Played D1 at Appy State and then moved to Carson Newman
SAC Player of the Week (Sept. 14th, 2015) AT Carson Newman
Played for Knoxville Force
Nick Skoda Sr. Hardin Valley Acad., Tenn. - All American 2011 NSCAA High School Boys All-American Team
at Appy State as a Freshman 2011: Played in all 19 games with six starts ... named to SoCon all-freshman team ... second on team with four assists ... assisted on team's first goal of season against Catawba (9/1), one of two assists in that game ... assisted on game-winner against Detroit (9/11) ... assisted on game-winning goal against Winthrop (10/5) ... scored tying goal with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation in 2-1 victory at Georgia Southern (10/14).
Hardin Valley: All-state selection … named to East Tenn. all-stars … three-time team MVP … scored 65 goals in junior and senior year combined.
Club Team: Played for Knoxville FC … state champions.
Personal: Son of Sally and Tom Skoda
Goal oriented: Nick Skoda's scoring paced state champions
June 21, 2011
By Dave Link
There were many memorable highlights from Hardin Valley Academy's run to the Class AAA state soccer championship last month.
Senior forward Nick Skoda was right in the middle of many of those highlights.
Skoda, the 2011 PrepXtra Player of the Year and Appalachian State signee, scored 38 goals during the season. Five came in the three-game state tournament. It was a historic season for Hardin Valley - a third-year program - but came as no surprise to Skoda.
"Everybody had it on their minds at the beginning of the season to win state," Skoda said. "It was always one of our goals. We knew we could do it and we did. We knew we had the players."
Hardin Valley (19-0-5) was a tested team once it got to the state tournament in Murfreesboro. It was no easy task getting there; Skoda and junior Dalton Guzman provided much of the offense while the Hawks rode an amazing defensive showing in the postseason.
Skoda scored five goals in the two Region 2-AAA tournament games and state sectional. He scored the first goal in the Hawks 2-1 victory over Farragut in the Region 2-AAA semifinals - the program's first victory over Farragut ever - and had two goals in the 3-1 victory over Catholic for the Region 2-AAA title.
Skoda scored two more goals as the Hawks beat Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett 3-0 in the sectionals for the state-tournament berth.
"There are so many good teams out there we had to get through," Skoda said. "That's a huge advantage for us. We play the hardest teams we're going to play earlier in the year, like Bearden, Farragut, Maryville, and Catholic, and if you can make it to the state tournament, if you just play as well as you played against those teams earlier in the year, then you're going to be able to pull out a win."
Skoda scored one goal in the Hawks' 4-0 victory against Murfreesboro Riverdale in the first round of the state tournament, but suffered what he called a deep muscle bruise or charley horse in his leg during the second half of the game.
When the Hawks started their semifinal game against Memphis White Station, Skoda spent the first 30 minutes on the bench, sitting, riding a stationary bike or sprinting the sidelines.
Skoda entered late in the first half and scored twice in the second half as the Hawks beat White Station 2-0. After a day's rest, Skoda scored both goals in the Hawks' 2-0 victory over Johnson City Science Hill in the state-championship game.
Junior midfielder/defender Devon Cox also was hurt during the Riverdale game, missed the White Station game, and returned for the state championship.
"It was tough, both of us getting hurt in the first game," Skoda said. "Devon Cox, another big piece of the midfield, it was real tough, especially going into the White Station game. We'd heard a lot of good things about them. Really sitting on the bench for 30 minutes, just watching, was tearing me up."
After years of competitive soccer, Skoda is far from burned out. He's working a rigorous summer conditioning program in Knoxville outlined by his coaches at Appalachian State and looks forward to reporting to preseason camp for freshmen Aug. 6.
"I love playing soccer," Skoda said. "It's a passion of mine. I'm very, very excited to be able to play at Appalachian State, such a great school, and I have nothing but high hopes for the future."
Dave Link is a freelance contributor.