The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 12, 2014

Countess shattering East’s record books

By Jonathan Deal

— If there is a record Bristol Countess hasn’t broken, she probably will soon enough. The East Limestone senior girls soccer player recently became the school’s all-time leading scorer.

She has already shattered other records and will soon break a few others after just a month into her senior season.

“I’m having a good year,” said Countess. “I’m trying to help my teammates. It’s my senior year, so I’m trying to make a mark. I’m just going to keep setting the bar higher if I can.”

The bar is already set pretty high.

Countess holds nearly every career record in the programs history including goals, assists, shots and corners attempted. On Saturday, she broke Anna Black’s record for most games played in a career with her 120th.

After starting Tuesday’s game against Cullman, Countess broke Black’s record of number of starts with her 119th.

“It’s been year-round since seventh grade,” said Countess. “Club (soccer) has helped me be more fit, so I can run all the way up with forwards and I’m able to get back. My soccer IQ is much higher now. Just knowing where the ball will be, where I think it will go.”

Countess has started nearly every game of her career since suiting up for East as a seventh-grader. East Limestone girls soccer coach Brad Carwile remembers Countess making an immediate impact.

“She was so skilled, very, very skilled,” said Carwile. “She came in and got along with everybody. She thought about playing club that first year, then she decided to play with us. She started almost every game as a seventh-grader.”

For the next six years, Countess didn’t miss a beat. The versatile midfielder set the tone for the rest of her teammates to follow and set a few records along the way.

As a sophomore, Countess scored 30 goals and had 12 assists, but came just short of breaking Jackie Tubb’s single-season scoring tally.

As a junior, she broke Paige Boersma’s assist record and now has a school-best 57 assisted goals.

“I pride myself on helping my teammates and getting assists,” said Countess. “Assists mean more to me than goals. I’m supposed to distribute the ball as a center mid.”

After a solid junior season, Countess needed just four goals to break Jackie Tubb’s career goal record of 97. The senior had a pretty good idea she would break the record this season, but she had no idea she would be able to do it the first game.

“My 97th goal to tie the record was a left footer against West Morgan,” said Countess. “It’s definitely rare for me to score with my left foot. I was standing outside the 18 (yard box) and it came to me and I just kicked it.”

Countess scored four goals and had four assists in a 9-3 win over West Morgan to kick off the season. For the season, Countess already has 11 goals and seven assists, but she isn’t done yet.

She has an opportunity to become Limestone County’s all-time leading scorer, male or female, for all schools. While all these records are great, Countess is concentrating on Thursday’s game against rival Athens.

“We had a good start, but now we’re playing better teams,” said Countess. “Now, winning the section is our number one goal. We definitely want to beat Athens.”

Athens and East Limestone girls kick off from Golden Eagle Stadium at 5 p.m. Thursday.