Longhorns defeat rivals Hampton and Happy Valley

JC’s Shane Greer delivers a base hit versus Hampton. Greer had a combined six hits & 5 RBI’s in their two wins over the Bulldogs and Happy Valley. Photos by Tamela Trivett


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Knocking off your neighboring rival is always a good thing when you’re Johnson County. Getting wins over Hampton and Happy Valley makes it even better.
The Longhorns defeated Happy Valley 11-4 on Wednesday in a make-up game on their home diamond and Hampton 14-4 on Thursday.
It was the fourth win in a row for the Longhorns who are playing good baseball with tournament time just around the corner.

Johnson County 11
Happy Valley 4
The Longhorns spotted Happy Valley an early 2-1 lead but took control of the contest by putting four runs on the board in the third to go up 6-3.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said head coach Pete Pavusek on Thursday just before the Hampton contest. “Our pitching is starting to come around, and we’re finally getting some key hits. We need to do a better job making plays in the field because we can’t give up runs and expect to win.”
Jonathan Arnold singled and scored Johnson County’s first run of the game after the Warriors took a 2-0 advantage. They tied the game in the second inning thanks to a pair of walks and a groundout.
The Warriors took advantage of two Johnson County errors to move in front 3-2 to start the third, but the Horns would recover quickly.
Five walks and singles by Arnold and Shane Greer led
to a four-run output.
The Longhorns put the game away by scoring twice in the fourth inning and three more times in the fifth.
Shane Greer supplied the offense by swatting three hits with two RBI’s. Arnold added a pair of hits and two, runs scored. Gabe Reece was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Reece Stout drove in a pair of runs.
Greer pitched five strong innings to earn the win on the mound for Johnson County. Ben Howard came on to record a pair of strikeouts in the two innings that he pitched.
Will Hampton had two hits and a pair of walks to lead the Warriors. Kevin Whitaker was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Happy Valley walked nine Longhorn batters in the game.

Happy Valley 201 010 0 – 4 7 1
JCHS 114 023 x – 11 7 1

Johnson County 14
Hampton 4
Hampton was hoping to salvage a split by knocking off the Longhorns but couldn’t find the way to do so.
The Bulldogs got a pair of unearned runs in the first to
go up 2-0, but Johnson
County tied the game in the bottom half thanks to singles by Bud Icenhour and Shane
Greer and a walk to Jonathan Arnold.
Base hits by Hunter Davenport, Dru Owens, and Gavin Hardin put the Dogs back on top 4-2 in the second, but the Horns would score three times in the third to take the lead for good at 5-4.
Greer, Josh Tierney, Reece Stout, Petie Pavusek and Jayden Joiner all had base hits that enabled them to regain the
momentum in their 3-run uprising.
Greer drove in Arnold with a sac fly in the fourth that
extended their advantage
at 6-4. Johnson County followed that up with a quartet of runs in the fifth and sixth innings that allowed them
to win by way of the 10-run rule.
Jayden Joiner went the distance on the mound for Johnson County allowing only two earned runs while striking out eight.
Greer had three hits, and three RBIs to lead the Longhorns. Tierney had a big day going 3-for-4. Icenhour provided a pair of hits and scored three times. Arnold scored four times, getting hit by a pitch while drawing a trio of walks. Stout collected a base hit and two RBI’s. Pavusek was 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Owens, Hardin, Landon Street, Caleb Oaks and Hunter Davenport had a base hit apiece for the Bulldogs.

Hampton 220 000 – 4 6 2
JCHS 202 144 – 14 11 4

Middle School Horns win Grandview Invitational

JCMS can finally clown around after winning three games including the championship on Saturday in the Grandview Invitational. The Horns won 5 games during the event.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

The middle school Lady Longhorns played three outstanding games on Saturday which allowed them to walk away with the championship trophy in the Grandview Invitational Softball Tournament. Johnson County took down Colonial Heights 13-7 in the championship game after defeating Bluff City 18-15 in a wild and whacky semi-final game.

Johnson County 12
Colonial Heights 7

The Longhorns got revenge in the title game by knocking off the undefeated Chargers after falling to them 8-5 on Thursday.
Johnson County scored three times in the second inning and added two more in the third that enabled them to move in front 5-4.
Faith Walsh had a 2-run single in the second inning that got the ball rolling then Hannah Fritts doubled in two more during the third frame.

“We came out relaxed and played well early,” said JMCS’ skipper Greg Reece. We had some mental mistakes that allowed them to come back and take the lead but this was our third game of the day. Our kids have a lot of pride, and they’re a good team, and so is Colonial Heights. It’s was hard fought contest all the way.”

The Chargers bounced back to take a 6-5 lead in the fifth, but the Horns surged back with two more in the sixth frame to go back in front 7-6 on RBI singles by Sydni Potter and Hailey Rider. Colonial Heights tied the game with a solo run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Horns saved their best for last. They erupted for five runs in the extra frame to push their advantage at 12-7.
Jayla Gregg roped a 2-run double then RBI singles from Haley Cox, Hailey Rider, and Potter would give them plenty of insurance.
Autumn Lewis, who came on in the sixth inning slammed the door shut on the mound in the bottom half allowing Johnson County to walk away with the championship trophy.

Lewis was credit with the win. Hailey Rider tossed the first five innings.The Longhorns banged out 14 hits with Hailey Rider collecting four of those. Walsh had a monster game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Cox, Potter, and Fritts added two hits and two RBI’s each. Gregg was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI’s. Reece was elated about how his team gutted it out in the final frame.

“Our ladies really rose to the occasion. We went to the international tiebreaker in the eighth and scored five in the top half which took a lot of pressure off our defense. Lewis struck out the first batter, and then Fritts turned a great double play at short. We just got out of the way and let the kids play loose. Sometimes you’ve just got to do that.”
Izzy Musick led the Lady Chargers with three hits while Olivia DeLung chipped in with a pair.

Johnson County 18
Bluff City 15
Reaching the championship contest didn’t come easy for the Lady Longhorns. They needed 25 hits that enabled them to muster 18 runs to knock off the Lady Grizzlies 18-15 in the semifinal contest.
The Longhorns led 9-0 after their first two at-bats, but Bluff City exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit at 9-8.

Johnson County extended their lead at 11-8 in the third on a 2-run single by Sydni Potter, but Bluff City fought back to go in front 13-11 by scoring five times in the third. Both teams scored twice in the fifth that kept the Grizzlies on top 15-13, but it was all Johnson County after that.Faith Walsh blasted a 2-run triple in the sixth inning that tied the game while the Rider girls, Hailey and Sarah connected on RBI singles that put the Horns in front in front to stay 17-15.
Haley Rider’s run-scoring single in the seventh was all that insurance the Horns needed to pull off their dramatic come-from-behind victory.

Walsh provided a huge bulk of the offense going 5-for-5 with two triples, three RBI’s and Potter amassed four hits, and three RBI’s to help the cause. Hailey Cox, Hailey Rider, and Jayla Gregg produced three hits apiece. Sarah Rider, Hannah Fritts, and Autumn Lewis contributed two apiece. Autumn Shepherd provided a base hit and scored. Head coach Greg Reece summed up the victory.

“We had a chance to put the game away early, but we made a couple of mistakes allowing Bluff City to regain the momentum and retake
the lead. Our team didn’t quit. The battled back, and I was worried that we had used up all our energy. We told the girls there was no pressure going into the championship game that it was all on them. I’m super proud of their efforts.”

Johnson County 13
Grandview 3
The Longhorns rode the outstanding pitching performances of Hailey Rider and Autumn Lewis to knocking off the host team after losing to them last year.Hannah Fritts and Hailey Cox had three hits each to lead the Lady Longhorns. Jayla Gregg, Hailey Rider, and Autumn Lewis provided two hits apiece as the Horns totaled 15 in the five-inning contest.

Thursday’s Games
Johnson County 11
South Central 5
Jayla Gregg went 3-3 with two RBI’s to lead the Horns to their first win on Thursday. The team played three games back-to-back due to testing issues and travel.Hailey Cox added a pair of hits and four RBI’s. Hailey Rider chipped in with two doubles and pitched all five innings to earn the win.

Colonial Heights 8
The Horns only loss in the tournament was to the Chargers 8-5 in pool play on Thursday. The Chargers outhit JCMS 13-8.
Faith Walsh and Jayla Gregg had two hits each to lead the Lady Horns. Hailey Cox and Walsh drove in a pair of runs apiece.

Sullivan Gardens 0
Hannah Fritts twirled a 3-hitter with seven strikeouts to lead the Horns to victory in this one.
Faith Walsh and Sydni Potter drove in a pair of runs each. Potter had two hits including a double and triple.

Eighth Grade Night
Johnson County 20
Hampton 3
The Longhorns took a break from the Grandview tournament on Friday to battle Hampton in a conference game. They celebrated the eighth-grade night with a 20-3 win over the Bulldogs. Kristen Day picked up the win on the mound. She allowed only two hits and struck out eight.The Hailey’s provided a large portion of the offense. Hailey Cox had a pair of hits and drove in a whopping six runs. Hailey Rider was 4-for-3 with three RBI’s and three runs scored. Sydni Potter belted three hits and tallied three RBI’s. Faith Walsh and Sarah Rider contributed a pair of hits. Jayla Gregg, Ashley Anderson and Day collected one apiece.

Little League Baseball Opening Day

Vikings fall to Horns 11-2

JC’s Hannah Brooks blasted two home runs in their 11-2 win over TN. High. She also went 2-2 vs. Unicoi County.
Photo by Tim Chambers.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

ERWIN—Johnson County was looking for a signature win and got one at the NFS tournament on Friday night in Erwin. The Lady Longhorns scored three runs in the first inning that ignited them to an 11-2 victory.
Courtney Brooks led off the game with a double then scored on a sacrifice fly by Cassidy Lakatos. Hannah Brooks smack a mammoth solo homer to make it 2-0. Back-to-back doubles from Emmy Miller and Natalie Winters put the Lady Horns on top to stay.
“This was the type of win we had been looking for,” said Johnson County’s head coach Angela Blevins. “We hit the ball up and down the lineup, and we didn’t leave very many runners on base. I thought we had some good at-bats against Unicoi, but we hit several balls hard but right at them. I was pleased for the most part with how we played.”
The Longhorns struck for another four runs in the third. The big blow was a 3-run triple off the bat of Maddi Edington that scored Emmy Miller, Bella Miller, and Alexis Hendley.
Tennessee High tallied a pair of runs in the second but could muster any more of Johnson County’s Courtney Brooks. The senior righty kept the Vikings off balanced while going the distance to earn the win.
Hannah Brooks helped the cause with another solo home run during their six-run fourth. Winters would hammer her second double of the game as the Horns ran out the allotted time needed to play each game.
Hannah Brooks, Courtney Brooks, Winters, Bella Miller and Edington had two hits each for the Horns. Edington added three RBI’s and Hannah Brooks provided two.
Johnson County outhit the Vikings 11-6.

Tenn. High 020 00 – 2 6 1
JCHS 304 4 x – 11 11 0
WP—C. Brooks

Unicoi County 8
Johnson County 2
The Longhorns dropped an 8-2 contest to home standing Unicoi County who defeated Science Hill for the championship.
Hannah Brooks went 2-
for-2 and scored a run to
lead the Longhorns. Emmy Miller provided a double
and scored. Alexis Hendley drove in both runs with
a double.

Longhorns wallop Hampton 17-0

Hannah Fritts had two hits and 5 RBI’s in JCMS’ 17-0 win over Hampton. Photo by Tamela Trivett.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County got slightly derailed by Vance Middle School last week but managed to get back on track with a conference win at Hampton. The Longhorns scored early and often in a 17-0 victory over the Lady Bulldogs on
The Lady Longhorns held a 3-0 lead after two innings but broke the game open with a seven-run third.
Head coach Greg Reece touched on the play of his middle school squad.
“We played pretty well today,” said Reece. “It took a little time to adjust to the pitching speed after play Vance last week. We emphasize being flexible at the plate and being aggressive on the bases, so you have to adjust. Hampton has a new staff, and the players and parents are enthusiastic. They played pretty well on defense, but our girls definitely had the advantage in terms of experience.”
The Longhorns took a 1-0 lead in the first after Jayla Gregg singled and scored.
They added two more in the second inning after Sydni Potter and Autumn Shepherd had singled. Autumn Lewis slapped a run-scoring double while Sarah Rider followed with an RBI single to up their advantage at 3-0.
Johnson County upped their advantage at 10-0 by scoring seven times in the third.
Lewis slapped a two-run single, and Hannah Fritts contributed the second one as the Horns batted around and collected eight base hits in the inning.
The Longhorns kept pouring it on with seven more runs over the next two frames.
Faith Walsh highlighted the fourth inning by delivering a two-run single.
Fritts roped a bases-loaded double in the fifth for her fifth RBI in the game.
Fritts finished the game by going 2-for-2 with five RBI’s. Gregg had a monster game going 4-for-4 with five runs scored from her leadoff slot. Walsh had had three hits and drove in four runs. Haley Cox was 3-for-3 as was Sarah Rider with an RBI and run scored. Shepherd and Lewis each had two hits.
Haley Rider pitched a gem for the Longhorns allowing just five hits. She also struck out five batters.
“We got good production up and down the lineup from everyone,” added Reece. Hailey pitched a great game, and we played well defensively.”

JCHS 127 34 – 17 14 1
Hampton 000 00 – 0 5 1
WP—H. Rider

Johnson Co. 11
Watauga Co. 0
The middle school picked up another big win over Watauga from Boone, North Carolina on Friday.
The Longhorns led 5-0 after four but blew the game open with a six-run fifth inning.
Hailey Rider pitched four innings, allowing just three hits to earn the win. Autumn Lewis closed it out in the fifth.
Faith Walsh had an inside-the-park home run in the second to get Horns on the board. She just missed
hitting for the cycle going 3-for-3 with a double and
three RBI’s. Sarah Rider was 3-for-3 with a triple and double. Jayla Gregg provided two hits and three RBI’s. Haley Rider had a two-run double, and Sydni Potter smacked a two-bagger. Autumn Shepherd and Autumn went 1-for-2 apiece.
“We knew this would be a tighter game than our first once with them,” said manager Greg Reece. “Their pitcher got us swinging at a lot of high stuff early one. Faith had the home run in the second that got us going.
Hailey Rider and Autumn Lewis pitched great for us today.”

Watauga Co. 000 00 – 0 5 1
JCHS 013 16 – 11 12 0
WP—H. Rider

Lady Longhorns split with Cougars

Courtney Brooks had three hits and pitched a complete game in their 12-2 win
over Central. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

BLOUNTVILLE—Johnson County lost the first game of a doubleheader at Sullivan Central but bounced back like a super ball in the second one. The Longhorns got timely hits and took advantage of several walks to win a 12-2 contest in the nightcap. They were defeated 6-4 in the opener.

Johnson County 12
Sullivan Central 2
The Lady Longhorns never trailed in the game after jumping out to a 3-1 first inning lead.
Natalie Winters smacked a two-run double off the wall scoring Cassidy Lakatos and Hannah Brooks who had walked. Alexis Hendley drove in Winters with a sacrifice fly.
They added an unearned run in the third and struck for a couple more in the fifth.
Abby Cornett roped an RBI triple and later scored on a ground ball out from Courtney Brooks.
The Lady Cougars had trouble throwing strikes in Johnson County’s final at-bat. Six walks led to six runs with the help of a two-run single by Courtney Brooks who ended the night with two hits and three RBI’s.
Winters, Hannah Brooks, Emmy Miller, Bella Miller, Hendley, and Cornett all had a base hit each and scored.
Courtney Brooks picked up the win on the mound scattering ten hits while allowing only two runs. Madison Horne spoiled her shutout bid with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Longhorns’ head coach Angela Blevins was happy with her team’s performance.
“We hit the ball well in both games,” said Blevins. “We hit balls hard in the second game but couldn’t get a hit when we needed it most. We just left too many runners on. But I’m proud of the girls for the way they played after the loss. We could have come out not ready to play, but they regrouped and played well offensively and defensively. I felt like we got good pitching from Hannah and Courtney. We could have very easily won both games.”

Sullivan Central 6
Johnson County 4
The Lady Longhorns outhit the Cougars but came up on the short end in this one.
Central’s Sydney Snapp pitched a complete game and went 3-4 with two RBI’s while leading her team to victory.
Jasmine Sheffield, Courtney Willis, and Faith Campbell provided two hits apiece.
Emmy Miller collected three hits for the lead. Hannah Brooks added two hits including a solo homer in the first. Natalie Winters, Abby Cornett, and Maddi Edington provided two hits apiece.
Both teams finished the game with 14 hits apiece.

Johnson Co. 12,
Sullivan Central 2

Sul. Central 000 020 – 2 8 1
JCHS 301 026 – 12 8 0
WP—H. Brooks
HR—SC (Horne 2-run 5th)

Track duo finds success in hurdles

Josh Herman and Cayleigh Blair double as team captains in addition to running the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Both have a great shot at
qualifying for the District meet.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.comJosh Herman and Cayleigh Blair are no strangers when it comes to performing before large crowds. Herman was a key performer on the record-setting football team in 2017 while Blair was captain of the cheerleading squad that played a significant role in getting fans pumped up at football and basketball games.
The duo serves as captains of the track team, and they both specialize in the same event. Each has experienced success in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles so far.
“I just love to compete,” said Herman. “It doesn’t matter to me how many people are in the stands as long as my mom and dad are cheering for me. I’ve always been a competitor, and I always want to win. It’s the same for me in track as it was in football. I’m always going to give it my all.”
Herman finished second in his first meet and took third during the most recent one in both events. His game plan is a simple one.
“I’m always trying to beat the person in front of me and not let anyone pass me from behind,” added Herman. “Coach Haas really helped me with the hurdles. He’s made a huge difference in our track program. I feel like it is much better than it was.”
Blair does a remarkable job of mixing cheerleading, track, and tennis. And she does all of them at a very high level.
“It’s difficult sometimes to work all of them into my schedule,” said Blair. “My days are long from the time I get up. I go to school then straight to track practice. I leave there at 5:00 and go on to tennis. I’m usually there until 6:00 or 6:30. It’s all about managing your time and not getting overwhelmed.”
Blair somehow manages to work a part-time job at Food Country while Herman helps out at the family business.
Blair agreed that Coach Haas had been very helpful in making her better in the hurdle events.
“He really asserted, and he pushes up to do our best,” added Blair. “I got third in the 300 and 100 hurdles in my first meet. It was my first time running the 100 meters. “
Cam Haas is in his first season as the head track coach. He touched on each of his captains.
“Cayleigh is the type that wants to get the work done and do whatever it takes to get better. We’ve worked on her form, and she has definitely improved her times. She hates to mess up, and she always wants to get better. That’s what you want from your team captain.”
He added that Herman also possesses those same leadership qualities.
“Josh has definitely been a great leader, and I admire that. He’s always the first to motivate our team, and he encourages them to do it right and get it done. He has a great attitude about everything and people are drawn to him. They want to follow his example, and he does a great job of holding that responsibility. I couldn’t ask for two better captains as a coach.”
Blair and Herman are outstanding students, and each pretty much knows what they want to do upon graduation.
“I got invited to try out for the cheerleading squad at Tusculum,” added Blair. I take all honors classes right now, so I’m definitely ready. It that doesn’t work then I’ll attend ETSU and possibly get a cheer job traveling around the country. I’ve been doing it since junior high, and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Herman too wants to stay active in sports.
“I hope to become an athletic director either at the college or on some other level,” said Herman. “I want to stay involved in sports because I love to be around the game. I plan to attend ETSU. I’m excited about college and what it has to offer.”
Herman is the son of Joe and Lucia Herman while Blair’s parents are Roger and Stacey
“My dad and mom have always been there for me,” said Herman. “My entire family supports me in whatever I do.”
Blair added. “Mom has been a big inspiration because she is always at my games. My parents are my role models.”
Just like Blair and Herman are too many other Longhorn athletes.

Horns extinguish Flames 11-1

JC’s Jayden Joiner #24 tossed
a three-hitter and had 2 RBI’s in their 11-1 win over FCA. Photo by Tamela Trivett

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.comJohnson County’s lack of run production came to a close on Friday. The Longhorns scored six times in the first inning that led to their 11-1 victory over the FCA Flames.
The Longhorns took advantage of four first-inning errors by the Flames to score their half dozen. They also had four hits in the inning which saw them send 11 batters to the plate.
Shane Greer, Josh Tierney, Petie Pavusek and Reece Stout had RBI base hits. Bud Icenhour, Jonathan Arnold, Jayden Joiner, Greer, Tierney, and Pavusek would all cross the dish for a 6-0 advantage.
The Longhorns added four more in the fourth that extended their advantage at 10-1.
Icenhour and Pavusek each had a double while Weston Throop drove home a run and scored with a line drive single.
The Longhorns scored their final run to start the fifth that allowed them to end the game by way of the 10-run mercy rule.
Johnson County got an outstanding pitching performance by Jayden Joiner to compliment the nine hits they collected.
Joiner allowed only three hits and fanned six while picking up the complete-game victory. He also had a pair of RBI’s.
Pavusek swung the big stick going 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Greer had two RBI’s and was 2-for-4. Icenhour added a pair of hits and scored twice. Stout, Tierney, and Throop had base hits, RBI, and run-score.

FCA 010 00 – 1 3 7
JCHS 600 41– 11 9 0
2B—JC (Pavusek, Icenhour)
Chuckey-Doak 4
Johnson County 0
The Longhorns could muster only three hits off Doak’s
Jacob Willett who struck out
ten batters and held them scoreless.
Petie Pavusek, Josh Tierney, and Reece Stout had the only hits in the game for the Longhorns.
Willet and Jameson Cobble had two hits each for the Black Knights.

Elizabethton 6
Johnson Co. 1
The Longhorns and Cyclones did battle on Wednesday with the home team coming out on top at Joe O’Brien Field.
Johnson County took a 1-0 lead in the third on Gabe Reece’s RBI single scoring Reece Stout, but they left a pair of runners on including Jayden Joiner who had singled.
Elizabethton scored three times in the bottom half and added three more in the
following frame for their half dozen.
Joiner, Pavusek, and Reece went 1-for-2 each to lead the Longhorns. Josh Tierney had the only other base hit.
Bud Icenhour pitched four innings for the Longhorns before giving way to Bradley Livorsi who tossed two scoreless

Middle school Longhorns split a pair

JCMS’ Zack Parsons hit a grand slam home run and was the winning pitcher in their 17-5 win over Watauga. He also provided a double vs. Providence. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County’s offense had the bats booming against Ashe County, but their defense let fans down in a loss to Providence.
They went on the road to score a 17-5 victory on Tuesday but dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision on Thursday.

Ashe County 5
Zack Parsons blasted a grand slam home run to lead Johnson County to a big win over the Bulldogs.
The Longhorns trailed 3-2 after one and was tied 3-3 going into the fourth. Parson’s blast would highlight a 12-run inning that blew the game wide open for the Horns.
“Zack’s definitely crushed one, and we hit the ball well in that inning,” said JCMS’ skipper Julian Crews. “We used four pitchers, and they all threw well. You have to watch every player’s pitch count because we needed all four to be ready for Providence. It was a big win for us.”
The Longhorns scored twice in the first inning on a two-run single by Trey Snyder scoring Seth Conder and Ethan Icenhour who had doubled and singled.
Conder added another two-bagger in the third that scored Josh Austin to put them in front 3-2, but Ashe would tie the game in the bottom half.
Johnson County’s fourth inning outburst saw a dozen Longhorns cross the dish. Dakota Holt and an RBI single and Asa Lewis crossed the dish twice, and Snyder had
his second run-scoring one-bagger.
Graham Reece drove in a run in their final at-bat to account for their 17 total.
Conder ended the contest with three hits including two doubles. Snyder and Holt added a pair of hits. Parsons was 1-2 with four RBI’s. Peyton Pavusek and Icenhour had one apiece.
A quartet of Longhorns took to the mound with Parsons picking up the win. Conder, Lewis, and Icenhour also got in on some mound duty.

JCMS 220 (12) 0 – 17 10 1
Watauga, NC 310 10 – 5
3 2
HR—Parsons (Grand slam 4th)

Providence 4
Providence scored four unearned runs to pick up their road victory on Thursday.
Johnson County scored three times in the first inning getting base hits from Seth Conder, Ethan Icenhour, and Asa Lewis along with an RBI double by Zack Parsons. But the news wasn’t good after that.
The Longhorns didn’t record another base hit until the final inning. Lewis doubled but they left him stranded to end the game.
“We didn’t get the key hits when we needed them,” said Coach Crews. “We had men on but left too many people in scoring position. “
Parsons suffered the loss despite not allowing an earned
Lewis led the hitting going 2-for-4. Parson and Conder provided one apiece.

Providence 003 010 0 – 4 6 3
JCMS 300 000 0 – 3 4 4

Horns top Watauga but lost to Unaka

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

BLUFF CITY—Johnson County was one inning away from getting its biggest victory of the year but a game winning hit saved the day for Sullivan East. Perry Casaday singled on a 0-2 pitch allowing East to escape with a 4-3 win on Tuesday at John McKamey Field. Johnson County had taken a 3-2 lead in the top half of the seventh on Josh Tierney’s single scoring Shane Greer who had reach on a base hit.The Longhorns had three hits in the inning and a leadoff walk but got a runner threw out at the plate.

Head coach Pete Pavusek summed up the game.“We make a few mistakes that cost us a win,” said Pavusek. “You have to eliminate those when you play good teams and our league is full of good teams. It’s frustrating because we could very easily by 8-1 with a break here or there. We’ve got to find a way to pull out some of these close ones.”Johnson County opened up scoring in the second inning when Jonathan Arnold walked and later scored.

The fourth inning was a carbon copy of the 2nd for Johnson County. Arnold walked and scored with the help of an error to put his team in front 2-0.East got on the board in the fifth without collecting a single hit to cut the deficit in half at 2-1 and tied the game in the sixth with another solo run.That set the stage for the back and forth seventh inning.

Casaday pitched six and two-thirds innings allowing five hits and three runs to pick up the win. He ended the day with eight strikeouts. Greer logged five and two-thirds innings for Johnson County. He allowed five hits and two runs with six strikeouts. Ben Howard came on in relief to finish the game. Tierney led the hitting for the Longhorns going 2-for-4 while Arnold was 1-for-1 with two runs scored. Bud Icenour, Greer, and Reece Stout went 1-for-3 apiece. Casaday and Everett Hunt provided two hits each for the Patriots.

Sullivan East 16
Johnson County 8
East found success on Wednesday against the Longhorns for the second day in a row. Johnson County found themselves trailing 10-0 after East put up seven runs in the sixth inning against them but they would battle back in the bottom half to close within two.The Longhorns scored eight times in the sixth with Josh Tierney, Weston Throop, Petie Pavusek, Reese Stout, Johnny Arnold, and Gabe Reece, all driving in runs in the inning. The Patriots answered with six more runs in the seventh to put the game away.Bud Icenhour pitched five innings for the Longhorns allowing seven hits and seven runs. East would touch the Longhorns’ bullpen for nine more runs.

Elias Arnold had four hits to lead the Patriots offense that registered 14 hits. Dylan White pitched five innings to pick up the win. Tanner Leffew came on to record the last six outs on the hill for the Patriots. Jonathan Arnold went 2-for-4 to lead the Longhorns. Icenhour and Gabe Reece were 1-2 each with a run scored. Greer and Tierney were 1-3 each.

Junior horns rough up Dogs 7-1

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Hampton played Johnson County dead even for three innings before the Longhorns decided to kick their offense into stampede mode. The Horns recorded six unanswered runs over the final three innings to take an all-important 7-1-conference win on Tuesday afternoon in Mountain City.
The Bulldogs scored their only run of the game in the first inning. Morgan Lyons led off with a single then took two bases on a passed ball. He later scored on a groundout that put them in front 1-0.

From there it was all Longhorns who dominated play both offensively and defensively which pleased head skipper Julian Crews.
“I thought it was one of the best overall games we’ve played all year,” said Crews. “We gave up a run early by allowing them to take two bases on a passed ball but then we played great baseball after that. Our pitching and defense were excellent, and we got timely hits when we needed them. It’s tough when you play three games in a week because you are always looking at the pitch out of players and trying to stay ahead. Our kids understand that, and we got a good effort from everyone. This was a big league win for us.”

Crews touched on the pitch count rule, which determines how many pitches a player, can throw before needing a certain number of days rest.
Zack Parsons started the game for the Longhorns and threw nearly three innings before reaching 39 pitches. He was relieved before he reached 40 pitches, which would allow him to come back and pitch the next game on one day’s rest.But the Horns had plenty of backups in the bullpen.
They tied the game in the first inning on Asa Lewis’ RBI single scoring Seth Conder who was hit by a pitch.

Lewis came on in relief of Parson to pick up the win. He pitched up to the seventh inning before Conder took over. The Longhorns ended the game by turning a double play. Johnson County took a 4-1 lead in the fourth after scoring a trio of runs. Dalton Brown provided an RBI double, and Peyton Pavusek drew a walk with the bases loaded. The up the lead in the fifth inning to 6-1 with Zack Parson’s run-scoring single and Brown’s RBI double. Dakota Holt walked with the bases loaded in the sixth allowing Trey Snyder who had singled to score.
Johnson County made the most of their six hits while Hampton could muster only two.
Brown had a pair of hits, and two RBI’s to lead the Longhorns. Parsons, Lewis, Snyder, and Conder provided one apiece.

Hampton 100 000 0 – 1 2 2
Johnson Co. 100 321 x – 7 6 2
Lyons and Royston. Parsons, Lewis (3), Conder (7) and Icenhour.

Johnson County 11
Sullivan North 0
Johnson County sandwiched six hits in with six errors to knock off the Golden Raiders in Kingsport on Friday.
They erupted for seven runs in the first inning and four more in the fourth.Dalton Brown had a two-run single in the first frame. Zack Parsons drove in one with a sacrifice fly while Graham Reece added a bunt single and scored. Brown, Parsons and Seth Conder had RBI base hits in the fourth inning, and Ethan Icenhour brought home the final run with a bases-loaded walk. Lewis earned the win by tossing a two-hitter with four strikeouts. Brown had a couple of hits and drove in two runs to lead the offense. Parson, Conder, Reece and Isaiah Curd shared the other four hits.

JMCS 700 40 –11 6 0
North 000 00 – 0 2 6

University School 15
Johnson County 7
The Longhorns committed eight errors in the game that led to their home defeat. Seth Conder had three hits for the Longhorns. Dalton Brown and Trey Snyder provided two apiece while Peyton Pavusek and Josh Austin added one each.

Warriors upend Lady Horns 6-5

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Trying to find a win for Johnson County has been like trying to locate a wheat penny in an aquarium full of coins. They’re getting close, but the search is still on.The Lady Longhorns came up one run short; falling 6-5 to Happy Valley on Tuesday at Bob Kirksey Field. They rallied to score three times in the sixth and added one run in the seventh. Happy Valley’s freshman pitcher Abby Holt struck out the final batter with the bases loaded. The Longhorns left 14 runners on base in the seven-inning affair.

“It’s frustrating for the girls because every game appears to go right down to the wire,” said Johnson County’s head coach Angela Blevins. “We’re starting three freshmen, three sophomores and sometimes four so we’re still searching for the right combinations. Emmy Mille hit the ball as hard as she could twice, but two great plays by them saved five or six runs. I still believe in these kids, and they’re playing well, but we have to eliminate mistakes.”

Blevins couldn’t have said it any better about Miller.She missed a three-run homer by a few feet in the second on a ball the centerfield snow coned. She also ripped a hard smash down the third base line in the fifth that was backhanded with the bases loaded for a force out. Happy Valley never trailed in the game and went up 2-0 in the first inning. Katlyn Roberts and Olivia Absher led off with infield singles and scored on a sacrifice fly and a ground ball out.They struck again for two more in the fifth to up their advantage at 4-0.

Olivia Kelly singled in Absher who had singled, and she later scored on a base hit by Maci Puckett. Johnson County got on the board in the fifth without collecting a single base hit. Lindsey Wills walked and later scored to pull the Horns within 4-1, but the Warriors would get that one back in the sixth on Roberts’ RBI double scoring Holt who had singled.The Lady Longhorns struck for three in the sixth to pull within one, but it couldn’t have been more.

Maddie Edington reached on an error, Courtney Brooks singled, and Wills walked to load the bases. Hannah Brooks was intentionally walked, one of five times for her in the game. Natalie Winters provided an infield single helping the Horns get within one at 5-4, but the next two batters flew out to end the threat.

Happy Valley took advantage of a dropped fly ball in the seventh to pick up an insurance run to remain in front 6-4.
The Longhorns loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh after they had pushed across a run to pull back within one. Courtney Brooks doubled to put runners at second and third, and Hannah Brooks was intentionally walked for the fifth time in the game. Holt struck out the final out giving the Longhorns’ another heartbreaking loss.

Courtney Brooks had a big day at the plate going 4-for-5 with a run scored. Winters provided a pair of infield singles going 2-for-4. Willis and Lakatos had the only other hits. Hannah Brooks never saw one single pitch in the game walking a remarkable five times.
Roberts, Absher, and Holt had two hits apiece for the Lady Warriors.

Blevins knows it’s a grind for her young team but feels like they’re up to the challenge.

“These girls are giving their all, so something good is going to happen for them soon,” added Blevins. “We have to overcome our youth by scoring more runs and hitting the ball better. I believe these kids are going to do that.”

Happy Valley 200 021 1 – 6 10 2
Johnson Co 000 013 1– 5
8 1
Holt and Kelly. H. Brooks and E. Miller.
WP—Holt, LP—H. Brooks

JCMS tops HV and BC in softball

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

The Longhorns opened up last week with a pair of wins during a busy week that saw them play four games in five days. They knocked off a good Bluff City team 6-0 then ran roughshod past Happy Valley 18-5.

Johnson County 6
Bluff City o

The Lady Grizzlies were expected to give Johnson County all they wanted, and they did so for four innings. That’s when the Horns caught fire and scored four times in the fifth and two more in the sixth to finally gain some breathing room.
“This was a good win tonight against a quality opponent,” said JCMS’ skipper Greg Reece. “We were hitting okay, but we changed everything by going with our short game in the fifth. Our staff is very proud of these girls. Later in the week, Bluff City beat Unicoi County in nine innings. Their kids know how to play.”

The Longhorns showed they could play too. Hailey Rider pitched four innings without giving up a hit. Autumn Lewis pitched the final three innings allowing only one hit. Credit went to Rider for the win. Faith Walsh provided a two-run double in the fourth inning that highlighted their four-run outburst. Haley Cox and Hannah Fritts had run-scoring base hits in the fifth inning that helped salt the game away. Walsh ended the game going 3-for-4 with two RBI’s. Cox was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s and scored twice. Sarah Rider had a pair of hits and scored twice. Fritts, Potter, and Lewis each added a hit.

JCMS 000 042 0 – 6 10 1
Bluff City 000 000 0 – 0 1 1
WP—H. Rider

Johnson County 18
Happy Valley 5
The Lady Warriors put up a good fight but couldn’t match Johnson County’s red-hot bats that banged out a dozen hits. Hailey Rider led the way going 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Sydni Potter was 2-for-4 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. Faith Walsh and Autumn Shepherd each logged two hits and two runs batted in. Sarah Rider drove in three runs and had a hit. Jayla Gregg was 1-for-3 with two RBI’s. Autumn Lewis had an RBI base hit and scored. Hannah Fritts scored three times, and Haley Cox reached base three times from her leadoff spot. Katie Bailey and Bryene Goines had two hits each for the Lady Warriors. Fritts pitched four innings to get the win with seven strikeouts for Johnson County. Lewis pitched the final two innings and fanned four. Johnson County skipper Greg Reece felt like his team slacked a bit.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done,” said Reece. “We knew Happy Valley would play us. Winning easy games early is not always a good thing. It is too easy to take opponents for granted.”

JCMS 402 507 — 18 12 2
HVMS 200 030 — 5 7 4

Longhorns hammer Hampton 18-3

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Morton Salt coined the phrase, “when it rains it pours,” in 1914 as their signature slogan. Johnson County defined the phrase during the third inning at Hampton on Thursday. The Longhorns sent 22 batters to the plate and scored 17 runs in their lopsided 18-3 win over the Bulldogs on Scotty Bunton Field.The teams were deadlocked in a 1-1 contest before the fireworks begin. Head coach Pete Pavusek said he had never seen anything like it in his 23 years at the helm.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team score 17 runs in an inning nor had we ever had that many scored on us,” said Pavusek. “We had some good at-bats, and our kids have played some good teams. I think that helped us today at the plate. Our league is loaded with good pitchers, and we’ve played Tennessee High too. We got on a roll and were able to put the game away.”

That roll began midway through the game. Johnson County quickly loaded the bases in the third when John Tierney and Weston Throop were hit by pitches after Shane Greer reached on a base hit. Petie Pavusek followed with a two-run single that ignited the fireworks and made it 3-1. Jayden Joiner, Reece Stout, and Troop added base hits before Pavusek delivered a sacrifice fly to drive in his third run of the inning.

Hampton had control problems on the mound that resulted in five walks and six hit batters. Joiner, Stout, and Greer provided two hits apiece in the inning. Greer crossed the plate three times in the frame, and Gabe Reece, Joiner, Throop, Tierney Jonathan Arnold and Bud Icenhour all scored twice.

The Longhorns used a double by Arnold and Greer’s single to score Icenhour in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Hampton tied the game in the second inning, but Tierney was able to tp pitch out of the jam with two on. The senior righty scattered five hits and struck out three while going the distance to record the win. He also provided three RBI’s and two runs scored while going 1-3.

The Longhorns registered 14 hits. Greer went 3-3 with four RBI’s to lead the attack. Stout and Joiner added two hits and two RBI each. Arnold added a pair of doubles for 2-4 with two runs scored. Pavusek was 1-2 with three RBI’s. Icenhour and Throop had a hit each and scored twice. Ben Howard provided a base hit in his only trip to the plate.Landon Street drove in Hampton first run of the game with a single. Caleb Oaks led the Bulldogs at the plate going 2-for-2. Dru Owens and Josh Owens had one hit apiece as did Elijah Smith and Weston Street.

Johnson Co. 10 (17) 00 – 18 14 1
Hampton 012 00 – 3 5 2
WP—Tierney. LP—Hardin

Rangers prevail past hungry Horns 4-2

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Very few schools can compile an impressive resume like Unaka can in girl’s athletics. The Lady Rangers are currently favored to win their league in softball and could make a return trip to the state tournament like they did last season with a strong cast of upperclassmen returning. Johnson County is in a much different boat starting three freshmen, five sophomores and a junior along with one senior. The young Horns battled Unaka down to the wire before falling 4-2 on Thursday at Bob Kirksey Field. The Lady Rangers scored twice in the first but were held scoreless from there until the fifth. Johnson County had their opportunities which head coach Angela Blevins touched on.

“I thought we played well, but we can play better,” said Blevins. “We made a few mistakes on the bases and didn’t get key hits when we had people on. These girls are so close, and they work hard in practice. We’ve been in every game, and that’s all you can for as a coach from such a young team. I believe that good things are going to happen for this team if we can figure out a way to pull out a close one.” Blevins was correct on her assessment.

A two-run double by Erika Potter scored Madison Pierce and Savannah Tipton who had singled in the first giving Unaka a 2-0 advantage.
Johnson County’s Hannah Brooks would limit the Rangers to only two hits over the next three innings that kept them in the contest. The Longhorns sliced the deficit in half by scoring a solo run in the fourth. Singles by freshmen Emmy Miller and Maddie Edington pulled Johnson County close at 2-1. The Rangers would answer in the fifth by scoring two more runs that upped the ante at 4-1.

Johnson County got their last run of the game with its version of small ball. They took advantage of a walk to Cassity Lakatos and sacrifice to pull within a couple at 4-2 but couldn’t dent the board a couple more times. Unaka’s ace pitcher Corie Schetuler held the Horns scoreless in the seventh to pick up the complete-game victory. She ended the day with nine strikeouts including three with runners on that got her out of a jam. She gave up eight hits, but many of them scattered throughout the Longhorns’ lineup.

Hannah Brooks led the Horns’ hitting going 2-for-3 in addition to going the distance on the mound allowing eight hits. Natalie Winters, Bella Miller, Courtney Brooks, Lindsey Wills, Emmy Miller and Edington all had one apiece for Johnson County. Potter went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles for the Rangers. Pierce was 2-for-4. Blevins remains upbeat despite back-to-back close losses.

“We’ve got the makeup to be a good team,” said Blevins. “We’re just a have to clean up a few little things and get a key hit here and there.”

Unaka 200 020 0 – 4 8 1
Johnson Co. 001 001 0 – 2 8 3

Schetuler and Potter. H. Brooks and E. Miller.
WP—Schetuler, LP—H. Brooks

Horns rally falls short to Unicoi 7-6


JC’s Reece Stout rip san RBI double versus Unicoi County. Stout had two hits in their 7-6 loss. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County needed a solo “homer” to tie the game in the seventh, but the Blue Devils had the right kind of “Simpson” that left them bluer than Marge’s hair. Clay Simpson fanned all three batters he faced in the seventh helping Unicoi County earn a 7-6 victory in Mountain City on Wednesday.

The Longhorns trailed 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth but struck for five runs to get within one, which came after the Blue Devils had tallied three runs in the top half after picking up four runs during their first at-bat.

Shane Greer had an RBI single in the inning, and Reece Stout contributed a run-scoring double. Jayden Joiner, Petie Pavusek, and Jonathan Arnold reached base and scored while Weston Throop delivered a key, two-out base hit that drove in two. Ben Howard came on in relief of Greer who had pitched five strong innings after reliving Joiner with one out in the first inning. Howard pitched out of a jam with two outs in the sixth and tossed a scoreless seventh keep the Horns within striking distance.

That’s when Simpson came on to save the day for Unicoi County. Keaton Casey picked up the win for the Blue Devils going sixth innings.Greer and Stout provided two hits apiece for the Longhorns. Bud Icenhour, Josh Tierney, and Weston Throop banged out one apiece.

Owen Nicholson led the Blue Devils going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Raben Reed had a pair of hits and an RBI. Unicoi County had nine hits in the game compared to Johnson County’s seven. The Blue Devils remain in first place with a 5-1 league mark. Johnson County fell to 1-3 in the Three Rivers Conference.

Unicoi Co. 400 003 0 –7 9 1
Johnson Co. 000 105 0 – 6 7 3

Casey, Simpson (7) and Wilson. Joiner, Greer (1), Howard (6) and Pavusek.
WP—Casey, LP—Joiner

JCMS picks up two wins

Josh Austin throws to Seth Conder at first base. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

The Middle School Longhorns earned a pair of wins last week by knocking off Blountville 11-1 and Holston Valley 11-6 in extra innings.

Blountville 1
The Longhorns opened the game with four runs in the first and put it away with five more in the fifth. Dalton Brown and Peyton Pavusek singled in a run each in the first inning after Seth Condor had led off the frame with a base hit. Dakota Holt had an RBI single in the fifth while Conder doubled in a pair. Asa Lewis had an RBI single as the Horns ended the contest by way of the 10-run rule after five. Lewis pitched four strong innings allowing only two hits to pick up the win. He also had three including a double. Conder and Brown banged out two apiece. Zack Parsons, Josh Austin, and Peyton Pavusek collected the other three.

“We decided to play after the third inning,” said JCMS’ head coach Julian Crews. “We didn’t come ready to play in the first three innings.”

JCMS 410 06 – 11 6 2
Blountville 001 00 – 1 2 1

Johnson County 11
Holston Valley 6
The Longhorns scored five runs in the eighth inning to knock off the home-standing Warriors in extra innings. Regulation ended with the game tied at six-all, but the Horns would put together on a big inning in the final extra frame. Dalton Brown led off with a single with the big blow being a two-run base hit from Seth Conder. Ethan Icenhour struck out three batters in the bottom half to preserve the win. Asa Lewis led the Longhorns at the plate going 3-for-3. Conder, Brown and Trey Snyder provided two apiece. Zack Parsons, Josh Austin, and Peyton Pavusek each added a base hit and an RBI. Conder started for the Longhorns and pitched four-plus innings before giving way to Icenhour. Conder logged five strikeouts while Icenhour finished with three in the two-plus innings that he pitched.

“I was proud of the way that kids never gave up,” said JCMS’ skipper Julian Crews. “Ethan pitched well in relief, and we got a big hit or two when we needed them. It’s a good win for us.”

Johnson Co. 000 024 05 – 11 12 1
Holston Val. 110 301 00 – 6 8 2

Longhorns pummel Sullivan Central Cougars 16-5

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

“We’re not a bad baseball team when we get good pitching and don’t make mistakes, Today we did both well.” Head coach Pete Pavusek Sullivan Central didn’t encounter Goliath in Mountain City, but they did wake up a sleeping giant. Johnson County broke loose for nine runs in the fourth inning that vaulted them to a 16-5 Three Rivers Conference victory. It was the first win of the season for the Horns who are currently 1-4 but have dropped some close games. Head coach Pete Pavusek was pleased after watching his squad finally put all the necessary pieces in place.

“We’re not a bad baseball team when we get good pitching and don’t make mistakes,” said Pavusek. “Today we did both well. The nine-run inning was something that we’ve needed. Today’s win was a confidence booster. I felt like we could have won over there had we eliminated our mistakes.”
The Cougars picked back up from where they left off from the previous day by taking a 2-0 lead in the first after stringing together four base hits. They added a solo run in the second inning on a run-scoring base hit by M. Long to go up 3-0. Johnson County would finally dent the scoreboard in the bottom half. Josh Tierney, Weston Throop, Bud Icenhour, Shane Greer and Reece Stout all had singles that enabled them to pull closer at 3-2.

The Cougars kept applying the pressure by extending their lead at 5-2 in the third, but the Horns would not be denied. They busted loose for five runs in the third inning that would allow them to move in front 7-5.Petie Pavusek and Tierney started the onslaught with back-to-back singles followed by Throop and Steven Osborne getting hit by a pitch to score one. Greer continued to swing a hot bat by ripping a base hit as did Reece Stout who lined one to center.

The Longhorns would blow in the game wide open in the fourth by sending a baker’s dozen to the plate that produced nine more runs. They took advantage of four walks, and an error sandwiched in between base hits from Greer, Pavusek, and Jonathan Arnold to go up 16-5. Central got a pair of runners on in the fifth, but Icenhour would work out of the jam allowing the Longhorns to walk away with the win. Icenhour hurled all five innings to pick up the win. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Johnson County banged out 15 hits as every starter hit safely.

Greer topped the hit parade going 4-for-4 with two RBI’s. Jayden Joiner drove in two runs and went 1-for-3. Tierney had a big day going 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and three runs scored.Pavusek and Stout went 2-for-3 each. Arnold reached base four times and was 1-for-1 with four runs scored. Throop added a base hit and two RBI’s while Stephen Osborne had another to drive in a run. Long, Fields and Grayer provided two hits apiece for Sullivan Central.

Sullivan Cen. 212 00 – 5 12 4
Johnson Co. 025 9x – 16 15 1

Lucas, Winstead (3), Akard (4) and Mumpower. Icenhour and Pavusek.
WP—Icenhour, LP–Lucas

Longhorn netters split with North

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Tennis season finally got underway for Johnson County on Tuesday after bad weather had forced several matches to be postponed.
The Lady Longhorns kicked off the season with an impressive 8-1 win over Sullivan North, but the boys were swept 9-0 by the Golden Raiders.
Johnson County’s new head coach Zack Pittman acknowledged his girl’s dominating performance and also saw some good things on the boy’s side.
“I thought girls played exceptionally and I saw some good things from the boys despite the loss,” said Pittman. “Mason had a very tough opponent who is one of the league’s best and Dalton Sluder played pretty good in his match. Will Henson hasn’t been playing but a few weeks, but he held his own. Noah Cox and Noah Nelson each lost close matches and very well could have won. This was the first ever match for some so we’ll get better as the season progresses.”

The most impressive performance belonged to the Cox twins, Taylor and Olivia who made a strong run in the District last year. Taylor took her singles match 8-1 while Olivia prevailed 8-2. They earned an 8-0 loss in their doubles match.

“It felt great to be back on the court for our opening match, but I need to get back in shape,” said Taylor Cox. “She worked me hard in the singles match because I am more confident playing doubles. I believe we have a pretty good team if we can get some time outside. It has been frustrating because we’ve had three or four matches canceled because of snow and the cold. Everyone on the team has been waiting around for this.”
Taylor made quick work of her singles match, and Olivia wasn’t far behind. Pittman liked what he saw out of the sisters who he thinks can be even better.”

“Coach Craig Cox works with Taylor and Olivia all the time, and it shows,” said Pittman. “They keep the ball in play when playing doubles, but I want to see them challenge the net and hit some balls back hard because they can do it. Taylor Parsons played well despite being a newcomer. Hailey Cannon played good in her match and so did Margaret Morrow despite losing a close one.”

Cannon played as the No.3 seed and earned an 8-2 win in her match. Parsons was impressive in her first match ever winning 8-0.
Morrow lost 6-8 playing in the fourth slot but did team up with Cannon to win handily 8-2 on the doubles side.
The Longhorns earned forfeits in the final two matches because North had only five players. Stanley kicked off play against a very strong opponent who has been a hard out in District play over the past three years. He was defeated 3-8 as was Henson who played as the No.4 seed.
Dalton Sluder, Noah Cox, and Noah Nelson each lost 5-8 in close matches.

The Longhorns played tooth and nail with North in doubles before dropping a pair of nail-biters.Stanly and Sluder lost a heartbreaking 6-8 decision while Henson and Nelson were edged 7-9.The Longhorns had to forfeit two matches because they only had five players dress.
“Our kids work hard each day, and many of them like the Cox girls, Mason, Dalton and Noah stay over after every practice,” added Pittman. “We get better with every match. The kids were happy to be outside. It is a great group to work with.”

Icenhour to play basketball at Bristol Prep

Bud Icenhour signing

Bud Icenhour cast his lot with Bristol Prep on Thursday afternoon at JCHS. Front row, L-R: Ryleigh Icenhour, Jennifer Icenhour, Bud Icenhour, Billy Icenhour and Rhiannon Icenhour.
Back row, L-R: JCHS’ head coach and athletic director Austin Atwood, Coach Patrick Grayson,
Coach Will Ratliff and Coach Robert Puckett.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Bristol Prep was in need of a shooting guard so head Coach Patrick Grayson knew just the right place to find one on Thursday. His former high school had just what the doctor ordered. Bud Icenhour cast his lot to play basketball next season at Bristol Prep on Thursday after a standout 3-sport career with the Longhorns. Icenhour will gain another year of basketball by doing so and could greatly improve the skills that will allow him to play at a higher level in college. The Pacers play a brutal schedule against some of the best prep schools in the county including Oak Hill Academy and Hargrove Military Academy. Icenhour’s stock could soar out the roof with basketball being his sole sport now.

He averaged 17 points per game, three assists and led Northeast Tennessee in most 3-point shots made on this year’s 22-11 squad. He was named to the All-Conference and All-District teams and the Tomahawk’s Dandy Dozen All Johnson-Carter County first team. In football, he has amassed more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and was tabbed to the All-Conference team. He currently is one of the leading hitters and pitchers on the baseball team and will leave as one of the best three-sport athletes to ever wear the Longhorns uniform.

Icenhour said that Bristol Prep was the right fit for him to improve his stock while he tries to get better. “I want to play against bigger, stronger and faster competition and let me see if I can do against them what I did here,” said Icenhour. “

I’ll be playing against people that I’ve never seen before, and some of them will be playing at a D-1 level after next season. Bristol Prep is sponsored by Adidas, and that got me very interested. Getting to focus all my time on basketball will make me a much better player. I just feel like this is the right fit for me.”

Icenhour was correct in his assessment. He’s always jumped out of one sport and straight into another. JCHS’ head basketball coach and athletic director Austin Atwood believes that Icenhour will become a great find once he can focus on basketball only.

“You don’t see many 3-sport athletes anymore like Bud,” said Atwood. “They usually pick one or two by the time they are juniors, but he’s given his whole life to athletics here. Bud has been a part of my family since his birth and not only as a basketball player. I can remember his dad, Billy, digging footers when I was building my house, and Bud was just a little fellow sleeping in the bucket. Billy and I have been close friends, and we’ve coached together. I can’t think of a better pure shooter in the state than Bud. He doesn’t have to have much space, and his release is quick. I can assure you that he’s a great find for them.”

Bristol Prep was started three years ago by their head coach and former Johnson County player Patrick Grayson. He played his high school ball for J.R. Campbell, and his grandmother still resides in Mountain City. He was a volunteer assistant coach at King University before moving on to Bristol Prep.“It’s a blessing to get someone like Bud to come and validate what we’re trying to do here at Bristol Prep,” said Grayson. “People don’t understand how this school helps players that are graduating high school. We start looking for them places to play from the time they walk through our doors and onto campus. We put them in front of coaches that have never seen them play and they play against some elite players. I think it’s a win-win for them.”

Icenhour likes that fact that Grayson is a former Longhorn.“We’ve already got that Johnson County connection and we’ve become close,” added Icenhour. “ I really like having him as my coach. I’m going to work on becoming just an all-around better basketball player. Playing at Johnson County was something that I always wanted to do. I grew up wanted to be a Longhorn. This year has been a special one.” Bristol Prep coach and former Milligan standout Will Ratliff believe that Icenhour can be a standout player at the college level.

“Bud has that gumption, and intestinal fortitude as my grandmother would say,” said Ratliff. “He’s going to play hard regardless if you up by 20 or down by 20. Bud is a winner who knows how to win. He likes to compete, and that’s due to all the sports that he plays. He’s definitely going to help us both on and off the floor. We’re very excited about getting him.”

Bud is the son of Billy and Jennifer Icenhour. His sisters, Rhiannon and Ryleigh are both Longhorn athletes. The parents were excited about his choice. “I think this will open up more opportunities up for him in the future,” said Billy. “He’s a good student, but this will allow him more time to prepare for what he wants to do.”Jennifer added. “I just want him to fulfill his dreams and be happy. Bud will finally get a chance to concentrate on one sport, and I think this is going to help him achieve his goal.”

Icenhour will always remember his time as a Longhorn.“I want to thank all my coaches in each sport for helping me become a better player and person,” said Icenhour. “This year has been one that I’ll never forget. We had to grind for three years and then it started to click. We had a particular football and basketball run. Baseball is starting to do that too. I’m going to miss my teammates because we’re all like brothers. I’m especially going to miss playing for the Longhorns.”