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Dobyns-Bennett at the forefront of NET soccer picture

Douglas Fritz • Apr 4, 2019 at 12:33 AM

Soccer season is hitting its stride, and Dobyns-Bennett is out in front of the pack.

The Indians are ranked No. 8 in the state in Class AAA and are the only area team in the top 10.

Here is a season update for some of the Northeast Tennessee teams.

Class AAA


Leading the way for the Indians is junior forward Will Arrowood, who ranks in the top five in the state in goals scored and total points.

Arrowood has totaled 10 goals and added six assists while helping the Indians get off to a 7-0-1 start to the season.

“He’s a special player,” said D-B coach Tom LaGuardia, whose team is 2-0 in district play. “He dictates what defenses have to do and how they are going to play against us. It frees up other people.”

Other keys for the Indians have included senior Spencer Correll (five goals, five assists) and junior midfielder Jack Perry (two goals, four assists).

“(Perry) is really driving the boat from a holding midfield position,” said LaGuardia.

Defensive standouts include sophomore Jackson Martin and junior goalkeeper Jacob Park, who was an all-state selection last season.

Overall, LaGuardia said the expectations are high.

“We have season goals, and we have a great quantitative goal to exhaust the moment. We want that attitude every time we step on the field.”


The standard is set high for the Hilltoppers, who have been mixing it up with the state’s elite teams off and on for decades.

This year’s team is a veteran group with coach David Strickland having 11 seniors on his squad. Strickland said he is relying on big contributions from a pair of senior midfielders: Carson Cox and Ethan DiSantis.

Also, senior striker Dylan Sanchez will be counted on to get the Hilltoppers in the net.

Another key offensive performer is junior striker Nick Cahoon.

A trio of seniors will lead Science Hill on the back line with Patrick Brown, Griffin Kirby and Dan Good providing resistance in front of senior goalkeeper Abe Adams.

The Hilltoppers currently stand at 1-1 in district play and 2-3 overall.


The Trailblazers are keeping things moving with a record of 4-2-1 overall.

Leading the way is senior midfielder Simeon Ignace.

“Simeon is the key player for the team,” said coach Steve Sessis, whose team is 0-2-1 in district play. “He sets up the attack and is a very strong defender. He is unquestionably the team’s leader on and off the pitch.”

Other key players for the Trailblazers are junior forward Isai Barradas, freshman midfielder Alan Gerlock, and senior defender Emidlio Morales.


The Pioneers are holding their own, earning a slate of 6-5-1 to date.

“The season has had its ups and downs, but the team has continued to fight in every contest,” said coach Chris Kudera, whose team is 0-1-1 in district play. “We have some tough conference games ahead of us, so we must continue to be disciplined in all aspects of the game in order to get the results we desire.”

Senior striker Dalton Williams has emerged as the team leader with 10 goals thus far.

Other keys players are sophomore midfielder John Plaisted, senior defender Matthew Rastall, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Roney, and freshman defender Edison Gouge.

Class AA


It has been a solid start for the Cyclones, who have recorded five straight wins out of the gates.

The big tests are coming, however, with D-B at home Thursday and at Greeneville on April 9.

“The season is off to a positive start,” said coach Bill McClay. “The group is coming together as a team. As are most teams, we are finding opportunities to improve game by game. That will certainly be the case over the next couple of weeks as we have several challenging matches.”

Key players for the Cyclones include senior striker Teagan Bernshausen and junior midfielder Evan Fulmer.

Also in the mix are three senior captains: defenders Nolan McKinney and Max Peterson along with midfielder Luke Bernshausen.

“Luke is one of the players we look to for his steady presence on the field and attitude,” said McClay. “His work rate sets a standard for the team.”


The Falcons are getting their feet wet for the season, winning one of four contests with a district mark of 0-1.

“We are a young team with only three seniors,” said coach Jeff Lukens. “The season is going good so far, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Freshman Dawson Dykes at center forward is leading the team with four goals.

“He is a hard-nosed player who never takes a second off,” Lukens said.

Other key players are senior midfielder Darren Helton, sophomore defender Isaac Jennings, and junior goalkeeper Brandon Wagner.


Coming off a few good battles in the Smoky Mountain Cup, the Rebels have a record of 2-3.

“We played some very talented teams,” said coach Keith Parker.

Leading the way for South this season are a trio of seniors. Defender Jonah Mintz, midfielder Adam Badawi, and midfielder Luke Pollack will try to help the Rebels keep pace with the district contenders.


The Blue Devils have their sights set on a strong finish, said coach Justin Ciralsky.

“The boys are playing well together, and they are getting better each day,” said Ciralsky. “We are hoping to make it out of districts and regionals as a goal this year. We are 7-2 overall, scrimmages included.”

Unicoi, 2-1 in district play, is paced by senior midfielder Daniel Meza.

“Daniel is a captain and a team leader,” said Ciralsky. “He is currently planning on attending Milligan and playing soccer on a scholarship. He has been a four-year starter, and he is a role model for the rest of the team.”

Other key players include seniors Juan Ponce (midfield), John Andrade (defender), Martin Porras (forward) and senior defender Demecio Rodriguez.

Class A


It has been a very strong start for the Buccaneers, who are 5–1 with their lone loss coming against Class AAA Jefferson County.

“We are a young team,” said coach Bracken Burns. “We only have three seniors.”

Walker Page and Malachi Heath are team captains who alternate between the center attacking midfielder and striker positions.

“They are proven offensive producers over the last several years,” said Burns.

The other senior is defender Austin Baines.

“I am really impressed with his development, not just in the defensive role but becoming part of the attack when indicated,” said Burns.

As for the younger players, sophomores Bracken Burns (center midfield), Pate Anglin (defender) and Moses Rathbun (midfield) are playing key roles.