Smithfield High racks up postseason sports honors

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

Smithfield High School made a run at four state championships on the playing fields this spring. Now the postseason honors are rolling in.

Packer baseball coach Chris Nolan and boys soccer coach Jason Henderson were each named Class 4 Coach of the Year by the Virginia High School League. And 10 SHS athletes were named to VHSL all-state teams.

In girls soccer, senior midfielder Katie Lutz, senior defender Emma Forbes and senior goalie Sydney Schwarz made first-team all-state, while senior forward Kaitlyn Worrell, junior midfielder Brianna Curro, junior defender Natalee Jones and sophomore at-large selection Lydia Jones made the second team.

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In boys soccer, senior forward Onesime Muepu and senior defender Jaylen Marble made first-team all-state and junior midfielder Andy Muepu earned second-team honors.

In baseball, senior Christian Velez made first-team all-state designated hitter, and sophomore Walt Bondurant was a first-team at-large selection. 

Nolan led Smithfield to its first-ever VHSL state championship game with a 1-0 win over Tuscarora in the state semifinals before dropping the finals 9-1 to defending state champion Hanover. Smithfield, 14-11 overall, entered the Region tournament as the sixth seed after an up-and-down regular season but knocked off Grafton, Warwick and Jamestown to win the Region 4A championship. The Packers continued their winning streak by defeating Mechanicsville 5-4 in the state quarterfinals and then advancing past Tuscarora to the finals in Spotsylvania County.

Jason Henderson guided the SHS boys soccer team to a 16-7-1 record and their second state title game in three seasons, having won the Class 4 state championship in 2021. He has a career record of 104-24-7. The Packers defeated Jefferson Forest 2-1 in the 2021 state finals and lost 2-1 in the state semifinals last year to eventual state champion Western Albemarle.