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January 2023

Postseason Smith County Lady Owls Soccer

Lady Owls Regional Runner Up 2022

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

Lady Owls District Champions 2022

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

Kailey Plumlee and Sophie LInder

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. 

SC Owls Soccer Team Wraps up a Winning Season

The Smith County Owls Soccer team has wrapped their regular season with a record of 12-1-1 and a district record of 6-0.  These young men have come together this season and accomplished big things so far, like winning the Championship Smoky Mountain Cup and bringing home the hardware. 

Outside of District play they have faced off with some tough 2A teams and shown great teamwork and leadership.  The only loss they suffered this season was to Stone Memorial and even that one was a 4-3 loss under difficult conditions.

This last week of the regular season saw the Owls travelled to Jackson County for a make up game and won 6-0.  The next night they travelled to 2A Livingston and again won 6-0. 

The District 7 Tournament will be hosted this year by Watertown and will begin on Tuesday May 10th.  Watertown will play at 5 pm against Jackson County and then at 7 pm the Owls will take the Pitch to play York.  On Thursday May 12th the Championship game will be played at 6 pm with the winners from Tuesday, followed by the District Award Ceremony. 

The SC Owls have played hard and well this season and they would love to have a strong presence in the stands during the District tournament to fire them up and help them secure their place in the next round.  So please travel with us  and be sure to bring your SCP! (submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

SC Men’s Soccer defeat Watertown again in District Rematch

The weather had an impact on the first scheduled district game which was rescheduled to May 2nd. The second game was on Thursday, April 14th at Watertown.  The day was beautiful, it did get a bit chilly by the end of the night but the Owls flew home warm with both Varsity and JV wins. 

The first meeting between these two varsity teams ended with Smith County winning 5-0.  This time Watertown would have home field advantage,  However, Smith County travels well. The Owls often show up with more fans than the home team.  On that note, the Seniors, speaking for the team, had this to say about the fans. “All of us truly appreciate the fans watching us and coming to all our games.  They may not know this, but because of them we are fired up each and every game.  It pushes each and every one of us to do better every single time.  We love our fans just as much as we love the game.  We would like to thank them all for the endless support.  Thank you!”

It was obvious in this game how fired up and focused Smith County was.  Nine minutes into the game Tanner Pierson found himself in the corner when he made the most beautiful pass across the front of the net to connect with Mo Abou Rahma.  Mo took the shot, beating the goalie and opening the door to a string of goals.  A minute later Colby Boyce would take a free kick sending the ball to the box where Tanner Pierson was set up to take a direct shot past the keeper for score number two.  Three minutes off the clock watched Boyce pass the ball up through four defenders and Abou Rahma coming from the outside to make another goal scoring connection, his second, team third.

Watertown tried to enter Smith County territory but was immediately shut down by Ro Ortiz and then Bolt Ortiz finished sending it back down field.  After some back and forth Boyce took a shot from the side, the keep jumped, missed it flew over him to meet with Rylan Bates who finished it to score the Owls fourth goal.  With three minutes left in the half Gavin Huddleston took a corner kick, Christian Santiago tried to head it in, but a defender deflected it where Mo Abou Rahma was waiting to send it solidly into the corner of the net. This gave Mo a hat trick and set the score at 5-0.  Oh but it only took thirty seconds for the ball to end up on the foot of Lolo Ortiz who sent it from half pitch to Colby Boyce.  Boyce took it to the net facing the keeper with three defenders surrounding him and easily ended the half with a score of 6-0.

The second half started with the closest Watertown would get to scoring but between quick actions of the defenders and SC Keeper Kory Debord the goal attempt was thwarted.  Nine minutes in Colby Boyce sent the ball up from the half mark to Mo Abou Rahma.  Mid box he fired a shot that left the keeper in a pile while the ball secured the goal.  Twelve minutes on the clock Blake Baird earned a penalty kick which he landed dead center in the back of the net.  One more goal would end the game.  This would come with a minute left when Mo Abou Rahma would battle two defenders and manage to shoot through them, past another defender and the keeper to secure a 9-0 win for Smith County.

The last meeting of the JV saw Watertown win but this time Smith County was to be the victor.  Smith County won 2-0, both goals coming from Blake Baird, the first being assisted by Eric Richel.  Next the Owls will play Stone Memorial at home on Monday April 18th and then Thursday April 21 they will host Jackson County for the Owls Senior Night.  Head Coach Kit Jenkins said, “Thank you for all the support.  It means so much to us to see so many fans at our games to cheer the boys on.”  So let’s pack the park and show them SCP Love and Pride! (Photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers)

SC Owls Men’s Soccer success continues with wins over Watertown and York

Pregame Captains meeting before the Watertown game. SC Owls Captains L-R Mo Abou Rahma, Ro Ortiz, Colby Boyce.

SC Men’s Soccer has been enjoying a great season so far.  Now District play has begun.  The Owls started with two home games against district rivals Watertown and York.  April 5th  Watertown travelled to Smith County. It had rained all day and the pitch was ready for a splashing good game.  The first half saw the Owls score twice.  Gavin Huddleston took a corner kick which assisted Colby Boyce in the first goal. Then Mo Abou Rahma scored with an assist from Christian Santiago.  The Owls defense held Watertown scoreless through the whole game. In the second half Smith County would add three more goals to the final score of 5-0.  The first goal was by Tanner Pierson, only 30 seconds later Mo Abou Rahma would score with an assist by Gavin Huddleston and the final goal was by Colby Boyce with an assist by Abou Rahma.  

The JV game followed but Watertown would win that one 2-1.  The lone Smith County goal came from Sophomore Eric Richel. Beyond the mud we saw some shining moments of growth from this young JV team. 

SC Owls celebrating Eligio Tolentino’s goal as a family after the York game.

April 7th district opponent York was hosted by the Owls for what was scheduled to be a Varsity game.  This would end up being a game played by everyone and full of memorable moments.  On first glance the final of 9-0 would seem self explanatory but it was so much more. One might expect with a score like that to see York get frustrated and forget about sportsmanship.  York showed up, gave their best and was a great example of grace.  Hats off to the players and the coaching staff. 

On the Owl side of things the score was 5-0 in the first 15 minutes of the game.  The coaches started subbing in JV players and still scored a sixth goal by halftime.  These first six goals were scored in order of: 1. Christian Santiago, assist from Colby Boyce 2. Tanner Pierson, assist from Christian Santiago. 3. Colby Boyce, assist from Tanner Pierson 4. Pierson, assist from Boyce 5. Boyce, assist from Abou Rahma 6. Pierson for the hat trick with assist from Eric Richel.

After the half the Owls needed 3 goals to mercy rule and be done. However, this coaching staff loves the game of Soccer and finds ways to make it allow for the most play and the fairest path.  Smith County Senior Captain Ro Ortiz just happened to have a birthday on this day.  Ortiz is a defender, however, they flipped the field and moved him to Striker and the forward to the back line.  Goal seven took a few tries but ultimately Ortiz would score his goal.  Goal eight was scored by Senior Will Vance and the final goal would come from another Senior defender, Eligio Tolentino with 1:26 on the clock and he was assisted by Will Vance. This game was incredibly fun to watch.  They played almost the entire clock, defenders were able to have the opportunity to score, the JV received quite a bit of playing time, and again, this might not have been such a meaningful game to so many had York not shown the mature demeanor and sportsmanship that they did.

Smith County is now 7-0-1 (2-0 in district) They sit in first place for the region and 5th place overall.  Off to a strong start, they just need to continued to play as #Oneteam and stay healthy.  The Owls now go on the road for district games at Jackson County  and a rematch against Watertown.  This is an exciting team with a lot of skill, we hope you will come out and support them. (Photos and article submitted by Vivian Schaffers.)

Freshman Owl Soccer Goalkeeper earns Referee Certification

Freshman Owl Soccer Goalkeeper James Bunn recently earned his US Soccer Grassroots Referee Certification.  This is the first level in the five level Referee Pathway required to obtain this certification. Courses must be completed and then be certified by the State Referee Committee.  James is now qualified to officiate competitive, small-sided or recreational youth matches and amateur adult matches. The future is exciting for this young man as he grows in the high school soccer program and in his referee path. Pictured above includes the officiating crew in James Bunn’s first game to work after certification. Terence Davis is also a Freshman Owl Soccer player.