COMMERCE — In what likely is the biggest win in the still relatively new history of the Commerce High School boys’ soccer program, the Tigers notched a 3-1 victory over Miami — their first ever against the Wardogs.
Junior forward Jose Covarrubias had the first two Tiger goals, and then Chris Ibarra added an insurance tally with 15:53 remaining in the District 4A-8 match here Monday night.
“Our defense played well,” Commerce coach John Medlin said. “We had one of our starters (Lupe Prado) out with injury and another who couldn’t play, so the guys really stepped up and filled in. It was a total team effort and that has made all the difference for us this year.”
Miami tied the match at 1-1 at 26:38 of the second half on a goal by Regan Alleman then the Tigers took charge.
“They are not a bad team,” Miami coach David Douthit said. “I told him (Medlin) that this was the best Commerce team I have seen, even when I was at Stilwell and we played them.
“They beat Oologah 4-2 and Riverfield… they have beaten some good people.”
Two intangibles in the game were having former Wardog coach Dave Bates on the CHS sideline and the field not being smaller than regulation.
This is Bates’ second year as a lay coach for the Tigers.
“I’ve known Dave for a lot of years and he’s been a mentor of mine,” Medlin said. “Having him on the sideline is immeasurable. The experience and wisdom that he brings, dealing with the kids, the situational things. Those are things that have advanced me as a coach far beyond anything I could imagine. He’s impacted the kids lives in so many ways.
“The kids have really bought in and have worked hard and have continued to grow.”
The win was the third in four district outings for the Tigers, who are 6-4 overall.
This was Miami’s first loss in district play. The Wardogs also are 6-4.
“Our youth showed up at times,” Douthit said. “We had a ball deflected in the wall, which is why you have a wall there, so you don’t let it go through.”
Commerce has a make-up game with Verdigris Monday then Miami hosts VHS on Tuesday.
“We can still do it (make the playoffs), but if we were to play for a district championship, we needed that game,” Douthit said. “This just makes it a little rougher.”