Two teams from the South Division of District 14 A-AA — Chester County and Lexington — made the run to the Class A-AA sectionals last year.
One reached the state tournament (Chester County), while the other fell just short.
Both teams are hoping to repeat last year’s postseason for another try at a state tournament bid.
Lexington returns a large portion of last year’s team. Chandler Holmes led the offense with 24 goals and 12 assists as a freshman, and the year of experience should help her to an even better season this time around.
Hannah Bassham was also a freshman last year, finishing with over 10 goals, and she will join Holmes at forward.
The Lady Tigers have two seniors in Carley Phillips and Bailey Hayes, and they will anchor the defense.
Chester County lost some key players to graduation with the midfield and goalkeeper being the two areas hardest hit.
Junior Paige Pipkin will be called upon as the leader in the midfield this year, and she will try to get the ball to the forwards like junior Lauren Austin and sophomore Anslee West.
McNairy Central will be a team in the South Division of District 14 A-AA that will try to rise up the standings and knock one of those two off.
In the North Division, South Side has been the No. 1 seed going into the district tournament the last two years.
The Lady Hawks return eight starters from last year with hopes of staying on top. Meagan Kitchen returns for her senior year in goal, and Nikindra Taylor had a strong freshman campaign at forward.
Trenton Peabody finished right behind the Lady Hawks last season, and despite losing six starters the Lady Tide are hopeful of earning the No. 1 seed.
The offense will lead Peabody this season as Shakira Cliff and Lauren Smith are the only two seniors, and they combined to score 35 goals last season.
But getting out of the district tournament won’t be the only tough test for 14 A-AA teams in the postseason.
District 13 A-AA has also had success in the postseason in recent history. Last year, was the first time in six seasons Dyersburg did not reached the Class A-AA sectionals.
The Lady Trojans are again favored to be a quality side behind the scoring of Rachel Clifft.
But Westview and South Gibson are also poised to have strong teams.
Westview reached the region semifinals last year before losing at Chester County. The Lady Chargers return nine starters with hopes of another strong season.
Seniors Brittney Johnson and Mary Schommer will try to control the tempo in the midfield, while senior Alyssa Stegall and junior Chesney Ross will control the defense.
The two starters who graduated last year were forwards, but Westview coach Hannah Steadman is excited with the way the freshmen have stepped in during preseason training.
South Gibson is looking for its first berth into the region tournament.
The Lady Hornets will have to replace Abby Alexander, the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Savannah Webster also played forward last year, and she will be one that the midfield will try to get the ball to for scoring opportunities.
Juniors Sarah Grace Scott and Zoe Cowden will also be looked to as leaders, and they will work from the back trying to move the ball up to the offense.
The youth South Gibson had last year has now matured, and the team is hoping to move into one of those top two positions in District 13 A-AA.
Michael Odom, 425-9754