Smith County Mens Soccer are 2023 7A District Champions
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)
SC Owls Mens Soccer Kicks off District Play
The Smith County Owls launched District play last week. They won back to back fixtures against York and Jackson County. After losing eight talented Seniors from last season, finding new chemistry was a major goal to start the season.
The Owls hosted Livingston Academy for the Home/Season opener and won the Varsity match 2-0. Jarrain Smith and Captain Tanner Pierson scored for the Owls while Senior goalkeeper Jonathan Santiago kept a clean sheet. The JV also won 1-0 at this meeting. The goal coming from Terence Davis and Goalkeeper James Bunn keeping a clean sheet as well.
The team traveled to Gatlinburg for the Smoky Mountain Cup. The conditions were tough this season and the team did not bring a trophy home. However, It was definitely a beneficial trip. Playing higher levels always reveals the weak points and this is necessary to be able to correct and get stronger. Spending the tournament together will go a long way in building bonds and creating the family environment.
Off the heals of the Cup trip, Smith County hosted Friendship Christian who looked like a new squad this year. The Owls were rough for wear after the rigors of the trip and down a couple of vital leaders due to injury, they still managed to hold Friendship to a 0-0 tie. The defense stepped up for their Captain Bolt Ortiz who was missing from the back line and they helped the keepers hold on to those clean sheets. None of the SC players found their way to scoring, but it definitely was not for a lack of effort.
The Owls were supposed to play in a tournament at White County but the storms made the fields unplayable and White County had to cancel all games.
On Thursday April 4, 2023 the Owls by traveled to York. A couple of Seniors were missing due to illness but the team did not disappoint them. Smith County came home with a 6-0 win. Every player had their chance on the pitch. The scoring was led by off by Senior Christian Santiago and assisted by Lolo Ortiz. The second goal came as the Owls were attacking the York box and the Dragons made an error that led to an Own Goal. Senior Rylan Bates scored next with an assist from Gavin Huddleston. The last goal before the half was from Orman Vanegas with assist by Christian Santiago. The Second half saw another goal by Orman with assist this time by Lolo Ortiz. The second half was also a great opportunity for the JV to get in some playing time and to find their feet. The last goal of the game was scored by Haygen Miracle and assisted by Lolo Ortiz. Both of the Owls Keepers, Jonathan Santiago and James Bunn, looked solid in goal and they came home with no goals against.
Thursday April 6, 2023 Smith County hosted Jackson County for the another District match. The varsity and the JV both had games. The Varsity saw the return of Senior Tanner Pierson after a bout of illness and he wasted no time in making up for it. The Skipper made his mark on the game by scoring on a penalty kick and then adding four more goals throughout the game with assists by Gavin Huddleston for at least two and Orman Vanegas for at least one. Orman would score the second goal of the game with an assist to Christian Santiago. Christian scored the fifth goal of the game being assisted by Tanner Pierson. Senior Gavin Huddleston would score his first and the team’s 8th of the game by way of a penalty kick.
The defense led by Bolt Ortiz had a good showing, helping the goalkeeper Jonathan Santiago add another clean sheet. There were quite a few JV players who were subbed in during the course of the game giving them a chance to build strength of skill and decision making. This is vital to build the depth of the team and will be an asset as they progress through the season. The JV played next, ending in a scoreless tie. However, you could see the hunger to improve, to score, and improved communication.
This team keeps putting in the work and are hungry. hey could make the 20th anniversary of the team a record breaker. They feed off of the fan support so the Owl Faithful needs to be the 12th man this season in a big way. Next up is April 11, SC travels to Watertown for another District matchup. Followed by York visiting the SC pitch on the 13th. Both of these are District games and the pitch needs to be packed to cheer on our student athletes and our county. Gates open at 5 PM and the Kick off is at 6 PM. (article and photos submitted by Vivian Schaffers)
2023 Smith County Owls Mens Soccer Team
This is the 20th anniversary for the Smith County Mens Soccer team. The first team, led by Coach Scott Apple launched 2003 with 15 members. The current team is twice that size and has grown in skill and level of play with much success.
The staff for the 2023 team includes Head Coach Kit Jenkins, Assistant Coach Nicholus Bussell, and Assistant Coach Jeremiah Pierson. Managers include Kailey Young, Eden Daniel, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Brooklyn Sensabaugh, Abbi Williams, Kylie Jenkins and Karma Pickett
The 2023 Home Opener was played on March 14 with Smith County hosting Livingston. The Owls Varsity would take the win with goals by Jarrain Smith and Tanner Pierson, while Senior Goalkeeper Jonathan Santiago kept a clean sheet. The Owls JV also won their game vs Livingston with a goal by Terence Davis and another clean sheet by Sophomore Goalkeeper James Bunn.
The team traveled to the Smoky Mountain Cup from the 17-19. This tournament is always high level of play. It brings opportunities for the team to grow as players, bond as a family and a bonus of college scouts watching throughout the weekend. Last season the Owls won their division at the tournament. This year the varsity and the Jv each played three games. Varsity played Dickson County, Oak Ridge and Henry County. The JV played Pigeon Forge, Cocke County and Kingston. The weather was challenging throughout the weekend but the team got some valuable experience to take into the season.
The Owls will host Friendship Christian on Thursday March 23 and then participate in the White County Tournament over the weekend. Support these hard working student athletes this season and see what they can do. See the game schedule below.
Smith County Youth Soccer League Registration for Spring
The Smith County Youth Soccer League (ages 4-16 yrs old as of August 2022) is starting registration for the Spring 2023 season! You can register at the Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday February 1st from 5 to 7pm, Tuesday, February 7th from 5 to 7 pm , Monday, February 13th from 5 to 7pm. You can also fill out the forms and drop them off at Smith County Drug with the $45 registration fee anytime before the end of February.
The season is expected to start in early April and will last six weeks with games on Saturdays at Crump Paris Park. For more information please check Smith County Soccer League on Facebook.
Postseason Smith County Lady Owls Soccer
On October 18th Smith County Lady Owls hosted Independence Academy for the Regional Semi Final. It was the coldest game of the season and it seemed to be felt by both sides. It only took two and a half minutes for Aubrey Felice to connect with Senior Chelsae Litton who carried the ball down to the box and sent a solid shot past a defender and the keeper for the first score of the game. A minute later Independence answered, making the game 1-1. Three minutes later Brianna Solomon sent the ball up to Chelsae Litton who passed across to Kiley Jenkins who was coming up the outside. Jenkins shot, the keeper bobbled the ball and Jenkins finished it off bringing Smith County once more into the lead at 2-1.
As the second half started it continued to get colder, but the teams got warmer. The speed of play went from slow motion to intense. At the 29:27-mark Gracie Hendry won the ball to the corner and handed off to Aubrey Felice. Felice sent it across to once again connect with Chelsae Litton who sent it into the back of the net. Less than two minutes later Aubrey Felice passed to Brianna Solomon, who then fed the ball back to her as she flew to the net, covered by three defenders and sent the ball past the keeper for her contribution to a now 4-1 game. With 25 minutes left in the game, Independence found their way to the SC net. Senior Keeper Eden Daniel had amazing saves this game but this one found the top corner and was not going to be one. A minute later Independence was awarded a free kick in which they once again found the top corner and even with a valiant effort of Keeper Daniel, the score was now 4-3. The Lady Owls still had the lead but needed to ensure the win. So, at 22:45 a shot was sent on the Independence goal by Gracie Green, the keeper batted it down in front. Brianna Solomon saved it to shoot it in over the foot of a defender directly in front of the keeper and scored. At 15:43 Gracie Green carries the ball down the field, passes to Brianna Solomon at the corner. Solomon shoots from the outside. The Keeper catches it, it goes through her gloves and nutmegs her to roll into the net giving Solomon her second goal, making the score 6-3 in favor of the Lady Owls. Neither side let up and with less than a minute there was a corner kick that Independence thought they could clear, Gracie Green kept it in their end. Three defenders were headed to secure the ball, but Brianna Solomon came in and sent it into the back corner giving her a hat trick all in the last quarter of the game. Smith County won with a score of 7-3.
On October 20th the Regional Championship was played at Merrol Hyde where the Lady hawks hosted the Smith County Lady Owls. Going in the Lady Owls knew that Merrol Hyde was the defending State Champions and they had been mercy ruling competitors in the first half of their games. Many teams would step on the pitch already prepared to lose. The Lady Hawks scored three goals early, but Smith County seemed to decide it was not over. The half ended with a score of 4-0. After the break, even though Smith County had played hard in the first, they had a renewed fire. Lady Owl Senior Keep, Eden Daniel was stopping everything that came her way. The midfield was foiling attempts by the Lady Hawks to set up plays and the front was methodically pushing to find a weak spot. At the 28-minute mark, Aubrey Felice scored for Smith County, it was more than a goal it was a statement. This team had come through a challenging season of injuries and scrapping with much bigger teams for everything they had earned to this point. So, to score at Merrol Hyde was a small win. The Lady Owls went back to work, holding the Lady Hawks until the last 10 minutes of the game when they would score the fifth goal but only the first of the half. They would score again with less than a minute to go. Merrol Hyde won 6-1 over Smith County but they had to earn it all. Smith County were awarded Regional runner up.
On October 22nd Smith County Lady Owls traveled to Chattanooga to face CSAS in the Sectional game. The Lady Owls would fall to CSAS 7-0 to end their season. This game was full of emotion and challenges that just couldn’t be sidestepped. This team gave everything they had and then some. This season we watched players find confidence, some found strength, and they all found how to mentor, support, dig deep and be #OneTeam. We say goodbye to our Seniors: Brianna Solomon, Chelsae Litton, Eden Daniel, Gracie Green, Wendy Tolentino, Kenzie Keen, and Ciara Jackson. We could not be prouder of each of them and thank them for the legacy they leave with us. Thank you to everyone who supported this team, you are huge in the growth and success of this program. (article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)
Lady Owls Soccer 2022 District Champions
October 11, 2022, The District 7A semi-finals were hosted by Smith County. The 5 pm game was between Watertown and York. Watertown won 8-0 to advance to Thursday night’s Championship game. Game 2 was between Smith County and Jackson County. Seven minutes was all it took for Aubrey Felice to net the first goal. She would again score at the 19-minute mark, but she was far from done. Felice would earn her hat trick with three minutes left in the half. Less than two minutes on the clock Smith County was pressing the goal but Jackson County would end up with their only goal, but it was on own goal that put the Lady Owls up 4-0 at the half. As the second half got started it only took five minutes for Aubrey Felice to score her fourth goal of the game putting Smith County up 5-0. With 18 minutes left in the game, Hannah Green scored her first goal of her high school career. Smith County won 6-0 and advanced to play against Watertown in the Championship game on Thursday October 13 at the Smith County Soccer Complex.
October 13, 2022, District 7A Championship between Smith County and Watertown took place at Smith County Soccer complex. Smith County started the game, scoring after 52 seconds. Aubrey Felice carried the ball while having three Watertown defenders covering her. Just inside the box she sent it across into the net so smoothly it took the crowd a minute to realize it was really a score. It was. With 21 minutes left in the first half Watertown was awarded a penalty kick after getting tangled up with the Lady Owl defenders in the box. Watertown scored on the PK which is the only time this season the Lady Tigers have scored on Keeper Eden Daniel. Bringing the game even 1-1. After a lot of solid back and forth, it would be under two minutes left in the first half when the next goal would appear. Aubrey Felice would carry the ball down the field wearing one defender, picked up a second defender on the left side, got to the box, went low shooting past defender number three and keeper to score her second. The Lady Owls led 2-1 over the Tigers as they went into the half.
The second half was more back and forth, lots of closely matched battles, strong work by the defense and keepers. Halfway through the half Hannah Green was coming down the field with her sight on the net but got detoured to the left where the ball ended up with her sister Gracie Green, who shot from almost at the home dugout sending the ball sailing beautifully into the net. There was still 20 minutes to go and neither team was giving an inch. At the final whistle, it would be Smith County who were the Champions winning 3-1.
Smith County Lady Owls are the 2022 District 7A Champions. They have won this title now for the fifth time and the 2022 Senior class has been part of three of those titles. In addition to the Championship title the Lady Owls brought home a few more awards. Head Coach Nicholus Bussell was awarded District Coach of the Year. Lady Owls who earned first team honors were: Gracie Green, Eden Daniel, Brianna Solomon and Abbi Williams. Second team Lady Owls were Kenzie Keen and Chelsae Litton. The District MVP was awarded to Sophomore Aubrey Felice, Defensive Player of the Year, Senior Ciara Jackson, and Offensive Player of the Year, Sophomore Kiley Jenkins.
Smith County will host Independence Academy on Tuesday October 18th at 6 pm at Smith County Soccer Complex for the Regional Semifinals. (Article and photos submitted by Vivian Shaffer)
Lady Owls Soccer fall to Friendship Christian and beat Jackson County last week
The Smith County Lady Owls JV hosted Friendship Christian on August 29th. Friendship would win the match 4-0 but we saw a great deal of growth for Smith County’s JV through the course of the game. Once confidence and communication are established, this troupe will be full of contenders. Although the final score didn’t show it, the second half showed this progression.
The Smith County Lady Owls traveled to Jackson County on August 30th for the first District match of the season. The Lady Owls took the win with 6-0. This was a varsity match, but the entire Lady Owl squad saw time on the pitch with the exception of injured members. This marked another clean sheet for Goalkeeper Eden Daniel and the Lady Owl defense. The first goal came six minutes in from Brianna Solomon. There were shots on goal that just came up short until the 13-minute mark when Kiley Jenkins would score the second of the game from a pass by Brianna Solomon. Four minutes later Jenkins would shoot across and Aubrey Felice was there to send it past the keeper for goal three. Two minutes left in the half Jenkins takes a corner kick. A beautiful pass across the to where Gracie Green would jump to make a header that sailed past the keeper and two defenders. Smith County went into the break leading 4-0. Halfway through the second half Jenkins passes the ball up pitch, Aubrey Felice sends it to the net while Jenkins runs through deflecting the defenders. Goal five on the board. The last goal would come with fine minutes in the game. Briley Grisham passed to Madelyn Hula who sent a screamer through a crowd into the net securing goal number six.
The next game will be September 6th with Smith County traveling to Greenbrier. Then on the 8th, District Rival York will visit Smith County. Then the Lady Owls will be off to Gatlinburg for the weekend for the Smoky Mountain Cup tournament. (Photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)
Smith County Lady Owls Soccer start the season with 3 shut outs
Monday, August 15th, 2022 was the season opener for the Smith County Lady Owls Soccer Team. They faced Upperman and jumped off to a quick start. It only took a minute for Senior Captain Brianna Solomon to send the first score from the corner of the box. The top of the pitch did a great job with clean passes and teamwork all night. With 32:35 on the clock Aubrey Felice sent a beautiful shot from the outside line. Senior Gracie Green met the ball at the corner of the net to finish sending it past the Upperman Keeper. There were some solid battles for the ball through the game. At the 20-minute mark Brianna Solomon would beat her defender to turn the ball and shoot from outside the box and score her second goal of the game. Three minutes later Aubrey Felice would send a rocket into the back corner of the net, putting the score up 4-0 to the Lady Owls. Five minutes left in the half Kiley Jenkins would take a penalty kick in which she sent it cleanly past Upperman to give the Lady Owls a 5-0 lead going into the break. The second half would see lots of substituting and different combinations. The defense was solid all the way across all night. The final score of the game would come at the 17:54 mark by Senior Captain Chelsae Litton. Smith County starts the season with a 6-0 win and a clean sheet for Senior Keeper Eden Daniel.
Smith County Lady Owls traveled to White County on Tuesday, August 16th. Smith County dominated possession managing to keep the majority of play to one end of the pitch. The Lady Owls displayed promising teamwork when it comes to passing. There were several shots on goal, keeping pressure on White County. With 15:14 on the clock Kiley Jenkins sent the ball downfield to Senior Gracie Green who beat out a defender and split between her and a second defender to go one on one with the keeper and send it in the net for the first score of the game. A couple of minutes later Kiley Jenkins would send a solid effort towards goal that hit the cross bar and was so close that everyone believed it was a goal only to realize it skimmed the top of the net on the outside. So, at the half it was a 1-0 Smith County lead. The second half was full of threats to the White County net. White County subbed at every stop in play. Smith County Keeper Eden Daniel had solid saves the few times the defense was breeched. The Lady Owls defense had a solid showing. Senior Ciara Jackson, Junior Abbi Williams, Senior Kenzie Keen, Sophomore Averi Hopkins and Sophomore Madelyn Hula are all starting the season with a strong work ethic and good chemistry. With 12:31 left in the game Freshman Addie Cripps would score her first high school goal. After a battle for the ball at midfield it was sent down pitch to Cripps who shot through a defender with two on the wing, blowing through the Keeper solidly into the back of the net. Later with 2:30 left in the game, Kiley Jenkins would take a corner kick. Brianna Solomon met it on its way to the goal and sent the ball powerfully through three defenders, making the goalie dive short in order to secure the third and final goal of the game. The Lady Owls win 3-0 with their second clean sheet on the season.
Smith County hosted 2A Portland for a Varsity game. on August 25th The Lady Owls had several starters down with injuries prior to game time. This is one of those examples of their motto #Oneteam, the players who replaced the injured faced the pressure with grace and grit. Less than a minute from the starting whistle Aubrey Felice sent a shot on goal that took the keeper to the ground, as the ball traveled the line. Madelyn Hula sent it in to leave no doubt for her first high school goal. At the 23-minute mark Gracie Green would take a beautiful pass from Kiley Jenkins through three defenders and sent the ball in for the second goal of the game. The rest of the first half was exciting with back-and-forth shots and battles for the ball. Good Keeper skills, defensive teamwork kept Smith County on top 2-0 going into the half. The second half was physical and called for a strong Lady Owls work ethic. The defense and Keeper were kept busy, and the midfield saw plenty of action. Starting at the 25-minute mark and continuing for the next six minutes Portland would have their hands full with Aubrey Felice. Facing defenders twice her size, using her speed, skills, and competitive nature she would score a natural hat-trick. When she was done with her campaign, Smith County would lead Portland 5-0. Senior Captain Brianna Solomon took a free kick that would make the final score 6-0. (photos and games summary submitted by Vivian Schaffers)
Smith County Senior League TN State Champions advance to the Southeast Regionals in FL
The Smith County Little League 16 and under All Star team competed at the State Senior League Tournament in Lexington, TN They had three solid wins in the first three games beating Murfreesboro 16-2, Daniel Boone Senior League 16-1 and Lexington Senior League All Stars 12-8
They advanced to the championship finals where they faced Lexington once again. Being in the winners bracket proved advantageous since it would take two loses to be eliminated. They lost a hard fought first championship game 5-4 to the Lexington team so it came down to one final game for the championship. Final score was 9-7 over Lexington. It was a tough fought and exciting triumph for the team.
The Smith County Senior League members are Kylan Johnson, Abe Goolsby, Tristan Wood, Kyle Adams, Westen Vance, Wyatt Claywell, Evan King, Eddie Rivera, Canaan Musgrove, Ethan Montgomery, Kyler Gates, Cole Gulley, Tyler Jackson, Alex Bush and Keaton Walters. Manager is Tracy Mofield and assistant coaches are Chris McClanahan and Nick Mofield.
The team will move on to Safety Harbor, Florida on Friday July 22nd for the Southeast Area Regional Tournament against State Champions from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. The winner of that tournament will then advance to the Senior League World Series in South Carolina.
The team will be raising funds to help pay expenses for our trip. Smith County Little League is a non-profit organization that serves the youth in Smith County. Teams that advance to districts, state, regional and national play rely on sponsors, fundraising and the parents of the players to make it happen. The team will be hosting a car wash fundraiser at DJ Prime and Shine at 40 Dixon Springs Hwy, Carthage, TN this Saturday, July 16th from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
GHS Athletes honored at Middle TN High School Sports Awards
The Middle Tennessee High School Sports Awards were presented by Farm Bureau Health Plans earlier this month at Marathon Music Works.
Gordonsville High School freshman Kailey Plumlee was a finalist for Softball player of the year. Plumlee is a pitcher and was a major asset in the Tigerette’s battle in the 2022 State Tournament. Plumlee was also honored by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association as 2022 TSCA Miss Softball for Middle Tennessee.
Sophie Linder, GHS junior, received the female golfer of the year award. Linder, has won three straight state championships and won the 2021 Class A state title at 8 under for 36 holes. Her state tournament score this year was the best in state history.