Pioneering the Way: Three soccer standouts, one football player ink with Pioneers
Published: 1:15 PM, 02/06/2014
Last updated: 4:24 PM, 02/06/2014
Here for our National Signing Day 2014 photo gallery.
Author: Seth Butler Source: The Newport Plain Talk
National Signing Day was a big boon for a foursome of local
high school athletes, all of whom chose Tusculum College as their next destination to continue their
academic and athletic careers.
Cosby High School soccer players Chelsea Spears and Sunshine
Mayfield, along with Eagles gridiron standout Tristian Ramsey all inked with the Greeneville
Cocke County High School soccer player Taylor Smith also signed to become a part
of the Lady Pioneers soccer program.
Ramsey inks with Pioneers
For the second
straight year, a member of the Cosby Eagles football squad is heading to play for the Pioneers of
Tusculum. Ramsey affirmed his commitment to Tusculum when he signed his National Letter of Intent
on Wednesday morning.
A familiarity with the area, along with Tusculum College’s block
scheduling academic calendar were the main deciding factors for him.
“The block system
is really nice,” Ramsey said. “Their indoor practice facility is really nice too. “It’s
close to him and I like the mountains - so that’s pretty much why I picked it - that and they
gave me a pretty good offer too.”
In addition to the familiarity of the Tusculum area in
Greeneville, the recruiting approach and relationships he built with the head coach Frankie Debusk
and members of his coaching staff stood out to Ramsey.
“Frankie Debusk is a pretty cool
guy, I got to talk to him for a pretty good while,” Ramsey said. “He actually sat down and ate
lunch with me when I was over there.
“Out of all the camps I went to, I’ve never had a
coach - let alone the head coach - sit down and eat with you,” Ramsey said.
courted by Tusculum assistant David Crawford, the former coach at Cocke County High School from
2006-07. The two hit it off from the start in the process.
“My recruiting coach, coach
Crawford, he is just a funny guy,” Ramsey said. “He’s cool as can be, and really friendly
too. All the other coaches, I haven’t had the chance to get to know them, but they seem really
Ramsey, who was an All-Region 1-A second team pick as linebacker this past
year, projects to play outside linebacker for the Pioneers.
“I’ll probably be an
outside drop linebacker to start,” said Ramsey, who noted he would hit the weight room to add
weight and go through endurance training to help him adjust to the transition from prep football
to collegiate football.
During his career at Cosby, Ramsey was a part of just one season
that went to the playoffs in 2011. The Eagles won five games that season, but have been only able
to win that many in the past two years combined. Despite that, Ramsey said he’s enjoyed his time
“It’s been good - it’s not been a winning career as you would say - but I
enjoyed it a whole lot and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Ramsey said. “All the people I
got to play with and the coaches I got to be coached by - it’s been fun.
“I just want
to thank all my coaches, every one of them from the ones I had freshman year to the ones this
year, they’ve helped me so much,” Ramsey said.
Pair of Lady Eagles soccer standouts
sign with TC
After accomplishing a number of firsts on the pitch for the young Cosby High
School soccer program, both Sunshine Mayfield and Chelsea Spears are on their way to Tusculum
The duo helped lead the Lady Eagles to their first-ever region semifinal
appearances in 2011 and 2012 and then to a district semifinal game this past season.
two players land at the next level for a Class A soccer program, which is still in its infancy,
was a big day for the program.
“As a coach, I couldn’t be prouder to have two girls
sign today,” Lady Eagles coach Ken Green said. “They certainly met all my expectations and
deserve this opportunity to play for Tusculum.”
For both players, the atmosphere and
relationships they developed at the Greeneville-based school made Wednesday’s signing day choice
an easy selection.
The strong-legged midfielder Mayfield, who spent an entire summer of the
campus her freshman year as part of the Upward Bound program, enjoyed the small campus feel.
Mayfield has signed with the Lady Pioneers as a midfielder.
“I liked the
atmosphere,” Mayfield, a second-team All-District selection this past year, said. “It’s really
comforting and inviting and all the people are really friendly…. I just feel at home
Spears, who played defender this past year for Cosby but is signing as a midfielder
for Tusculum, says she enjoys the small campus feel, along with the unique academic calendar the
“I like that its one class a day and when we went over for their recruitment
weekend - the teachers, the coaches and students were really nice,” Spears said. “It’s a small
campus and I like that.”
The Tusculum program also enjoyed a unique relationship with the
Lady Eagles program. Last spring, Tusculum coach Mike Joy and a number of players hosted a one-day
mini camp at the school and that’s when Mayfield said her relationship grew with the
“When they did come up here and coach (Joy) reached out to me, I knew this was my
opportunity and I wasn’t going to let it pass,” Mayfield said.
Having been around the
team has allowed Spears to develop a bond with many of her further teammates.
already like we’re part of the team,” Spears said. “They’re like family, they’re very
close and into it.
“It’s a lot different from his school - it’s was very intimidating,
but at the same time, it was cool, because they know each others next play,” Spears
Both players also credited Green with being there for them during their soccer
“I’ve been with him since 2005 and everything I know is from him,” said
Spears, a second-team All-District selection this past year. “He’s really inspired me and I have
him to thank for everything.”
Mayfield was equally as appreciative of her coach’s
efforts. Green, a long time assistant coach for the Cosby team, stepped in to fill the void left
when Hillery Griffin stepped down from her head coaching role following the 2011 season.
want to thank my parents, they’ve been there a lot for me, and I want to thank my coach for
taking time out of his job to come and coach kids that didn’t even want to play sometimes,”
Smith also headed to Tusculum
Cocke County High School soccer player
Taylor Smith also affirmed her choice in selecting Tusculum College during a Wednesday afternoon
National Signing Day ceremony.
Smith, who scored 32 goals and tallied 47 assists during her
four-year career at Cocke County High, has signed as a forward for the Lady Pioneers
“(Tusculum coach Mike Joy) said that I had the speed for a forward, but he also
told me I also needed to get bigger,” Smith said. “So that’s the only thing that I’ve got to
Joy said that increasing his team’s offensive prowess was a main goal of this
recruiting class. Smith was one of three forwards signed by the Lady Pioneers in this year’s
“Last year our attack was not as prolific as we needed it to be, thus our
other emphasis with this recruit class was to bring in some difference makers in the attack,”
Joy said in a press release. “I believe that we have signed today some attacking players that
will make that difference for us next season.
“We have a strong group of returners, and
with these new additions we will hopefully have a very successful 2014 season,” Joy
Joy, a veteran coach for the Lady Pioneers program, was a drawing point for Smith.
Joy, who started the women’s soccer program at the University of Kentucky, has been with
Tusculum since 1997.
“(Joy) was very nice and he just acted like I was on the team when I
went on my recruiting visit,” Smith said. “The coaches were my favorite (of the
The other strong suit that made her choice easy with the block scheduling
academic calendar used by the school. Students at Tusculum attend one class at a time for one
month, and take eight classes per year.
Smith, who played her high school soccer at CCHS
for Dr. Mitzi Hall, said she appreciated her past coaches for their efforts in furthering her
“I want to thank all of my past coaches and my mentors, and also God, because
without him I could not have done this,” Smith said.
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