. “GAC has been No. 1 all season except for last week, so you don’t want to go in against them without two of your best players. That’s what we’re forced to do.”

Still Bettler is confident in his team’s senior leadership.

“There’s still five seniors on the team and they have played together since middle school,” said Bettler. “They work well together. Our region is very strong this year, and I feel fortunate to be where we are.”

Other Floyd County matchups in the first round of the state playoffs include Model girls at GAC today at 5:30 p.m., Darlington’s boys at Atlanta International on Friday at 6 p.m., and Coosa’s boys at Westminster on Friday at 7:45 p.m.