Familiar foes met again on Monday evening, as Ellis and Station Camp took the field to determine the 2021 Champion of the Sumner County Middle School Boys Soccer League. In their regular season matchup that opened up the season, the Bison battled to a 1-0 victory over the Cougars. Station Camp entered Monday’s Championship Game with an 8-0 record that included a hard fought 2-1 victory over Merrol Hyde in their semifinal match, while Ellis came into the game with a 7-1 record that included a resounding 9-0 semifinal victory over TW Hunter.
This time around, Ellis took an early 1-0 lead in the 8th minute, as Ryan Bertotti launched a missile from 35 yards out that cleared the leaping hands of Station Camp’s goalkeeper, Jacob Bacon. Just two minutes later, the Ellis lead grew to 2-0, as John Becker turned and launched a shot from 25 yards away that dropped in just under the crossbar. Station Camp fought back and Tyler Fair received the ball at the 20 and put on a dribbling clinic, slicing through four Ellis defenders and placing it past Ellis’s goalkeeper, Luke Latham, in the 15th minute. Two minutes later, Becker scored again for the Cougars in almost identical fashion as his first goal, stretching the Ellis lead to 3-1, which remained the score for the duration of the first half.
Just three minutes into the second half, Station Camp’s Gavin Crawford beat a defender and made a beautiful long-range cross that found a streaking Ian Twinamasiko, who headed the ball past Latham and cut the Cougars’ lead to 3-2 in the 33rd minute. In the 39th minute, Paul Singelyn received the ball just outside the 18, snuck through two Bison defenders, and then ripped a shot past Station Camp’s Holden Preston, to give the Cougars a 4-2 lead. The teams battled back and forth, and in the 49th minute, Becker received the ball in the box and poked it to a fast-approaching Sonny French, who blistered the ball into the back of the net, extending the Cougars’ lead and putting the final tally of the day on the scoreboard, as Ellis walked away with a decisive 5-2 triumph. With 5 goals and 3 assists over the course of the Tournament, Becker was awarded with the Tournament MVP honors.
The Championship is the Cougars’ 3rd in the 5 years that the league has crowned a Champion. They had previously won in the inaugural 2016 season and again in 2018, after falling to the Bison in the 7th round of Penalty Kicks in 2017. The Bison also won in 2019, meaning these two juggernauts have claimed all 5 of the Championships.
Ellis Coach Jerry Becker stated after Monday’s game, “This is a special group of boys. I’m so proud of them, and so excited for them. We had a championship caliber team last year, but COVID-19 shut everything down. The boys were on a mission this year and played their hearts out in every match. We only surrendered 4 goals the entire season, including the 2 today. That’s the fewest number of goals any Ellis team has ever allowed in a full season. We’ve had some great teams over the years, and this one is right up there at the top. Station Camp is a very strong team, and it’s always a battle when we face them. When they scored that quick goal in the 2nd Half, I was anxious to see how our boys would respond. I had full confidence in them, but it was a potential momentum swinger. The boys obviously stood their ground and finished strong, and it feels great to bring home another championship to Ellis.”
Afterwards, Jerry Becker, who also serves as the Middle School League Commissioner, added, “I’m extremely appreciative of all the coaches and managers who dedicated their time and energy to make this season happen for these boys. We’ve built and maintained a great league over the years. I’d also like to thank Todd Syzmanski and the Hendersonville Soccer Club for their ongoing support of Middle School soccer throughout Sumner County, as well as the Hendersonville HS and Station Camp HS Soccer Programs for allowing us to play our Semifinals and Championship Game at their Stadiums. We have a tremendous soccer community here in Sumner County.”
Following the team trophy presentations, awards were presented to the Tournament MVP, as well as the All-County 1st and 2nd Teams:
John Becker (Ellis)
All-County First Team:
Lane Anderson (Gallatin), Jacob Bacon (Station Camp), John Becker (Ellis), Ryan Bertotti (Ellis), Sonny French (Ellis), Ben Harris (Knox Doss), Brody Hitchcock (Merrol Hyde), Aaron Klinger (Merrol Hyde), Juan Lorenzo (Hawkins), Richard Scott Jr. (White House), Austin Taylor (Station Camp), Riley Teal (Hunter), Cameron Templeton (Hunter), Will Williams (Station Camp)
All-County Second Team:
Logan Alexander (White House), Myles Bertotti (Ellis), Carson Blakely (Hunter), Mason Brody (Station Camp), Reid Ferrell (Gallatin), Parker Harrison (Hawkins), Matthew Henderson (Merrol Hyde), Ryan Hendon (Station Camp), Simon Matei (Knox Doss), Ian Miller (Ellis), Isaac Painter (Ellis), Holden Preston (Station Camp), Jaxon Wayland (Merrol Hyde), Dieu Kai Williams (Hunter)
Jacob Bacon, Cole Ballweber, Mason Brody, Kaleb Bruns, Osby Cavin, Ethan Collins, Gavin Crawford, Tyler Fair, Angel Fuentes, Everett Graff, Gavin Hastings, Ryan Hendon, Tanner Higdon, Holden Preston, Rex Robertson, Zeke Rowland, Camden Stancil, Austin Taylor, Ian Twinamasiko, Will Williams, Jason Taylor (Head Coach), Eric Brody (Assistant Coach), Ryan Crawford (Manager).
Ellis:John Becker, Myles Bertotti, Ryan Bertotti, Finley Cochran, Hayden Craycroft, Mac Denton, Bennett Driver, Sonny French, Isaac Gabers, Cooper Herron, Thomas Hines, Ryan Hisel, Jeremiah Ireton, Brock Jones, Luke Latham, Ian Miller, Isaac Painter, Wyatt Rolin, Carson Rynor, Jared Sanders, Paul Singelyn, Holden Wharton, Jerry Becker (Head Coach)