FC finishes as District 7 boys, girls soccer champs — again

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County High School’s varsity soccer program has accomplished one of its major goals for the 2022-2023 season by finishing as top seeds in Mississippi High School Activities Association Class I District 7 competition.

The Lady Soccer Dawgs rolled to an unblemished 10-0 record in regional action with a 15-3-2 overall mark during regular season play.

In the past decade, FC’s girls have previously claimed a district crown eight times — in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The Soccer Dawgs clinched their 11th consecutive district title in 2023 — a string that dates back to 2013.

The boys’ team wrapped up this year’s slate with a 16-2-2 overall record while going 9-1 in District 7 play.

In the regular season finale played on Thursday, Jan. 19 at Hazlehurst, the Lady Soccer Dawgs cruised to a 9-0 win over the Lady Indians while FC’s boys squad dropped a 2-0 decision to the Indians.


Franklin County had nine players — Addison Cooper, Braxton Martin, Briana Stokes, Brooklynn Cupit, Edniya Gordon, Gre’yone Queen, Karlee Wallace, Katherine Romero and Lilly Hutto — score against Hazlehurst.

Additionally on offense, Gordon paced the Lady Soccer Dawgs with two assists while Kaitlyn Fussell and Karlee Wallace had one apiece.

In all, FC’s girls had 22 shots and 15 shots on goal in the game.

Stokes, Cupit, Gordon and Hutto had two shots and two shots on goal each while Amberly Wallace, Karlee Wallace and Queen accounted for two shots and one SOG apiece.

Cooper, Martin, Romero and Addison Lunsford each had a shot and shot on goal while Fussell, Marlee Tindle, Kendra Jones and Jayla Ward all had a single shot.

The Lady Soccer Dawgs had 41 defensive stops with Cooper, Martin, Ken’niya McGowan and Karlee Wallace setting the tempo with four take-aways each.

Gordon, Fussell, Hutto and Amberly Wallace accounted for three stops apiece.

Other take-aways were credited to Queen and Cupit, two; and Lunsford, Stokes,Ward, Romero, Jones, Tindle, Meg Kelly, Savannah Emfinger and Bradi Wallace, one.

Romero had a shut-out as keeper through the first half and Fussell matched that feat after intermission in front of the net.

With FC winning the girls’ region crown, Loyd Star finished as this year’s No. 2 seed and West Lincoln was the No. 3 seed.

Loyd Star defeated Morton, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs and advanced to battle District 6 No. 1 seed McLaurin on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

West Lincoln came up on the short end of a 4-2 decision to District 5 No. 2 seed Southeast Lauderdale.

FC, which drew a first-round playoff bye, was scheduled to host District 8 No. 3 seed Sacred Heart of Hattiesburg on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Franklin County opted to rest many of its starters after sewing up the District 7 championship, and gave its younger players time on the field in last Thursday’s regular season finale at Hazlehurst.

The Indians scored one goal in the first half and another after the mid-game break to seal the victory.

FC’s Keyundre Felton, Mason Orr, Max Turner and Parker Cupit had a single shot each offensively in the game.

The Soccer Dawgs collected 58 defensive stops with Felton and Parker Jordan having eight apiece and Peyton Touchstone finished with seven.

Alex Scott and Kyle Walker recorded six take-aways each for FC as Turner wound up with four, Cupit chipped in four, and Caden Tyson, Carson Laird, Drehlan Thomas and Orr had three each.

Tim Hutto was credited with two stops.

Blake Mann, as goalkeeper, surrendered only two goals and earned nine saves in the loss.

FC’s top seed in District 7 earned the Soccer Dawgs a first-round playoff bye. Franklin County was slated to face District 8 No. 3 seed Saint Stanislaus of Bay Saint Louis on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

District 7 No. 2 seed Loyd Star and No. 3 seed Hazlehurst were slated to battle District 5 No. 3 seed Southwest Lauderdale and District 5 No. 2 seed Morton, respectively, in first-round playoff action.