SHACKLE ISLAND — Thursday was a bit of a homecoming for Station Camp gaffer Jeremy Cooke as his Bison made the quick trip to Shackle Island to take on his former team, the Beech Buccaneers.
Cook has established himself as the Bison manager but says coming back to the place he called home for so many years will always be special.
“It’s bitter-sweet coming back here, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he said. “Everyone has been so great. I was excited to be back here.”
The bitter feeling Cooke mentioned is coming back to the campus where his mom taught for 30 years before passing away four years ago to the exact date of the match between the Bison and Bucs.
The sweet, of course, was the 5-1 victory over his former team, which clinched the number one seed for the Bison in the upcoming District 10-AAA Tournament, which will be played at Station Camp High School.
After falling behind 1-0 to the Bucs on a beautifully placed header from Bennet Shelton off a set-piece, Station Camp rattled off five straight goals, including four in the fourth for the victory.
“For some reason, we want the perfect conditions to play, and in the second half we figured out we can’t play that way,” Cooke said. “The boys executed brilliantly in the second half — that was the best second half we’ve played in a while.”
With the loss and Hendersonville win over Gallatin, Beech takes the third seed into the tournament to face off against Hunters Lane in the first round. Then, the winner will take on Hendersonville in the semifinal round.
“Their speed of thought is what makes them a championship team,” Beech head coach John Ferguson said. “I’m pleased with how we played, but the first goal we gave up was due to mental mistakes is disappointing.”
The district tournament will start Tuesday, May 11, with two games as Gallatin takes on McGavock and Beech-Hunters Lane.