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April 2024

Smith County Boys Soccer leading the District

The high school boys soccer season is always a time of chaos between weather and illness delaying or rescheduling games across the region.  After two and a half weeks of no game, the Owls came back strong.  They had their first District win against Jackson County 3-0 goals coming from Aldrin Jimenez assisted by Michael Martin, Blake Baird with an assist from Tatum Poindexter and Blake Baird finished it off with a goal on a penalty kick.  Next Cannon County came to Smith County for their first match since Cannon came back into our district.  This would be the Owls first mercy ruled game of the season winning 9-0! Blake Baird had a hat trick, Abi Martinez and Jarrain Smith each netted a penalty kick, Gavin Kemp, Terence Davis and Aldrin Jimenez each scored and there was an own goal.  Assists came from Terence Davis, Adyn Elliott, Diego Vanegas, Bradley Pickett and two from Aldrin Jimenez.  

Smith County now leads the district and has an overall record of 5-1-1. Next up is Macon County and York Institute both home games. Come out and support these hard working student athletes, they are very fun to watch.

Article and photos submitted by Vivian Schaffers

Smith County High School Owls Soccer 2024 Smokey Mountain Tournament Champions

The SCHS Owls Soccer 2024 Smoky Mountain Cup Champions

After an opening game against Livingston Academy that ended in a 2-2 draw, the Smith County Owls high school soccer team traveled to Gatlinburg. The annual Smoky Mountain Tournament is a high level match up of schools from many states. Each year college scouts come to watch the action across seven fields. The Owls started their weekend on Friday night matching up against Concord Christian. The Owls won 2-1. On Saturday the opponent was East Robertson. The Owls won 4-1. On Sunday the Owls faced Munford High School and won 4-2. The Smith County Owls won their division which also included Macon County and Seymour High School. Our boys brought home the trophy just months after the Lady Owls brought home their own trophy from the same tournament’s fall edition.

Thursday March 21 the Owls traveled to #6 Friendship Christian.  Senior Blake Baird started off the scoring with an assist to Terence Davis.  That would be the last time the Owls saw the back of the net.  Friendship scored twice for the win 2-1.  The first loss is always tough but there is a lot to be learned from that game and now the Owls can move forward and focus on District play.

Spring break will be quiet but on April 2 the Owls will travel to Dekalb County to make up a game that was earlier scheduled.  Then on April 4 we host York for our Home Opener and the beginning of District play.

photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers

SCHS Owls Soccer: New Season, New Head Coach, Same Owls Spirit

Picture from left to right: Nicholus Bussell, Wesley Kemp, managers: Kiley Jenkins, Abby Harriman, Emma Butler and Karma Pickett.

High school soccer is back. The Smith County High School Owls begin their 2024 Campaign with a third less players and a new Head Coach. The Owls find themselves in a rebuilding year having graduated quite a bit of talent over the last couple of years. This season the Owls have 19 players, three of which are Seniors: Abimelec Martinez, Blake Baird and Diego Cruz Vanegas. There is some solid leadership throughout the team and a hunger to move forward.

The Owls have also seen Head Coach Kit Jenkins leave his position to take another as Assistant Principal at SCHS.  After a near decade as Head Coach for the men’s side and assistant coach for the women’s side, Coach Kit has brought so much to the programs.

The Owls new Head Coach is Wesley Kemp. Coach Kemp graduated from Smith County High School in 2018. He then signed on scholarship to play soccer at Bethel University. He is now back home in Smith County, teaching Chemistry at SCHS and assuming the Head Coach slot for the Owls Soccer. He is also recently engaged to his high school sweetheart, Lady Owls Assistant Coach Shyenne Newton.

We recently spoke to Coach Kemp about coming full circle and he seems happy and excited about the future. We asked about his impression of the program. Coach Kemp said the biggest change is in the players. When he played here most of the players played soccer as a second or third sport, now the players are majority dedicated soccer players, which is exciting. When asked if there was a big shift from playing in college to coaching high school players Kemp explained that there is not that much difference. The high school boys have the ability and skill it just takes a big more patience when asking them to learn new skills or positions. Then we discussed expectations he has for his team this season. He brings a realistic winning mentality to the position, understanding it is a smaller team. He points out that a smaller squad can have a stronger sense of ownership and more motivation to show what they are capable of. Coach Kemp is leading his team with the belief that yes they may not be the best team yet, they have growth ahead, but they team goal is set pretty high. The Owls soccer faithful believe they can accomplish big things and will be very happy with the Coach’s style and mentality. We encourage everyone to come out and support this team. If you do not know soccer yet, you will be very pleasantly surprised at the competitiveness, the skill, the athleticism and how exciting the game is. If you do know soccer, come give these young men the support that propels them forward. Ending with a final statement from Coach Kemp, “When you see it, you will know. So come watch our games.”

Articles & Photos submitted by Vivian Schaffers

SC Lady Owls Soccer Season ends in a thriller

The team supporting the five taking the PK shots.

Smith County Lady Owls Soccer Team’s season has ended. On October 17th they hosted White House Heritage in the Region 3 Semifinals. The first half of the game was toe to toe for the whole 40 minutes. The 14 minute mark saw a Lady Owl Penalty Kick awarded that was taken and scored by Senior Brooklyn Sensabaugh. The half ended with a score of 1-0, Lady Owls in the lead.

The second half was exciting to watch.  WH Heritage scored with 20 minutes left on the clock to tie 1-1. They would score again at 16 minutes. Both sides were very physical so Junior Aubrey Felice decided she would use her speed and skills to score just 10 seconds later to tie it back up 2-2.  With just under 10 minutes left WH Heritage scored and seemed sure they had clinched the win. Two minutes later Felice again answered the score with one for the Lady Owls. The end of the regulation game left the contest tied 3-3.

They headed into a 10 minute Overtime period.  After three minutes, most of which was the Smith County back line in a battle to protect the net, WH Heritage sent a shot through that just barely escaped Keeper Catie Belle McCarter.  Three minutes left in the OT Brooklyn Sensabaugh took a free kick from near the half, it went off a defender’s head and went high, giving Felice time to come in to finish off the goal.  The first OT ended 4-4.

The second 10 minute OT was heating up, both sides were very tired but both wanted the win.  The OT would end scoreless which sent the contest into a penalty kick shootout.

Each side chose 5 players to take the pk shots against the opposing keeper, taking turns between teams.  Lady Owl Aubrey Felice was the first to shoot.  She shot low to the right corner and scored. Then McCarter faced the challenge of stopping the WHH player, which she did.  Senior Brooklyn Sensabaugh was next.  Her shot stretched the keeper, hit the cross bar and bounced back out.  McCarter also was beat by the next shot and they stood at 5-5.  Freshman Chloe Gill stepped forward for her turn, but was stopped.  McCarter stopped her next opponent.  Addie Cripps shot low, the keeper dove and just tipped the ball sending it inches to the side of the net.  McCarter dove for the next one, had a stop but it bobbled on into the net, giving WH Heritage a 6-5 lead.  Smith County sent forward the 5th shooter, Freshman Aubree Spain.  If she misses it is over, she makes it it is tied back up.  She sent the ball hard right, keeper went down, it hits her leg but goes on through for the score and the tie of 6-6.  WH Heritage puts forward their 5th shooter.  Despite McCarter’s best effort the ball is a solid score, giving White House Heritage the win 7-6.

Smith County ended with a record of 12-2-2 (5-0-1), a Smoky Mountain Cup Championship, District Championship, many individual district awards and the pride of accomplishing what many thought they could not.  They stepped up, owned the pitch all season, embraced sportsmanship, determination and each other as a team/family.  These endings are always heartbreaking, as is sending our Seniors on to their next chapters.  This county can be very proud of this team, how much they accomplished and how well they represented their schools, this county, their home. Thank you so much to everyone who supported these young ladies this season.  Fans make all the difference.  The parents have been phenomenal, Lee Rice is amazing, the coaching staff: Nicholus Bussell, Lisa Reece, Shyenne Newton and Mallory Dillon, they did wonderful with this bunch. The SROs who are always present, provide the feeling of safety and encouragement. The Administrators from both schools, thank you for your support and your continued encouragement and for allowing these girls to play together and be One Team.  (photo and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

SC Lady Owls Soccer 2023 District Champions

SC Lady Owls Soccer Team District 5A Champions

The Smith County Lady Owls Soccer Team hosted the 5A District Tournament.  Tuesday, October 10 the Semi-finals included a game between Jackson County and Cannon County in which Cannon won 8-0, sending Cannon County into the District final.  Next Smith County played York Institute. Smith County won 6-0 with four goals coming from Senior Captain Brooklyn Sensabaugh and two more from Junior Aubrey Felice, assists from Sensabaugh, Briley Grisham and Madelyn Hula led to the Lady Owls advancing into the District final.

Thursday October 12 the District Championship game between Smith County and Cannon County would end in a 4-1 win for Smith County. Senior Brooklyn Sensabaugh started the scoring two minutes into the game followed by a hat trick from Junior Aubrey Felice.  The Lady Owls are the 2023 5A District Champions. This is the sixth District Championship in the 7 years as head coach for Nicholus Bussell.  Coach Bussell is the first to give the credit to the players and he has taught them the motto one team and effort wins, which has proven to be true.  Every girl on this team has stepped up in a big way this season after losing a large Senior class last year.  Each girl in every role, on the pitch or the sideline, has played a huge part in the success they have had.  

Tuesday October 17th the Lady Owls will host the Region Semi final against White House Heritage at 6 PM.  A win in that game would break the three year run as Region runner up and be a huge next step in this program.  (photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

Smith County Soccer Wraps up the Season and Head to Post-Season Play

Smith County HIgh School and Gordonsville High School celebrate homecoming and selected above representatives as Homecoming representatives. SCHS Homecoming Soccer representatives for 2023 are Haygen Miracle and Brooklyn Sensabaugh. Gordonsville High School Soccer representatives for 2023 are James Bunn and Madelyn Hula.

The Lady Owls finished their regular season. The District wrapped up with the Lady Owls in first place with a record of 5-0-1 (9-1-2 overall) followed by Jackson County 4-2 (8-5 overall) Cannon County 1-4-1 (1-10-2 overall) and York Institute 1-5 (3-6-1 overall).

Smith County’s tie came with Cannon County after cancellations that left the girls with a 12 day stretch with no game .  However they came back strong when they hosted York and won with the mercy rule of 9-0 with 12 minutes left on the clock.  This game was Senior Night and Senior Brooklyn Sensabaugh was on fire with four goals and an assist to her credit.  Aubrey Felice also recorded a hat trick and 2 assists. Freshman Chloe Gill had a goal and two assists. Aubree Spain netted a goal. Two more assists, one each for Senior Abbi Williams and Sophomore Addie Cripps.

The Lady Owls hosted Jackson County for the final regular season district game.  Smith County won by 6-0 with 16 minutes left on the clock.  The game was cut short due to a Jackson County injury, with the player having to leave via ambulance. Fortunately it was shared that the player will be okay.  Aubrey Felice had two goals and an assist, Brooklyn Sensabaugh netted a goal, Aubree Spain scored twice, Chloe Gill scored once with an assist as well and Goalkeeper Catie Belle McCarter logged another assist along with Briley Grisham who had an assist to her credit as well.

The District Tournament will be played the week of October 9-13.  You can follow the Smith County High School Lady Owls Soccer Team facebook page for updated information on the post season.

Senior Night vs. Cannon County celebrated their three senior players pictured below.

GHS and GJHS Cross Country recent results

GHS XC competed in the Siegel XC invite at Cedars of Lebanon on 09/14/2023. The next race is the Station Camp HS/Welch College MSCCA. Results as follows:

Girls 500 Meters

Lucy Manor 23:39.71

Boys – 5000 meters

Derek Rivera 24:52.69

Aiden Austin 25:47.04

Layn Parchman 26:39.97

Caden Smith 27:14.76

Edward Rivera 28:43.38

The GJHS competed in the Milton Invitational on 09/16/2023 in wet and rainy conditions on a technical course running over rocks and roots at a beautiful farm in Milton, TN. See results below.

2 Mile Run

Elise Smith 15:42.40
Kylie Chiapperini 17:36.94
Sydney Yancy 20:83.56

Eddie Rivera, Caden Smith, Layn Parchman, Derek Rivera and Aiden Austin – GHS Boys Cross Country

GHS Kailey Plumlee commits to Tennessee softball

Gordonsville HIgh School star junior pitcher Kailey Plumlee confirmed her commitment to Tennessee softball this week.

Plumlee recently posted on social media “I am so excited to announce that I am going to further my academic and softball career at The University of Tennessee. Thank you to my parents, coaches, and brothers for helping me get to this point. GBO!”

Plumlee led Gordonsville to the 1A state championship and struck out 15 batters in the state title game win over Eagleville. She earned a 28-2 record with a 0.95 ERA and struck out 358 batters while giving up just 53 hits in 155 innings. Plumlee also hit .562 with eight home runs and 49 RBIs and played primarily at first base when not pitching.

She made The Tennessean’s 2023 All-Midstate Small Class softball First Team as a pitcher.

Plumlee will have two more high school seasons to play before her college career begins in Knoxville. She will be a part of the 2025 recruiting class.

SC Lady Owls Soccer Smoky Mountain Cup Champions, District win at Jackson County

SC Lady Owls Soccer team with the Championship trophy at the Smoky Mountain Cup in Gatlinburg

The Lady Owls Soccer team traveled to Gatlinburg for the annual Smoky Mountain Cup. This tournament hosts teams from many states and is played out over three days.  Always a great weekend for the team to be tested, bond as a group, and have some fun.  Smith County played three games over the weekend, the first being against Perry County, Kentucky.  The Lady Owls won 7-0, with Aubrey Felice collecting five of those goals. Senior Captain Brooklyn Sensabaugh scored as well as her Co-Captain, Senior Abbi Williams.  Williams leads the defense but was allowed to move to offense in this game and found her first high school goal.

The second game was a 3A team, Knoxville Halls.  A hard fought game that ended in a 0-0 draw.

The third and final game for the Lady Owls weekend was Cosby, Tn.  Once again Aubrey Felice would bring 5 goals to the scoreboard, Brooklyn Sensabaugh would add two of her own, Addie Cripps and Briley Morgan also would add one each. Smith County came away with the win, also the Championship!  This is the Lady Owls second time to win the Championship at this tournament.  They came home still undefeated and with three more clean sheets.

On Thursday August 31 the Lady Owls traveled to Jackson County for a District Match. Aubrey Felice scored first, while being double and triple teamed the entirety of the game, with an assist from Addie Cripps. Shortly before the half SC was awarded a free kick and Brooklyn Sensabaugh stepped up to take it, and scored! The half buzzed with Smith County up 2-0.

Halfway through the second half Aubree Spain connected with a pass from Brooklyn Sensabaugh and sent it flying into the net for goal number 3.  

Tuesday September 5th Smith County will host 2A Macon County for a non conference game. We hope everyone will come out and watch these hard working ladies as they continue to make Smith County proud. (Photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

Gordonsville HS and MS Cross Country at Cookeville meet 08/31

Gordonsville High School and Middle School Cross Country Competed in the MSCCA members meet in Cookeville TN on 08/31. Three team members medaled, Lucy Manor, Aiden Austin, and Elise Smith.

Middle School Girls
Elise Smith 4th 15:59
Kylie Chiapperini 15th 18:02
Sydney Yancy 23rd 22:00
MS Boys
Kaleb Kincaid 26th 17:37
High School Girls
Lucy Manor 3rd 23:56
High School Boys
Aiden Austin 15th 25:00
Derek Rivera 19th 25:12
Layn Parchman 20th 27:10
Caden Smith 21st 29:07
Edward Rivera 23rd 29:35

Back row, Caden Smith, Eddie Rivera
Front Row, Lucy Manor, Aiden Austin, Derek Rivera, and Layn Parchman