TUESDAY SOCCER SCHEDULE
TSSAA Region 3-A/AA Semifinals
• Boyd-Buchanan vs. East Ridge at Camp Jordan, 7
• Hixson at Arts & Sciences, 7
Region 4-A/AA Semifinals
• Merrol Hyde at Signal Mountain, 7
• Chattanooga Christian at Central Magnet, 7
Region 3-AAA Semifinals
• White County at East Hamilton, 6
• Ooltewah at Cookeville, 6
GHSA State Semifinals
• Southeast Whitfield at Johnson, 6:30
• Spalding at Dalton, 7
DALTON, Ga. — The Southeast Whitfield boys' soccer Raiders found themselves in an unfamiliar position when the playoffs started — at home.
Three rounds later, they're right back on the road, where they became comfortable the past two seasons.
The Raiders, along with crosstown rival Dalton, will be in the Class AAAA state semifinals today, with a trip to Kennesaw State for the state championship match Saturday on the line.
Eighth-ranked Southeast (14-5-2) will travel to second-ranked Johnson-Gainesville for a match scheduled to begin at 6:30, while the top-ranked Catamounts (20-0-1) will host third-ranked Spalding at 7.
In Tennessee, eight teams will be playing in region semifinal matches at higher-seeded sites. Today's winners are guaranteed at least two more matches, regardless of what happens Thursday.
Southeast Whitfield coach Kevin Kettenring said it's going to take "mistake-free soccer" to pull out a win today against the 20-1 Knights.
"We're just going to have to take advantage of the opportunities we have and stay with our game plan," he said. "We'll pressure in the box and try to generate offense by whatever means necessary."
Of their 11 postseason matches over the past two seasons, the Raiders have played nine on the road -- including a 300-mile trip to Statesboro for the quarterfinal match last weekend.
"We've played with a ton of tenacity," Kettenring said. "We've had nothing handed to us -- we've had to fight and scrap all season long -- but the last few games of the regular season and the last few games in the playoffs the guys have picked it up, which is a credit to the team leadership."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.