By Thomas Sellers Jr.
In less than 24 hours, the Millington Lady Trojans went from the high of winning a double-overtime thriller to the low of having their season come to a conclusion.
On Oct. 15 Millington started the 2012 District 14-3A Soccer Tournament with a victory over the Cordova Lady Wolves on the Bolton Soccer Field. The Lady Trojans advance to play the No. 1 seeded Arlington Lady Tigers the following day.
And it was the Lady Tigers leaving the Bolton Field victorious 8-0 ending the first season of Millington Head Coach Melida Jemmott.
“To be honest, they were tired,” Jemmott acknowledged. “They were extremely tired and bruised. Cordova played my girls physically. There was pushing and shoving.
“Coach Z (Zeke Vezina) has an excellent (Arlington) team and those girls play hard,” she continued “My girls played good and they didn’t quit even though they were beating us by that much. They played hard. But you have to give credit where it is due, they beat us.”
The Lady Tigers scored six goals in the first half. Millington goalie Emily Stewart made several athletic saves in the first 40 minutes. Her timing got better in the second half limiting Arlington to two points
In the first 40 minutes Millington was able to get control of the ball on a few occasions. Lady Trojan senior Katlyn Dupree got three shots on goal but just missed.
Dupree had a record-breaking season with 29 goals entering the tournament. Entering the 2012 campaign Dupree shared the Millington single-season goal record of 27 with Ashley Benbow.
Against Cordova in round one, Jemmott said Dupree’s game-winning penalty kick goal was made courtesy of great team defense led by players like Casey Tarwater.
“It was rewarding and great,” Jemmott said of the win. “Cordova for some reason always gives us a tough match. I would rather win it that way than go to Pks.”
In the current format the Lady Trojans’ reward with the win was a date with Arlington. Jemmott said she wished it was a double elimination format that would have set up a match-up against a Bolton or Barltett.
“You go from an exciting win to having to play the No. 1 team,” she said. “I don’t look at it as fair. But that’s up to the powers that be.”
One power of the Lady Trojans the past four seasons was Dupree. She leaves Millington as the all-time leading scorer in soccer history, girl or boy. Jemmott said Dupree’s skill leave reminds her of the Lady Trojans’ all-time leading scorer in basketball and current UT-Martin standout.
“I compare her to a Jasmine Newsome,” she said. “I think every coach loves to have a player like that, who can dominate.”
The next step for Dupree will be college soccer at Union University. Jemmott said Dupree has left an impressive legacy at Millington.
“For me to say she’s the best would be unfair to a point,” she said. “Even though this is my fifth year at Millington, this was my first year coaching her. From what I’ve seen of her in basketball and in soccer, she’s not selfish. She’s a team player. She brings the total package.”
Dupree still has a basketball and softball season ahead of her at Millington. Jemmott will work with basketball program and Head Coach Bruce Marshall. But with year one behind her, Jemmott said she came up short of her goal of guiding the Lady Trojan Soccer program to State.
“I’m tough on myself,” she said. “I’ll be honest with myself. I’m giving myself a D. The reason I say that is because the teams you have to beat you just have to beat. And we fail to do that.
“As a teacher and a coach the buck stops with me,” Jemmott concluded. “It’s not the players. If we lose a game, I didn’t push the right buttons. I didn’t do what was right.”