Ansley Mullican and Morgan McCormick have been most valuable players, the best players at their positions in District 6-AAA and two of the best players in Region 3-AAA. Now, the two Lady Pioneers can say they are two of the best soccer players in the state.
Following junior years where Mullican and McCormick helped lead the Warren County High School soccer team within one win of a state-tournament bid, both players were named to the Tennessee All-State soccer team.
It has been over a decade since the last Warren County athletes were named to an all-state team following a dominating season.
Robert Garibaldi and Jimmy Barnes were the last two players to be selected to the all-state team while playing the same sport. Garibaldi and Barnes were senior leaders on the 2001 boys soccer team which made it to the state tournament.
Cody Robinson was a preseason all-state football selection by several publications two years ago as well, but Mullican and McCormick started this year under the radar on the state level before making a splash for the Lady Pioneers.
The duo of Lady Pioneers were no strangers to local accolades as McCormick came into the 2012 season as the reigning District 6-AAA MVP while Mullican was the midfielder of the year in the district in 2011.
Mullican and McCormick swapped awards this season as Mullican claimed the District 6-AAA MVP award after scoring 23 goals in the regular season to go along with 14 assists. McCormick was named midfielder of the year as she netted 20 goals in the regular season and dished out 10 assists.
Mullican and McCormick were dominant in the district and regional tournaments as well.
In five postseason games, Mullican scored six goals and added four assists while McCormick was a scoring machine with a team-high nine scores. For the season, both players finished with 29 goals to push their career totals past 50.
Mullican was at her best in the team’s first regional win under coach Todd Willmore as she scored twice in a 5-1 victory over Ooltewah. McCormick was a terror in the District 6-AAA tournament as she recorded back-to-back hat tricks against White County and Coffee County to help the Lady Pioneers claim their first district tournament championship under Willmore.
Coach Willmore couldn’t have been happier for his two star juniors who have been a part of three regional appearances, two regular season District 6-AAA titles and the program’s first visit to substate in a decade.
“I think these honors speak well for our program and shows how well these girls have done,” said Willmore. “We had a quality group of players, but two that really shined offensively. Morgan and Ansley are two outstanding offensive players and have been the past two years. I’m glad to see them rewarded for that.”
McCormick and Mullican were each quick to praise their coach and their teammates for their help in receiving such lofty recognition.
“It’s such a great honor to receive this recognition,” said McCormick. “I am thankful Todd is my coach. He has taught me so much and I couldn’t ask for better teammates either.”
Mullican added, “I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates and coaches. I’ve worked very hard over the years and I’m very glad that it paid off.”
Both Lady Pioneers will be seniors next season and hope to lead Warren County to a fourth straight regional appearance.