Sophie Linder continues her already impressive golfing career by adding multiple accolades to an already jammed-pack resume.
At the end of June, the Tennessean named Linder the Middle Tennessee Female Golfer of the Year after winning her second consecutive TSSAA Small School state title last year. Continuing with her impressive performances, Linder qualified for the 121st U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship that will be played August 2-8, at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y by finishing near the top in a USGA qualifier event in June
Linder recently came from behind and won the Tennessee Girls Junior Golf Championship held at Memphis Country Club from July 6-8, 2021, after entering the final round six strokes back.
Linder is a member of the Gordonsville High School Class of 2023 and recently committed to continuing her golfing career at Ole Miss after graduating from high school.
Sophie Linder closed out her impressive 2020 campaign by being honored as the Tennessee Golf Association’s 2020 Girls’ Junior Golfer of the Year. She was also named to The Tennessean All-Midstate on December 27th and is a finalist for the Tennessean’s Middle Tennessee girls golfer of the year, which will be announced later this year. In addition, she received All-State honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association on January 4th.
Linder’s success results from a great work ethic and determination to play in the LPGA one-day. Linder competes year-round in various elite competitions, usually against individuals older than herself, and is regularly found at the top of the event leaderboards.
Linder, a sophomore at Gordonsville High School, won her second consecutive TSSAA state title at the 2020 TSSAA Small Class Girls’ Golf Championship and five Sneds Tour events, including Masters victories at Old Fort, Bear Trace – Harrison Bay, Willowbrook, Vanderbilt Legends, and Montgomery Bell. She also competed in other elite events this year, including finishing third at the TN Junior PGA Girls Championship and TN Golf Association Girls Junior and a top-10 finish at the TN Women’s Amateur.
Other accolades for Linder in 2020 included being named the MVP of the East Team at the TN Junior Cup hosted by Scott Stallings and being low qualifier with her partner at the Inaugural The Scotty tournament. One of her favorite events was the Tennessee Cup at the Golf Club of Tennessee, where she and other junior golfers from across the state raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Linder stated, “I am honored to win this award because there are so many talented golfers across the state. I appreciate the Tennessee Golf Association and hope to represent them well.”
Linder begins her 2021 campaign at the Annika Invitational at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL on January 15th.
Submitted by the Smith County Owls Soccer Program
In a time when the schools are back and forth between remote learning and in-person learning, practice has been shut down for sports. However, this cannot keep the SC High School Soccer program from supporting their community and showing their big hearts. The Lady Owls had three of their own, Eden Daniel, Ally Hall, and Biz Davis, show up to volunteer in the food giveaway sponsored by the Carthage UMC and Break-Thru Nashville. The Lady Owls also pulled together to support the Angel Tree put up by the Gordonsville High School. GHS also did a stuff a backpack program along with the Angel tree to meet students’ needs in our county.
Then the Lady Owls team decided to back the FCCLA project led by Eden Daniel and Jordan Gutierrez to support Waggin’ Tails. They collected canned dog food and reached out into the community to bring awareness to this organization’s needs that brings aid to the rescue animals in Smith County and the surrounding area.
The Owls Soccer team also backed a FCCLA project led by Salomon Rodriguez and Andrew Denney to support The Emmanuel House. They collected household items such as paper goods, cleaning supplies as well as baby wipes. The Emmanuel House is a nonprofit shelter for Women and Children based here in Smith County.
We are very proud of these student-athletes for all they do in their community and schools, as well as the example they set for all of us in being the good citizens our county needs us to be. Please keep these organizations in mind throughout the year, as they are all doing great work and need help in meeting their clients’ needs. If you are interested, you can find them on Facebook or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and theemmanuelhouse.org.
Smith County High School announced that it has hired Matt Dyer, Smith County graduate and son of the late Owl coach Pat Dyer, as its new head coach for the football program. Coach Dyer said, “it is such a blessing and honor to even be considered for this position.” Coach Dyer said his goal is to create a “competitive environment and conquer every day” and “establish a hardworking, successful, blue-collar, positive culture.”
Coach Dyer comes back to Smith County with twelve years of coaching experience, including helping lead Trousdale County to consecutive Class 2A semifinal appearances in 2019 and 2020. Coach Dyer served as an assistant at Macon County from 2009-2017 and Trousdale County from 2018-2020.
Coach Dyer joins the Owls program thirty years after his father began as the head coach. Pat Dyer served as the head coach from 1990-1994. Coach Dyer stated, “It is an amazing feeling to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I just hope that I can have the same impact on these kids’ lives that he had on his players. I still have students and players of his, and people of the community tell me how much they loved my dad and how much they admired him.”
Smith County High School Owls Basketball 2020-2021 Season Preview
After only winning three games last year, the Head Coach Trey Sanders and the Owls will look to improve this season based on the experience their young team gained last year.
“With us playing a bunch of freshman and sophomores last year, it really helped them get ready for this upcoming year. They got some good experience in games last year and they will thrive off of that,” Sanders said.
This experience from last will provide a good foundation, as the Owls will look towards some of the younger players to step up in this next season, especially in a season that could see players needing to be quarantined or injuries that could occur throughout the season.
“Last year the young guys like the freshman and sophomores just played a role and this year we expect them to set up and take a bigger role,” Sanders said.
Sanders believes that his team’s experience could come in handy in his team making a jump in the district this year due to how they improved as the season progressed last year, and that the team gained a winning mentality towards the end of last year.
“I think we can be a top four team in our tough district this year but it will take a lot of work on our part,” Sanders said. “It really helps that the team bought in defensively last year and we hope to pick up right where we left off.“
While the Owls hope that they can make a jump this season and win a few more games that last year, the coronavirus brings a number of challenges on top of winning games.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Sanders said. “I mean hopefully we will be able to play a full season. With everything going on you just have to play it one day at a time. As well as playing with the players we have. I have players hurt and quarantined as well. So we just have to prepare with what we have available.”
Smith County High School Lady Owls Basketball 2020-2021 Season Preview
The Lady Owls and Head Coach Todd Hess will look to build off of last season in which they won four games. The Lady Owls are returning a number of players from last year, as they did not lose any players due to graduation. With a young team, it is hard to gauge expectations but the Owls will hope to take a step in the right direction this year.
“Believe it or not we might actually be younger,” Hess said. “This district is an extremely tough district, but of course you want to be in the situation where you’re in the top four teams so you can have birth to the region. In this district you have to bring it day in and day out or you’ll get embarrassed so you have to bring it to every game. Especially in this tough district where I truly believe that someone will bring the gold ball back to our district.”
The Owls will look to their lone senior and two year starter Alexis West as a leader this year. Hess spoke about the team’s ability through all of the classes, and believes there are players that could step up into different roles as the season progresses, which may be needed as the coronavirus is always changing the landscape.
“With Covid, you never know who will be available to play so you have to get everyone ready for any situation,” Hess said “You might even have to get players who are exactly ready to be in a role but this year you have to be ready for anything and everything.“
Hess also spoke about how over his career as a coach, the coronavirus is bringing challenges that he hasn’t ever had to prepare for, especially when you never know when your season could end.
“It’s a challenge, but a great challenge in that it really gets you ready for any situation because you never know what’s going to happen,” Hess said. “You just have to be ready at all times and be careful at the same time.”
vs Trousdale County
@ Pickett County
vs Macon County
vs Red Boiling Springs
@ Trousdale County
Westmoreland Christmas Classic
Westmoreland Christmas Classic
@ Merrol Hyde
vs Cannon County
@ DeKalb County
@ Macon County
@ Cannon County
Gordonsville High School Tigers Basketball Season Preview 2020-21 Season Preview
The Gordonsville Tigers basketball team will be returning a large number of players from last year’s team, which made it to the District Championship game before losing to Clay County, and the Region 3A semifinals before losing to Monterey. With the talented roster coming back, head coach Greg Bibb will be looking to improve on last year’s results in his second year with the team.
Despite the good performance from the Tigers in Bibb’s first season season, Bibb and the returning Tigers seem optimistic that the team could make improvements in his second season.
“I think last year was a situation where we had to learn each other,” Bibb said. “(Last year) we had a summer, but it takes some time. This year we know each other and the attitudes are better, but you never know where you are until you hit adversity and then that is where the true test lies.”
“With the leadership and experience we have coming back, we expect a lot from them,” Bibb said. “But we are still going to have to work hard this season.”
This experience will be beneficial for the Tigers as they try to make their way through a very tough schedule this season, both in their district and with out of district opponents.
“We schedule a tough out of district to help for district play,” Bibb said. “ In my opinion, it’s the hardest district for both boys and girls, and that’s why when we play a tough non district opponent like a Watertown or Eagleville we have to match or exceed their effort and it makes you a better team throughout the year.”
The Tigers will hope that they are able to grow and learn from their tough schedule this year, as they have set a lofty goal for this season.
“I think it’s everyone’s goal to win the state championship,” Bibb said. “ We want to win the district and to win the region. I make the kids write down personal goals and team goals to see where they are currently, and to see how they progress throughout the season.”
Gordonsville High School Tigerettes Basketball 2020-2021 Season Preview
The Gordonsville Tigerettes will look to improve on their season last year, and the team has seen growth the past few years under head coach Jake Dillard, and with a number of returning players this year, the team will hope that the improvements continue this season .
“Each year we’ve gotten better and last year was our first district win and our goal is to get better every
Day,” Dillard said. ”I’m not a goal oriented person as in let’s set all different goals my main goal is to get
better every day, because if we get better every day that is the main focus.”
The large number of returning Tigerettes from last season will look to help the teams growth continue, and with a large number of juniors that will be returning next year Dillard will hope that this growth continues next year as well.
“We do have a lot coming back and it makes it easier when they know what you need and expect from them from last year,” Dillard said. “Another good thing is that this group has played with each other for a long time, so they know how to help each other.”
After getting their first district win under Dillard last season, the Tigerettes will have to fight to be competitive in a very tough district schedule.
“They know it’s tough, they know what it is night in and night out,” Dillard said. “They know you have to bring it every day and it makes you better and I wouldn’t want to be in a different district and they know they have to get better, so they don’t need to be afraid to go get it and compete”
On top of the hard district, the Tigerettes will also have to maneuver through the challenges that the Coronavirus brings this season. The team has already faced some of these challenges this year, as they have already had to quarantine which cut into the ability to practice.
“It’s just being able to be with your kids,” Dillard said. “We’ve been quarantined for weeks and we have only had our fourth practice, but we are not the only ones facing this. Everyone has to deal with it and we just have to take it day by day and get ready with who we have at the time.”
2020-2021 Season Schedule
Tue, Nov. 17: East Robertson
Sat, Nov. 21: at Sequatchie County L 41-64
Sat, Nov. 21: Cannon County L 28-52
Tue, Nov. 24: at Van Buren County
Fri, Nov. 27: at Watertown
Tue, Dec. 1: at Eagleville
Fri, Dec. 4: Smith County
Tue, Dec. 8: at Clay County
Thu, Dec. 10: Van Buren County
Fri, Dec. 11: Jackson County
Tue, Dec. 15: Red Boiling Springs
Fri, Dec. 18: at Pickett County
Sat, Dec. 19: at Smith County
Mon, Dec. 28: at Winterfest Shootout
Tue, Dec. 29: at Winterfest Shootout
Wed, Dec. 30: at Winterfest Shootout
Tue, Jan. 5: at Trousdale County
Fri, Jan. 8: at Monterey
Tue, Jan. 12: Clarkrange
Fri, Jan. 15: Clay County
Tue, Jan. 19: at Jackson County
Fri, Jan. 22: at Red Boiling Springs
Tue, Jan. 26: Pickett County
Fri, Jan. 29: Trousdale County
Tue, Feb. 2: Monterey
Fri, Feb. 5: at Clarkrange
Mon, Feb. 8: Watertown
Fri, Feb. 12: Eagleville
The Tigers and Pirates first offensive drives saw both teams fail to get anything going, but Gordonsville was able to get the ball moving late in the first quarter, with Darrel Holt running it in from 30 yards out with one and a half minutes left in the first to make the score 7-0.
South Pittsburg was able to bounce back quick, running the ball to the 9 yard line on the kickoff, followed by a touchdown on the next play to tie the score back at 7-7 with a little over 1 minute left in the first quarter.
The heavyweight fight continued in the second quarter with neither team looking to give in, but it was South Pittsburg that struck the end zone next, running the ball in from 49 yards out with 3:26 left in the second quarter to make the score 14-7. This would wrap up the scoring for the first half.
Gordonsville got the ball to start the second half, but South Pittsburg was able to stop the Tigers and found the end zone just 3 minutes into the third quarter to extend their lead to 21-7 off of another 40 yard touchdown run. This score would stay the same, and Gordonsville had a couple glimpses at narrowing the lead, but were unable to get anything going in the third.
South Pittsburg found the scoreboard again a minute and a half into the 4th quarter, this time off of a field goal attempt that made the score 24-7.
South Pittsburg was able to step up and ward off any comeback attempts by Gordonsville, and the Pirates extended their lead by scoring two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the final score 37-7.
On November 7, 2020, the Tri-County Youth Football league hosted its annual championships at Gordonsville High School. Champions were crowned in the Flag League, Junior League, and Senior League.
In the Flag League, Gordonville was the runner-up after being defeated by Trousdale County.
In the Junior League, undefeated Gordonsville (8-0) was crowned the champion by defeating Smith County.
In the Senior League, undefeated Smith County (7-0) took home the title, beating Gordonsville.
Congratulations to all the Smith County and Gordonsville teams on their success this season!
You can watch all of the championship games below courtesy of DTC Sports.
The Gordonsville Tigers won in the closing seconds in their second round matchup against the Clay County Bulldogs, winning 21-14 to advance to the quarterfinals.
The first quarter saw neither team get much going offensively, with both teams drives stalling out.
Clay County was able to find the endzone first after a fumbled punt return by the Gordonsville Tigers gave Clay the ball back inside the 20. Clay County was able to take the lead a few plays later when they ran a trick pass play to score, going up 7-0 with 9:15 left in the second.
The Gordonsville Tigers bounced right back, finding the endzone on the next drive off of a 60 yard touchdown pass from Matthew Albritton to Landon Baker to tie it up at 7-7 with 7:50 left in the half.
Gordonsville looked as if they were about to take the lead, driving inside the 10 before throwing an interception in the endzone with under two minutes left in the second quarter. Clay County was content with running the clock down, and the teams went into halftime tied at 7-7.
Both teams opening drives of the second quarter went nowhere, but Clay County took a long drive down field on their second drive, running it in with 3:25 left in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead.
Gordonsville’s next drive saw them make it to around mid field, but the Tigers drive ended on an interception when they tried to make a big play.
The Tigers defense stepped up and stopped the Clay County offense, getting the ball back and Gordonsville made their way down field to find the end zone off of a 7 yard rush by Darrel Holt to tie it up at 14-14 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Clay County looked as if they were going to answer back to retake the lead, driving down field but the Tigers were able to force a punt as the Clay County drive stalled out as they passed midfield.
Gordonsville got the ball back at the 15 yard line midway through the third quarter and was able to get the running game going, with the Tigers able to take a lot of the time off the clock, as Gordonsville was able to run it in with Darrel Holt to take a 21-14 lead with just 10 seconds left in the game, which ended up being the game winning score.
What’s next for the Tigers?
The Gordonsville Tigers will host the South Pittsburg Pirates next Friday, November 20th in the Quarterfinals of the Playoffs.
The Owls lost their first round matchup against Brainerd in a game that saw both defenses step up a number of times and force a number of turnovers.
The first quarter saw the Owls make a little progress downfield, but they stalled out around mid field and were forced to punt. The Smith County defense was able to step it up multiple times and stop Brainerd’s drives as well.
The second quarter started off with turnovers by both sides, with Smith County able to get multiple fumble recoveries, including a fumble recovery at the Brainerd 34 yard line midway through the second quarter. The Owls were unable to get anything going, and their drive ended in a turnover on downs.
Smith County was able to intercept the ball to get the ball back just three plays later with a couple minutes left in the half, and went down and Salomon Rodriguez kicked a field goal with 1 second left to go into half time with a 3-0 lead.
Brainerd was able to score to start the second half after an interception set them up in great position, but missed the PAT to take a 6-3 lead just 4 minutes into the third quarter.
The Owls offense couldn’t get going to answer, but the defense was able to force some more turnovers and stop Brainerd’s offense from doing anything.
Smith County got their biggest turnover of the night with one minute left in the game to take over at the Brainerd 43 yard line, the Owls completed a pass on their first play of the drive and a targeting penalty on the play, and the Owls were able to move the ball up to the 10 and Rodriguez kicked a 27 yard field goal as time expired to send the Owls to overtime.
The Owls offense wasn’t able to get anything going on the first two plays of overtime, but on the third play Johnny Lyda was able roll out and connect with Caleb Crawford in the endzone for a touchdown, Rodriguez hit the extra point to give the Owls a 13-6 lead.
The Brainerd offensive drive saw them get a 6 yard rush on the second play, which set them up for a 4 yard touchdown rush on the next play. Brainerd decided to go for two, and they ran it in to take a 14-13 lead and win the game, knocking the Owls out of the playoffs.