Lady Vikings defeat former WC coach Banks and his Richland squad

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

While making his way through the postgame handshake line, Trey Banks stopped occasionally to give hugs to some of his former players and saved a big one at the end for his friend and mentor Greg Head.

Moments later, during a postgame interview, he paused again to say hello to one more of his old players.

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The game didn’t go Banks’ way, but the reunion was clearly a rousing success.

Madelyn Polk scored two goals, both off assists from Laney Smith, and Aryn Greer netted another as Warren Central’s girls’ soccer team beat Richland — coached by Banks, a Vicksburg native and former Warren Central head coach — 3-1 on Tuesday night.

It was Banks’ first trip back to Viking Stadium since he stepped down as the Lady Vikes’ coach in 2013. He spent one year as the boys’ head coach at Center Hill and four more as an assistant at Northwest Rankin. He was hired as the head coach of Richland’s girls’ team last spring.

His teams had played Warren Central several times, but never at Viking Stadium. That made Tuesday’s game much more emotional than a run of the mill November matchup.

“I graduated high school here. I coached here. Coach Head is one of my mentors. I’ve come full circle,” said Banks, who coached at WC for seven years in all and as a head coach from 2010-13. “It was emotional. I told the girls about my time here. I’m going to always have a soft spot and a heart for this place. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the win, but I’m so, so happy with the way we fought.”

The emotions faded away a bit once the game got going. Savannah Lewis scored off an assist from Kaylee Warren in the fourth minute to give Richland a 1-0 lead, and then after that it was all Warren Central.

Polk and Greer answered with their goals, the latter off a corner kick from Cassidy Lampkin, to put the Lady Vikes ahead 2-1 at halftime. Polk scored again in the 58th minute to ice it, and Richland (3-3) rarely threatened the rest of the game.

The two goals were the first of the season for Polk, a junior who scored 75 in three years at St. Aloysius before transferring to WC.

“She’s been on and off because she’s been hurt a lot, but now that she’s well she helps out a lot,” said Head, the Warren Central coach. “Our other striker Jayda (Griffin) is out, which puts us in a bind. (Polk) has helped out a lot and we’re really glad to have her. She does a good job up top and gives us that little extra spark up top that we needed.”

Greer’s goal was her fourth of the season, and Head was happy with the overall effort from the Lady Vikes. They won their second game in a row and improved to 4-1-1 overall heading into a showdown with Northwest Rankin, last year’s Class 6A runner-up, Friday night in Flowood.

“We’ve got a couple of people hurt, so we really don’t have any kind of depth. It was a good game. The ones that are out there are doing well. They’re working better together. Maybe when those girls come back we’ll be a little bit stronger. It was a good lead-up game for our big test with Northwest Rankin on Friday,” Head said. “We’re doing a lot of good things. We’re working the ball well, we’re transitioning, we’re switching a lot. So I think they were doing pretty good.”

(B) WC 4, Richland 1

Hank Holdiness scored two goals as Warren Central (4-1-1) romped past Richland.

Holdiness and Karsten Keyes each scored a goal in the first four minutes of the match to send the Vikings on their way. Josh Griffin also had a goal later in the game.

Kalob Legg, Riley Lampkin and John William Madison each had an assist. Chase Graham made 10 saves in goal.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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