By Tim Chambers

The wait for high school football practice to start is finally over to some degree. Dead period for high school athletics officially ended on Monday at 12 am with teams gathering to prepare for some 7-on-7 passing league play.
Coaches have been unable to observe or have contact with players since dead period began two weeks ago. Players were unable to use any of the school’s facilities.
Players took time to fish, swim and go on vacation over the two-week furlough, but now it’s back to business.
Johnson County head coach Don Kerley was looking forward to getting back to work. His kids were set to return on Monday at 5:00 pm.
“We’ll get back to lifting weights,” said Kerley. “We’ll let them run routes at full speed to try and get them in shape. We’ll do what we can to get ready for the weekend.”
The Longhorns will participate in the passing league on Friday at Hampton playing games at 5:30 and 6:30 in the evening. They’ll travel to Liberty University on Saturday to participate in one up there.
“We can practice in helmets, shorts and shoulder pads starting July 17 and then go full pads on July 24. We’ve got a lot of work to do but the kids are excited about the upcoming season.”
Kerley gave the perfect answer when asked if the players were excited about not having Elizabethton and Sullivan South in the conference.
“I think everyone is happy including all the coaches,” said Kerley. “I think them moving up is going to be good for all the remaining teams.”

NOTES
Senior quarterback Nathan Arnold is listed as a 2-Star quarterback recruit by 247 sports out of Knoxville. Arnold is being looked at by some area D-2 schools.
Shane Greer ran a 4.5, 40-yard dash recently and Caden Arnold has duplicated that feat. Hayden Osborne should be one of the league’s top defensive players. Senior Bud Icenhour will be one of the league’s best all purpose players.
The Longhorns will likely be tabbed as one of the favorites to win the conference due to returning several key players from last season.