MURFREESBORO - The Station Camp Bison have a chance at making Tennessee state history on Friday night when they battle the Bearden Bulldogs for the Class AAA state championship.
No Class AAA public school has ever won three straight state championships. The Bison have a chance to do just that Friday at 4 p.m. at Richard Siegel Sports Complex after defeating Cookeville 4-0 in the semifinals Wednesday night.
The shutout victory is the second clean sheet the Bison have collected this Spring Fling and the fourth state tournament game in a row Station Camp has shut out its opponent (Bearden 3-0, Blackman 3-0 in 2018)
“It was really hard to replace the guys we lost last year, I mean we lost a lot of really good players but give credit to the guys that returned because they have really stepped up,” Station Camp coach Jeremy Cooke said. “It’s next man up mentality with these boys and it is just so great to see them play at such a high level.”
It’s no secret this senior class has been here before, played in pressure-packed games and so Friday’s game for the championship doesn’t evoke pressure but more so a chance at accomplishing something remarkable.
“This is a big thing we have talked about this year,” Cooke added. “For the seniors being in state all three years and going back-to-back, it’s easy to get complacent so we have openly talked about a three-peat as our goal this year. We want to make that history and we are up for the challenge.”
No matter how high the ups are and no matter how low the lows are, even though there have been very few, this group of Bison have done an amazing job at staying calm, cool and collected.
“Coach Koumiss and I never really have to say too much to these guys,” Cooke said. “They know what they are doing, and that is nice to have such a talented group of boys that know what they are doing. They truly know how to play the game and know how to keep their emotions in check.
“We don’t say brothers for nothing. It’s a great piece to have. Soccer is more than one player and the last three games our eight goals came from eight different players. It’s a team game. These boys play the best they possibly can and they don’t care who gets the credit. It’s amazing to watch them play. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
After scoring just one goal in the first half - a Tyler Jessen score off a corner - Station Camp dominated the second half, leaving no doubt who was the better team on the pitch.
Josh Street tallied two goals and an assist to Donnie Smith for the 4-0 win.
The Bison are prepared for this moment. They have consistently scheduled tough opponent after tough opponent from as far as the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee to the Mississippi River in Memphis. Whether the Smoky Mountain Cup, or the Rivals Camp, this season has prepared the Maroon and White for the tough games.
“This is why we play those games,” Cooke said. “If you can play those close games, hard games and even being behind it prepares you for this. I know it’s tough as far as the record but I don’t care about the record, I care about this.”
Station Camp will take on Bearden Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
“As soon as we get on the bus we are thinking about Friday,” Cooke said. “I just want us to show up and play well and if we do that we will be fine. As long as we keep playing the way we are playing then we will walk out as state champions Friday.”