JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standouts are a group of players on the girls soccer team at Science Hill High School.
Science Hill put together a strong girls soccer team this year.
“We could possibly do something special but we have to show up each game and play,” Science Hill head girls soccer coach David Strickland said.
When Strickland met this team at the start of the year, he found something special.
“We started putting rosters together I said you know we’ve got five sets of sisters, we’ve got two sets of twins,” Strickland said.
There are five sets of sisters in the Lady Hilltoppers girls soccer program!
“It’s extremely unique and you know the sisters get along they’re very supportive of each other,” Strickland said.
First, we’ll take a look at the Luna sisters: Sarah is a senior and Ellie is a sophomore.
“Honestly I treat most of the rest of the team like they’re my sisters too we fight sometimes but most of the time we get along and we have a lot of laughs too so it’s nice to have someone who I’m around all the time on the team,” Sarah Luna said.
“Yeah it’s nice to just go home and get to discuss stuff with somebody who understands it and they get it and can help you out if you need and it’s nice to have somebody,” Ellie Luna said.
“You know the Luna sisters are very strong on our team Sarah has been an absolute anchor she has been fantastic in the game she leads other players she’s very good at coaching in the game, Ellie is a special defensive midfielder she does a lot of things people don’t notice because of where her role is but we notice,” Strickland said.
Next are the Jones sisters: Taylor is a junior and Riley is a freshman, who are new to Science Hill this year after transferring from Greeneville.
“Being with your sister is just something different like you just know what they’re gonna do we play so much better together than I would with anyone else just because we know and honestly if she does something good it just makes it so much more special because she’s my little sister like it’s so much better,” Taylor Jones said.
“Yeah we’ve had a few times where we almost got assists to each other and goals and when it happens in practice it’s always really fun and people say stuff like oh sister play it’s just really different to play with your sister rather than just your friend because we have a different connection,” Riley Jones said.
“The Jones sisters moved in this year and it’s really good to have them drop in I mean Taylor has been incredible for us in the midfield and Riley has gotten some really good time in our system too as a freshman she’s done really well,” Strickland said.
Then we’ve got the Wilson sisters: Katie is a senior while Molly is a freshman on the junior varsity team.
Don’t forget about the two sets of twins: Dakota and Cassidy Ward are both freshmen, as are Casey and Sydney Blocker, all promising players on the JV team.
“I feel like it’s crazy and supernatural like no other team has five siblings and that makes us have so much chemistry because Ellie and Sarah they work really well together and me and Riley do and the other ones they’re younger but I know when they get older they’re gonna have the same chemistry as we do,” Taylor Jones said.
“You know it’s neat to have, you have four on the field and they’re sisters and they’re supporting each other and playing well and they’re fighting together so you know it’s something they’ll always remember all their life that they got to do that with their sister,” Strickland said.
This bunch has made this team feel like a family environment.
“People use that term family, we’re a family, #family, we really are a family we’ve got so many that are siblings with each other,” Strickland said.
“It’s really funny that soccer’s like a family sport it’s really nice to see all the sisters play together it makes practices more competitive sometimes too like I don’t want Ellie to win the ball from me I don’t want anyone to win the ball from me … especially her, I only go hard with Sarah,” Sarah and Ellie Luna said.
These sisters are just some of the many weapons on this Science Hill team, as they make a push for a deep playoff run.
“I think it’s a very special group like this year is something special cause of COVID we haven’t been able to do much team bonding but I feel like we’re still so bonded as a team,” Taylor Jones said.
“We’re still growing we’re still kids but they’re doing a really good job they play some really good football/soccer at times that it’s fun to watch,” Strickland said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.