Smith, Bremer finish EHS careers with fond memories

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   When the final horn sounded at Milligan College's soccer field in the girls regional soccer championship, two Lady Cyclones heard the bell toll on their final game as a member of the ever-improving Elizabethton High School girls soccer team.
   Tracey Smith and Abby Bremer are now considered to be former members of the soccer program, but the memories these two seniors have of their careers will be forever imbedded in their hearts as ones to be cherished and shared with those who cross their life's path.
   Tracey Smith, the daughter of Danny and Kathy Smith of Elizabethton, is one of the Lady Cyclone seniors. She attends Southside Christian Church and also has a big brother, Justin, who has been a big supporter of her career.
   Smith has been kicking around soccer balls for almost her entire life, as she began playing as a member of the Elizabethton Soccer Association's Rowdies team at age five. Smith had nothing but high praise for the Lady Cyclones soccer program.
   "It has meant so much to me to be a part of the EHS program for my four years of high school," stated Smith. "I've made many friends, learned that I could play to my potential, and most importantly I've learned teamwork and sportsmanship."
   Abby Bremer joins Smith as the only other senior representative on the Lady Cyclones program this season. Bremer is the daughter of Jonathan and Jill Bremer of Elizabethton and attends First Baptist Church.
   Bremer also played soccer early on in life as she played for the Rowdies, beginning at age six until she was eight. She took a brief layoff and began honing her skills again as a freshman at EHS and has played all four years for the Cyclones.
   "Playing for the Cyclones has meant being part of a close knit family for four years," said Bremer. "It has taught me teamwork, patience, and how to be a leader."
   Smith and Bremer began playing for EHS at a time when the program was in the early growing stages. Wins were few and far in between, but both have seen the program evolve like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon stage.
   "This year's team was totally awesome," quipped Smith. "I look for this team to set standards for others to follow under Coach Bill McClay because he knows how to get everyone to play to their potentials as evidenced by the records that were broken this season, which should be very motivating for future Lady Cyclones."
   Added Bremer: "With the loss of only two seniors this season, I look for the program to only get better. I think I helped provide leadership to this year's team as a senior and I expect great things to happen next season and in years to come."
   One thing that really stood out in the minds of these Lady Cyclones was the fan support they received this entire season as well as in past years during their lean times.
   "We have the best fans of any team we played and it means so much to know that we had all these people supporting us no matter the outcome of our games," stated Bremer. Smith went on to add: "I just want to thank all the fans who have been supportive of us and a special "Thank You" to the girls on the Elizabethton High School soccer team."
   Soccer may not be over for these departing seniors either. While Bremer foresees maybe an opportunity to play collegiately, she will settle for Intramural Soccer play if nothing else pans out. Smith plans on attending ETSU and then transferring to Mars Hill with the intentions of playing at the collegiate level because she feels that Coach McClay and the Lady Cyclone's program has primed her for that challenge.
   Looking back over their past careers, both girls could point to someone who has provided inspiration to their continued success.
   Said Bremer: "My family has supported me 110% and has been there every step of the way. I know I can always turn to them when there's no where else to go, and they'll love me no matter what."
   "My family is great," said Smith. "They have supported me in everything I do, and I love and appreciate all they have done for me my whole life."
   It is always hard for any student-athlete to complete their career as a member of their respective team, from the high school to college level. Yet, the benefits of being members of a competitive program far outweigh the benefits of being content to just pass through the doors of an institution as a non-contributing factor to any activity offered by their respective schools.
   Smith probably summed up this thought with a profound statement given by her during her interview.
   "EHS soccer has been the highlight of my four years in high school. I've learned more with the four years that I've played as a Lady Cyclone than I will learn in a long time. Words can't describe what we've been through as a team this year. We had some wonderful times and some heartbreaking times, but all in all, we were a team and that's all that mattered."
   These two ladies will be added to the growing list of talented players who have been laying a solid footer to the Lady Cyclone soccer program. A program that has grown from an infant stage at the program's inception, to a mature one that will be looked at to knock University High from the regional perch they have maintained for so long.