Austin Bihlmeyer recently completed a stellar high school career at Farragut High School and he’ll soon take his talents to Johnson City and East Tennessee State University.
Bihlmeyer helped the Admirals win a District 4-AAA Tournament championship and a Region 2-AAA title. He also led FHS back to the Class AAA State Tournament for the first time since 2014.
And for his effort, Bihlmeyer recently was named to the National High School Soccer Coaches Association’s All-South Region 1 Team.
“It feels amazing,” said Bihlmeyer, who scored 20 goals and dished out 30 assists in a three-year soccer career at Farragut. “It’s quite an honor to get named to the team.”
The selection as All-South Region 1 is the latest in a long list of awards for the former Admirals forward, who recently was selected to the 2017 Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class AAA All-State Team.
Throughout his career, Bihlmeyer was a two-time First Team All-State performer, a two-time All-District 4-AAA standout and a two-time All-Region 2-AAA player. He has also been named to the All-Prep Xtra squad. He was also named the Farragut’s Most Valuable Player in each of the last two seasons.
Bihlmeyer has been one of Farragut’s more versatile players since joining the Admirals soccer team as a sophomore.
In 2017, he was one of Knox County’s top forwards. As a junior, he was a defender.
“He can play anywhere. There’s no doubt about it,” FHS head coach Ray Dover said. “As a junior, he was a defender for me and then this year he was a forward. He was our team MVP both years.
“We had 120 goals as a team this year and he was responsible for 35 percent of our scoring. Going into the playoffs, we had a meeting and I told the guys to ‘get him the soccer ball, please,’” Dover added. “During the regular season he assisted on or scored 25 percent of our goals. I told the guys that there was nothing wrong with him being responsible for 40 percent of our goals.”
Dover also added that Bihlmeyer, an undisputed team leader, not only plays hard — he also has fun.
“I’ve had two years with him and the biggest thing about him is that he has fun at everything that he does,” Dover said of Bihlmeyer. “But he plays hard and he takes care of his business in practice and training.
“He knows how to walk that line between having fun and playing hard,” the coach added. “His attitude and his work ethic get responses from the other guys and that’s what makes him a leader.”
Bihlmeyer, who ran track at Farragut as a freshman, said fun must be a part of his game.
“If you can’t have fun, you shouldn’t be playing,” he said. “Winning is important and fun, too.
“But playing a game and being with your friends is what it’s all about,” Bihlmeyer added. “That’s what it all comes down to.”
He certainly had fun on the journey to Murfreesboro.
“We knew what we had to do and we were all in and we gave 100 percent,” Bihlmeyer said. “We knew that we could win from the start.”
The Admirals, who went 18-6-1 in 2017 and finished third in the district, had a magical postseason run despite losing to Hardin Valley Academy, Maryville and Bearden during the regular season.
Farragut responded by knocking off the Bulldogs and the Red Rebels in the District 4-AAA Tournament. “Those wins over Bearden and Maryville were big for us,” Bihlmeyer said. “We shut out Bearden 1-0 and we beat Maryville 6-0 and those games were fun.
After slipping past Oak Ridge on the road to win region followed by a sectional victory, FHS’s campaign was ended by Germantown Houston in the opening round of state tourney play 1-0.
Following the season, Bihlmeyer played in the East/West All-Star Game in Hendersonville in early June and said he enjoyed playing for Bearden head coach Ryan Radcliffe and with one-time district rivals Cole Hilton [Bearden], Lucas Lavender [Bearden], Andrew Foster [Hardin Valley] and Maryville’s Matt Houlihan [also an All-South Region 1 performer in 2017].