HENDERSONVILLE - Former Station Camp soccer standout Sophie Harris will continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a Division II University in the Gulf South Conference.
“Sophie has the physical tools to excel at the collegiate level,” head coach Jimmy Mitchell told UAHChargers.com “As she adapts to the speed of the college game, she can become a very solid player for us on the back line. We think that Sophie has a tremendous upside, and we look forward to watching her develop as a player.”
During her high school career, Sophie helped lead the Lady Bison to the Region 5 championship in her junior and senior seasons.
She was also part of the Tennessee United Soccer Club 01 Red Team that were state finalists in 2016 and 2017 while also aiding the team in winning the Disney College Showcase Championship in 2017.
Harris says she is excited to not only join a family like program under head coach Jimmy Mitchell, but also a school that fits her academic and social needs.
“When I was younger I had a coach that I highly respected tell me I shouldn’t pick a school bases on just playing soccer,” she said. “I needed to ask myself if I would attend this school without soccer. After visiting it was no question that, yes, I would go here even if soccer wasn’t a factor. I really loved the campus, especially since it isn’t too far from home. I really feel that my coaches care about the team as a whole but also as individuals. I fell I will gain a really strong education at UAH. This program [UAH] has a strong sense of family and everyone is involved in to buying in to playing for something bigger than themselves ad always looking to working harder and getting better. I’m looking forward to competing, developing, and taking my game to the next level at the collegiate level. I want to be the best person, player and teammate I can be for Charger soccer.”
Harris is a four-year member of the Lady Bison soccer program and says her time with Station Camp could not have gone any better, and that she feels like she put everything she had in to the soccer program.
“I loved my time at Station Camp,” she added. “Station Camp’s soccer program taught me what it truly meant to play for something bigger than yourself. I can honestly say I played the game I love beside my best friend and I wanted to be the best I could be for my teammates because of it. We had a rather large senior class and we made it our goal to take Station Camp’s soccer program to the next level and I think we did just that.”
During her four years at Station Camp, Harris was coached by both Tom Morand and Jeremy Cooke. Cooke came over from Beech before Harris’ senior season, but she adds that it was a very smooth transition as the two go all the way back to her club soccer days.
“Coach Cooke was one of my first ever club coaches when he was with Tennessee United,” she said. “He has always been one of my favorite coaches and mentors. When I received the phone call that he was going to be our new head coach there were definitely some happy tears.”
Station Camp head coach Jeremy Cooke adds that he knew this day would come as soon as he saw her and was around her on the pitch.
“Sophie is a very determined person and player,” he said. “Even as a kid she had the passion to want to play at the next level and always wanted to get better. There was never a time where she wasn’t going to play at the next level. When I got the job at Station Camp she was one of the first phone calls I got. I am very excited for her to get this opportunity to play at the next level.”
According to Cooke, the Chargers are getting a very physical, talented soccer player.
“She is extremely physical, something that is needed to play on the back line at the collegiate level,” he added. “She is great winning the ball and is great with the ball at her feet and can do a really good job of attacking from the back.
“When I first got here to Station Camp she was playing up top and when we went to Gatlinburg we put her in the back and had an immediate impact on our back line,” Cooke continued. “Those things make her a great teammate, she is always wanting to do what is best for the team. I am so glad she was open to that because it worked out great for us.”
Harris adds that she will study graphic design during her four years at UAH.
“I think the biggest adjustment Sophie will have at the next level is trying to balance school and play,” Cooke said. “There is no doubt in my mind that she can do it, but college athletics are something different, but I have all the confidence in her that not only will she get it done but she will excel both in the classroom and on the field.”