GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A near three-hour bus drive and two games in a matter of six hours … no problem for J.L. Mann (Greenville, S.C.).
J.L. Mann, with five NCAA Division I signees in its senior class, handled defending Division I-AA state champion Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) 5-2 and routed last year’s Class AA/A state semifinalist Greeneville (Tenn.) 7-0 to cap an impressive opening day at the Smoky Mountain Cup.
Clemson signee Quinn McNeill had four goals and two assists, Air Force commit Nassim Al-Nawasreh added three goals and one assist, Presbyterian signee Chris Amond had two goals and one assist, Bowdin signee Drake Byrd had a goal and two assists and junior Frankie Villanueva had two goals in J.L. Mann’s offensive barrage.
As expected, J.L. Mann moves into Sunday’s clash against Station Camp (Tenn.) with the Mount Guyout title on the line. J.L. Mann is 2-0. Station Camp is 1-0-1 following a 1-1 draw Saturday with Greenville.
In other key matches Saturday, Coppell (Texas) routed Hardin Valley Academy (Knoxville, Tenn.) 10-1 to secure the Clingman’s Dome Division title, and McCallie School (Tenn.) finished second to Coppell with a 7-0 victory over Daphne (Ala.).
Coppell and Hardin Valley entered the match with undefeated records, making the contest the de facto championship game, yet Hardin Valley was simply gassed. The team was playing its third high-pressure match in 24 hours and didn’t have the legs to stay with Coppell, who scored four goals in the first half and six in the second. Francisco Redondo led the way with three goals.
Father Ryan (Nashville, Tenn.) and Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) both went 3-0 in the six-team Mount LeConte Division, but Father Ryan had a better goal differential. Central Magnet, however, shut out all three opponents, making it the only team at the event to post three shutouts.
Lausanne Collegiate (Memphis, Tenn.) won the Mount Buckley Division with a 3-0-0 record while Germantown (Tenn.) claimed the Mount Chapman Division and Seymour won the Mount Collins Division after both going 2-0-1.
F Nassim Al-Nawasreh, J.L. Mann (S.C.), Sr.: The Air Force commit finished the day with three goals and his first score of the day really propelled J.L. Mann past Christian Brothers, making the match 2-0 en route to a 5-2 victory.
D George Ackling, Coppell (Texas), Jr.: In a match where all Coppell players saw action, a few new names emerged for the standout list. Ackling scored a pair of goals in the team’s one-sided win over a spent Hardin Valley squad.
D Riley Alexander, Greeneville (Tenn.), So.: He organized a back that was under pressure all night from J.L. Mann, and his distribution from the back helped start counter attacks.
M Drew Amond, J.L. Mann (S.C.), Sr.: Amond delivered one of the prettiest goals of the day, curling a left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the goal from about 20 yards out to start J.L. Mann’s win over Christian Brothers.
D Elijah Barrit, Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Tenn.), Jr.: Barrit led a young back line that produced three shutouts over the weekend.
D Marshall Board, Coppell (Texas), Jr.: Board, usually a defender, found himself celebrating goals Saturday, scoring twice in the team’s 10-1 win over Hardin Valley.
F Ben Brock, McCallie School (Tenn.), Jr.: Brock scored three goals in McCallie’s 7-0 win over Daphne to complete an undefeated showing at the event.
F Alejandro Ferre, Hardin Valley Academy (Tenn.), Sr.: Ferre had a goal and one assist in Hardin Valley’s 2-1 win over Daphne.
MF Kyle Hellmann, Father Ryan (Tenn.), Sr.: The East Tennessee State signee scored the lone goal in Father Ryan’s win over Boyd Buchanan then added three more in the team’s 7-3 victory over Sevier County. He’s a former RSL Academy player and Colorado resident who relocated to Tennessee for his senior school year.
F Jakada Jack, Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Tenn.), Jr.: Jack scored three goals Saturday to help Central Magnet complete a 3-0 run through group play.
F Tyler Jessen, Station Camp (Tenn.), So.: The sophomore scored the team's goal in a draw with Greeneville and he hit the post on another attempt.
D Caden McGranaghan, Station Camp (Tenn.), Jr.: A midfielder pressed to play left back and delivered a strong performance against Greeneville.
F/MF Wyatt Priest, Coppell (Texas), Jr.: Priest made the list for the third straight day, serving up a pair of assists in Coppell’s division title-clinching victory over Hardin Valley.
F Francisco Redondo, Coppell (Texas), Jr.: Redondo scored three goals in the team’s 10-1 thrashing of Hardin Valley to clinch the Clingman’s Dome Division title. Redondo ended with five goals in the last two matches.
M Luis Sanchez, Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Tenn.), Sr.: Sanchez scored twice and had two assists as Central Magnet went 3-0-0 in group play.
M Kriss Sellers, Seymour (Tenn.), Sr.: Controlled midfield play and was strong distributing balls to target players.
D Will Turner, Father Ryan (Tenn.), So.: He was solid in the back, shutting down opponents, winning balls and immediately getting Father Ryan into the attack.
D Logan Whaley, Seymour (Tenn.), Jr.: Led the defense for a team that went 2-0-1 and won the Mount Collins Division title. He was able to minimize the production of other teams’ top forwards.