As her older brother fights to recover from an accident, Jada Campbell is fighting off emotions to help Hendersonville’s soccer team.
The Hendersonville High senior finished Thursday evening’s match with a big smile on her face after the Lady Commandos’ 6-3 victory over Gallatin, in which she scored twice on senior night.
Campbell is the younger sister of former Commando standout Darius Campbell, a 2016 graduate of Hendersonville.
Following an intramural soccer game at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga earlier this week, Darius Campbell was sitting on the trunk of a teammate’s car when the driver accelerated the vehicle, causing him to fall. He was placed in critical care after the accident, with his injuries requiring brain surgery and a ventilator.
He suffered a fractured skull and had a blood clot on the left side of his brain, in addition to bleeding on his left frontal lobe. Since the accident, he has reportedly begun to move around and speak.
“He’s doing well,” Jada Campbell said. “He’s doing a lot better, so that’s a positive sign.”
Jada Campbell – wearing Darius’ number 17 instead of her usual 13 – was one of 10 Lady Commando seniors honored on Thursday evening, and her first goal came 5:06 in on a 25-yard strike that sailed in the top-right corner of the net.
Almost as quickly as she took the shot, all of her teammates were mobbing her, including senior goalkeeper Makensie Cotter, who raced out of her net to the other end of the field to congratulate Campbell.
“It felt good, because I’ve been so close to these senior girls all my life,” Campbell said. “It was good to share the moment with them, and it was great all around.”
Haley Stevens set up Campbell for her second goal with 1:25 left in the first half, and Campbell had a shot at a hat trick late in the match, though a 20-yard attempt sailed just over the crossbar.
Coupled with the emotion of senior night for any athlete, it would be easy to understand any tears being shed.
“Honestly, this season, it’s been a journey,” Campbell said. “When we come together, we’re amazing and really like a family, and it’s just something special that you can definitely hold to your heart.”
This season has been very good for the Lady Commandos, who now enter the District 9-AAA Tournament with a 12-2-2 record.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with Darius Campbell’s medical expenses. As of late Thursday evening, nearly $1,300 has been raised.
Reach Chris Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @CB_SumnerSports, and on Snapchat @cbrooksgne.