East Hamilton Wins First 5-AAA Soccer Title

Hurricanes Defeat Ooltewah 1-0 In District Final

Thursday, May 8, 2014 - by Jaime Barrett

The district is different, but the result was the same for the East Hamilton boys' soccer team Thursday night.

The Hurricanes, newcomers to 5-AAA this season, won a fourth straight district title at Ooltewah, and did it without ever sending a ball into the net.

15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 10pt;" dir="ltr">

After an Ooltewah own goal in the 30th minute gave East Hamilton a 1-0 lead, the Hurricanes' defense helped turn the Owls' heartbreak into another title celebration for coach John Millard's team.

He credited forward Jack Fletcher with creating the pressure that led to the score, and keeper Taylor Vanzant and the Hurricanes' backs for preserving the 1-0 lead.

"We'll take it any way we can get it," Millard said. "I think that was really a product of hard work from Jack up top. If he's not pressuring that, then there's not the confusion. One goal changes the game, however it happens. Obviously we would not have been able to play the way we chose to play the rest of the way if we didn’t get that goal. As soon as we got it, I had faith in our backs and Taylor in goal to be able to defend well, stay organized, and make it really tough for them to find a chance."

The Owls won their regular-season meeting with East Hamilton by a 3-2 margin, and coach Rick Adolph said his team responded quickly after Thursday's mistake with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. But after the Hurricanes dropped back to focus on defense, offensive opportunities became hard for Ooltewah to come by.

"We played so well," Adolph said. "It's just a tough break. We've gone down a goal often this year, and we've bounced right back. But as soon as they scored, he dropped everyone back and made sure we didn't get behind them. That made it a little more difficult for us, but we still were creating some good chances. It just wasn't meant to be, but the guys played hard and did what I asked them to do."

It was the second consecutive intense road game for the East Hamilton team, which had grown accustomed to playing the postseason at home after five successful years in Class A/AA. The Hurricanes advanced with a 2-1 semifinal victory at Cleveland on Tuesday, and expected another challenge in the championship match.

"We knew that to come here and win would be really tough, particularly after such an emotional game at Cleveland," Millard said. "In five years, I don't know that we've gone on the road twice and won two games for a district title. I'm super impressed and proud of how they kept their composure, played hard and challenged every ball. When you do that, good things can happen."

The Owls continued battling throughout the second half, and their pressure paid off with several dangerous scoring chances in the final 10 minutes, but Vanzant made the saves to preserve the Hurricanes' shutout.

"I really thought we were going to get one," Adolph said. "We changed formations to try to get more pressure on their backs. We got through a couple of times but were just a little off. They really made it tight back there, but I thought our guys played smart enough to get through. It's a tough loss, but we know that we're playing again. If we can take care of business next week, then there's a good chance we can see them again."

The Owls (13-3-3) must travel to face District 6 champion Cookeville in the Region 3-AAA semifinals on Tuesday, while East Hamilton will host runner-up White County. The Hurricanes (9-7-2) will be trying for their first region title after moving up a division this year.

“It feels good,” Millard said. “It was a huge challenge for us. I've seen this team really grow up over the course of the season. We're very young, but I've seen guys step up and play well. I really feel like we've created a culture here that helps up be successful on the field, and I'm proud of them.”

(E-mail Jaime Barrett at jaimenbarrett@gmail.com)



Dalton State Men's Cross Country Dominate In Twilight Invitational Meet

Varnell, Ga. – The Dalton State men’s cross country team dominated the seven team field in the first Dalton State Twilight Invitational Cross Country meet at historic Prater’s Mill on Friday. Defending Southern States Athletic Conference individual champion Geoffrey Kipchumba showed local fans just how good he is. With a time of 18:42, he was way ahead of second place Spencer ... (click for more)

Dalton State Golf Is In Second At Lindsey Wilson Tournament

Columbia, KY. – The first day of the two-day, 36-hole Blue Raider Classic finished with the hosts from Lindsey-Wilson on top of second place Dalton State by seven strokes. The Blue Raiders finished Friday’s first round with a ten under par 274.  Dalton State was three under par 281. The course is The Pines at Lindsey Wilson. It is a par 71 that plays at 6,650 yards. ... (click for more)

Grill Fire Causes Damage To Signal Mountain Home

A grill fire caused damage to a Signal Mountain home on Friday evening. At  7:23 pm , a 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 306 Dawn Street on Signal Mountain. The Signal Mountain Fire Department responded reported heavy fire coming from the back porch and eaves of the home. Signal Mountain FD requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower. The ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Senator Corker: Americans Deserve To Know Where Their Elected Leaders Stand On The Iran Deal

As I traveled across the Volunteer State during August, I spoke with many Tennesseans about the nuclear agreement between Iran, the United States, and other world powers. While opinions of the agreement vary, there is perhaps no greater geopolitical issue facing the world today than preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.  A strong agreement that would stop Iran from obtaining ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)