Cyclones fall in Coach McClay’s final match

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2022

BRISTOL – In a 26-year career of coaching the Elizabethton High School boys and girls soccer programs head coach Bill McClay has seen the highs and the lows. On Tuesday evening at Tennessee High, he closed out a career that he devoted to developing a winning soccer program.

On Tuesday the Cyclones (10-5-2 overall) fell to the Tennessee High Vikings 1-nil at Stone Castle in a District 1-AA playoff match semifinal loss that ended their season.

THS scored on a rebound of a shot by James Bowling which came off a throw-in just outside the penalty area. EHS goalkeeper Mason Williams blocked the shot and sophomore Riley Vernon headed the ball out of the box.

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Unfortunately, the ball came right to the Vikings Micah Hyskell and he drilled a high shot into the nets.

The Vikings outshot EHS 4-1 in the first half as both teams played pressure defense.

“The game plan was just to play our game,” Vikings head coach Andrew Snyder said. “We wanted to spread them out and from the beginning, I told them to play tight defense. They did that and my goalkeeper and backline were lights out.”

In the second half, the Cyclones began to exert offensive pressure with Tylar Jenkins getting a shot on goal with a header that Vikings goalkeeper Eli Knowles handled.

Sean Smithdeal had a shot that was on goal but not particularly dangerous as it came in on the bounce.

However, in the last four minutes, EHS began to pour it on in a desperate effort to get that tying goal as Williams fired four shots at the Vikings goal and Vernon had one as well. None got past Knowles however.

“We had some guys that were tired so we put Jacob (Williams) in there because he still had gas,” McClay said. “We had chances in the first half with one off the crossbar and another that was close. Jacob had four or five shots at it, unfortunately, hit it right to the keeper. We didn’t make the keeper work very hard.”

In describing his 26 season’s at the helm of the EHS soccer program McClay said, “It’s been 26 years and all season’s end. All with a loss.” McClay said with a chuckle. “I didn’t know I would get the job. I walked in off the street and they trusted me with it. Everybody’s been a part of it. All the players and coaches and I have always had the support of the administration. I appreciate all the kids and my family has been with me all the way.”

District 1-AA playoff
Stone Castle
Tennessee High 1-0
Elizabethton 0 0 – 0
Tennessee High 1 0 – 1
Scoring summary
First Half
T – Hyskell (goal, unassisted) 27:00