at Daniel Boone High School
Guys: 1. Science Hill 2. Dobyns Bennett 3. Daniel Boone 4. Tennessee High 5. Sullivan South 6. David Crockett 7. Sullivan Central 8. Volunteer
at Daniel Boone High School
Girls: 1. Science Hill 2. Tennessee High 3. Dobyns Bennett 4. Sullivan South 5. Daniel Boone 6. Volunteer 7. Sullivan Central 8. David Crockett
at Elizabethton High School
1. Sullivan East 2. Elizabethton 3. Unicoi County 4. Sullivan North 5. Johnson County 6. Happy Valley
**all match ups decided but the 4 vs 5 game, North and Johnson County play on 2/11/13 to find out who is 4 and 5....basically winner is 4
at Elizabethton High School
1. Elizabethton (bye) 2. Unicoi County (bye)3. Sullivan East (bye)4. Happy Valley 5. Johnson County
* Setup may change....Bracket decided on Tuesday ( 2/12/13) for true matchups
All Games at Sullivan North HS
We take a look at the new Conference look for the upcoming year starting in August 2013. South joins the new Three Rivers and actually not much else changes. Remember this is just preliminary, TSSAA still could chage a few things but for now this is what we have....
ARicle and Photos By Josh Harwood
Dobyns Bennett Host Bearden Bulldogs
All year I have compared this year of the Tribe to the 2010 version of the Tribe and how we have come full circle. The same team that ended the 2010 season for the Tribe now returns for a match-up that is closer than at first glance. Dobyns Bennett was finally tested to its full potential against Science Hill over the past week. After putting themselves in a huge hole with 5 turnovers, the Indians came roaring back from 15 points down to win on the leg of Chad Diminick with just 17 seconds on the clock.
Bearden put rival Knox Catholic out of its misery with a 24 point shut out that ended any hopes for Catholic making the playoffs. Bearden’s offense goes as its quarterback Nick Frizen goes. A dual threat QB that is more pass than run, has lived up to the hype for the Bulldogs and delivered a far better season than many thought as most reporters predicted a mediocre season for the Dogs at 5-5 or 6-4. Frizen was 10-15 against the Irish and totaled over 330 yards on the ground and through the air. Bearden has also played the tougher schedule which gives them an advantage this Friday.
The offense has shown ability to comeback, ala over Farragut, yet has had some trouble against top notch competition scoring only a combined 20 points in their two losses to Lenoir City and Maryville. Overall, the Bulldogs have put up 32.7 points a game and over 40 points on 4 separate occasions. Conversely, Bearden's new 3-4 defensive scheme appears successful. The Bulldogs have been adept at forcing turnovers plus holding 6 opponents under 10 points for just a 14.6 average points given up all year. That number is even more skewed with the rivalry game against Farragut went into a shootout as the Admirals were fighting to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Overall this is a hard match-up to breakdown, the two teams have once common opponent in Farragut. However, being Bearden biggest rival it is hard to compare as Farragut would of course bring their A game against Bearden late in the year and DB played the Admirals in week 0. The Tribe did beat up on Farragut pretty bad with a 42-14 win against the 48-45 loss of Farragut to Bearden. DB has played 5 playoff teams to Bearden’s 4, but Maryville, Lenoir City, Knox West, and Hardin Valley outweigh the Dobyns Bennett 5 that have made it to the playoffs (Boone, South, Science Hill, Sevier County, and Tennessee High). Bearden is better than every team that the Tribe have played but Sevier County and Science Hill, either way this is going to be the toughest first round match up for a 2 seed in all 4 quadrants of 6A.
Line: Dobyns Bennett by 11
Sullivan South Heads to Columbia
After all the talk about South being left out, now the focus has shifted to why are they an 8th seed when they should be ahead of Anderson County and Walker Valley….then again they shouldn’t be in Quad 2. How coach Sam Haynie keeps his team concentrated on the game at hand will be rough as well. The Lions are the same darlings who won a state title two years ago and brought national spotlight with their ill teammate, who died the same day they won said title. The one last ‘What If?’ question we have to ask is South in a better spot facing Columbia than Powell if they were where they should be? Columbia has put together a rather weak 8-2 as they have lost to their tough games, totaling only 10 points against Baylor and Dickson County combined. Tullahoma, a mediocre team, gave the Lions a run for their money in a 19-17 game. While Powell is the defending State Finalist who ran through the 2012 schedule with a 9-1 record and wins over Austin East and Hardin Valley in convincing fashion. Either way South is capable of winning and moving on to face Tullahoma or White County who is 4-6….so maybe, just maybe South’s bad turn of events has helped their fortunes for a surprising ride in the playoffs. But enough about the What If? How will South do against Columbia?
Columbia is coming off a big win over Franklin County by the score of 57-14 and hangs their hat on defense. The best team Columbia played all year was Division 2 powerhouse Baylor. Columbia was down just 7-0 at the half, but would fold 24-7 by the end. The Lions were held to just 243 yards of offense with 68 yards coming on the ground. Chris Martin struggled to find any running room as he picked up 41 yards on 18 carries. Matthew Markham completed 10 of 20 passes for 175 yards. Ian MacNeice had 96 yards receiving with Hall adding 79 yards.The Lions have given up 17.2 points a game and it has been picks and valleys. Both passing and rushing teams have worked over the Lions defense; however, the Lions got ran on by Baylor who got just under 300 yards on the ground showing a weakness Jake Weaver, Mitchell Crowe, and Charlie Moore could exploit.
Sullivan South pulled out a more competent slimed down offense as they got win number 5 over Sullivan Central. Jake Weaver was used more in the first half and the Rebels concentrated more on the running game than they had all year long. Central will have trouble with the speed and multiple options South has on offense, but I think Columbia will be able to pass against a small secondary that has shown signs of getting beat deep. This is an interesting contest and South is on even terms with the Lions on paper. It may turn into who ever has the ball last wins.
Line: Columbia Favorite by 3 points
Sullivan North Host Unicoi County
It’s never good when you blow out a team on Senior Night and then TSSAA sets up the playoffs and you have that same team in the first round of the playoffs. You can’t overlook a team in the playoffs; the playoffs should be a place of no trap games since you don’t know who your next opponent is for sure, but somehow North found a way for a trap game. Unicoi County wants revenge and Sullivan North knows they are by far the better team, which is a bad combination. Robbie Norris will have to simulate a championship game out of something that was just a week earlier and ended with a running clock. Norris has usually found a way of waking his team up when they face games like the Erwin squad that is coming back to Bloomingdale.
Jerad Huskins thinks his Blue Devils are finally getting healthy and into the shape when they closed the regular season. “We’ve had to add some new stuff to our offense the past few weeks,” Huskins said. “The passing game and our offensive line blocking has been a main priority. We had to get some key people back and we needed to make sure we can give it our best shot. We’ve got to get something go on the offensive side of things.” Hunter Abbott, who has battled injuries this year, is looking like he is finally back to full form. Abbott who missed a few games still has rushed for over 700 yards and in the Top 10 in Rushing in NET. Lucas Hensley has shown a bright spot and had some success in the 4th quarter with his arm and moved the ball for a score on the 1st team defense in the 4th quarter. He was 7 for 199 during the game, but was 5-7 on that touchdown scoring drive.
The scary part for the Blue Devils is that they could only manage 130 yards against a Raiders defense that has shown weaknesses in defense against a good passing attack. The only problem is you can’t wait until the 4th quarter to pass against the Raiders, balance has to start early. North was able to run all over Unicoi and Kairi Thompson showed that no one on the Erwin defense could keep up with No. 1 as he ran for over 100 yards on a few carries and topped 1000 for the season. Cory Rowe showed his accuracy passing for 3 times and completing all 3 for 46 yards totaling almost 400 yards as a team for the night. While I think the game will mirror last week in a lot of ways, both coaches know what they are doing. Huskins will try something new and Norris will be ready. North has been ready to finish what they started last year and now they get their first step.
Line: North by 17
Science Hill Plus 3 at Oak Ridge
Tennessee High Plus 7 at Daniel Boone
Jefferson County Plus 5 at Sevier County
Johnson County Plus 10 at Elizabethton
Cherokee Plus 4 at Morristown West
By Josh Harwood
The final week is like the NCAA conference tournaments now with the set up of the TSSAA playoffs. Some teams are trying to get a higher seed, some are trying to get that all important 5th win to give them a chance, and some are just trying to beat their biggest rival.This year the games take on as mucch importance as they ever have.
Dobyns Bennett 9-0 host Science Hill 9-0
Who would have thunk it? Science Hill and DB a rivalry that has been so one sided are fighting for a no.2 seed in the playoffs and most of all the Big East champioionship. We all saw the possiblities early in the year with a down Greeneville and a win over a banged up Morristown West, but it still seemed like it was a tough buy. First of all, the fact that Clark has never lost to a Stacy Carter team and Science Hill has lost 18 straight to the Tribe. It depends how far you go up and down I-26 on the idea of what kind of game it will be. The further south you get Science Hill’s chances rise, while the vice-versa as you head north. In my view this game comes down to 3 things; Speed, Defense, and Execution
The speed needle usually goes to the Dobyns Bennett side in a rather favorable way. However, this year the Toppers are closer but still a little bit behind the Ferrari fast Indians. When it comes to defense, this is where I think the biggest difference is. Dobyns Bennett has held teams to just 11 points game, while teams nearly scored 18 points a game. The Indians love to jump on you quick and I see much of the same happening. The truth to the game may be that the only shot the Toppers have is if DB has a 3-5 turnover game and the Toppers hold on to the ball. Sevier County is as good of a team as Science Hill and the Toppers have yet to play someone within 3 touchdowns of DB. Though they both have a doughnut in the loss column, they aren’t as close as most think.
Prediction: Dobyns Bennett 56 Science Hill 28
Sullivan South 4-5 Host Sullivan Central 4-5
I would love to hear someone say they saw this coming. Central and South’s last game would be for a shot at a long shot playoff spot. Central has not played the schedule South has, but they have definitly beat the teams they should have and that’s all you can ask coach Jeff Fox to do. South has been up and down all year, looking good for halfs, but falling short in big games. South has the better shot to get in if they win and I don’t see anything different happening.
Prediction: Sullivan South 42 Sullivan Central 14
Sullivan North (8-1) host Unicoi County (5-4)
North has a big senior night and a better Unicoi County team than anyone thought rolls into town. If North takes the Blue Devils lightly an upset could take place. North needs to win this game to stay in the 2 spot in the playoffs. It’s gonna be a distracting night either way, as the most decorated senior class for Sullivan North graduates. Cory Rowe, Kairi Thompson, and company pass the torch, but they have one more playoff run to stack the trophy case for coach Robbie Norris.
Prediction: Sullivan North 38 Unicoi County 21
Elizabethton 52 Sullivan East 14
Johnson County 28 Happy Valley 19
Sevier County 49 Morristown East 28
Jefferson County 32 South Doyle 31
Tennessee High 44 Volunteer 28
Hampton 32 Cloudland 21
By Josh Harwood
Last year we started a new thing for locals to argue and to email me nasty letters. It’s our 2nd annual ‘Best Tools’ edition of the NET District 1 Players and Coaches, just like Baseball America’s. Yes we are ripping off a great baseball magazine for a good football idea. Sometimes parents and fans only get to see their kids and team play, while missing some of the best talent scattered through the area. If I did this at the 2nd week of the year it would be totally different, players have started to stand heads and shoulders above others in certain areas of the game.
Our categories this year include; Best Arm, Fastest Player, Best Running Back, Best Hands, Best OL, Best DL, Best Cover DB, Best LB, Best Coach, and finally the MVP balloting as of today.
1. Peyton Henley - TN High
2. Charlie Moore - South
3. Reed Hayes - Science Hill
Henley has the strongest, and while doing well, the most pinpoint arm in the area. Charlie Moore has become a 5-15 yard intermediate thrower with most of his throws going to him range, not away from him. Hayes throws don’t come out like a laser, but he has accuracy good beyond 15-20 yards, but there is always more air under the ball than those ahead of him. Hayes is no less effective, but his offense doesn’t depend on his ar near as much as the other two.
1. Malik Foreman - Dobyns Bennett
2. Terrance Turner - Elizabethton
3. Mitchell Crowe - Sullivan South
Malik Foreman has next level speed that no one in the area is even close to repeating in practice and we will be watching Foreman do some of the same things during the next 4 years on Saturdays. Turner is sneaky fast, but definitely one of the faster players around. Mitchell Crowe made me a believer against Boone when he ran down a fast running back from behind by 10 yards saving a touchdown. I knew he was fast before that, but he went above the normal fast players with that run.
Best Running Back
1. Devaun Swafford - Dobyns Bennett
2. Kairi Thompson - North
3. Will Adams - Science Hill
Everyone has a good running back as passing is not the trend right now in high school sports in NET. Most teams run an option style even when in a shotgun set. Devaun Swafford is the slickest tail back by far. Every time you think he is down, he pops it lose for a 50 yard run. He may be just a step behind Foreman in straight on speed, but Swafford has the best stop and go speed in the area. Kairi Thompson is a player that has yet to get his due. North’s ground game usually goes as Thompson goes, and over the past few weeks he has run for 130 yards on 8 carries and 117 yards on 12, he is efficient and always a threat to go to the house. Will Adams is a steadier, between the tackles runner who brings a pop. He seems to get stronger as the game goes along, but doesn’t have the speed of either Thompson or Swafford.
1. Brady Harmon- Tennessee High
2. O'Ryen Scott - Science Hill
3. River Cazire -Johnson County
When thinking of Wide Receivers, most people look to the talent as the main separating category; however, in high school hands and the concentration that comes with it may be more important than a 6’5 speedster who can take the top off the defense. First the QB has to have the arm and 2nd the receivers have to be able to catch the ball to advance the passed based offense. IF I included hurt or players that may not be on the team now this rankings would be the most affected. Brady Harmon is very consistent and has made some of the most amazing catches with players all over the 210 pound WR/TE. O’Ryen Scott is a good split end, but if not for injuries would probably be the 3rd best receiver on his own team, which speaks to he depth of the Hilltoppers. River Cazire has been a surprise for the Three Rivers and everyone the Longhorns have faced. Cazire made a huge splash against North, grabbing 6 passes for over 100 yards. He may not have the speed of the top 10 receivers in the Big East, Kazire has hands of glue.
1. Thomas Edwards- Dobyns Bennett
2. Jason Culbertson - South
3. Tyler Daniels - Sullivan North
In the Triple-Option the offensive guard may be the key to the whole offense. He is usually the one pulling, and leading a convoy that breaks the biggest wholes for the option offense. Just as Hayworth did last year, Thomas Edwards has taken over that same role and been as effective and just as mauling. Edwards may be ever more maluable than Hayworth as he has been seen at center more than guard.Tyler Daniels is the same for North and the leader of the front on defense as well. Culbertson plays center like a pro, he is one that shows the intelligence of o-lineman. As good in the back pedal as leading the rushing attack, Culbertson usually makes line calls for blitz and scheme changes. Charlie Moore usually has plenty of time in any of his throws as well as well as never usually having the blitz come from the middle.
Best Cover DB
1. Malik Foreman - - Dobyns Bennett
2. Kairi Thompson- North/Devaun Swafford – - Dobyns Bennett
3. Malik Mague - Science Hill/Terrance Turner -Betsy
This may have been the hardest category to pick. Malik Foreman was far and away the best corner before Chris Cook went down and with his injury I thought it was taking away his ability to stay fresh on both sides of the ball. Not only was I wrong, but in the Tennessee High game when they tried to test his side, he totaled up 1 INT and 3 Pass Def, which showed he has plenty of energy for both sides and the size and recovering speed to handle anyone. Turner and Thompson remind me a lot of one another. Both are sneaky and take a lot of chances that usually pay off, but sometimes put their team in danger. Thompson is a bigger play threat, but Turner seems to play steadier. Devaun Swafford is the closest to Foreman, he has the size to play inside and sometimes roams more than straight up locks down on a WR. Swafford is a Pick 6 waiting to happen. Mague is the quietest of the bunch, but that usually shows his ability. Mague rarely gets a huge pick 6 using his small stature to break up passes more often than not.
1. Will Glasscock - Dobyns Bennett
2. Robert Ramsey - Volunteer
3. Eric Smith – North
This may come off as a team award for defense, more so than a single player award. Eric Smith may be one of the most underrated players in NET let alone Three Rivers. He has led the Raiders in tackles on most nights, while almost single handedly taking over two games on defense/special teams, like the game against Johnson County. Smith blocked a punt, led the team with 15 touchdowns and basically kicked started the Raiders to another win, the second time he had done that in 3 weeks. Robert Ramsey is the leader of the new and improved Volunteer Falcons defense. Ramsey first impressed us against North and Sullivan East, combining for 31 tackles and 2 sacks in those contests. The Falcons defense isn’t one made to funnel the ball to Ramsey, Ramsey just finds the ball. The best linebacker corps in NET is still Dobyns Bennett and Will Glasscock has been the most outstanding of those 4. Glasscock dominated the last game against the Falcons, garnering double digits in tackles or 1/6 of every touch by Volunteer was stopped by Glasscock. While having Trevor Gilliam and Nick Sensabaugh taking up blockers, Glasscock is usually first to the ball.
1. Alex Sigmon- Tennessee High
2. Taylor Moore - Sullivan South
3. Chad Diminick - Dobyns Bennett
Any Kicker who bombs one from over 60 yards has to be the best kicker around. Taylor Moore is as steady as it gets and Chad Diminick has improved every year. Christine Hardin would make the list if it was for P.A.Ts but she just doesn’t have the record from regular field goals that the ones on the list do
1. Nick Sensabaugh - DB
2. Anthony Head/Keenan Anderson- Science Hill
3. Trevor Gilliam – DB
Dobyns Bennett and Science Hill are both undefeated for a reason. They both have dominating front 4s or 3s, especially the Tribe which feature a combination of End Trevor Gilliam and Nose Tackle Nick Sensabaugh. Nick usually attracts a lot of attention and the ends and backers take advantage of the double teams on Sensabaugh. Anthony Head takes advantage of the holes that Keenan Anderson gives him as well. Head and Gilliam use speed more than force but both are fierce hitters. Sensabaugh and Anderson are both underclassmen that will be dominant in college as well.
1. Graham Clark
2. Robbie Norris
3. Jeremy Jenkins
This was the most difficult by far to figure out. Robbie Norris does the most with the least at a school with just 550 students. Clark is the most consistent and best game day planner in the business, rarely does he get out-coached and rarely does a kid grow stagnant in his program. Jeremy Jenkins may be the best coach on the fly. I have seen Jenkins put together some plans and by the 2nd quarter turn it completely around and stick with what works. Though it sounds simple, to find a teams weaknesses in just 48 minutes is difficult and Jenkins has been doing it for years.
1. Malik Foreman - Dobyns Bennett
2. Cory Rowe - Sullivan North
3. Jacob Littleton - Daniel Boone
4. Etan Thomas - Elizabethton
5. Will Adams - Science Hill
Every team in High School programs usually has 1-2 players that do everything. No one can argue what Malik Foreman has done at DB is not unbelievable. To go from a split-end and to take over the decision making on the Tribe offense in a bye week and make the offense look even better is why Foreman is at the top of the list. Cory Rowe probably would have been 4th in about 5 different categories if I went to 5 instead of 3. Rowe isn’t just the general of the 2nd most powerful rushing attack in NET, he is also the starting free safety on the defensive side. His work on both sides of the ball are the reasons why North is 21-2 with Rowe under center. Littleton has taken control of a team in similar ways Rowe has for the Raiders. Without his sidekick Cliff Sanders, Littleton may be looked on to throw more in the playoffs as well as play safety. Etan Thomas is one of the leading rushers in the area with 1300 yards and 10 touchdowns. Thomas has been great while the Cyclones slowly pushed Turner back into the offense after his injury. Thomas has given the Cyclones a 1-2 punch that has looked unstoppable since week 2. Will Adams was supposed to platoon on offense as the tail back and play defensive back, but with the loss Adams has become the ball cow for the Hilltoppers, especially when the game is close.
By Josh Harwood
This week we are going to break down the District in a different way. With the 1st ranking of the playoffs released, we now know who is where in the 1st district in Tennessee, but how strong of a team is 6-4 compared to one that squeaks in with a 5-5? Is there that much of a difference? So we are going to look at the teams that still have a shot at the playoffs. What is the Top 5 locally for playoff success and the outliers there of?We are going to break them down with their classification, so don’t confuse strength of one 3A team to a 6A team. Thus this is a ranking of how strong a PLAYOFF CONTENDER each team is, not a ranking of the teams.
1. Dobyns Bennett 6-0 (PF: 324 PA: 75) – Another high-powered Kingsport attack that is giving up just over 12 points on an aggressive defense that has 45 tackles for loss with 11 sacks. After last week’s shutout of Central at 75-0 this coming week could even top that. Sullivan Central has proved they are a better team than the one that took the field in 2011 and now DB faces Crockett, which could be a record setting game if the running clock doesn’t start in the 1st quarter. Crockett has only scored 16 points in their 4 losses, while topping Sullivan East and South Greene by healthy margins. Malik Foreman has shown a new dimensions at quarterback, taking nothing away from Chris Cook, but the deep ball has been a huge weapon for the Indians on wheel patterns to Devaun Swafford, but the one problem is there is no threat comparable to Foreman, as he was on the outside.
Prediction: Dobyns Bennett 70 David Crockett 0
- Playoffs Outlook : The Indians have rallied around the injury to Cook and it seems they have found an extra gear. The win over Daniel Boone was the biggest surprise of the year, Boone as trying to slide in for the upset of the Indians who looked to be without a dual threat starting quarterback. Boone packed the box, and Foreman decimated the Blazers in the air and that changed the season for the Indians. The Indians look like word-beaters, but I’m sure everyone is saying; ‘When have they not….In the regualr season.” this team is stronger in a multitude of ways that past teams lacked. The first string defense is the strongest since 2006, which I cosider the strongest Indians defense ever, when they never allowed more than 13 points in any game. The combination of Swafford, Foreman, and Casey are just as strong as Sensabaugh, Seabolt, and Swafford and the 6A is not as strong as it was in 2010. No team has a Devrin Young that can beat a defense by himself and Maryville is the weakest it has been in a while, which is not a huge drop but down to mortal level. So for my playoff meter: Semi-Finals
2. Sullivan North 5-1 (PF: 246 PA: 84) –Anyone with 2 eyes can see that Johnson County found something with the passing game against Sullivan North last week. They threw just 12 times, but managed 202 yards or 16.8 yards per attempt, and it gave the Raiders fits. If they didn’t have two detremental turnovers, with a blocked punt for a touchdown to start the game we may be having a different discussion, but the Raiders pulled it out like they have always found a way the past two years. Mike Copas, a bright Defensive-Coordinator, will find a way to slow down what happened on homecoming weekend; then again he did what he preaches, “STOP THE RUNNING GAME FIRST!” The Longhorns didn’t even manage to get over 4 yards a carry on 40 carries and that was the major difference in the game. The Raiders got the lead and dominated the clock with Kairi Thompson and Cory Rowe, which combined for more than 200 ards themselves. Next week will be the biggest test for the Raiders as they head to Union to face a team, that some are comparing to older versions of Powell Valley and Appalachia. I don’t see North losing, but I could see a game similar to the one with Johnson County. Union has shown signs of a strong offense, but also has been easy to score on, and they are 3-2 against less talented Virginia schools. Clintowood and Richlands both scored just around 20 in defeats of the Bears, and while there is a lot of hype around Union, the Raiders are to strong and fast for the Bears to chase down and Norris and Copas will want to see some progress from last year. I see a blowout coming Union’s ay but a vengeful Raider’s squad.
Prediction: Raiders 42 Union 14
- Playoffs: The death of the Raiders’ hopes for a deep run in the playoffs has been greatly exaggerated. North has 18 starters, and plenty of newbys, that were aprt of the 2011 team of dreams that shook up the district as well as almost took down a 3A giant in Austin-East. Cory Rowe has gotten a lot of the pressure taken off of him by the emergance of a running game up the middle provided by Brett Peters and Bryson Salyers, while Kairi Thompson and Jacob Jasper have continued their explosive ways. The defense is giving up just 12 points and less than 200 yards a game over the first 7 of the year and the passing game has done more than it had at the same point last year and Rowe is 15 for his last 25 for 5 touchdowns and just 1 interception. The distance North goes in the playoffs will be determined a lot by the way the Quad 1 shapes up. If the playoffs started today, North would most likely be a 1 seed with Alcoa and Elizabethton the other two favortied to come out of Quad 1 and into the Semis. No one is in Alcoa’s league in NET, so even if they are moved to Quad 2 an even tougher CAK team will take their place…Playoff Meter: Quarterfinals
3. Science Hill 6-0 (PF: 304 PA: 106) – The Hilltoppers remind me so much of Sullivan South teams from 2005 to 2009 it’s unreal. They have a quaterback that is more polished than Justin Snyder, though not as sneaky quick. They have recievers galour and they have a bevy of running backs. The only difference I see is the talent up front on defense and the skill of a Will Adams compared to the same running backs for South during those years. The South and Hilltoppers game was so much closer than how it ended, the game turned in 3 minutes from being a 1 play game to being a blow out at 69-27. South showed some cracks on the Hilltoppers defense and the safties were exposed on about 4 plays for being over aggressive. The Hilltoppers have one more hurdle in Daniel Boone before the hype gets going over the undefeated matchup of DB and Science Hill. Don’t think that just because Dobyns-Bennett went crazy against Boone that the same will happen as Boone heads to Johnson City. Jeremy Jenkins is known for making games with the Spread offense slow and grimy. He knows it well, he know Stacy Carter well, so don’t think for a second Jenkins won’t be up thinking of ways to confuse Hayes and his coaches.
Prediction: Science Hill 31 Daniel Boone 20
-Playoffs: Science Hill is better than last year and more of a threat to Dobyns Bennett than it has been since Derrick Steele saved the Indians year in 2008 with his game saving pass knockdown in 2008. However, if Science Hill goes 9-1 and falls to a 3 seed that means Dobyns Bennett or Maryville in the 2nd round and I don’t see much after that. They are making progress, but the Indians seem to have the antidote for Carter’s spread offense and Maryville has beat the Toppers 79 to 14 the past two years combined. Don’t see that much changing, but maybe a closer game. Playoff Meter: 2nd Round
4. Elizabethton 5-2 (PF: 161 PA: 77) – If there is a team to say has grown the most from week one, I would have to summize that Betsy is the best program from week 0 until now. They went from being a team that looked like it was running in place against Boone, which is to Boone’s credit, to a team that has a trio of runners that match any Cyclones running threat of the past 3-4 years. With 3 more games to go, the next 3 opponents are a combined 6 and 12, with Johnson County being the biggest threat to an 8-2 record and a Three Rivers crown. However, next up is Unicoi County and the Blue Devils have been up and down this year, but are coming off an open week which gives them an edge. Betsy should be able to run wild like Johnson County and Hampton did against the Blue Devil’s front. Without much else, look for the Cyclones to win big and almost secure their bid to get their crown back from Sullivan North.
Prediction: Elizabethton 42 Unicoi County 17
-Playoffs: Terrance Turner’s health was the key to the Cyclones season and ‘T’ is back to being himself. Teams could focus on Etan Thomas and make the Cyclones a one-dimensional team early on until Turner got to full health. Colby Bailey is the perfect quarterback for the Cyclones’ system with speed to match. Like North the only thing in their way from a semi-final appearance is that Alcoa is most likely to run their quadrant. With that in mind…Playoff Meter: 2nd Round
5. Daniel Boone 5-1 (PF: 173 PA: 110) – Another surprise in NET has been the Trailblazers and there run through a tough schedule that doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks. Dobyns Bennett proved too much in every category and no one saw how they would come together with the loss of Chris Cook. Jacob Littleton has been a great leader for the 2012 Blazers that have surprised many with his legs to go with a strong arm. Cliff Sanders is one of the hardest hitting runners who stay close to the ground in a Ladian Thomlinson style that makes him a smaller target that other backs. Boone heads to Johnson City for a match-up with Jeremy Jenkins’ buddy Stacy Carter and his Hilltoppers. Science Hill will be hard to corrall in the Jenkins way of making a fast paced game into a brawl. Science Hill is a Viper and Boone is a Old Jeep, the Viper may be tough to catch but if there is a car that can run over that Viper is an old Jeep. Jenkins will try to keep the game inside the tackles and hopefully force Carter into doing things he would rather not, like run between the tackles and throw quick passes instead of having time to get his recievers deep. Look for Boone to give the Hilltoppers a struggle in the first half, but the depth and speed will eventually break through.
Prediction: Science Hill 31 Daniel Boone 20
-Playoffs: Daniel Boone sits as a 1 seed as of this Tuesday. In 5A Quad 1 that gives them a weird cunumdrum that could trip up the Blazers earlier than previously thought. Morristown West lost some games they shouldn’t have as injuries took their toll. If Boone’s rival Sullivan South gets in, it will probably be as a 7 or 8 seed, which could be a problem in the first round for Boone. Cherokee, a team that Boone has faced, could get on a roll and top Daniel Boone early. To put all of what I have said into a sentence, everyone in 5A from 1 to 8, not named Knox West, can be beat on any given Friday Night. For now I have Daniel Boone as a 2 and out team. Playoff Meter: 2nd Round
6. Tennessee High – Daniel Boone put a beating on Tennessee High that surprised a lot, after the Vikings big win over Sullivan South. However, standing at 4-2, the Vikings will most likely close the year with a 6-4 record after beating Central this week and Volunteer to close the season. If the playoffs started today they would be a 4th seed, after their .500 record over the last 4 games they will probably be a 6th seed at best. Playoff Meter: 1st Round
7. Sullivan South – The Rebels have had a rough go at it this year and though things look dire at 2-4, they were at the same place two years ago with Heath Haden handling QB duties. South won the last 4 games and grabbed a 6th seed in the playoffs. If Chuck Moore and his trio of recievers can get some momentum with 2 straight wins going into Daniel Boone maybe the Rebels can get to 6-4 again. However, I see a 5-5 record and an 8th seed which could be a rematch with Daniel Boone, but most likely will be a bout against Knox West.
Playoff Meter: 1st Round
By Josh Harwood
Pictures from Here on By Todd Caulkins
With Week 6 over and half of the season now passed it is an easy pausing point to find out who has done the job to set themselves up for the playoffs and the one’s that simply haven’t. Some of the surprises on the year include South’s slide, Key Injuries, and Daniel Boone’s ascension. No one expected South to lose back to back games to Betsy and Tennessee High, while no one expected Daniel Boone to be in position to be the top 5A team out of the Big Eight and maybe coast to a 8-2 record or even 9-1 if Jeremy Jenkins can upset his buddy Stacey Carter.
Prediction: Elizabethton38 Watauga 6
-6th. Tennessee High (4-1 LW: 7) – Tennessee High got their biggest win of the year over Sullivan South in a surprising easily way. Turnovers for South killed any chance they had of defeating the Vikings, but there is more good to say about the Vikings than bad about South They go into this week facing a team very similar to the one in Jefferson County. Brutal and straight man on man winnings is what the Patriots and Blazers put their hat on. That’s why I see the Vikings falling to the Blazers for their first conference loss.
Prediction: Daniel Boone 26 Tennessee High 21
-7th Sullivan South (2-3 – LW: 5) – How the mighty have fallen? I expected South to be the top 5A team in the District 1 conference and I guess I have to admit I was wrong, this year. Things that could go wrong have gone wrong in Colonial Heights this year. Hoever there is some good news, of the next 5 games South is the prohibitive favortie in 3 and 1 is a push. If they can get those 5 wins they should be able to slife into the first playoff weekend and get ahold of old nemisis Knox West or Daniel Boone. For now they face a team just as fast and with a whole lot more depth in Science Hill.
Prediction: Science Hill 34 South 21
-8th Hampton (4-1 LW:NR) – The Bulldogs easily could share this spot with Johnson County, which each team lost to the other by 1 point at their place. Hampton had a convincing win over Unicoi County and doesn’t face anyone on their level for the rest of the season, not for an upset or two. Look for them to cruise this week and end the year 9-1
Prediction: Hampton 34 North Greene 14
By Josh Harwood
The toughest and the most difficult division is arguably the 6A classification of NET. Where Maryville resides, who just happens to be two time defending state champions, and the tradition that comes with playing Bearden, Dobyns-Bennett, or Oak Ridge. 5 teams still stand undefeated and none of the 5 have faced a cupcake yet. The NET 6A class stands at 38 - 18 and that's mostly against top tier competition of other classifications. With week 4 or 5 (however big a reporting nerd you are) coming to an end what better time is their to look at who is going where and when. With schools already booking their ticket to the playoffs, the 6A being the glamour division, why not take a break to see what is going doing within the 4 divisions of 6A. We will run down each week a different class and how they are doing and will do from that point on. We will try to give the reader some shape of the outlook now and how the teams should grow into the playoff or non-playoff teams they will be this year. We know as you do that TSSAA reserves the right to separate the teams, moving teams from one quad to another, but for the most part they like to keep it into 4 directional divisions.
Tickets Bought, But Where are We Seating? - Dobyns Bennett, Maryville, Bearden, Science Hill, Oak Ridge, and Sevier County
The number 1 team in NET for Quad 1 is difficult to say at the moment. One week ago, I thought it was Dobyns-Bennett without a doubt, then Chris Cook went down. However, the Indians that dominated Daniel Boone looked as good as ever. Malik Foreman covered every doubt that he would make the Tribe one-dimensional with his perfect passing night throwing for 2 touchdowns. The only question is can Foreman keep this up when the competition gets tougher. Maryville is doing its normal cruise through a brutal schedule that has come to be as common as the seasons. The loss of Patton Robbinette has only slowed the Rebels a bit in the passing game and the week ahead will truly set the stage for how far Oak Ridge has come when the face the Rebels from Maryville. Oak Ridge's passing game was in high gear last week, especially in the first half as quarterback Ryan Hall through for 208 yards on 12-17 passing and two touchdowns. As good as Hall has been it's receiver Erin Wheeler who has been the most active wide out in Oak Ridge history setting the mark last Friday for receptions. "We really like Ryan's (Hall)
development and we like our receiving corps," said Oak Ridge coach Scott Blade. Wheeler, who had five catches for 100 yards, broke the Oak Ridge career mark for catches with a 34-yard touchdown reception with four minutes to play in the first quarter. Wheeler has 97 receptions for his career, which tops the old mark of 97. Oak Ridge has always had the talent to match with anyone, but the dip they have had over the last decade has been because of the dip in attendance, which hurts depth overall. Science Hill and Sevier County are most likely vying for the seeding once Maryville and Dobyns-Bennett decide who gets 1 and who gets 2. Oak Ridge will probably move to Quad 2 again as they have done the past two years, advancing to the quarterfinals both times.
Science Hill can be a threat for teams that are built on power and bulk, the Toppers are as close as any team to matching the speed of the Indians. Malik Mague and Will Allen lead a great 1-2 punch that will give most teams pause. Reid Hayes is an average passer, but losing Trey'Von Hayes hurts any deep threats that the Toppers have had up to this week. Sevier County has looked very vulnerable on defense and Dobyns-Bennett showed that the lack of Cullen Lavoi as the quarterback was more of a detriment than previously thought as the Smoky Bears struggled to score against the first string Indians in a 51-21. The biggest surprise of the year in 6A has to be the success of the Bearden Bulldogs. The biggest change for Bearden is how much they have grown on the defensive side of the ball. Bearden's new 3-4 defensive scheme appears successful through 5 games forcing William Blount into three first-half turnovers and converted all three mistakes into points and then holding Lenoir City to just 14 points. Nick Frizen has been as accurate as any quarter back in NET, connecting on 8 straight in two separate games. Bearden has a week off before Maryville comes a knocking.
On the Way, But there Is Traffic: Jefferson County and Hardin Valley
Jefferson County has taken advantage of there bulk up front and a bevy of backs that starts with Dearius Jones. Jones ran for two touchdowns over Seymour last Friday and looks to be one of the top backs, if not the, in the IMAC. The Patriots are 1 point away from being perfect and the schedule doesn't get that much tougher as the IMAC is having one of the worst years in existence. Cherokee and Morristown West are the biggest road blocks from going 9-1 or 8-2 and maybe avoiding Dobyns Bennett for 1 round, like they have not the past two years. Hardin Valley is a team that has 1 of the three things you need to have to be successful, but their defense may be the thing that gets them into a 1 and done situation. If Campbell County can't pop 30 on the board, Sevier County and up will be huge problems. "We are going to have to sure up some things on defense and not put so much pressure on our offense," said Cougars coach Justin Price. "Those are things we have to handle. (Ethan) Jeffers is going to be a phenomenal quarterback, and I expect big things from him because he battles back.''
An Upset is needed to get to 5, but will you take 4?: Farragut
Farragut has been a victim of a rough schedule; Dobyns Bennett, Knox West, and Oak Ridge are all top 5 teams in 6A or 5A. The Admirals gave Knox West and Oak Ridge all they could handle, but they have one problem, the schedule gets even harder with Maryville, rival-Bearden, and finally Lenoir City. They should easily be able to top Heritage and William Blount to get 2 wins, but they will need to upset one of those 3 mentioned teams to be playing further after week 10.
Done Unless the Playoffs Take Us All: Karns, Heritage, and William Blount
All schools are 1-4 or worse and for Karns, the only team with a chance...they went 1-4 in the easy part of their schedule. Willliam Blount and Heritage need change they are constantly on the outside looking in and they have large schools...Seems like if you have close to 2000 schools, there has to be 30 kids that can compete every now and then
Predictions for the Final Quad 1 Seedings:
(Oak ridge off to Quad 2 again)
Article/Pictures By Josh Harwood
Week 4 was much of the same as the previous week with the top tier seperating themselves more and more. Dobyns Bennett got said revenge on Sevier County, but may have lost in a worse way. North looks more and more like the 12-1 team tat took Austin-East. Sullivan South made a statement with a dominating win over Gate City and Science Hill probably made the biggest move with a win over and injured Morristown West squad that had their shot. Volunteer had a terrible showing against rival Cherokee and well lets see who and where everyone rates this week. For now here is the Top 8 (Main 5, with the outside 3 of District 1)
1. Dobyns Bennett 4-0 (LW: 1)– Well last week I was a few points from being right on with the score and DB still didn't play a prefect game. They had some of the same turnover and penalties problems that have plagued them all year. However, the biggest and most emotional loss came with the Chris Cook injury in the 4th quarter. At the time everyone thought it was a stinger, but it turned out to be a herniated disc that required surgery ending his high school career in football. If there is anything good to come from this is that Cook was hurt against Daniel Boone last year, which saw Malik Foreman take his place and play well leading the Indians to the win. Plus a week off following the Trailblazers game will help Graham decide on if he wants to keep Foreman as the signal caller or go to Josh Holt. Chris said he would be at the game on Friday night to cheer on his team, if he is the sight will rally the Indians and the Blazers will be walking into a buzz saw. I see little hope for the Blazers continuing their undefeated streak.
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 49 Daniel Boone 17
2. Science Hill 4-0 (LW: 2)– Science Hill struggled with Morristown West for most of the first 36 minutes, but when the Trojans lost their star running back Science Hill took advantage of some mistakes and walked away with a 41-27 win, that was much closer than the score would indicate. Science Hill thinks they have one more obstacle in front of them from completing a perfect season, Dobyns Bennett, but don't overlook Sullivan South. They have the speed and playbook to play with the Toppers. This week should come easy for the Toppers with David Crockett next up. The Pioneers are better than the 1-9 team from last year, but they are still way behind the Toppers. Look for another lopsided win for Stacey Carter
Prediction: Science Hill 56 David Crockett 14
3. Sullivan North 4-0 (LW: 3) – North took care of Union County with a bevy of running backs, but most of all Kairi Thompson continues his good year, but it was the fullbacks who would lead the Raiders in rushing. Brett Peter and Bryson Salyers stepped out of the shadow of Jacob Jasper, Cory Rowe, and Thompson. This is the week and every Raider fan has been waiting for and every player has been practicing for. It will most likely settle the Three Rivers conference and give the winner the best sot at the No.1 slot in Quad 1 of the playoffs. Even with the loss, North could still get the top seeding, but it wouldn't be the same without the Three Rivers crown and a victory over their biggest rival. Betsy has grown by leaps and bounds since their opening week loss to Boone. They seem to have found a passing game to go along with Etan Thomas and Terrance Turner. North beat a better team last year by 21 in Betsy, and North returns 18 starters from that same team. Everything points to a a big win for the Raiders in Bloomingdale, but I just have a feeling its not going to be like last year. It is going to be tight and one of the hardest hitting games of the year. North still has more fire power and their passing game took a huge step last week. Look for North to win, but its going to be chippy at times and hard fought.
Prediction: North 34, Elizabethton 28
4. Daniel Boone 4-0 (LW: 4)– Daniel Boone did what they had to do, take advantage of their first 4 relatively easy games compared to the rest of their schedule. They now face the meat of their schedule and it all begins with a team in some turmoil, Dobyns Bennett. However, if Boone wants to walk into J. Fred and shock NET, Cliff Sanders and Jacob Littleton will have to have the nights of their life, Jeremy Jenkins will have to make it a slugfest, and DB will have to turn the ball over in key situations. It's a lot to ask for and if it all happened the Indians could still win, but I just don't see good things happening for the Blazers tonight.
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 49 Daniel Boone 17
5. Sullivan South 2-1 (LW: 5) – South has got through a tough run of games and came out over 500, now things get more important if not harder. The Big Eight 5A Crown comes down to Tennessee High, South, and Daniel Boone. If South can win both they will most likely host a home game in the playoffs, if they go anything worse they will have to upset the Toppers or they are in store for a one and done. This is one of the biggest games of the year for the Rebels and they have everything in place to beat the Vikings. Faster, Stronger, and more depth the Rebels have the key to go into Tennessee High and beat them like they did two years ago in coach Sam Haynie's first year. The Rebels are a perfect 2-0 in Haynie's career against the Vikings and it should stay that way this year. The Rebels will need Charlie Moore to spread it around to Mitchell Crowe and Christian Comsa and use Jake Weaver to keep the linebackers honest in the middle. Look for the Rebels; to grab the lead early and not let off the gas.
Prediction: South 35, Tennessee High 21
6. Elizabethton 2-2 (LW:6) - Betsy is back to 500, but they could easily be 2-4 after facing North this week and South the next. Look for Betsy to give North everything they have and more...
Prediction: North 34, Elizabethton 28
7. Tennessee High 3-1 (LW:8)- Tennessee High has done what they should have done as well. Take advantage of their week non-conference schedule and then hope they can upset South or Daniel Boone for a win. Don't look for it to happen this week....then again??
Prediction: South 35, Tennessee High 21
8. Johnson County 2-1 (LW:NR)- After an 2nd week upset of Hampton, Johnson County proved they had grown by leaps with an even bigger upset of Unicoi County. With Sullivan East and Hampton up the next two weeks, the Longhorns could see themselves at 4-1 and the surprise team of the year.
Prediction: Johnson County 23 Sullivan East 13
By Josh Harwood
Being in the 5A classification in Northeast Tennessee is a difficult road. The largest
contingent of teams seem to run in the 1000-1499 range and in Districts 1-4, 21 teams vie for just 8 spots in the playoffs. Powell and Knox West have been the power brokers of the class over the past few years and this may be the first year without a clear favorite to represent 5A in Cookeville. We will run down each week a different class and how they are doing and will do from that point on. We will try to give the reader some shape of the outlook now and how the teams should grow into the playoff or non-playoff teams they will be this year. We know as you do that TSSAA reserves the right to separate the teams, moving teams from one quad to another, but for the most part they like to keep it into 4 directional divisions. The Schedules are Results and our Predictions that will follow....
Go Ahead and Book Your Tickets to the Playoffs: Daniel Boone, Morristown West, Powell, Knox West, and Seymour
The goal is 5 and 6 is even better. Over the past three years, the TSSAA playoffs have been made up of the usual supreme players with a lot of mediocrity. 5-5 is almost a guarantee to get into the playoffs, while even some 4-6 teams have played late into October. The better the record the more home games you can get yourself and the lesser the opponent is supposed to get. Daniel Boone should get their 5th win between Dobyns Bennett and Science Hill games, when Tennessee High comes calling. While it won't be easy, Daniel Boone is just physical enough to show up as the third best team in the Big Eight as we speak. I predict Daniel Boone to finish the year at 8-2, with losses to the Toppers and Indians and the Sullivan South game is a toss-up so I gave it to the home team. Morristown West is just as good as they were last year when they were a 1-2 ranked team in Quad 1, if healthy. The loss to Science Hill doesn't hurt near as much with Powell and Knox West already losing. The
No. 1 seed will not be undefeated in Quad 1 because of these facts. The most surprising of the members of this category has to be Seymour. Though we may see the 2011 2-8 team as a big surprise in early 2011, their coach did not, "We thought we had the potential (to go 4-0)," Seymour coach Jim Moore said Saturday. "We thought we had a shot at it. We knew we had to play well and the young kids had to grow up quickly, and we needed to get some help and be injury-free. If all that held true to form, we had a shot at it." Seymour is still young with 8 sophomores playing significant time, but the stars are doing their part and they are beating the teams they should. Junior quarterback Nick Sexton has thrown for 891 yards and eight touchdowns with two interceptions, and junior running back Tanner Size has rushed for 459 yards. Look for one of the trio of Number 1's; Morristown West, Powell, or Knox West to be sent to Quad 2 as they lack the star power in 5A.
Looking for the Key to be a Lock: Sullivan South, Tennessee High, South Doyle, Knox Catholic, and Lenoir City
I know some of you have already said, "O, Whatever these teams are all locks!" You may be right but you also may be wrong. South is the closest to a lock and that's not just because they are one of the main trio of our coverage. Some think that because Dobyns Bennett ran wild in Death Valley, the Rebels' aren't a good team. You have to remember even when a certain Curt Phillips was under center, the Indians dominated the Rebels' by a 44-0 margin. Sullivan South has 2 HUGE games this year and it starts next week with Tennessee High. I see them as a 7 point favorite over the depleted
Vikings who have some, but very few weapons that will give the South coaching staff time to think about. Tennessee High seems like a lesser, but similar in results version to the team that took the field a year ago. They are beating the teams they should, Johnson County and Virginia High, and if you do that, you usually will make the playoffs as a top tier team in NET. However, Jefferson County exposed some weaknesses upfront and with depth that South should take advantage of. The IMAC is a conference, similar to the Big 10, in which no one is truly head and shoulders above the rest and they just beat up on each other. Hence a lot of 5-5 and 6-4 teams that sneak into the 5-8 seeds of both 5A and 6A. South Doyle is one of the mediocre teams that is beating up on lesser competition to hold a perfect record at the moment. The Cherokees have run through Knox Karns, Heritage, and Morristown East, all which combine for an amazing 1-11 record. The next 3 teams are 7-5, but are very tough outs for anyone, which means South Doyle could be looking at 3-3 in three weeks and looking at Sevier County and Jefferson County among others for 2 wins and a spot in the playoffs. However, I see the Cherokees going 1-2 over the next three and winning at least 2 more to close the
year at 6-4, but the easy part of their schedule is over and they will have to beat the teams they should. Knox Catholic and Lenoir City could both be in Quad 2 and probably will be, as last year. Knox Catholic's football team didn't catch too many breaks in 2011, going just 4-6. Just before Irish made their season debut, a bishop circled midfield and blessed the school's new synthetic turf field with douses of holy water. Senior tailback Nolan Coulter rushed for 230 yards in Catholic's 35-0 win over Knox Central and has been a workhorse in wins Central and Cleveland, but stumbled in a tough loss to Farragut. Catholic has one of the toughest remaining schedules, just because of their conference, but they have to take advantage of Heritage and William Blount and then sneak a win against Bearden or Lenoir City to get in.
The Middle Class 'Everything is a Maybe': Cherokee, Anderson County, Knox Central, Cocke County, and Campbell County
Things in Rogersville are not as peachy as everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the year with Ty Ryans returning under center. They finally showed how good they could be in the 2nd half versus rival, Volunteer, where they ran the score up on the Falcons like no one has all year, and that includes Daniel Boone. Anderson County is a huge question mark to me and to their fans I'm sure. They had their QB back who threw all over NET last year and it looked like he would do the same again this year. Well he has, but the defense forgot they had to play as well, i.e. CAK 75 points. Anderson County and Campbell County have already gone heads up with Anderson County looking like the team we thought at week zero. Senior quarterback Micah Hodge provided some of the brilliant moments, throwing for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the 36-0 win over visiting Campbell County.However, the still lost to Knox Central the next week, which showed they are an up and down team looking for their way.
Did Someone Say Maybe? Teams that shouldn't make it As of Now, but an upset or two could change the thought process: Volunteer and Sullivan Central
These two teams hold a place in ModelCitySports heart. Both Big Eight schools who have the toughest road ahead, they have shown HUGE improvement over their terrible years of last and before. Volunteer has shown to have one of the better 2nd tier defenses in NET, with Robbie Ramsey and Hobert Stapleton leading the headlines. The offense has some spark with Sam Barton and Maliek Carpenter if used responsibility and in moments of surprise to take advantage of their next level speed and quickness. Sullivan Central should probably be in the category to follow, but to have a winning record after going 0-10 last year we have to give them some respect for this report at least. While the Cougars struggle against fast paced offenses that work on the edge, they are dissimilar to Volunteer that can control the middle and has success stopping the run, but falters against the pass, see Cherokee game. Volunteer should run off 4-6 and if they can upset Tennessee High in the final game of the year, Scott Rider will be dancing in the playoffs which would be a huge shocker and a great sight to see.
When Does 2013 start: Teams without a Chance Unless.....Nevermind Next Year is their Best Shot: David Crockett, Morristown East, Clinton, and Knox Halls
Ok so you take these 4 teams roll them up and who would have the best shot to sneak in if just the world collapsed? I would have to go with Morristown East, even standing 0-4, the Hurricanes have plenty of talent, but need an upset or 4 and maybe just maybe....who am I kidding 2013 is just a year away
So with all of that said, the Predicted Seeding for 5A Quad 1 Goes as Follows:
By Josh Harwood
Week 3 saw the development of teams and some of the pretenders showed their true colors, while some schools stayed true to form. Dobyns Bennett and South took up much of the hype over the past weekend, but the best games may have been Volunteer and Daniel Boone. Sullivan North and Tennessee High cruised without much resistance as Science Hill did the same in Blountville. This is an important week for some teams, like Boone, who can secure a 4th win over an inferior opponent and draw them that much closer to securing a playoff bid this early. Volunteer continues to impress and Tennessee High finally shows up on the radar. For now here is the Top 8 (Main 5, with the outside 3 of District 1)
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 56 Sevier County 28
Prediction: Morristown West 28 Science Hill 26
Prediction: North 42, Union County 17
Prediction: Boone 42, Happy Valley 7
Prediction: South 52, Gate City 7
6. Elizabethton 1-2 (LW:6) - Betsy got back on the winning path with a shut out of Carter County rival Happy Valley 40-0 and looks to finally get back to 500 with a win over Tuscola, NC. The North Carolina squad got routed by the Cyclones last year and the same should happen this year.
Prediction: Elizabethton 28 Tuscola 0
7. Volunteer 1-2 (LW:7)- The Falcons are the most impressive 1-2 team in the Tri-Cities area. Volunteer had a bad problem of rolling over when the Falcons would get behind, but this team is nothing like 2011 and is only getting better with each week. Volunteer will face a tough contest this week as they face their biggest rival in Cherokee. Look for a tough match for both teams and it won't be pretty.
Prediction: Cherokee 27 Volunteer 21
8. Tennessee High 2-1 (LW:8)- The Vikings have been impressive in their two wins while looking flat in their loss to Jefferson County. After facing local rival, Virginia High, we will find out just how good the Vikings are with games against South and Boone. I have a feeling Sullivan South may pull off the drape and reveal just how mediocre the Vikings are this year.
Prediction: Vikings 32 Virginia High 10
By Josh Harwood
Week One is gone and teams are still trying to establish themselves as contenders or pretenders. Dobyns Bennett has taken a step further away from the field, while Science Hill is looking more like the team from 2011. Sullivan North finally took a step into those shoes of 2011 and they looked unbeatable in a rainstorm in SW Virginia. Sullivan South took the week off and Tennessee High fell back to earth as well as other schools hovered in the middle. For now here is the Top 8 (Main 5, with the outside 3 of District 1)
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 49 South 14
Prediction: Science Hill 56 Central 7
Prediction: Dobyns Bennett 49 South 14
Prediction: North 44, East 7
Prediction: Boone 24 Volunteer 14
6. Elizabethton 0-2 (LW:7) - Etan Thomas showed his true promise and what is the future for the Cyclones rushing 31 times for 162 yards as Terrance Turner continues to heal. Out rushing Science Hill 220 to 100 was a shock to a lot, but not this writer as Science Hill always has trouble with running teams that run from pass formations. Elizabethton finally gets a breather as the Happy Valley Warriors who got their first win of the year over Unaka. Though this is a city wide rivalry game, Betsy is probably ready to let out their frustrations on someone and the Warriors just happen to be that team.
Prediction: Elizabethton 34 Happy Valley 14
7. Volunteer 1-1 (LW:8)- The Falcons finally look like one of the first teams Scott Rider had when taking over the Falcon program. Hard-Hitting and a team that fits his offensive scheme with Sam Barton and Casey Price being the 'Thunder and Lightning' for the option based offense from Volunteer. Kirk Cradic looked impressive as well for the Falcons offense, but most of all the Flacons defense has been unbelievable over the last 2 weeks. Conner Trent and Robert Ramsey leads a defense that is so hard to run inside against as they are bigger than 80% of the teams they will play. Volunteer may still be 4-6 or even 23-7, but they are a team that is to be reckoned with this year.
Prediction: Daniel Boone 24 Volunteer 14
8. Tennessee High 1-1 (LW:6)- After a good week with a win over Johnson County, the Vikings returned to what everyone predicted as a mediocre team. The Vikings have a good rushing team, but when they play teams with speed or size they will be on the short end. Jefferson County went body on body and got to where they needed to, when they wanted to. The Vikings can't lose when they aren't supposed to win or they will see themselves on the outside of the playoffs. They should be 2-1 after this week with Crockett, but who knows Crockett is 1-0 this year.
Prediction: Vikings 34 Crockett 17
Pictures/Article By Josh Harwood
Week Zero is over and this week it is split between Thursday and Friday. Sullivan South has the week off, after a big win over Enka and Elizabethton is on a short week playing Thursday after playing last Saturday. The other games don't look to be that competitive, but then again I said the same thing last week and Sullivan East got knocked off by Crockett and Sullivan Central already has as many wins as the last two years. For now here is the Top 8 (Main 5, with the outside 3 of District 1)
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 56 Clinton7
Prediction: Science Hill 27 Elizabethton 17
Prediction: Off Week
Prediction: North 24, Eastside 14
Prediction: Cherokee 27 Boone 21
6. Tennessee High 1-0(LW:8)- Tennessee High put Johnson County out of their misery and now have to actually face someone their own size, Jefferson County. Shane Boggs has little to work with as the numbers for the Vikings are as low as ever. Trayvond Delaney will have to run wild for the Vikings to beat the Patriots, but the Patriots are no where near as strong as they were last year...which was pretty mediocre. The outlook for a 2-0 start is pretty good, but we don't think so. Prediction: Patriots 28 Vikings 27
7. Elizabethton 0-1 (LW:5) - Betsy always plays one of the toughest non-conference schedules around and it gets no easier this week as Science Hill travels to Carter County Tomorrow Night. Terrance Turner and Etan Thomas will have to have the nights of their life to pull the upset. Prediction: Science Hill 27 Elizabethton 17
8. Volunteer 0-1 (LW:NR)-Robert Ramsey leads a defense that had Sullivan North completely confused for the first half. Scott Rider said his team was improved, but few saw what they about did at North as possible. Look for Volunteer to have a year on the upswing, they may not have that much better of a record but they will be in a lot more games this year. Prediction: Volunteer 28, Sullivan East 17
Dropped Out: Sullivan East lost to David Crockett
by Josh Harwood
Each Sunday Night I am going to write an article on the past weekends teams. Who is surprising or falling short of expectations? What players are shining and if the playoffs started today how would teams do? It's basically a summary or report card of how teams are progressing through the year week by week. I'm going to keep the team in their classifications (6A to 3A) and focus on the East Tennessee area, or schools Knoxville and eastward.
Most Impressive Performance: Dobyns Bennett's First Half versus Farragut over Science Hill's 2nd Half over Greeneville
While most writers thought Dobyns-Bennett would beat Farragut, most people thought it would be closer to last year's type of game, maybe a bit more high scoring. Every publication had Farragut right behind Maryville and Knoxville West and their defense was going to be their strong suit and still has the tolls to turn into one, but Dobyns-Bennett looked faster at every position and Malik Foreman has put on a lot of meat to go with his blazing speed. DB could do know wrong and would punt just in the 2nd half, while holding the Admiral's offense to one first down and 4 '3 and outs'. Science Hill looked fast and efficient in the 2nd half, but to be honest I think the drop off by Greeneville is more the problem. The true test for Science Hill will be Morristown West and if they pass that test then we can start talking about a true battle for the Big Eight.
Biggest Upset: Not Many Upsets in the 6A mark, but Science Hill knocking off Greeneville has to be considered a mild upset
Best Team: Maryville- Even though they lost Patton Robbinette to the Commodores they faced a pretty decent Cleveland team and still put up 42 points while getting 500 yards of offense. So I am sticking with the theme until they lose they are still number 1 in the 6A.
Honorable Mention: Dobyns-Bennett
Most Disappointing Team: Hardin Valley
While a lot of schools in the Knoxville area wait until Week 1 to start so this may be a little premature, but a rebuilding Bearden put a beating on Hardin Valley, 45-9. The game looked a lot like the one last year just in reverse when Hardin Valley beat Bearden 32-0. Bearden.
Most Impressive Performance: Sullivan South over Enka beats out Knox Catholic over Knox Central
Sullivan South was beaten by Enka last year and yes they loss their All-State Quarterback, but Enka was still a Top 3 program in their classification in North Carolina. While Enka had an easy time moving the ball the 1st quarter and some of the 2nd, the Rebels looked as good as they have in years as they moved the ball at will and played opportunistic defense, The sophomore class for the Rebels show the things to come for Haynie and crew are bright, but the future is now for Sullivan South.
Biggest Upset: Sullivan Central over Happy Valley 14-0
The Cougars could barely stop anyone last year as they went winless and were beat by the Warriors 39-13. Sullivan Central unveiled its new 3-3-5 and pulled off the upset of the week by a nose over the Crockett upset of Sullivan East
Best Team: MorristownWest and Knox Catholic
Wow the Trojans took down a decent Harlon Countyteam from Kentucky by 10 points. On his first touch at running back Morristown West's Malachi Horton took off for a 76-yard touchdown run, getting the first points for the Trojans in a 35-25 victory against Harlan County(Ky.) at Burke-Toney Stadium Saturday. Knox Catholic shut down Knox Central a relatively good team with some hype by 35 points. Right now I think it is a push between the two but I'm sure it will work itself out.
Biggest Disappointment: Morristown East
The Hurricanes are the most hit or miss team of the past 2 years. Like last year's 61-24 win over Jefferson County who made the playoffs, which was followed by a 28-29 loss to Sevier County. This year they kicked it off with a 0-33 beat down by Knox Fulton who were a descent team last year at 8-5, but I don't think they are that much better than the Hurricanes.
Most Impressive Performance: Knox Fulton over Morristown East 33-0, Gibbs a Close 2nd
Most publications from Knoxville had Fulton in the usual position of 1 or 2 with Austin East in 3AA. To shut out a team from Morristown is to say something about your defense. While Fulton went 8-5 last year they looked awful in their last game against Greeneville. They only had 11 returning starters so a win wasn't a surprise a dominating shut out is impressive.
Biggest Upset: Sullivan East falling to David Crockett (see before)
Best Team: Greeneville
Even though they had their 2nd loss in three years in Week 0 it was to a 6A team that was a touchdown away from them last year. Science Hill has taken a step forward and Greeneville still is trying to fill the holes that left last year. They have the talent and depth to run the 4A classification again, but their main competition may be Fulton
Biggest Disappointment: Sullivan East
Coming off a 7-4 season that showed coach Mike Locke is a great coach seeing that he inherited a 0-10 team. Things looked normal in the first half as the Patriots jumped out on a 1-9 team last year, Crockett, but that was early and Crockett has a lot of fight as shown in their comeback to a 30-22 win over East.
Most Impressive Performance: CAK over Anderson County 76-45
Anderson County is by no means a team to overlook. Picked ahead of Knox Powell and right behind Oak Ridge in their conference. Anderson County's coach was right about his offense, but he may have been a little premature about how good his defense will be. CAK, the 3A Champs, put a years worth of points of Anderson County and couldn't stop. CAK never scored over 55 last year, but definitely were one of the best offenses in the state. The 3A could be in trouble again this year.
Biggest Upset: Elizabethton falling to Boone 14-7
Even though I think the teams are basically equal when at full strength. The fact that Betsy was 25-1 against Daniel Boone means this has to go in the upset box.
Best Team: Alcoa
Alcoa has to return to the mantle of number 1 even with
CAK's win. Alcoa beat repeat private school champs Knox Webb in a bit of a slug
match. It was impressive by how they moved the ball and held on even with the
turnover issue. CAK is a close 2nd and North 3rd...but for now Alcoa is back on
Biggest Disappointment: Happy Valley
Two straight playoffs, including a no.1 seed in coach Larry Shively's first year had hopes high again in Elizabethton. However, after a shut out loss to what many saw as the worst team in 5A of East Tennessee has some people worrying about how good the Warriors actually are. Unicoi County made a loud statement with a 41-14 win over South Greene.
Pictures BY Sam Spurgeon
By Josh Harwood
We wanted to start with a Top 10, but with only 20 teams in District 1, we decided to narrow it down to 8. That is enough to show the very best of the bunch while also showing who is in the middle and creeping up or falling down. We will still do our Top 5 for each classification, 1 through 6. So for now here is our Preliminary Top 8 with Predictions for Tonight and Tomorrow.
Prediction Dobyns Bennett 32 Farragut 21
Prediction: North 42 Volunteer 20
Prediction: Science Hill 32 Greeneville 28
Prediction: South 38 Enka 34
Prediction: Betsy 27 Boone 21
6. Daniel Boone - (LY - 5-6) Plays Elizabethton at Home on Saturday and will be wanting to get back for the 31-3 whoppin put on them in Betsy's house last year. Prediction: Betsy 27 Boone 21
7. Sullivan East - (LY - 7-4)Without Austin Glover to hand the ball off to 30-35 times the Patriots will have to look elsewhere. Don't count out the work that coach Mike Locke does has he turned the 0-10 Patriots into a 7-4 team. Prediction: East 37 Crockett 20
8. Tennessee High- (LY - 5-5) Tennessee High lost Austn Delph and many others to graduation. Treyvon Delaney returns, but with numbers down and inexperience up this is one of the thinnest Vikings' team we will see in some time. Prediction TennesseeHigh 35 ohnson County14
Contributed to ModelCitySports by Bart Lyon
Augusta,SC-The Tennessee Flight Silver won the Jr. Division 15U defeating Boo Williams (VA) 62 to 54 to claim Nike National Girls Basketball Championship.
The Tennessee Flight Silver defeated the California Storm from Santa Clarita , CA(Semifinals), Michigan Crossover from Detroit, Michigan (Elite 8) and All –Ohio from Columbus,OH (Super 16)
Pool Play victories included wins over West Coast Premier from Walnut, CA, Philadelphia Belles from Philadelphia, PA and CY Fair from Houston, TX.Augusta, SC- The Tennessee Flight Silver won the Jr. Division 15U defeating Boo Williams (VA) 62 to 54 to claim Nike National GirlsBasketball Championship.
For more information on the Tennessee Flight Silver, Contact Coach Cliff Coleman at 615-330-0152
The Tennessee Flight Silver is made up of the top Prep players in the state of Tennessee which includes:
East TN players:
Brooke Copeland (Bradley Central)
Gabby Lyon (Johnson City-Science Hill)
Middle TN players
Brianne Alexander (Smyrna)
Rachel Bell (Charlotte Creek Wood)
Shelbie Davenport (Murfreesboro Riverdale)
Emily Eubanks (Murfreesboro Oakland)
Shelby Gibson (Murfreesboro Oakland)
Keiana Gilbert (Colombia Central)
Alex Johnson (Murfreesboro Blackman)
Danielle Jordan (Winchester-Franklin County)
Kennesha Nichols (Ensworth Academy)
Micah Norris (Murfreesboro Blackman)
Kaitlin Oliver (MurfreesboroOakland)
Coach Cliff Coleman
Coach Rodney Monie
Tom Insell (Director)
New King of Daytona: John King of Kingsport Gets First Win at Daytona in Camping World Truck Series
By Josh Harwood
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- John King won Friday's Next Era Energy Resources 250 race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under caution after a series of ugly late-race incidents, the last of which saw Joey Coulter fly into the catch fence. Full Story of New Kingsport Star
Atop Again!: Hayes Grabs MVP as Hilltoppers Run Away with Win over Rebels
By Josh Harwood
With the town still mourning the loss of Sheridan ‘Shay’ Edwards, there was little turn out for the District Championship at the Dickie Warren Dome. They picked the perfect day not to fill the dome as little action happened in the consolation nor championship match. Science Hill jumped out quickly to a 17-4 lead that would only grow as the game went along to finish off the Rebels and thus gaining the number 1 seed going into the Regions for the 3rd time in 4 years.
South came out with much of the same plan that worked against Dobyns Bennett three nights before, put the ball in A.J Hutchins’ hands and get out of the way. The plan worked for a minute but the Toppers are too deep and too intense to have one or even two people try to overcome the Science Hill intensity on defense and offense.
“We knew they were going to come in on a high,” said Toppers coach Ken Cutlip. “That could carry over and before you know it you’re coming from behind, I’m just glad we came out as hot as we did tot take that affect out of the equation.”
Hutchins would match the score at 2-2 and that would be the last tie of the game as the Toppers’ Ferrari took off and left the Rebels behind.
The lead would drop down to ten at the 23-13 mark as well as 35-25, but as the 2nd half drew down the sunset on the Rebel’s hopes for a championship in the District faded away.
“We have to keep our heads up we did a lot this year,” said South coach Mark Pendleton. “Those kids have grown so much from last year and hopefully we aren’t done.”
DB- Drew Adams
DB- Cory Combs
SS- AJ HutChins
SS- J.C Garvin
SS- Austin English
TH- Austin Delph
TH- Nathan Terrill
TH- Brett Crandell
SH- Zach Howard
SH- Will Adams
MVP- SH- Reed Hayes
By Josh Harwood
The Virginia and Tennessee FCA chapters put on a show that even eclipsed the first annual all-star game this time a year ago. Tennessee put a whipping on the Virginia stars 48-7 last year and it looked as if the same was going to happen this year after two defensive touchdowns made it 23-0. Tennessee would hold off a furious comeback by the Virginia squad to win a close one 30 to 22.
The stars for both sides were just as bright as last year when William Carmichael of Greeneville dominated and won the most valuable player as the Tennessee side cruised to a win. This year the brightest of the stars was on the Virginia side as Marshall signee, Devon Johnson came out and dominated with 3 rushing touchdowns.
After the kickoff the game started with the defense coming up in spades. Justin Long, Dobyns-Bennett, would come up big in the first half along with defensive player of the year J.C Garvin who would score 14 of the first 23 points on pick 6s.
The Virginia side would start slow on offense as the center-quarterback exchange would be a problem and on the straight times would cost them as the snap would go over the punter’s head leading to a 16-0 lead for Tennessee.
Things could have gotten worse for the Virginia side as Ben Ogle the All- East Tennessee kicker missed on two field goal attempts.
The Virginia side would answer in the 2nd half and turn it into a game. After a McKenley Berry, Betsy –QB, interception, Johnson would take the next play and score the first points for Virginia to make it 23-7.
Berry would get the Tennessee side down to the 2 and after runs by Dalton Boles, West Greene, Jahmar Adams, Science Hill, and Julius ‘The Juice’ Montgomery of Chuckey Doak could not manage to punch it in leading to another missed field goal.
The last 6 minutes would be an eternity as Devon Johnson would take another one in for the score and convert for 2 to pull within 8, 23-15. Justin Snyder, Science Hill-QB, would drive the Tennessee All-Stars down to the 20 and then would hit his Tennessee High rival WR, Adrian LaVergne for 20 yards to make the score 30-15.
The game would look over until a fumble party would get kicked off with one that Devon Johnson would recover and then traded back on the snap, but after another one the Virginia side would close in with a 6 yard run by Johnson to make it 30-22.
The Virginia side would turn the ball over on downs at the 1 minute mark giving the ball back to Tennessee and Dalton Boles would get a first down ending everything at a 30-22 game that was sloppy and defense dominated early.
The FCA looks to make this an annual game and after the game awards were given out to both head coaches and the MVP for each side be named in honor of injured TCC player Tucker Montgomery. The Heart of a Champion Award was presented by his brother. Justin House of Cherokee would win the award for the Tennessee side as Devon Johnson would run away with the award for Virginia.
All Photos by Josh Harwood for ModelCitySPorts.com
The Turkey Bowl is looking to become a V.O. Dobbins Tradition once again. Friday afternoon around 120 people filled the atrea for some good old fashioned Flag football. The Young kids went first with Fred Smith and JaMichael Mills going head up as coaches. Later on the older individuals took part as some local legends looked on. Kairi Thompson, Devaun Swafford, and Malik Foreman were just a few of the kids who took part in game 2. Antuan Smith, Trippy Deal, and Fred Smith were just a few of the individuals to make the event possible. But the event had alot of purpose and that purpose was to make help kids not go without this holiday season. The event went on without a hitch and hopefully we will be back next year and each year after that. Photos from the Event
Results from the Fund-Raising for the Kids:
Pictures(Unless Noted) by Sam Spurgeon
The 2011 came and went with surprises and disappointments locked hand in hand. Sullivan North became the Phoenix of the bunch and Dobyns Bennett looked the part but youth got in the way. I wanted to write a recap of the 2011 football season as the last Sullivan area school lost in the playoffs, Sullivan North. Instead I waited for the State Finals to end to back up and review the season a little better..
. Sullivan South struggled all the way to the end but somehow found out how to win by fighting to the last whistle, but other than that most things were stuck on repeat from 2010. So with the finals of the State coming to a close and the east side of Tennessee dominating the Golden Balls, with CAK, Greeneville, and Maryville taking home their 16 state championships combined, its time for MCS to unwind the Top Awards for the first District….with a few exceptions for great play.
We Will Start with the Top
Player of the Year: Cory Rowe, QB, The Triple-Option revolved around Rowe for the North Raiders, and I said earlier in the year that no one was more important to an option-based offense than Rowe. He looked as if he had been running it since he was a toddler, and according to his Pee-Wee record, he may have. No team relied on a player more than Rowe, he basically played the role of Sean Seabolt last year. Fast enough to play the 1 safety technique on defense and be the free safety and also ran the Triple-Option so efficient it got North to places never seen before.
Offensive Player of the Year: Kairi Thompson Jr. WB-North/Devaun Swafford Jr. WB-DB
The players could be almost interchangeable for the different teams. Kairi Thompson may have the better numbers, scoring over 20 touchdowns and having an impressive 8 yard per touch average for the Golden Raiders. Swafford had close to the same numbers but was a little more used in the receiving game, than Thompson which I gave him the overall edge at first. Then I sat down and said who was the most explosive each Friday night when we saw them and we couldn’t come to an agreement on who was more explosive and mattered more to the teams offense.
Honorable Mention: Justin Snyder QB, Science Hill Malik Foreman WB, RET, Dobyns Bennett
Defensive Player of the Year: J.C Garvin, Sr. Sullivan South
151 tackles is just hard to ignore. While Trevor Gilliam and Justin Long were the first two to pop out , then as I went deeper I thought about Matt Smith for Betsy, but I kept coming back to No.15. The senior’s leadership will be a huge void for the team to fill next year. He averaged over 12 tackles last year and to have someone not within 80 of him on the same team, the next closest was Jason Johnson,. Garvin has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline and if you were and offensive coordinator you had to always know where 15 was lining up to have any success against the Rebels or he would blow up the play. He is the Brian Urlacher of the Big Eight, he was as responsible for sacks as he was stopping the run and passing over the middle and sometimes you would see 15 on the slot receiver. In fact Garvin had just as many interceptions as sacks, in two, and Johnson was the outside-backer that was going after the quarterback and led the team with 23 hurries to 14 for Garvin. Garvin will be sorely missed in Colonial Heights and now its time for Haynie to develop another 6’4, 250 pound specimen to patrol the mid-field for the Rebels.
Honorable Mention: Will Allen, Trevor Gilliam, Justin Long – Dobyns Bennett…Isiah Stephens - Science Hill....Matt Smith – Elizabethton…
Picture by Josh Harwood at Mountain City in a Downpour of Robbie Norris talking with QB Rowe during a TO
Coach of the Year: Robbie Norris, Sullivan North 43-24 in 6years at Sullivan North
All year long I had this marked in my mind that Mike Locke had this award locked up with each win coming off a season in which East was 0-10. Even when North was 8-0 and East stood at 7-2 I was thinking that Locke still had the lead. Then came two games that left a sour taste in our mouths, Betsy and Carter both scored at least 47 points to end the Patriots season in the first round of the playoffs. While this was happening, North was taking flight after an easy win over South Greene, Sullivan North faced a test I had wanted to see if they could over come all year, and that came in the form of ‘The Juice’ from Chuckey-Doak. Down over two scores going into the forth quarter, the Raiders showed their true colors. The whole year North had trouble with big backs pounding the middle of their ‘35’ defense. The next problem was, Could North ever come from behind playing the Triple-Option?” Both questions came to a front in that fourth quarter and they passed with flying colors when they came rushing back to win 48-41, stopping Richardson twice on two key fourth downs. That is when I knew Norris was the best coach in the area this year - everyone at ModelCitySports agreed!
Honorable Mention: Mike Locke, Sullivan East - Graham Clark, Dobyns-Bennett
Freshman of the Year: Jacob Jasper, North While last year this was a tough award, since Nick Sensabaugh played only near the end of the year and still made that much of an impression to get the award. This year, it took about 4-5 games to see that No.5 for Sullivan North, Jacob Jasper was the perfect fit for the trio of Rowe/Thompson/and Arnold. He scored in his first game of the year and never looked back scoring over 12 touchdowns from that point forward, 2 coming by the way of Rowe’s arm. Jasper is the fastest player on the team in a straight line(Thompson is Quicker) but Jasper isn’t just fast, during the Austin-East game you could see the tired/beaten up freshman gasping for air and he played through it. Dazed and Tough he about got them back into it with a 50 yard dash that you could see how tired he was, because it was the first time all year he finally got caught from behind. I doubt that will ever happen again.
Game of the Year: South at Elizabethton - This was the hardest choice for us of all the Awards we are giving out. If we are prisoners of the moment, DB and Sevier County and North and Chuckey Doak would be two of the games we would be arguing between. However, if you go back to mid-season, South had a group of games that every game was as good as the two I just spoke of. The game at Betsy stands out as well as the first game at home that went to OT as well, Tennessee High. So basically we went game by game, and the DB vs Sevier County package was definitely good especially coupled together, North vs Chuckey Doak was good but it was a comeback victory that was more of a team completely stalling out when North finally got back to being North. Science Hill had no truly exciting thrillers, and then I remembered the Crockett vs. Central matchup. A game saved on a punt return, Desesan Jackson vs. the Giants anyone? But for a game for pure excitement from start to finish, we had to go with South at Elizabethton. Down 21-7, the Rebels rode the arm of Jake Weaver and Chuck Moore and the legs of A.J Hutchins and Mitchell Crowe to comeback and tie things up at 21. Then the incredible overtime came down to a score from Weaver putting the Rebels up 28-21. Then after a Cyclones score, coach Shawn Witten called a timeout which heightened the intensity of the game and the crowd. Standing at 28-27, Turner took the hand-off and slipped only to be met by about ‘50’ Rebels busting through the line to stuff the break away threat. The Scoreboard read 28-27 South, and they were finally over .500 for the first time all year…and this was after South stole the heart of Tennessee High at Death Valley.
Honorable Mention: Tennessee High at Sullivan South (33-30 South) Dobyns Bennett host Sevier County (35-28 OT SC)
The MCS All District 1 Team(40 – Highlighted would be Starters)
*Remember this is Just OUR(MCS) Opinion if we were going to put together a team of the best athletes in the area this is who we would choose, if we forgot anyone, we apologize...but here we go...As we picked our Top 40 players to fill our team we also marked for the players that could go both ways....its just to show what they did also, not that they are a better player at that position than anyone else...even though some would probably be better served going both ways on our team, I kept it a one way team...
2nd Team or Bench or the Rotation Players: of our Top 40
QB- Chris Cook– Dobyns Bennett
QB- Justin Snyder, Science Hill
RB- Phillip Waters, Hampton
RB- Austin Glover – Sullivan East
RB- Terrance Turner, Betsy
RB-Seth Barger, DB
WR- Aaron Greene, Science Hill
WR/CB- Mitchell Crowe, South
WR/CB- AJ Hutchins, South
OL/DL -Travis Lowe, Happy Valley
OL/DL –Allen Michael Simcox, Central
LB/OL- Hunter Lawson, Volunteer
LB/TE- Chase Arnold, North
LB- Kory Carter, Volunteer
SEC/RB- Anthony Campbell- David Crockett
SEC/RB- Cliff Sanders – Daniel Boone
SEC- Daniel Minnick – North
SEC- Isaac McGhee- David Crockett
K/P Alex Sigmon – Tennessee High
K/P-Brad Elpers – Dobyns-Bennett
Top Honors as Awarded from the Big Eight Conference Coaches and Others
Player of the Year:
Devaun Swafford – Dobyns-Bennett
Offensive Player of theYear:
Justin Snyder – Science Hill
Defensive Player of theYear:
J. C. Garvin – Sullivan South
Coach of theYear:
Graham Clark –Dobyns-Bennett
2nd Team and Honorable Mention
BY Josh Harwood
Sullivan North and Dobyns Bennett take their 11-0 recordinto the 2ndround which just happens to land on 11-11-11…Need a Sign?
With so many 11 in the air on Friday Night, don’t expect me to pick a score of 11-0 or for the game to end at 11, the 11-0 thing is a weird coincidence, yes….but I just think high powered offenses so I will pick a score with the numbers at the very least divisible by 11.
If only South had 11 wins as well, then things would be really weird….but 11,11,and 7 still rhymes and is pretty good especially when your still playing in the 2nd round.
Starting with the ‘Up and Comer’ Sullivan North you can’t help but be mesmerized by their turn around from just a year ago. Last year I remember sitting waiting to talk to Coach Robbie Norris and Mike Copas after a blowout loss to Daniel Boone and you could hear the frustration in their speech. They knew they had the size and intensity and almost as if, they new if they could get some speed that was lurking at the JV level they could do something big. Then again maybe they were just upset losing to a team 6-38 that they knew they weren’t 30 points worse than.
That team is long gone and those coaches don’t seem so frustrated these days, if you walk along the Raiders’ sideline Copas’ smile is all you can see. They knew that with Monk laying the foundation, and handing the kids to Cox, Copas, Norris, and Harris to just name a few, the Raiders were building for the future…and the future is Friday night against Chuckey Doak, which will be the first time the Golden Raiders and Black Knights have ever taken part in a battle on the gridiron.
Norris has been to the 2nd round twice in his 6 years, losing both: Betsy in 2009 37-0 finished 9-3, and was preceded in 2008 against Morristown East where they lost 3-32 and finished 8-3. North has been to the Quarterfinals twice, 1995 and 1999, and in those 2 years North was playing more bigger schools in 4A now like Gibbs and Seymour. The Quad 1 final is the Quarterfinal so if they can get by the Black Knights Norris will have his first team beyond the 2nd round.
Before we break down the matchup lets breakdown the teams…
Offenses: Sullivan North has one of the most consistent and explosive offensives in the area. In 7 of the last 8 game the Raiders have scored over 40 points, and the one they didn’t was 36. Chuckey-Doak has been the opposite scoring up to 54, yet being held to 10 the next week against Unicoi County. The Black Knights run an offense that runs more two back sets than the Raiders, but both go for similar results. The two teams want to get ahead early and get the game over quick, but the only difference is the speed of North and the fact that the Raiders can pass we needed. Then again, the Black Knights did make two passes count last week against their biggest win of the year over Pigeon Forge. Logan Collins completed two passes and both were for touchdowns that led to a 19-14 upset. The Black Knights have Julius Montgomery and Bryce Malone are the featured backs in the option based offense amassed over 240 for the Knights against the Tigers of Pigeon Forge on the ground and will try to do the same against North.
North may run the fastest and most disciplined Triple-Option in Kingsport, that’s including Dobyns-Bennett. Cory Rowe runs and makes the decisions while Kairi Thompson draws most of the attention. With both the QB and star WB being the key Jacob Jasper, a freshman, has blossomed into a homerun threat from the other wing and from a straight line may be the fastest player on the North roster. Matt Kendrick who seemed lost in the middle of the season taking a backseat to the freshman has found a new place on the North roster and just as much of an important one, being the banger in the middle. When the defense brings 8-10 in the block, that’s when 6’5 Chase Arnold comes into play with the TE-leak that is usually a fade pattern to the sideline. North’s offense is explosive and confusing for those trying to keep up with the ball carrier, they have yet to show a weakness and I doubt this is the weak it shows up.
Defenses: If there is a weakness it comes in North’s passing defense and the over-pursuing problems they had early on in the year. The one problem for the opposition is that when it gets corrected the defense that was once flying by defenders is now a smart and anticipated defense that can play any style and isn’t too small to play with anyone in the 3A. North plays a ‘35’ defense that lets the rovers or outside backers come up and play on the line or back off and play basically as nickel backs. Copas, a defensive guru who loved his former ’46-Bear’ defense, operated in Thunder Valley until this year where he changed it to the faster defense that is the ‘35’ that is terrorizing the Three Rivers now. Chuckey-Doak performed their best defensive performance of the year last week against Pigeon Forge, where they held the Tigers to just 35 yards all night long. Their special teams showed some weakness, especially on the 88 yarder that closed the score to 19-14. The problem is the game was miss-leading as Pigeon Forge’s QB, Cody Fox, who went down in the 1st quarter and the Tigers were not ready to go without their leader. When the Black Knights have been giving up over 23 points a game all year their has to be some weaknesses on that side of the ball, while the Raiders have been giving up only 16 points a contest. Chuckey-Doak’s defense will look good if they can somehow get out front, because they do have some size in the middle and not near as much speed as the raiders on the outside, which is one reason I don’t see how the Raiders don’t move on.
Prediction: Sullivan North 41 Chuckey Doak 23
Our 2nd Game will be foreshadowing of a beat down in Maryville, when Science Hill’s season will end for the 2nd straight year at the hands of the Rebels.
Science Hill at Maryville
I looked at my phone and a text message said ‘Karns up by 10, looks to be going there way’. When that is said by this special person that usually means the game is over, but it turned out Science Hill got their act together and came rushing back behind the arm of Justin Snyder and the special teams more than anything.
Science Hill came rushing back after the Karns scored near the end of the 3rd quarter to make it 25-14. Snyder and Will Adams would push it back into close range and finally take the lead at 35-25 and when Knox Karns answered back to make it 35-32, all they needed was the ball back. It was easy to see that both teams couldn’t stop one another, only their own mistakes could stop themselves. Science Hill would control most of the 4th quarter and end the game with a 41-32 win, their first playoff win since 2001.
It’s funny to hear the writers caught up in the moment think beating a Knox Karns gives you the right to think that the Toppers are on track to being the teams they were in the early 90s. Let’s first look at Knox Karns, the team that lost to South Doyle 7-0 and never beat a team with more than 3 wins, besides Anderson County, and never beat a team with a winning record. Not even a team with a .500 record after Anderson County lost in the first round, so lets hold the horse Knox Karns is the same team that was 3-7 last year, but this year they had 4 teams on their schedule with less than 3 wins which is where the catapulted into the playoffs and got even luckier upsetting Anderson County and grabbing a 5 seed. The only team with a winning record Karns scored more than 20 points against just happened to be Science Hill.
But let us not shorten Science Hill, it’s not their fault they got the easiest first round match-up for any 4th seed this side of Nashville. With easy always accompanies hard and the hard part of this comes in the form of 14 time state champion, Maryville Rebel’s. This is the team that has scored less than 21 points only 6 times in their recent domination of 2004 to the present.
If Science Hill wants to turn this into something of a game of chance they have to turn their offense lose. During the past 4 years, Maryville has allowed more than 21 points 4 times, they have lost 3 of those. Instead of trying to keep the ball out of Patton Robinette’s hands they should try to see if they can out score the North Carolina/Arkansas recruit. If Justin Snyder and Will Adams can control the clock and let Aaron Greene take the top off the Rebel’s defense they just may be able to make this a scoring dash. In battles like that Snyder and his multitude of options could pull off the unthinkable, just maybe. But they have to forget what they think they should do and just push until you can’t push anymore….until Maryville is in a 35-31 battle…they will continue to dominate, once they know you’re going to take the game a possession at a time they have already won.
Prediction: Maryville 42 Science Hill 14
Fulton 34 Livingston Academy 21
Oliver Springs 20 North Greene 6
Tomorrow: Sullivan South at Knox West
Sevier County at Dobyns Bennett
-The breakdown of the local Quad 1 -3A games –
By Josh Harwood
Thursday Night kicks off the start of a Month long frenzy of some of the best football Tennessee has to offer – especially with the condition of our college teams. The Kingsport trio of South, North, and Dobyns-Bennett go into the playoffs with a 26-4 combined record, their 2nd best record combined next to the 28-2 record the trio took into the 2008 playoffs.
The trio would all fair pretty poorly in 08 as North and D-B would go down in the first round and South would fall 2 rounds later. With hope that the 3 can change there fortunes we will start with North’s bracket and move out.
The 3rd class might as well been the Alcoa division since its inception in 2009. The Tornadoes ran through the two past years without much of as a speed bump taking 2 straight crowns into 2011 before crumbling to injuries and suspensions. Alcoa’s 44th straight win would foreshadow the trouble to come with their lackluster performance against Cleveland. Over the next 5 games, Alcoa would only win 3 games and the losses to Austin-East and Greeneville would be of the blow-out nature. Can they turn it around?
The Alcoa bandwagon started filling back up as they started getting the key pieces to their team back as the year progressed and winning 3 straight games by the very least 20 points over very good teams in Fulton, Kingston, and Stone Memorial. Then they tripped over themselves again, CAK a team they had beaten 12 straight times in 6 years and Alcoa had never lost to the Warriors, but CAK finally let 6 years of frustration with a 24-14 win.
In Quad 2 the favorite teams have to come down to 1 seed Bledsoe County, #4 Alcoa, and finally #2 CAK. Alcoa faces off with Tyner Academy in the first round and this game turned into a toss up as Tyner upset Red Bank during the final week to qualify for the playoffs and Alcoa was busy losing to CAK. Bledsoe County is sort of the mystery of the 3A as a unknown 1 seed. Their 1 loss came to the team that beat everyone but was of course disqualified in Signal Mountain. They barely beat McMinn Central, which has 1 win to its credit in 2 years, but the rest of the schedule doesn’t get much tougher for the Warriors of Pikeville. Though being 9-1, Bledsoe deserves their #1 ranking, I think I smell a sheep in wolf’s clothes as the Warriors are a team that can score, but also that can be scored on. I think they will get by Meigs County, but Alcoa or Tyner will be too much for Bledsoe.
I the bottom half of the same quad CAK is the clear favorite. Kingston has looked good during a few games, but still has struggled against teams of much lesser talent in Oliver Springs and Rockwood, both wins but struggles at best.Polk County has played many of the same teams and faired similar. So instead of talking with a lot of fluff, CAK will head on to face either Alcoa or Tyner. I just can’t say CAK, Alcoa turns into someone else when the calendar flips to November. This is the most inconsistent Tornadoes ever! They have never won the state title with more than 3 losses, but until you beat the best in money time, you got to go with your brain. Alcoa will be one of the Final Four. Then maybe its just CAK’s time, I don’t know flip a coin on this one.
The bottom 2 Quadrants of the 3A brackets come as a bit top heavy. Smith County, Milan, and CPA are just 3 of the big names that should cruise through the playoffs. So with those 2 brackets broken down lets go with what we know and need to worry about now and that’s Quadrant 1.
At first glance it’s hard not to see the 2 glaring giants of the division this year, Sullivan North and Elizabethton. However, the most dangerous team may be a little down the ladder at the 6th seed, Austin-East.
Austin-East has been one of the better teams through out its history including 3 state titles, the last one being in 2001, so the Roadrunners know how to win come playoff time. Besides beating Alcoa, Fulton, Gat-Pittman, and Pigeon Forge; the Roadrunners gave Powell and Knox West all they could ask for.
But right now we will deal with who will be facing each other come next week and how easy it will be to get to the 2nd round.
#1 Sullivan North (10-0) at #8 South Greene (5-5)
North suffered a heartbreaking loss with the death of Austin Gillenwater, though he didn’t play a part on the football team, he was involved in everything else in school. Look for tonight’s game to be an emotional and heavy hearted game for the newly top dawg in the Three Rivers, North.
North is the type of team that wears their heart on their sleeve, thus its hard not to fall in love with the Raiders when you hang around with them. I have a feeling the South Greene Rebels could be at the wrong place, wrong time. They did get some momentum going into the playoffs beating a good Chuckey Doak team, but the previous loss to Claiborne shows that the Rebels have too many leaks that the Raiders will expose easily and fast tonight.
Sullivan North 52 South Greene 13
Pigeon Forge (7-3) host Chuckey Doak (7-3)
Though both teams are 4-5 seeds, this game might as well be an 8 versus a 1. Pigeon Forge has run a gauntlet through a tough schedule that included Austin-East, Gibbs, Carter, and Fulton and still came out 7-3. The Black Knights went through a schedule of Greeneville, West Greene, and Unicoi County, losing all 3.
Another game, another mismatch giving this game to the Tigers of Pigeon Forge.
Pigeon Forge 42 Chuckey-Doak 16
#3 West Greene (7-3) host #6 Austin-East (6-4)
I think the first Quad in 3A if the most mis-numbered quad of all the playoff brackets. Last year may have been the worst, since Betsy went in as a 6 or 7 seed, but this year’s takes the cake when a team that has only lost to 6A’s Powell 10-0, 5A’s Knox West 8-2, Knox Carter, and Gibbs and they get a team that has a big win over Chuckey Doak and has to play at West Greene. The Roadrunners will finish this game off by the 3rd quarter unless the game is canceled due to lightning.
Austin–East 42 West Greene 17
And finally #2 Betsy (7-3) host #7 Happy Valley (6-4)
These two teams met earlier in the year and Betsy beat the Warriors by a score of 41-0. Happy Valley has grown in spurts, beating Hampton and Abingdon, but struggled with East and North. Happy Valley will make this a better game than the last one, but who knows which Warriors team will show. If it’s the same team that showed against East then just maybe Betsy wins by 50, if the one that beat Hampton by a blowout shows it could be a close game, but Elizabethton has seniors at tooooo many key positions.
Elizabethton 36 Happy Valley 16
So if I’m right next week we will be talking about Pigeon Forge and Sullivan North and the most interesting match-up as Austin-East would face Betsy….one can dream...
This is probably the attention TSSAA wanted when they decided to separate schools into 6 classes letting 32 teams make 4 of the classes, while 24 made the lowest two. Thursday has two games where 2 teams that are 0-9 could play spoilers for the year by setting two teams back to 5-5 and thus putting them in jeopardy of missing the party.
Note: While 5-5 was the Magic Number last year, and for no other reason than the amount of teams that will end at 5-5, do I have trepidations that the flood of teams 5-5 in 5A could force some to sit on the sideline. You have to remember conference 1st and 2nd trumps all. If team ‘A’ is 5-5 overall, but 1-5 in conference and team ‘B’ is 4-6 overall and 4-2 in conference and they rank number 2 in conference, therefore team ‘B’ team comes out the winner and gets the first open playoff spot between the two. Other than 1st and 2nd place in conference, it all comes down to wins and strength of schedule.
So that brings us to Week 11, the final week of the regular season and if you find a game on Thursday or Friday night it has something to do with the playoffs. We will start with Thursday night and head west:
In Carter County we have a lot of action taking place that has major implications of seeding and/or playoff hopes at all.
Sullivan East (7-2) at Elizabethton (6-3)
After riding Austin Glover and head coach Mike Locke to a magical turn around that turned 0 wins into 7 comes to a head at Brown –Childress stadium on Thursday night. Betsy has been the Big Dog on the block since the Three Rivers inception and the only 4A school in conference has been the team all the other schools counted on to pad their stats – no more.
This game has meaning between the two for the first time in the short history of the rivalry. The top 2 teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoff and it would be nice to grab an automatic qualifier even if they both are already in. East after a hiccup with Hampton got back on pace with 2 big momentous wins over Unicoi County and Cloudland. More than anything, Elizabethton will be a glimpse of what they would see if they meet Greeneville in the playoffs. Both the Greene Devils and Cyclones run similar offenses with the only difference being the weight with which Greeneville runs the ball while Betsy puts a lot on the arm of McKenley Berry, but they both do it from similar spread formations.
Elizabethton needs a 7th win. It’s that simple right now, the Three Rivers title is out of their hands and they could actually turn this regular season into a better one than last year with the single win. Surprising with how people have been down on the Cyclones after some tough losses to South and North, both at home. Terrance Turner has had turf toe problems over the past few weeks and hopes to be back to close to 100% against the Patriots, if not the game will be on the shoulders of McKenley Berry and Zach Moore out of the backfield. This is what the Patriots would love to see, teams with a ground and pound approach can beat up on the Patriots defense (see Sullivan North and Hampton). I still see Betsy winning their 7th game climbing the 3A ladder another rung seeding–wise, while the Patriots will finish the year 7-3, in good position to have the 2-3 seed in the 4A playoffs.
Prediction: Elizabethton 41 Patriots 24
Happy Valley (5-4) host Johnson County (0-9)
Johnson County takes their 0-9 record to Happy Valley with one last shot of getting that elusive win. Happy Valley may need the win even more as they stand 5-4 after getting a huge win over Hampton that gave their playoff hopes a huge charge and gave them hope of hosting a first round game if they could get the 6th win over the Longhorns and have Pigeon Forge, Chuckey-Doak and maybe even Elizabethton fall during their last games. Happy Valley should get their 6th win easily, but asking all 3 teams ahead of them to lose is a bit much.
Prediction: Happy Valley 43 Johnson County 17
Sullivan South (5-4) heads to Sullivan Central (0-9)
Everything was in place for the Rebels to get their 7th win over Central and host a game in the playoffs, but Daniel Boone screwed up the plans and now the Rebels need some help. After Central lost a heartbreaker in the ‘battle in the cellar’ against David Crockett in the final seconds the Rebels should have easy pickings with the Cougars.
The Rebels have more problems than seeding issues, they look like a one and done team if they continue revolving the door with 3 quarterbacks. The quote has always been “if you have 2-3 quarterbacks you have no quarterbacks” and the past two weeks the Rebels have been the flattest they have been all year. The predictability of the offense has given an easy play for the defenses the Rebels have faced with whoever is behind center. Rogers has been restricted since returning from his injury from passing, while Charlie Moore has become the predominantly throwing QB. The offense has shown flashes of its potential when Rogers had the run and pass at his disposal. No matter who is at QB, the use of Mitchell Crowe should increase as well as J.C Garvin. The most explosive player and the biggest playmaker on the Rebels’ offense have not been used to their full capacity as of late and that goes in line with the dip in South’s production.
It is too late to be experimenting and South may just have to go with the hot hand at the moment, but Central doesn’t have the athletes to challenge South. South has been a little banged up which has tied the hands of Sam Haynie, which I’m sure will try and get ahead quick so he can rest his stars. Mitchell Crowe, J.C Garvin, Alex Rogers, Jake Weaver, Shaun Hough, and Charlie Moore are just the biggest names of the talented South players; if they can get things moving forward….the talent is there for a surprise.
Prediction: Sullivan South 49 Central 6
By Josh Harwood
Week 8 seems to have some games that have lost some luster through the year. I was thinking that the North versus Happy Valley game was going to be a thriller and maybe a battle for 2nd place in the Three Rivers, now it’s a battle for Happy Valley to keep a place in the playoffs and North, the only team to have 8 wins in 3A, is just looking to pad their stats with another big win. Lets take a quick Look so your ready for Tonight’s games….
Dobyns Bennett vs. Tennessee High
DB heads into this game fresher than they have been since before Farragut. After a struggle with Sevier County they got a few blow outs to freshen up some injuries (Chris Cook, Malik Foreman to name a few) The Tribes defense has completely recovered from their first true test with the Bears. They have lowered their ppga average to just 12.6, while scoring 45 a game. Tennessee High is the exact opposite to how DB plays and how consistent the Tribe has been. Tennessee High came out of the gates looking like an offense to be reckoned with, and then Virginia High showed it could be slowed with their upset win 14-13. Tennessee High won’t be able to slow the game down with the way they play so this could get bad quick, unless the Vikings can score in a burst like they shown they can do. The one thing Dobyns-Bennett has yet to do is come from behind, and just maybe…just maybe the Vikings could pull it off. But who am I kidding, look for the Indians to get their 61st career win over the Vikings.
Prediction: Dobyns Bennett 55 Tennessee High 21
Player to Watch: Devaun Swafford on defense especially, Sevier County threw the ball at will against the Indians and if they haven’t corrected some holes the Tribe will look for No. 8 to get a pick or two to change the momentum. Paul Slaughter will be needed on offense to bang and keep the Vikings honest in the middle of the defense,
Happy Valley at Sullivan North
What a difference a year makes, Happy Valley the 1 seed went into this game last year 4-2 on their way to a 8-2 record and 2nd place finish to Elizabethton in Three Rivers. North is clearly the front runner and with a win tonight locks up a share of the Three Rivers conference and a 1 or 2 seed come playoff time. Happy Valley is doing everything it can within their Triple Option to get their offense back on track. Jaylen Simmons improves each week and is more of a bruiser than a track star, while Zack Ball and Seth Davis have done everything they can to keep the Warriors from having defenses to just key on one player. The Warriors are only putting up 16 points a game, from 22 last year, and have been shut out 3 times (2 in conference). Next to Dobyns Bennett, no one is as consistent on offense as the Raiders who average 35 points a contest. Cory Rowe and Kairi Thompson lead a Triple-Option offense that has yet to score less than 28 points. Mike Copas has lead a defense that has went through a complete philosophical change with the new speed that North has now. From a physical 46 ‘Bear’ defense to more of a deceptive ‘35’ the Raiders use their speed to limit big plays and thus the other team plays into their hands by playing between the tackles. Turnovers give you the odds on winning and that may be the biggest difference from this years defense to last year, while the defense gave up fewer points at this point last year, the turnovers are two fold in their favor. Look for much of the same as all North games this year (1 close half, with the Raiders just being too much in the end. 9-0 couldn’t sound any better, ohh yeah – add the fact they get to rest up next week the bye week couldn’t come at a better time.
Prediction: Sullivan North 34 Happy Valley 16
DB-Central Picks by Todd Caulkins....All Other Pictures By Sam Spurgeon
BY Josh Harwood
It feels like just yesterday I was writing a preview for the DB and Farragut game and now we are entering week 8 and surprises are no more and the playoffs are everything and the only thing for teams around 500. A win in week 8 is huge if it’s your 4th or 5th for your playoff chances and it almost locks you in for sure if it’s 6 or more. With that in mind let’s break down the 1st Friday in October.
Dobyns Bennett heads to Crockett for something that could look similar to a video game at least in the stat column. David Crockett has been able to score and look pretty good at times on offense, but hasn’t been able to stop anyone at anytime. 335 points is impossible to overcome no matter how good your offense is and Crocket is 4th in the Big 8 in total offensive scoring. The teams that have put 55.8 points per game on the Pioneers are Volunteer, East, South Greene, Cocke County, and so on. Dobyns-Bennett brings a team averaging 43 points a game and this could get ugly as Crockett is continuing to search for some sort of identity in the 35 scheme they run that would usually be good in stopping the Triple Option. Look for backups in the game at record time.
Prediction: Dobyns-Bennett 56 David Crockett 10
Sullivan North host Union High School from VA or “Gappalachia” as people like to call it for its combining of Powell Valley (Big Stone Gap) and Appalachia. If this game happened in the 90s it would be around 60-0. Appalachia was all I heard about as a teenager and Powell Valley had Thomas Jones followed by Julius Jones, probably the best pair of running backs to ever come from this little area of the globe. Union has bagen its history with a winning start easily looking like the best of the 3 consolidated schools. Union crosses the line with the interior size to play with the Raiders. One problem, the Golden Raiders play on the perimeter and should be able to bust around the edge against Union. Look for Rowe, Thompson, and Jasper to rush for big games with most yards coming in the 2nd half. Once North gets acclimated with another Lonesome Pine team, the Raiders will sweep their run through Virginia and stand at 8-0.
Prediction: North beats up on another LPD team, 39 -16
Volunteer at South - Volunteer arrives in Death Valley for the 2nd home game for the struggling Rebels who are coming off a blow out by Science Hill. The Falcons offense got a boost with David Crockett’s “defense” letting them let their hair down and let Houston Harris and Keith Cradic put up 47 points even as Devin Rogers sits on the sideline with a broken arm. Sullivan South got great news during the week as Alex Rogers seems ready to resume his role back at QB and with the emergence of Charlie Moorie, Jake Weaver, and Mitchell Crowe South has more and more options to go to than Rogers did on the first go around. Could be a close game early, but in the end South should pull away. Sometimes you just need to go home to get going again.
Prediction: Sullivan South 32 Volunteer 17
Sevier County heads to Morristown West in what has turned into the battle for the IMAC. Sevier County battled the best NE team, Dobyns-Bennett down to a few inches to just a missed extra point from sending the game to overtime – and who knows what happens then. Morristown West has been a hard team to predict despite their undefeated record and wins over Greeneville, Science Hill, and Knox Fulton. While they barely beat two of those teams, Morristown East had the Trojans beat but couldn’t close the deal last Thursday and South Doyle should have won without a few too many mistakes the week before, 19-7. The game over Cherokee was the game that opened a lot of eyes to what West can do with a team focused and ready with a 56-13 win in Rogersville, who I s4-2 and currently the No. 2 seed in the 5A Quad 1 playoff seeding. While Morristown West is favored, this is a Sevier County team that can play anyway and behind Collen Lavoi is as potent as a team the Trojans will face and thus will knock off the Trojans from being the only undefeated team besides North and DB in East Tennessee.
Prediction: Sevier County 27 Morristown West 23
A New In-Depth Look Into Tonite's Match-Ups with Predictions and More...Can the teams that are playoff bound find some balance and get headed in the right direction or are the teams in trouble and headed south. For all of that Information and more....continue with story
Pictures by Sam Spurgeon and Todd Caulkins
Elizabethton at Watauga
Betsy is in trouble or so it looks that way from the outside. The preseason hype has not matched the on field efforts of the Cyclones at any point during the 2011 campaign, but the same could be said for last year. They stood at 3-3 the same week a year ago and ran off a 6-2 record the rest of the year, including the playoffs. I would say if anything Shawn Witten and his Betsy squad likes coming in under the radar. They entered the playoffs at 6-4 and had the 7th seed. However, Watauga is no easy win. Standing at 4-2 and at the top of the Northwestern conference in North Carolina, the Pioneers have been in every game this year including their loss to Avery County. Watauga has had trouble on offense scoring just 17.7 points a game, but their defense has been more than capable holding opponents to just 14.8 points –and never more than 21 points in any of the 6 contests. Betsy needs to drive back from Boone with their spirits high to run off some wins and stay in the race for the Three Rivers…we think that North Carolina is just what Betsy needs.
Prediction: Elizabethton 24 Watauga 14
Daniel Boone(2-3) at Tennessee High(2-3)
One team is trying to win with a suffocating offense while the other is trying to smother you with pressure on defense, but they both stand at the same place, 2-3. They both are also in the middle of the Big 8 at 1-1 and look like this could be the game that settles who falls in behind South and/or Science Hill. Tennessee High will try and blow the doors off the stone castle with their offensive run and shoot attack, almost like the K-Gun from the days of the Buffalo Bills. Daniel Boone wants to get down and dirty and bring the Viking to the halt and hopefully have a chance in the end if they can keep it close. South laid out the plan to beat the Vikings if you don’t want to play at warp speed with them and Boone will try to follow the instructions, I’m not sure if they have the personnel to do it.
Prediction: Tennessee High 31 Daniel Boone 19
Sullivan North 48 Johnson County 7
Volunteer 42 Crockett 28
Cosby 14 Cloudland 9
Hampton 20 North Greene 16
South Doyle 35 Cherokee 27
Greeneville 49 West Greene 24
Jefferson County 31 Cocke County 23
MCS 2nd Trimester Report Card: North has Risen to New Heights – South has literally Comeback – A Little Revision on the Predictions -and Why ‘Highlander the Movie’ is to Blame for Cloudland’s Failures?
All Pictures by Josh Harwood and/or Sam Spurgeon
Central Pictures by Todd Caulkins
By Josh Harwood
For the 2nd installment in our ‘MCS: Trimester Report Card’ 6 weeks into the year the surprises have continued. Giants have fallen, Princes have risen, and some just stays the same. All in all, 2011 is becoming the year in which Kingsport looks to control its own destiny in the Big 8 and Three Rivers.
Things are on script in the Big 8, Dobyns-Bennett was pushed to its limits against Sevier County and Daniel Boone could not have had a better opportunity with Chris Cook sidelined and down just 12-6 with all the momentum in their corner. Dobyns-Bennett showed their true power over the rest of Big 8 (sins Science Hill) and that is depth, with the arrival of Malik Foreman at quarterback which is no surprise to anyone within Dobyns-Bennett. Lets Break Down the 2 Trimester…..
Most Surprising Team of First Half: Sullivan East (4-1)
The Patriots have done something historic and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The same team that was 0-10 with many of the same players with a Hall of Fame coach in Nick Colobro in 2010, has continued their winning ways with shut outs of rival Sullivan Central and a blow out of bottom dweller Johnson County. Their 1 loss came against undefeated Sullivan North and the game was much closer than the 23 points they would lose by. Add to that what senior tail-back, Austin Glover has done with his record setting rushing and you have a movie script waiting for pen and paper.
The rest of the year is a little bit tougher than the first 5 games with away games at Betsy, Hampton, and Happy Valley. The Patriots should go 1-2, at worst, during that stretch with easy wins at home against Unicoi County and Cloudland. The Patriots should be heading to the 4A playoffs with a 7-3 record and could hope for a top 4 seed. 4A teams beware! - This isn’t your older brother’s Patriots.
Biggest Disappointment: I could go with David Crockett again, but why repeat myself. 288 points in 5 games has to be some sort of record and remember that’s points allowed. No one expected the Pioneers to be playoff bound, but I doubt anyone expected anything this bad. The Wing-T has worked at times scoring 108 points through the first half - they stand at 4th in points scored as I write. While giving up 58 points a game the defense has let the other teams amass 288 points total and 90 points more than anyone else east of Knoxville. But anyway, so what would come in a 2nd in lost hope? You could say Cloudland, but with their head coach leaving 3 weeks into the season it’s hard to expect anything big from the Highlanders.
In Highlander the Movie/Series if you lose your head the one who decapitated you gains the energy/power of the loser, I guess that goes for Cloudland to. They lost their head coach and they have yet to score more than 8 points in a game and are averaging a score of 4 to 23. Maybe with all of that said you could go with Sullivan Central. As bad as Crockett’s defense is, Central’s offense is just as bad scoring just 33 points and being shut out by the Sullivan East Patriots last week, the same team they beat for their 1 win last year.
After leaving the Sullivan Central - Media Day I was sure that Central would be competitive this year, maybe winning 3-4 games. They looked big and athletic, but they seem to have even taken a step back from last year and who could have expected much losing one of the best quarterbacks in Cougar history in Taylor Winchell. So there ya go, Central and Cloudland tie for being the 2nd biggest disappointment of the year….There is always next year Highlander, remember you’re immortal
Best Game of the First Half: Our first Report Card we marked the South at Enka thriller the game of the first 3 weeks and it still may be the game of the year, but South has topped itself week-in and week out. We also didn’t have many close games the first few weeks so it was an easy decision. Not this time, Dobyns Bennett had a thriller with Sevier County that was a few feet from going into overtime. North had its huge win over Elizabethton and you got the Virginia High upset of Tennessee High, then you got the past two games for Happy Valley a 3 point win over Abingdon and a tough win over Unicoi County, 20-13. With all of those games you still have to go back to Sullivan South and what they did in Carter County at Brown Childress Stadium over the past week.
Charlie Moore, Jake Weaver, J.C Garvin, Cody Shipley, Mitchell Crowe, and Brooks Davis all have taken turns coming up big with the absence of their leader Alex Rogers. Moore has grown each week and turned into Tom Brady in 4th quarters with Crowe and Weaver opening things up with big plays in huge moments. On the other side of the ball Garvin, Davis, and Shipley have all helped lead a resurgent defense that has dropped its points allowed per game average from 55 during its first 2 games to just 21 in the past 3 games, that includes 9 points scored in overtime.
South had seemingly just walked out of a OT thriller and into another at Elizabethton and it showed that this team has great senior leadership with their calmness in such pressure packed moments. Betsy did everything right but win as McKenley Berry started to look like the quarterback that led the Cyclones to the semi-finals last year, especially on the last pass in overtime a strike to Chad Pritchard for 15 yards that looked beautiful. Down one, Shawn Witten called the most explosive player’s number, Terrance Turner, and a slip and a barrage of blue and grey swarmed No.7 and gave South it’s second victory in 3 games decided by 3 points or less. These moments are common place in the playoffs and South is building a reputation for its ability in ‘Winning Time’. So of course the Game of the Year' so far is and was South at Betsy 28-27 OT
MVP of Weeks 1 through 6: Kairi Thompson took away the first MVP with just a little bit of what was to come, so what is to say that Kairi Thompson should be anything but the MVP of Weeks 1-6? While it would be easy to look at the stats and the 13 rushing touchdowns along with another fumble return for a touchdown and say Kairi Thompson is clearly the MVP of the area, You have to ask the question, Who matters most to their team?
Co-MVPs of the First Half: Cory Rowe and Kairi Thompson
The way I see it is that one could not be successful without the other. Rowe has the straight line speed and Thompson has unmatched horizontal speed in the area. Defenses were focusing on Thompson early in the year, and then Cory Rowe opens up for 170 yards against Elizabethton.
Rowe seems to be the closer in the 2nd half as well as he usually goes from 5 carries in the first to about 10 in the 2nd as he closes each game out. He also has added a vertical game passing with Chase Arnold and Will Henshaw. He has just 1 pass under 20 yards and that was a pass in the flat to Thompson. Thompson does have the flash that has not been at North, maybe in ever, but he also can do the hard work as he runs between the tackles as good as anyone. 15 touchdowns in 6 games is an incredible stat and if Thompson doesn’t slow down the 30 could be very close.
The duo has combined for more than 1600 yards and 22 touchdowns and is averaging just around 8.5 yards a carry. Rowe also has thrown for over 200 yards and 2 more scores. With the 2 healthy and strong anything is possible, but they both have to be there in mind and body to accomplish it. Oh Yeah! They are both juniors, the next two years is going to be fun in Bloomingdale!
Biggest Upset of the First Half: Virginia High beating Tennessee High 14-13
The Times News put it as ‘Simply Shocking’ and we couldn’t agree more. Shane Boggs had come into the Stone Castle and taken the offense to new heights so it seemed. The new fast paced Run-and Shoot offense that Boggs introduced to Bristol was scoring over 50 points in its games against Johnson County and David Crockett, the two worst defenses in a long time in east Tennessee. The Bearcats slowed the rushing attack of Tennessee High and made them a one-dimensional team. That’s all great and all but to put this in better perspective this game had become the same as South beating Dobyns Bennett. Virginia High had lost 13 straight to the team across the border that is just miles away from Tennessee High – sound familiar. Virginia High took a 14-10 lead into halftime and held on for dear life to snap the streak. It’s just a great thing for Bristol, Va. – the Virginia side,” said Bearcats running back Bryce Ramey. “We’ve been waiting on this forever.” The fever on the Virginia side would not last long as Union would beat the Bearcats a week later in OT.
The 5th week of the season comes with much of the 1st District taking the week off. D-B, Tennessee High, Boone, and Science Hill are just a few of the teams that get a much needed week off. North and Elizabethton may be the only teams in Tennessee to not get an off week until the 10th week of the year. With North, South, and Betsy having the Tri-Cities to themselves on Friday Night an opportunity to shine is for the taking.
Game of the Week: Sullivan South at Elizabethton
Two Weeks ago no team and community was more down that the Sullivan South team and fans. They had just lost to their rival Dobyns-Bennett plus their starting QB, Alex Rogers, would go down with a tore hamstring during practice a few days later. Two weeks later the Rebels have found a new identity with a two guys (Charlie Moore and Jake Weaver) taking the place for Rogers. South seems to have gotten their Mojo back after one of their greatest comebacks in recent history against Tennessee High. However, the true change in identity has come on the other side of the ball with a more consistent defense, led by J.C Garvin.
After allowing 110 points in the first two games, the Rebels have stepped up to allow just 37 against the same teams that scored 59 points on the defense a year ago. The Rebels have started to shorten the field walking more linebackers into the box to try and put pressure on the opposing teams quarterback. This will be the key to stopping a team that plays very similar to Tennessee High in Elizabethton. McKenley Berry had one of his worst outings of his career against a North team that used multiple fronts to confuse the senior quarterback into 3 early turnovers. If South can continue to make their opponents turnover the ball the opportunity for a success against Elizabethton and going somewhere in the playoffs greatly improves.
Though you never want to lose your starting quarterback, the opportunity for more playmakers arises. Instead of just Rogers, Garvin, and Mitchell Crowe, South now has 5 playmakers on the offensive side of the ball with Weaver and Crowe making a bigger impression – when Rogers returns. Betsy will turn to Berry and Terrance Turner to move the ball out of the multiple spread packages the Cyclones will run. Turner has been the most effective weapon for Elizabethton this year and definitely the most explosive. This game will come down to efficiency and possession, could come down to whoever has the ball last wins.
Prediction: South 34 – 28
North faces off with Wise-Central
Coming off of their biggest win in 3 years, North has to watch for an emotional let down against Central High of Wise, VA. Castlewood gave Central its first loss in its new dawn as the last undefeated consolidated school. This will be the 2nd of the 3 games against opponents from the Lonesome Pine for North and if they play up to the standard they have already set they should win with ease. However, all Virginia teams get up once they come across that state line and combined with North’s emotional win over Elizabethton things and the Raiders’ youth things could be closer than expected. However, this North team seems very consistent on both sides of the ball and should run away with this one,
Prediction: North 42 – 16
Other Local Games:
Alcoa 32 Greeneville 24
Gatlinburg-Pittman 31 Unicoi County 13
Hampton 28 Johnson County 10
South Greene 31 David Crockett 28
West Greene 27 North Greene 16
Saturday, September 24 ·9:00 am @ Andrew Johnson School
From Lonnie L. Salyer
The Twin State Lions Rugby Football Club hosts The Asheville Rugby Football Club, Saturday, September 24th with a women's match at 9:00 am followed by a men's match at 11:00 am at Andrew Johnson Elementary. Come on out and support our local team. The Twin State Lions is a select travel team comprised of members of the Johnson City Rhinos RFC and the Clinch River Crusaders RFC from Richlands, VA.
Action By Sam Spurgeon/Background by Josh Harwood
MCS: September 9th Local Prep Preview
Pictures and ArticleBy Josh Harwood
Sullivan North at Union County
Friday Night Sullivan North heads to Maynardville, TN and puts its undefeated record on the line, again. Sullivan North has never lost to the Patriots, going 6-0 during a 6 year span from ‘99 to ‘04. After fighting through 3 straight tough wins, North is due for a breather as Union County has scored just 12 points all year against 3 opponents, none of the class of a Sullivan North. Union has struggled the past 3 years going 2-22 in its past 24 games, in fact 1994 was the last time the Patriots won more than 4 games - much less have a season better than .500. The Patriots defense has been equally as bad allowing 107 points or 35.5 points a game against the likes of; Grainger, Cumberland Gap, and Carter. Carter, a team not known for its defense, went in and shut down the Patriots to a total of just 28 yards and 5 sacks showing that Union is a little undersized up front which spells trouble for the Patriots and 4-0 for North.
Last Time Played – North won 20-6 in 2004 (North up 6-0 all time)
Prediction – North 41 Union County 6
Sullivan South at Gate City
The South offense has flashed all year long, having 3 great quarters while showing their inexperience in the other 5. Alex Rogers has thrown for 4 touchdowns in the 2 games while running for 3 as well. The 2nd half of the Enka game was a No. 16 showcase as Rogers totaled up 6 touchdowns for the entire game. Rogers would add 2 more against Dobyns Bennett for 8 touchdowns in 2 games. The QB-Center exchange has caused 2 fumbles against DB and the timing has just not been as fluid as in the past for South this year. The Rebels have grown frustrated and Gate City could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
While South has had moments of struggling, Gate City’s season has been one big struggle. Richland’s held the usually strong Blue Devil ground attack to 137 yards, while Harlan County, KY held the Gate City offense to a mere 50 yards and -1 on the ground. Harlan County did much of the same while shutting out Morristown East - so to be honest that game was unfair from the start. If South comes out and plays like they did during the 2nd half against Enka or even the first quarter against DB, Gate City is in for a long day. If South comes out and tries to rush things Gate City could hang around and pull off the upset.
If Mitchell Crowe can get the ball in space, there is no one on the Blue Devils’ defense that could keep up with the flanker. Gate City has one thing going for it at 0-2, South has to come into one of the hardest places in high school football to get a win. Gate City fans create a war zone like atmosphere and there is sure to be just as much intensity in the stands as on the field. However, look for Alex Rogers and Mitchell Crowe to let out 3 weeks of frustration in Gate City and grab their first win of the year by double-digits. While I would love to see a game of the caliber of last year’s ‘MCS: Game of the year’ it just does not seem that likely.
Breaking News: That was all until I found out Alex Rogers will be listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury that happened in practice during Wednesday/Thursday also add a James Johnson suspension and that leaves South without two of its 3 leaders on both sides of the ball. Look for Mitchell Crowe to be QB from the wildcat more than 50% of the time while South will have to dig deep on defense to replace 2 starters. No longer do I think South will blow Gate City out, it could be another thriller.
Last Time Played – Gate City won at South in a thriller, 31-28 in 2010 (1-1 All-Time)
Prediction – South 21 Gate City 17
Sevier County vs. Dobyns Bennett
Sevier County has become a thorn in the side of Dobyns-Bennett over their long history with one another. While Dobyns-Bennett has an overwhelming record against the Bears, Sevier County has some key wins against DB at J. Fred Johnson. (i.e. 1997 playoffs, after DB beat Sevier County in the regular season only to fall in the Quarterfinals to the Bears at DB) 2011 was thought to be a year in which Sevier County stepped back from running the IMAC conference and built for the future.
One problem with that theory: Coach Steve Brewer and his development of quarterbacks. Cullen Lavoi is the newest in the line of great Bears QBs. With the game against Jefferson County close, the Bears showed that they are still more of a passing team throwing 60 percent of the time in the first half. Once they get ahead they start pounding the rock and have Bubba Floyd to beat up the other teams defense. Lavoi is as athletic of a QB that the Bears have had in some time, rushing for 50 yards against the big & tall Jefferson County defense and grabbing 2 touchdowns.
The Indians are scoring at 31.5 points a game while gaining just over 300 yards on the ground. They are passing a little less than last year gaining just 54 yards through the air to 107 last year. The reaction to DB this year has almost been at a higher level than the team that put 40 points a game on people last year. Are they a better team this year? Not sure. Are they better than Sevier County? Yes
Last Time Played – 2010 - DB won at Sevier County 28-14 (DB ahead 20-5 all-time)
Prediction –Dobyns Bennett 42 Sevier County 21
Morristown West 28 Science Hill 23
Cherokee 41 Volunteer 20
Daniel Boone 28 Happy Valley 27
Unicoi County 24 Hampton 20
Pictures by Sam Spurgeon
We break it down through the year with our weekly Power of 4, but every 3 weeks we will break down the pound for pound top 10 – 1-4 Districts in the east with all 6 class ranks taking part in the rankings. Greeneville finally lost and Oak Ridge lost to Farragut, again. Maryville corrected the 2 year pattern of losing to rival Alcoa….so here it is the pound-for pound top 10 of east Tennessee...with a countdown....after your done we will be back in 3 weeks with a new pound 4 pound...
10. Oak Ridge 1-1 --- Oak Ridge brought along a lot of hype with their run to the State Semi-Finals in 2010. Scott Blade turned around the program in a way, too fast. Fans start to expect certain things and the expectations for a still growing team were just too high for 2011. Oak Ridge fell into the Chattanooga quad and got through a pairing that was by far easier than what they would have faced in the first quad. It may happen again as 9 teams from the first 4 districts are good again, but they are about the same team from last year just with more confidence.
Up Next: at No.4 Knox Powell on Thursday September 8th
9. Greeneville 1-1 --- Morristown West brought the Greene Devils back to earth with a 14-10 win that ended the Devils 16 game win streak. The Greene Devils will most likely begin to start to look like the 2010 version against Franklin County and conference play that begins the following week. The only problem this Greeneville team doesn’t have a complementary player to the Mr. Football William Carmichael who guided Greeneville to a state championship in his one year at quarterback. The Greene Devils will get a taste of what they were dishing out as Alcoa comes to visit on September 23rd. Greeneville still has the talent to win a 4A class that is bare of many dominant teams especially east of Memphis.
Up Next: at Franklin County on September 9
8. Sevier County 3-0 --- Coach Steve Brewer talked all summer about how young his team was after losing 14 starters from last year’s 8-3 team that grabbed the 3 seed in quad 1 of class 6A. He forgot to mention how talented the group replacing the seniors from last year had become. Cullen Lavoi runs the spread offense that takes a lot of its cue from Chip Kelly’s high speed attack in Oregon. While Sevier County has always brought a good offense year in and year out under Brewer the defense is slowly rounding into shape. After giving up 21 points to William Blount the Smoky Bears have slowed it’s last two opponents to just 14 points per contest.
Up Next: at No. 3 Dobyns-Bennett this Friday, September 9
7. Farragut 2-1 --- The season started on a down note and may or may not show how good this Admiral team is. The weather had a definitive affect on the game against the Indians, but who knows who it affected more! The Admirals beat rival Oak Ridge for the 6th straight year by the skin of their teeth, 28-21. This past week Farragut finally got to let their hair down as the offense finally woke up scoring 31 on Knoxville Catholic, a team that beat them last year. Farragut is still a team improving by the week. They may lose 2 more games and be a 5-7 seed that has the talent of a 1 or 2, which would be a terrible draw for anyone - i.e. DB or Maryville.
Up Next: at McMinn County on September 9th
6. Morristown West 3-0 ---After having a run that would rival Maryville in the early part of this century, the Trojans had fallen off a bit since the 13-1 season in 2006. The Trojans have had winning season every year since, but have not reached the double digit mark since 5 years ago. With the start of the season the Trojans have jumped up the ladder impressing everyone in east Tennessee with a win over Greeneville. The Trojans have beat Knox Fulton and Cherokee by 22 and 43 points. The Trojans have a lot of offense and just enough defense to make a lot of noise this year. The IMAC looks like it will come down to a contest with Sevier County on October 7th.
Up Next: Host Science Hill on September 9th
5. CAK 3-0 --- CAK is starting to build a program that will be one of those dynasties in the wrong era. Alcoa is the only team to beat the Warriors not just last year but for the last 2 years as CAK is an impressive 21-0 minus games versus the Tornadoes, which has beat CAK 12 times in 6 years ending their season EACH season. After beating Anderson County and averaging 50 points in the first 3 games if there ever was a time for the Warriors to upset the Tornadoes for the District crown, this is the year.
Up Next: At Grace Christian Academy on September 9th
4. Knox Powell 3-0 --- No one is happier to have Dy’shawn Mobley back than Matt Lowe, the same coach that suspended the running back. The back ran wild over a Knoxville Halls team for 232 yards covering a gaping whole with injured quarterback, Dustin McPhetridge out of the game. Powell has yet to be tested this year with Austin East being the only team of the 3 to give the Panthers any trouble at all. The Rhea County thumping looks less impressive with each passing week as Rhea is still looking for their first win. Powell is sure to be tested next Thursday against Oak Ridge, but McPhetridge will be back for the Panthers.
Up Next: Host against Oak Ridge on Thursday, Sept 8
3. Dobyns-Bennett 3-0 --- I would almost say the Dobyns-Bennett Indians are the Colts of Tennessee prep football. Built for regular season success the Indians are becoming a team that you can almost count on running off 10 straight to begin the year each season, they have done it 7 of the past 14 years. This year looks to be no different; a tough Sevier County will be the only roadblock standing in the way of running off 10 straight. I can already hear Toppers screaming, Hey!! Dobyns-Bennett is once again on another level, and they have the talent to take it into Maryville in the future. Right now the high water mark for the Indians is beating Farragut in Farragut in a thunderstorm, the follow up against Clinton and South has been impressive but does nothing but get snaps for the young Tribe.
Up Next: Host No.8 Sevier County on September 9th
2. Alcoa – 2-1 --- A lot of talk over the past week has been about how much the depleted Tornadoes moved the ball on a loaded Maryville squad. Alcoa had come back to beat the Rebels in 2 straight years after losing 8 straight contest, but that was a veteran Alcoa team that took the field last year. Alcoa is young and still trying to work out the kinks young teams have to work out, thus they will show greatness in spots while struggling the next day. Cleveland was a struggle, while a 47 point thrashing of a good Loudon (9-3 a year ago) team was greatness – Look for more to follow.
Up Next: at Austin-East on September 9th
1. Maryville 3-0 --- A wise man once said, “You got to beat da man to be da man/” Words could describe the shape that the Rebels find themselves in as they come off another beating over a really good opponent in Knox West. That makes Knox Webb (State Champ), Alcoa (State Champ), and Knox West (State Semi-Finalist) all left in the wake in the football program that has become machine-like in Maryville, TN. What can be said more, until someone beats Maryville they are the best team in the state.
Up Next: at Heritage on September 16th
By Josh Harwood
With a new year comes new ideas and we have decided to break down our usual Top 10 into 5 brackets. By breaking the teams up into their classification (except 1A-2A so few teams, 4 spaces was harder to field than you would think) you get a better idea of where people are headed come playoff time. If a team is 8-3 overall but 7-0 against its classification it shouldn't be hurt for playing a tougher schedule and soon just for giggles we will break out the old Combo Top 10 once we have an idea of who has rebuilt better than others in actual competition. The catagories are breaked down into a seminal Top 4 to represent the Final 4 to get to the State Final game to face a team from District 5-8...SO basically we are saying these 4 teams have the best chance to face each other in the semi finals for the Final 4 of the state - hope that makes sense.
So starting with 6A, right now its Maryville and then everyone else. The Knoxville area is over looking Dobyns-Bennett, they have the feeling that they will fall back to 09 levels, and they might, but it would shock me with so much talent that just may be better than what they replaced. Farragut and rival Oak Ridge will battle it out in week 2 to see who is the king of southern Knoxville.
In 5A, it seems that there is a lot more good to average teams than anyone that stands out like Maryville for 6A or Alcoa in 3A. Powell was undefeated for 11 games last year before being upset by Anderson County in the 2nd round. Knox West would have come out on top in these rankings last year as they were one game from the state final. Morristown West has their RB back in Wesley Goins back and have a lot of talent that looks similar to those early 2000s teams. Well South and Daniel Boone both are as uncertain as it gets right now, after spending an hour at Boone practice last week I can hear the urgency in Jeremy Jenkins voice. Both teams could go 3-7 or they could go 8-2 and challenge for the 2nd spot in the Big 8, we will find alot out tonight.
In 4A or Greeneville's Class, this classification is almost embarrassing for this region. Greeneville caught lightning in a bottle last year with the perfect senior class that was missing one thing and it magically showed up in William Carmicheal, well look for the Greene Devils to fall back to more of a 08 or 09 version. Does that hurt their chances of getting to the title game, not at all, the cup is so bare in Greeneville's conference and most everyone else I almost had a that went 0-10, in Sullivan East, ranked 4th, and i still think East could go 500 if they were with Grainger and company. Anyway I don't see how anyone knocks off the Greene Devils, the one shot at their thrown last year, Gibbs, lost everyone but the kicker, punter and two other starters.
Now when you get to 3A things change. Alcoa is back and NOT better than ever. They lost KoKo their best running back but do have depth somehow for a school of 550. Austin East seems to be the talk of Knoxville as they seem to have regained the form closer to 2001. CAK just knocked off 5A power Anderson County last night and did it pretty handidly. So that leaves good ole reliable Betsy at 4, but North and Happy Valley are ready to pounce and this could turn out to be one of the strongest classes. North would be an easy 2 if it was in 4A and a state title contender. Funny how the chips fall
Now we combined 2A and 1A for the sheer lack of talented teams, sorry but schools like Cosby and Hacock Co. shouldn't just be ranked because they will back into the playoffs. But when you combine the two it looks a lot tougher, Hampton and Knox Grace could easily trade places with Coalfield and probably will. Unaka is no clouch either, Carter County plays some football, see Unaka, Elizabethton and Happy Valley)
So that's the first NEW Power 4 of the 6 different classifications. Hopefully I will come up with something catchy but right now it's the power 4.