BY DARREN REESE
SUN SPORTS EDITOR
South Greene senior Cheyenne Upton loves the game of soccer. So much so that she has went to extreme lengths to get on the field during her high school career.
Two years ago she played on South Greene's boys team, and was good enough to be one of the starters that season.
The school didn't field either a boys' or girls' team in 2012, so Upton wasn't able to play the sport that year.
She made a triumphant return this season, though it came in different colors. She played with the West Greene girls as part of a co-op program allowed under TSSAA.
Despite her unfamiliarity with the Lady Buffaloes, Upton was named team captain and went out and scored 41 goals in 2013.
For her efforts, she was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class A/AA All-State soccer team, which was released early last week.
"It's always a great honor being named All-State," said Upton, who also earned the honor during track and field season.
"We had a lot more succes than (West Greene) had the previous year, which was fun. It was a great experience getting to play with those girls and making new friends."
The Lady Buffaloes finished the season with a 4-12 record, but that was a drastic improvement for a program in only its second year of existence. West Greene only won one game in 2012.
"I think Cheyenne's experience helped us more than anything," West Greene head coach Rustin Jones said.
"Being a second-year program, a lot of girls have never played a lot of competitive soccer, so Cheyenne came in and led by example. The girls followed her lead and did the things that she already knew how to do."
Upton made an immediate impact this year as she recorded four goals and an assist to lead West Greene to a 6-1 victory over Claiborne to begin the District 2-A/AA regular season.
It was the first hat trick in school history.
From that point on, teams started to key on defending her since she was the Lady Buffaloes' primary offensive threat.
"Obviously, scoring 41 goals, she was our go-to player," Jones said. "She was our main player as far as what we were trying to offensively. We would get her the ball behind the defense and she would go and score."
"Her speed helps her a lot. When she got behind the defense, she was gone. She has a good shot and good ball control."
Despite being heavily defended most nights, Upton still found success on a regular basis.
"I got doubled teamed by a lot of opponents, but I still had to find a way to score," Upton explained. "I was faster than a lot of them so I just tried to out-run them."
Upton said she enjoyed the experience of getting to play with West Greene, and didn't have a problem reacclimating herself after not having played competitive soccer the year before.
"They made me a captain, which was hard at first because I didn't know them and didn't feel comfortable being a leader right away," Upton said. "I was a little rusty, and I had to practice hard to get my game to where it was before, but it was definitely worth it."