The Soddy-Daisy lacrosse team had lofty aspirations for the 2020 season after bringing home the state championship last year. They had a legitimate shot to repeat with six seniors in the starting lineup and at least three of those going on to play college lacrosse.
“This was a very strong senior group, with all six starting for us,” said head coach Andrew Karpinko. “It will be a difficult group to replace because not only are they skilled players, but they were extremely committed to our goal this year of repeating as state champs. We are hoping to give these seniors a couple more games before they begin their next journey in life.”
Ethan Hyde: Attack
Hyde played lacrosse for Soddy-Daisy for four years and started for two.
He was recognized as one of the top players in Division 2 Public in 2020, and led the state in goals scored and points before the season was cut short. He was also a standout linebacker on the Sale Creek football team.
"Ethan is a powerful attacker; it's very hard for one defender to contain him," Karpinko said. "He is a very driven, hard-working person on the field and in the classroom."
Hyde, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, will be attending the University of Alabama-Huntsville to pursue a degree in engineering. He may also play lacrosse for UAH.
Career stats: 46 goals, 36 assists
Season stats (2020): 23 goals, 12 assists
Brandon Hale: Long Stick Middie
Hale, a team captain, also played for the Trojans for four years and started for two. He made the 2019 Division 2 All-League team on defense, and was also recognized as one of the top players in Division 2 Public in 2020. He will continue his lacrosse career at Tusculum University next year.
"Brandon is a very fast, skilled and relentless player on the field," said Karpinko. "He is a very hardworking person, someone everyone could feed off of."
Career stats: 172 groundballs (a groundball is when the ball changes possession during live play)
Robert Holekamp: Attack/Midfield
Holekamp was a starter in his first year playing lacrosse for Soddy-Daisy, but already made an immediate impact. He was the third Trojan to be recognized as one of the top players in Divison 2 Public in 2020, and ranked seventh in the state in goals, 15th in points, and third in groundballs before the season was halted.
"Robert is a very fast and skilled attacker. He has the best stick skills on the team, and turns into a different person once the game starts," Karpinko said. "He is also a very polite, hard-working person. With this being his first year on the team, the best way for me to describe the type of person he is is by pointing out how he was accepted immediately by the team and quickly earned everyone's respect."
Holekamp attended the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) and had a 3.6 GPA. He will be playing college lacrosse at Tennessee Wesleyan next season.
Career stats: 38 goals, six assists
Season stats (2020): 17 goals, 2 assists, 45 groundballs
AJ Rogers: Midfield
Rogers has played for Soddy-Daisy for four years, with one as a starter. A team captain, he was named to the 2019 Division 2 All-League team at defensive midfield. He will be joining Hale on the lacrosse team at Tusculum University next season.
"AJ is the motor of our team, and does not shy away from anyone," said Karpinko. "He is arguably the best defensive midfielder in our league, and gives his all every day. He is a great person and very respectful."
Career stats: Five goals, six assists
Season stats: Two goals
Noah Flinn: Midfield
Flinn is another player who has played for the Trojans for four years, and was as starter for one. He plans on becoming an electrician now that he has graduated high school.
"Noah is a very motivated, hard-working player," Karpinko said. "He does not accept losing, and brings his best every game. Coaches have seen him several times after practice doing additional stick work and conditioning."
Career stats: 37 goals, 24 assists
Season stats (2020): Six goals, three assists
Grayson Paschal: Defense
Paschal has also played Soddy-Daisy lacrosse for four years and started for one. Graduating with a 3.7 GPA, he plans to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to pursue a career in engineering. He also plans to join the club lacrosse team there.
"Grayson is a tough, hard-working defender and never shied away from a hit," said Karpinko. "He is a very smart defender and always did his best to improve his teammates. He is very driven, respectful person, and is a great role model for the Soddy-Daisy community."
Season stats (2020): 13 groundballs