Polk County soccer player celebrates championship win with teammates

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2018

In their final season as a team, the Highland Football Club 01 Red Girls team won the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association Premier Division as a U18 team.

The NCYSA Premier Division is the top level of play in the state, where the competition is tough and the play is fast and physical. What is impressive about the HFC01Red G team is the fact that 11 of 16 players were on the team in 2016, when they won the NCYSA Premier Division as a U16 team the first time.

This team is the first and only girls’ team in the clubs more than 30-year history to win the division not just once but twice, and is a huge accomplishment for the players, coaches said.

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“I could not be more proud of this group of players for winning the NCYSA Premier Division,” said Jason Remine, HFC 01 Red Girls coach from 2015-2018. “Their winning the most competitive league in the state is a huge accomplishment. This group of players will without a doubt go down as one of the most successful teams in western North Carolina history. It has truly been an honor to get to work with them over the years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. This is simply a great group of girls, both on and off the field”

Ranked seventh in the state, the HFC 01 Red Girls finished the season with a record of 6-1-1, scoring 25 goals and having 13 goals against, competing against the top teams across the state: Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

“What these girls have achieved deserves high levels of praise, as this accomplishment is quite incredible given the high level at which they compete,” said Joey Sasvari, director of coaching and player development, HFC Girls Classic Girls College Coordinator, Highland Football Club. “More importantly, each girl displays great character and act as a great example for all of our younger players to learn from. We are very lucky to have had these players as part of our program and couldn’t be prouder of this great achievement.”

The HFC 01 Red G team is made up of players from across western North Carolina, representing seven counties and 10 high schools, who may face each other as opponents during the high school season but come together as a solid and cohesive team representing the Highland Football Club. Members of the 2018 HFC 01 Red G team are: Emily Baird (North Henderson), Eden Hawkins (Hendersonville High), Emma Reimels (AC Reynolds), Mary Taylor Jackson and Brantley Compton (Asheville Christian Academy), Reese Alley (Polk), Anna Morgan (Smoky Mountain), Lauren Singleton and Sarah Swaim (Tuscola), Kennedy Rucker and Keeley Simmons (TC Robinson), Olivia Lendermen and Megan Dephouse (Asheville),  Morgan Hill ( Rutherfordton ),  Patricia Summers (Hibriten High School/Caldwell Early College High School), and Abby Mc Connell (Home School).

For most of the players on the HFC 01 Red Girls team, this is their final season playing club and high school soccer. While there are players who are still deciding on their college soccer choices, there are four players who will continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level: Morgan Hill and Kennedy Rucker committed to University of North Carolina Pembroke; Patricia Summers will play for Pfeiffer; and Sarah Swaim has committed to Coker College.

– Submitted by Sherry Swaim