Jackets clench SMC title

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Victory over Swain secures top spot for Hayesville

  • (Karen Dudley • Submitted)  Hayesville’s men’s soccer team celebrate their SMC championship after their win over Swain. First row, from left, Connor Rexroad and Kylan Bunch. Second row, Jose Constantino, Je erson Hernandez, Will Gordon, Javier Bustamante, Lee Anderson, Ayeden Richbourg and Blake Owens.Third row, Anthony Ashley, Isaiah Michael, Jacob Rogers, Mason Norris, Jared Welch, Zane Lucksavage, David Green, Ryelan Snowden and Omar Fonceca.
    (Karen Dudley • Submitted) Hayesville’s men’s soccer team celebrate their SMC championship after their win over Swain. First row, from left, Connor Rexroad and Kylan Bunch. Second row, Jose Constantino, Je erson Hernandez, Will Gordon, Javier Bustamante, Lee Anderson, Ayeden Richbourg and Blake Owens.Third row, Anthony Ashley, Isaiah Michael, Jacob Rogers, Mason Norris, Jared Welch, Zane Lucksavage, David Green, Ryelan Snowden and Omar Fonceca.
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The Yellow Jacket soccer team has had quite the sea- son. Scheduling issues kept Hayesville from having any non-conference matches. The Jackets jumped right into conference play and quickly established themselves as a contender for the Smoky Mountain Conference championship.

Thanks to a 2-1 over Swain Monday, Oct. 28 Hayesville is no longer a contender. They are now the SMC champions. The win improved the Jackets’ record to 8-1 which made it impossible for any other team to climb to the top of the standings.

Hayesville didn’t have long to celebrate as a quick turnaround put them on the road and in action Tuesday, Oct. 29 against Highlands. The Yellow Jackets kept the momentum with a 4-1 win.

When the Jackets invaded Bryson City, both teams knew what was on the line. A win for Swain would mean the Devils still had a shot at a shared conference championship.

A win for Hayesville would clinch the outright title for the Jackets. The two top teams in the SMC didn’t disappoint and the first half

was filled with stress and possession exchanges. Both teams managed to score and entered the halftime break in a 1-1 deadlock.

The second half was more of the same as defenses on both ends of the eld were stingy. Hayesville managed

to find the back of the net to go up 2-1 and then prevented Swain from answering, se- curing the victory and the championship.

Against Highlands, the Jackets wanted to wrap up the regular season on a high note.

The first half was a nail- biter as both teams got on the board with a goal. Tied- 1-1 at the half, Hayesville's head coach Karen Dudley and her staff made adjustments. When play resumed, those adjustments payed off and the Jackets erupted on offense with three goals and the defense stopped Highlands, securing the 4-1 victory.

With one championship already to their name, the Yellow Jackets now await the release of the playoff brackets as they look to chase down a state title.