Last year the Mercer County Titans saw their season end in the 12th Region Championship to Boyle County. This year, though, was a different story as the Titans defeated the Rebels 2-1, winning only their second region title in school history.
Garrett Dean’s goal with just six minutes left in the game lifted Mercer County to the victory.
“As more of a defensive player you don’t really expect something like that, so to have that happen and to have it lift our team up is just crazy,” said Dean. “It is just an unbelievable feeling.”
It was a feeling Dean said he has been dreaming about since watching Mercer County win the 12th Region Championship in 2012.
“Ever since middle school I’ve been dreaming of being on a team that goes to state. To see the 2012 team do it the year before I was in high school just gave me the urge to want it even more, so it is good to finally accomplish that,” said Dean.
Mercer led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a bicycle kick goal by Cody Shackelford 22 minutes into the first half.
“Garrett (Dean) played the ball back to Drew (Angel) and he sent it right to me and I just connected with it,” said Shackelford, who is the single season record holder at Mercer County for goals in a season with 28. “I knew it was going towards the goal, but I didn’t know it was going to go in.”
Head Coach Garrett Stark said that although he doesn’t recommend his players try bicycle kicks, he didn’t have a problem with Shackelford’s goal.
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