By Matt Hill

The last four or five years, the Watauga Conference (now the Three Rivers) has been dominated by Unicoi County with Elizabethton right on the rear view mirror and for the most part JCHS has been on the outside looking in.
This year though, the Longhorns have the talent and every intention of ending the Blue Devil/Cyclone reign on the league.
JCHS has been a solid program over the last six years and now the ‘Horns are ready to get back to the regionals for the first time since 2005 and even go one step further.
“The players know what they’re up against and they know they have to play well against Unicoi, they have to play well against Elizabethton and they can’t stub their toe against anybody else,” JCHS head coach Dana Smith said. “They have this attitude about them that nobody can beat them.”
While Elizabethton and Unicoi both have outstanding pitchers, the Longhorns have a good one too in Sam Mahala, but as far as a complete team JCHS may be more balanced than the other two elite teams.
“I think all around this is my most complete team,” Smith said. “I’m very excited about this season. I’m always excited, but as far as the potential of this team when it kicks in and I think it did (in Saturday’s Play Day at Winged Deer Park). They know they can do this.
The Longhorns are counting on Mahala on the mound, Allyson Reece at catcher, Miranda Slobecheski at first, Ashley Arnold at second, Rebecca Royston at short, Lizzie Dugger at third and Eden Smith, Heather Berardi and Stephanie Henson in the outfield.
Miranda Payne will see action on the varsity and Danielle Hensley will be the No. 2 pitcher.
For complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks, The Tomahawk, available at local newsstands today!