Player and now a coach, Stinson set to lead Georgia girls in All-Star Soccer Classic
by Scott Herpst

Back in 2004, Whitney Brown was less than two months removed from playing her final soccer match for LaFayette High School when she was invited to participate in the inaugural Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Girls’ Soccer Classic.

Brown and her northwest Georgia teammates made a nice showing for themselves that June day, despite a 3-0 loss to a powerful southeast Tennessee squad.

Nine years later, Whitney (Brown) Stinson is set to return to the All-Star pitch when she guides Team Georgia in the 8th Annual Classic this Saturday at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.

Stinson will be the first person in the history of the All-Star Classic Series in any sport to play in a game and later serve as a head coach in that same game.

She says she has fond memories of that inaugural clash nearly a decade ago.

“I remember Tennessee was really good that year,” said Stinson, who just finished her first season as the head coach of her high school alma mater. “It was also really nice to play with a bunch of the girls that I had played against in high school. I knew some of them, but it was really cool to get to know the girls on both teams, and we really respected each others talents.

“A game like this one is fun because with Tennessee playing soccer in the fall and Georgia playing in the spring, we never get a chance to show how we can compete with (Tennessee) in the regular season.”

Stinson will be coaching in place of Heritage’s Stacy Dunfee, who will be unable to attend the match.

“It was a privilege to be asked by Stacy to take her place and I’m very thankful she though of me,” Stinson added. “When she asked me, I didn’t even hesitate to say yes. This is more than exciting for me to be able to coach the seniors who are the best of the best in north Georgia. I’m looking forward to meeting all of the girls and seeing what we can do against a Tennessee team I know will be good.”

Stinson will get to coach one of her graduated seniors, Jessica Ingram, one final time as well as three former Heritage High standouts in Kansas Carpenter, Katelyn Beekman, and Blair Harden. That trio helped the Lady Generals to a No. 2 state ranking and a Final Four appearance in Class AAAA this spring.

Other local girls scheduled to play for Georgia include LFO’s Kalina Hyde and Mary Casey, Cedartown’s Devin Mueller and Morgan Gore, Adairsville’s Cassidy Green, Sonoraville’s Tori Ralston, and Armuchee’s Casey Borne, as well as recent graduates from Dalton, River Ridge, Allatoona, Cartersville, Carrollton, Flowery Branch, and Northwest High Schools.

The Georgia boys, coached by Northwest head Bruin Ryan Scoggins, will include Heritage’s Josh Smotherman as well as a number of recent graduates from Dalton, Southeast, and Northwest High Schools.

Dalton capped an unbeaten 22-0 season by beating Southeast for the Class AAAA state championship in May, while Northwest gave Region 7 three teams in the state Final Four. The Catamounts outscored their opponents by a combined 134-8 during the season and ended the year as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team by

Chattanooga Futbol Club will once again host the matches and serve as a sponsor. The girls’ match will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ match at 3:30. CFC will end the evening with a 7:30 match and fans can watch all three matches for just $5.

CFC’s match will be a “Pink Out” to support breast cancer awareness. The organization has partnered with the Memorial Health Care System and the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center for the match. Players will wear special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center. Fans are also encouraged to wear pink for the match.

Tennessee girls’ roster

Summer Lanter (Soddy-Daisy)

Natalie Smith (Soddy-Daisy)

Christina Cook (Ooltewah)

Kaitlyn Kennedy (Ooltewah)

Lizzie Smith (Baylor)

Marci Carter (Baylor)

Allie McCoskey (Boyd-Buchanan)

Erin Freeman (Notre Dame)

Blair Barker (Notre Dame)

Natalie Graham (Notre Dame)

Alex Hay (McMinn Central)

Shelby Cornelius (CSAS)

Abby Horton (GPS)

Sierra Nunley (Grace Academy)

Ashley Simmons (Chattanooga Christian)

Ellie Henry (Chattanooga Christian)

Allie Sullivan (Chattanooga Christian)

Kreusi Brock (Chattanooga Christian)

Sarah Marshall (Chattanooga Christian)

Ellen Stone (Chattanooga Christian)

Jocelyn Smith (Signal Mountain)

Chandler Holder (Signal Mountain)

Head Coach: Gretchen Hammel (Grace Academy)

Georgia girls’ roster

Ale Salaises (Dalton)

Blair Harden (Heritage)

Kansas Carpenter (Heritage)

Katelyn Beekman (Heritage)

Kalina Hyde (LFO)

Mary Casey (LFO)

Devin Mueller (Cedartown)

Morgan Gore (Cedartown)

Jessica Ingram (LaFayette)

Maddie Brooks (River Ridge)

Suzanne Arafa (Allatoona)

Sydney James (Cartersville)

Cassidy Green (Adairsville)

Morgan Hufnagel (Carrollton)

Tori Ralston (Sonoraville)

Elizabeth Bachman (Flowery Branch)

Casey Borne (Armuchee)

Paige Smyth (Northwest)

Selena Gomez (Northwest)

Head Coach: Whitney Stinson (LaFayette)

Tennessee boys’ roster

Brock Rustand (McCallie)

Marek Stout (McCallie)

David Barnes (McCallie)

Hunter Brock (McCallie)

Tim Barnes (Notre Dame)

Rick Prochazcah (Notre Dame)

William DeBarge (Notre Dame)

Baggio Card (Notre Dame)

Will Hitchcock (Baylor)

Jeff Shabata (Baylor)

Jalen Goddard (East Hamilton)

Jonah Goddard (East Hamilton)

Kyle Gallups (East Hamilton)

Kyle Ford (East Hamilton)

Tim Love (Chattanooga Christian)

Hamilton Bosgraf (Chattanooga Christian)

Nick Russell (Chattanooga Christian)

Andy Rosen (Signal Mountain)

Head Coach: Jim Schermerhorn (Notre Dame)

Georgia boys’ roster

Raymundo Bahena (Dalton)

Jerry Moreno (Dalton)

Andres Barragan (Dalton)

Daniel Palacios (Dalton)

Marcos Ruiz (Dalton)

Alan Pantaleon (Dalton)

Rogelio Mentado (Dalton)

Jose Plaza (Dalton)

Chris Monroig (Dalton)

Josh Smotherman (Heritage)

David Perez (Northwest)

Christian Perez (Northwest)

Giovanni Aguero (Northwest)

Cielo Nunez (Northwest)

Erik Salaises (Southeast)

Alejandro Rosillo (Southeast)

Jorge Hurtado (Southeast)

Damian Lara (Southeast)

Head Coach: Ryan Scoggins (Northwest)

Read more: CatWalkChatt – Player and now a coach Stinson set to lead Georgia girls in All Star Soccer Classic