The high school girls’ soccer season begins today with a few games across West Tennessee.
Here are my personal thoughts on the top eight teams in our coverage area.
The Jackson Sun covers 13 counties in West Tennessee – Madison, Gibson, Carroll, Crockett, Hardin, McNairy, Hardeman, Haywood, Benton, Weakley, Henderson, Chester and Decatur Counties.
1. USJ (D2-A) – The Lady Bruins lost just two starters off last year’s team that reached the Division II-A state semifinals, and they return all of their attacking players including Rachel Giampapa, Madison Perchik and Addison Dunn.
2. Jackson Christian (15 A-AA) – The Lady Eagles are back in Division I and could be the team to beat. Georgia Hopkins, Amelia Grizzell and JuliaAnne Landsdale will be the leaders on the field for Jackson Christian this season.
3. Sacred Heart (D2-A) – The Lady Knights return 10 of 11 starters from last year’s team that reached the Class A-AA state quarterfinals. Players like Alice Nelson and Amber Winkelman will help make the transition to Division II-A smoother.
4. Chester County (14 A-AA) – The Eaglettes return all but three players on last year’s roster that reached the Region 8 A-AA semifinals. Baylie Pruett is tough to stop going to goal.
5. Liberty (15 A-AA) – The Lady Crusaders reached the Class A-AA state quarterfinals last year. Liberty lost three seniors, but has plenty of talent returning. Alana Byrd was The Jackson Sun’s 2012 Defensive Player of the Year.
6. Madison (15 A-AA) – The Lady Mustangs reached the Region 8 A-AA semifinals last year, and they return most of their attacking players. Rebekah Guthrie, Madison McKnight and Paige Castleman will be the go-to players.
7. South Gibson (13 A-AA) – The Lady Hornets return seven starters from last year that fell in overtime in the region quarterfinals. Juniors Abby Alexander and Emily Rice try to lead this team to a district championship this season.
8. TCA (15 A-AA) – The Lady Lions bring back all but three players from last year’s squad. Seniors Phalon Jones and Kayce Stovall are the leaders of the team, and they will be the players that can take TCA to the region semifinals and championship.