The 2022 season for the Smith County Men’s Soccer Team is underway. Head Coach Kit Jenkins and Assistant Coach Nicholus Bussell put the team through their paces in the preseason. The Owls scrimmaged 2A Wilson Central followed by 3A Lebanon High School. It was a good chance for the coaches to assess the team in a tough environment and an opportunity for the team to find their chemistry in game situations. There has been a lot of growth in a short time, which is exciting. The Owls lost a lot of experience with last season’s graduating class. But this year’s team is showing a lot of leadership and unity.
There are eight Seniors this season, three of which are Captains: Colby Boyce, midfielder, Ro Ortiz, defender, and Mo Abou Rahma, striker. They bring knowledge and skill to their respective positions. The remaining five Seniors are Xander Ratledge, defender, Kory Debord, Goalkeeper, Will Vance, midfielder, Aaron Wheeley, defender, and Eligio Tolentino, defender. All of these Seniors are really stepping into the role of mentor and leading by example.The nine Juniors are really showing their ability and willingness to play big, keep learning, to grow and to lead.
The Juniors are: Josh Allen, striker, Tanner Pierson, Midfielder, Christian Santiago, defender, Gavin Huddleston, midfielder, Bolt Ortiz, defender, Rylan Bates, midfielder, Jordan Gutierrez, defender, Stephen Laszlo, midfielder, Jonathan Santiago, Goalkeeper.The Sophomores are: Blake Baird, midfielder, Abi Martinez Defender, Eric Richel, midfielder.There are eleven Freshmen this season: Thai Phan, defender, Adam Allmon, striker, Jarrain Smith, midfielder, Adyn Elliott, midfielder, Lolo Ortiz, midfielder, Juan Cisneros, midfielder, Gerardo Olvera, defender, Terence Davis, midfielder, Dylan Allen, defender, Tatum Poindexter, defender, James Bunn, Goalkeeper.
The season opener was also the home opener for the Owls on March 15th against 2A Macon County. The first goal of the night and season was scored by Tanner Pierson and three minutes later Pierson would score again on a free kick. Macon County scored their only goal of the night on a penalty kick but Smith County answered it a few minutes later when Captain, Mo Abou Rahma would score with the assist going to Tanner Pierson. Varsity won 3-1 with Pierson being named Man of the Match.The JV took the pitch with another Smith County win of 1-0. The lone goal of the game being scored by Freshman Adyn Elliott on a corner kick by Black Baird.
March 17th Smith County traveled to 2A Portland. Varsity took to the pitch first. Smith County Captain Colby Boyce would score first, finishing a free kick taken by Tanner Pierson. Later Boyce would send a beautiful pass across to Freshman Jarrain Smith who would score his first high school goal. The third goal for the Owls would come when Gavin Huddleston took a corner kick that would find Captain Mo Abou Rahma who netted it for the score. Portland had been down only scoring one goal until the final few minutes when they scored again and the draw would come on an own goal by a Freshman Owl. The final being 3-3. The JV game never got that close with Smith County winning 4-1. At the half the score was 0-0 but the second half heated up. Sophomore Eric Richel scored five minutes into the half. With 18 minutes on the clock Sophomore Blake Baird scored the second goal. Then at the 10 minute and 8 minute marks, Freshman Terence Davis would net back to back goals.