The sun sets on another soccer season in Monroe County.

Sequoyah, under new head coach Brian Storey, made its fourth consecutive appearance in the region tournament while Sweetwater navigated one of the more even Class A districts to a semifinal finish, taking district champion Loudon to the brink.

A position change into his senior season did not slow down

Ben Brackett. The long-time Sweetwater captain moved into a pivotal central midfield role of the ‘Cats’ 4-2-3-1, scoring eight goals, second-most in the county, and tallying a co-county-high five assists en route to being named the All-County Player of the Year.

Brackett scored the winning goal in the annual Sequoyah-Sweetwater clash — a tap-in squared by Jonathan Cano with less than 10 minutes to play.

Jonathan Cano led the county with nine goals and added on five more assists in his senior campaign. A long-time goal threat for Sweetwater, he was the catalyst of the Wildcats’ offense.

Cano missed a few games in the middle of the season with an injury, showing how his presence turned Sweetwater into a different kind of team.


Jose Avila may have scored the goal of the season when he split a pair of Sweetwater defenders on April 11. He then smashed a half-volley on the right side of the far post, giving the Chiefs a lead in the County Classico before falling 2-1.

Avila added another goal to his list in his team’s emphatic rout of Chattanooga Central in the District 7-AA Semifinal.

Lisandro Avila became a goal-scoring machine late in the year. With less than 10 games on their schedule for the regular season, opportunities for Sequoyah players to find the back of the net were scarce. Avila took advantage of those opportunities.

He scored in Sequoyah’s 5-0 win over Chattanooga Central to lock up the second seed in the league before notching four goals in 45 minutes in the semifinal against the Purple Pounders.

Campbell Hicks put in solid shifts for Sweetwater’s backline. The sophomore transitioned between left back and left center back depending on the team’s needs and worked out multiple goal-line clearances when called upon.

A District 4-A Defensive Player of the Year nominee, Hicks added one goal on the season as a reward for his work rate.

Totaling 100 saves on the season,

Sean McKenzie was phenomenal in his first season between the sticks. The junior averaged 11.1 saves per game and appeared in nine matches. With almost 700 minutes in goal, McKenzie quickly built a reputation as one of the better netminders in District 4-A.

The younger brother of the 2021 Player of the Year,

Esteban Ramirez quickly established himself as his own name in the Sequoyah Starting XI. He scored a brace in the Chiefs’ regular season win over Chattanooga Central before doing the same when the two sides met with their season on the line in the district semifinals.

Christian Palacios put across consistent performances in a shortened Sequoyah season. An overtime win against McMinn Central paired with the two victories over Chattanooga Central worked as the highlight of Sequoyah’s season.

Palacios’ presence throughout the season and into the postseason mark reasons the Chiefs program was able to work themselves into the final 32 teams of Class AA.

Only in his second season,

Abram Torres has set up a nice future on the pitch. Playing in a myriad of roles for the Wildcats’ program, Torres’ work rate and willingness have not gone unnoticed.

The sophomore scored one goal and earned an assist while also playing nearly 400 minutes in the goal. While in net, Torres totaled 55 saves, including a record 23 saves against Bradley Central. He averaged 3.4 saves per game.

Pairing with Brackett as a defensive midfielder,

Cam Pippin showed what the future could be like for Sweetwater soccer. Though the freshman did not have any direct goal involvement, he locked down a key phase of stabilizing the game.

Showing maturity on the field and positional discipline, Pippin started all varsity games for the Wildcats.

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