The Lady Longhorns were one of more than 20 teams to take part in the eighth annual ASA High School Fast Pitch Friendly this past weekend at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City. Opening with back-to-back JV games against Sullivan Central and University High, Johnson County’s girls also got to test their abilities against bigger schools like Science Hill and conference rivals like Unicoi County on the varsity level.
Playing six games in all, the weekend was full of ups and downs. Both of the opening University High and Sullivan Central games ended in tough defeats with the Lady Longhorns finding trouble making good contact at bat and consequently making just one complete run by catcher Jayme Jennings, who took first on a walk. That was in the first game against University High, which ended in an 8-1 loss, but the Central game was no better, seeing Johnson County make just two base hits in four innings. Those came from Kelsey Duperry and Tiffany Price who made it as far as third and second respectively.
Making things worse, there were numerous missed balls in the field on defense, and few communication errors from some of the younger players that proved costly in the final score. Even so, Head Coach Dana Smith noted that this is exactly why the team takes part in these pre-season events. “The whole point of us playing here on a play day with JV and Varsity both is I get to see what combinations I can use on the field, what combinations work and what combinations don’t work,” Smith said. “I also see where we have to work this week and next week prior to the regular season. I know what they can and can’t do after we see this and they get different pitchers and different situations in there.” More...
JCHS baseball team pulls out slim win in first scrimmage
Baseball fans got their first look at the lineup last week when the Longhorns traveled to Hampton for the first full scrimmage of the season. It was a somewhat sloppy start for both teams, with each introducing new faces to the roster, trying out veteran players in entirely new positions, and getting a feel for the game they haven’t played in several months. Naturally there were many mistakes made, ranging from dropped catches to poor choices from the runners. Yet even so, for the first time actually on the field the Longhorns still had a fairly decent game, running neck and neck with the Bulldogs before pulling out a win by one run 8-7.
“We’ve not been out on the field and it’s good for us just to get out there,” said Head Coach Pete Pavusek. “We were just trying to move around and play some ball. We’ll get better and better with each game hopefully. It’s just the weather. We’re back at it again and just like last year weather is killing us, but it’s good to get out good to be outside playing a little ball. We did some good things, did some bad things, some things we need to work, on and hopefully will get better.”
The Longhorns were the first to bat, with Samuel Icenhour landing a solid opening hit to take first. Nick Whitener was next up, working to a full count and then taking a walk to move Icenhour to second. Pitcher Sam Thomas followed suit with another walk but by then Icenhour had already stolen third and eventually home to become the first run of the evening. More...
Longhorns lose in second round of regional tourney
The spectacular end of the year run finally came to a halt for the Johnson County Longhorns Boys Basketball team last week in a disappointing second round loss in the regional tournament at Hal Hennard Elementary in Greenville. Taking on the Unicoi County Blue Devils whom they narrowly defeated just a few days before, the predicted outcome of the matchup was highly debatable, and proved to be very close down to a fourth quarter sweep. With chances at a sub-state run on the line, the Blue Devils made their attack hard and fast, giving Johnson County little time to react and get the game back at their preferred pace.
“It was a great run and I hated it ended this way but bottom line we just didn’t block out and rebound and keep them out of the paint like we talked about doing,” said Longhorns Coach Austin Atwood. “They wanted to move on. It was just the bare fact that they wanted to move on a little more than we did.” More...