Tuesday, October 23, 2012
- by B.B. Branton
“She shoots … she S-C-O-R-E-S … !" “Goal by Lanter “
For the past two decades that familiar call has been made numerous times as the four Lanter sisters from Soddy Daisy, Tenn. have lit up soccer scoreboards across this area and the South.
Starting with oldest sister Paige who was scoring goals in youth soccer at age five in the early 1990s before a stellar career at Baylor School, the success on the soccer field has continued with younger sisters Clair, a senior at Lee University, Summer, a senior at Soddy Daisy High School and Anna, an eighth grader at Soddy Middle School.
The athletic achievements of this talented quartet have been recognized by many as Paige and Summer are past Chattanooga area prep players of the year, while Paige was a conference all-freshman selection at Samford University (2006) and Clair has been a key player on national championship teams for Lee the past three years.
“When we lived in Middle Valley all the kids on our street played soccer, so our daughters joined in and have done well over the years,” said Jeana Lanter who along with her husband Greg, are Hixson High School graduates.
“Neither Greg nor I played soccer growing up, but he took the time to learn about the sport and helped coach them when they were on youth teams.”
Busy Week For Summer and Clair: Summer and her Soddy Daisy teammates host Coffee County in a region semifinal match tonight at 7 p.m. at old Soddy Daisy High School, while Clair and the Lee Flames – 12-1-1 and ranked No.2 in the nation – host Truett-McConnell on Wednesday.
With a Soddy Daisy win tonight, the No.8 Trojans (15-2-3) would play in the region finals on Thursday and the sectionals on Saturday. Lee begins defense of its national title next week.
Impressive Numbers: Thanks, in part, to the Lanter duo (both four-year starters), Lee is 78-7-3 with three national championships the past four years, while Soddy Daisy is 71-10-9 in the same time span and plenty of hardware – four district championships, three region and two sectional titles and two trips to the state tournament.
“Clair was a very vocal leader on the field, when she played for Soddy Daisy, “ said Trojan head coach Moises Drumond. “She had a way of motivating her teammates and getting the most out of them.
“Summer is more of a lead by example type player. She works endlessly both on and off the ball which is contagious to her teammates.
"Clair was the anchor for our defense for four years and I always told her she would have a great college career.”
Drumond’s prediction has come true as Clair earned second team NAIA All-American honors and was SSAC East Division Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and was an NAIA Scholar Athlete as a junior.
Even though Summer’s high school career is coming to a close this month, Drumond will coach one more Lanter sister, as Anna joins the program next year as a freshman at Soddy Daisy High School.
“I haven’t thought much about my high school career coming to a close, but Moises told us that we have six more matches to win a state title and the first one is tonight so we will go all out to win the state championship,” said Summer who has decided to attend Lee University next fall and play soccer.
Baylor School soccer coach Jimmy Weekley has equally impressive comments about Paige and her career as a Red Raider.
“During her four years at Baylor (2002-05), Paige (two-time all-state) was a very integral part of our success. She left Baylor as a three-time state champion and a state runner up,” Weekley stated.
“She was a leader by example. Paige brought a level of competitiveness to our program that inspired her teammates to train and play hard. Words cannot describe the overall impact she had on our program, not just in wins and losses, but in her ability to encourage her teammates.”
Plenty of Rings and Titles: The word “champion” has a nice “ring” to it as Paige earned three state championship rings for Baylor (2002-03-04), Clair looks for her fourth NAIA national championship ring in November and was a member of the Soddy Daisy girls state championship wrestling team in 2009 and Summer has played on a state championship select soccer team.
“Lee is the first team in NAIA history to win four straight national championships in women’s soccer (2008-2011) and we hope to make it five this year as the schools moves to NCAA Division II next year,” said Clair who is one of three seniors to have started since their freshman season in the fall of 2009.
“We know that we have a bull’s eye on our backs as big as the side of a house as everyone wants to beat us and they play their best game against us.”
Success in the Classroom: While the Lanter quartet has impressive athletic resumes – Summer and Anna have also won middle school cross country championships – the classroom work is nearly second to none.
Paige was an A & B student throughout school and currently teaches math at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Va. (and also plays on a Christian semi-pro team, the Charlotte Eagles) and Clair, Summer and Anna have all but perfect (only one B+ in the 6th grade) report cards since the first grade. Clair is currently No.3 in her class, Summer is No.4 and Anna is No. 1 or 2.
Why Soccer: The Lanters have played and been successful at a variety of sports over the years, but soccer has been the common bond.
“As long as you work hard you can be successful at soccer no matter your size,” said Clair. “For me, working hard for 90 minutes helps build character as my teammates are counting on me to give my best.
“I was a pretty good golfer growing up, but it’s all about the relationships you have in a team sport.”
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com