Smith County Mens Soccer are 2023 7A District Champions

May 16, 2023

The Smith County Owls Soccer Team became the 7A District Champions after a perfect District run.  York hosted the District Tournament this year.  The Semi-final games were played on Tuesday May 9th. Smith County won against York 7-0 to advance to Thursday’s game. Senior Captain Tanner Pierson scored twice. Once with an assist from Senior Gavin Huddleston and once on a Free Kick.  Senior Rylan Bates also would net two goals, both were assisted by Huddleston.  Senior Christian Santiago scored with the assist to Pierson who also would assist with a goal from Senior Orman Vanegas.  Sophomore Jarrain Smith added to the score sheet with an assist from Huddleston.  Keepers, Senior Jonathan Santiago and Sophomore James Bunn would keep a clean sheet for the Owls.  

Thursday, May 11th Smith County and Watertown traveled back to Jamestown for the District Championship.  This is the last season for Watertown in this district as next season they move on due to size.  Smith County had previously beat Watertown twice in regular season district play and we all know the third time can be anyone’s game.  However, this one would also go to the Owls with a score of 5-0.  Watertown really struggled to get past Smith County’s midfield and defenders.  The few times they did manage to get in range Senior Keep Jonathan Santiago denied entry to the goal, keeping a clean sheet for the game.  All five scores came from Senior Captain Tanner Pierson with assists from Rylan Bates, two from Jarrain Smith and two from Gavin Huddleston.  

Post game District Awards were held.  Smith County Owls took the title for 7A District Champions, while Watertown took home the runner-up title.  Smith County Head Coach Kit Jenkins earned Coach of the Year.  Very well deserved by Coach Kit, he is an exceptional leader and mentor on and off the pitch.  Sophomore Lolo Ortiz was awarded midfielder of the year.  Lolo has played big for the Owls this season, he is tough, fast, smart and all in all the time.  Senior Captain Tanner Pierson was awarded District MVP.  Tanner loves the game, is a confident leader, leads by example with a work ethic and dedication.  He is an encourager to his team and makes sure they receive credit when due.  The first and second team members from the Smith County side were: Senior Captain Bolt Ortiz, Senior Gavin Huddleston, Senior Orman Vanegas, Senior Rylan Bates, Senior Goalkeeper Jonathan Santiago, and Sophomore Adyn Elliott.  This is just a sampling of the talent on this team, it is full of hard workers and potential, they all should be very proud of their accomplishments.

As Region play begins, Watertown will travel to Merrol Hyde on Tuesday May 16th and Smith County will host KIPP Nashville on the same night for the Region Semi-finals.  The Championship game will be played on Thursday May 18th in the location determined by the outcome of Tuesday’s games.  (Article and photos submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

District award winners left to right, Tanner Pierson, Orman Vanegas, Jonathan Santiago, Bolt Ortiz, Gavin Huddleston, Adyn Elliott, Rylan Bates, and Lolo Ortiz.