TWRA to launch new boating regulations

TWRA has announced the installment of two new laws concerning recreational boating safety.

By Tamas Mondovics


The 2018 summer recreational boating season is well underway as local residents and out-of-state visitors take advantage of their favorite vacation spots and the state’s breathtaking waterways.
To increase safety while boating on Tennessee waters, TWRA has announced the installment of two new laws concerning recreational boating, which went into effect on Sunday July 1.
According to TWRA officials, the first of the two new laws now in effect is a requirement similar to the “Move Over” law on land.
As written, the new law will require boaters to slow to no wake speed within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel that is displaying flashing blue lights, TWRA said.
The agency also reported that effective this month, exemption from boating education for renters of watercraft is no longer be available.
The law now states that “Tennessee residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 are required to pass a boater education exam administered by an approved representative of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in order to operate any motorized vessel over 8.5 horsepower. Out of state residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 must show proof of successful completion of a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating safety course. Non-resident certification may be from their home state or any state issued course.”
Officials explained that those who have already made reservations or entered into contracts with marinas are encouraged to continue with their plans, but are asked to complete an approved boater education course before renting again.
In a recent online interview TWRA officer Rusty Thomson emphasized several basic laws for all to keep in mind.
“Just like hunters were required to take a class since 1969, if you were born after January 1, 1989 boaters have to take a boating education class,” Thomson said.
Thomson added that in his opinion the boating education test is a “fairly hard test” to take loaded with boating terminology, which would be good for new or experienced boaters to be familiar with prior to taking the class.
Tennessee residents born after the Jan.1, 1989 can purchase a Type 600 Exam Permit online or from any hunting and fishing license vendor for a cost of $10 and go to a testing location to take the exam or take a class. Locations for testing and for classes can be found on the TWRA website under the boating section.
If your boating safety card is lost or stolen, you may purchase a Type 605 license from a license agent for $5.00. The duplicate card will be mailed approximately two weeks from purchase date.
For study materials telephone (615) 781-6682.

Local residents earn medals at 38th Annual Tennessee Senior Olympics

Participants in a golf tournament held at Catails Golf Course in Kingsport, Steve Arnold, Rudy Lucas, Hank Bontrager
and Robert Glenn of Mountain City pause for a photo during this year’s senior Olympics. The four
competed in different age groups. Submitted photo

By Paula Walter

This year marked the 38th annual Tennessee Senior Olympics and Tennesseans from 10 district areas from all across the state recently competed in the 2018 state finals held
last month in Franklin, Tennessee.
Several Johnson County residents were medal recipients and lots of participation.
The mission of the Senior Olympics, of course is to promote healthy life styles through fitness, sports and being physically active in all aspects of life.
The competitions are held for those 50 and above and include a wide range of activities, from ping pong to golf to tennis, swimming, archery, bowling, pickle ball and beyond. There are different age groups that are set in five-year increments. This attempts to put all competitors on the same level.
According to Dr. Robert Glenn, of Mountain City, competitions for the various activities are held at both the local level followed by winners reaching the state level event in Franklin.
“They are qualified to go onto state as long as they have won a medal,” Glenn said, stressing the motto, participation.
Glenn emphasized that Johnson County Senior Center’s Kathy Motsinger wanted to help make seniors aware of the importance of being physically active.
“It’s fun, but also good exercise,” he said. “You just have to get active and let people know you don’t quit after high school.”
The oldest competitor at the recent the Senior Olympics was 96 years old. Motsinger has already started encouraging people to begin practicing their favorite activities in preparation of entering next year’s completions.
Joan Payne and Janet Rhea Payne were competitors in this year’s event on the local level. Both came in first in shuffleboard in their age category in the singles and doubles competition.
Steve Arnold, Rudy Lucas, Hank Bontrager and Robert Glenn were the participants in a golf tournament held at Catails Golf Course in Kingsport, all of them in different age groups.
This event fell into the local category. Glenn came in first place, followed by Lucas, Bontrager and Arnold.
“We play golf all year to be the best we can be,” Glenn stated.
Both Bontrager and Glenn came in second in doubles in table tennis, also known as ping-pong, in the district category.
The two moved onto state and earning Glenn second place in mixed doubles and third in doubles. Bontrager placed in third.
Glenn stressed the importance of practicing your
sports on a regular basis.
He and Dr. Joe Ray can be found at several local ping-pong tables, having a lot of fun and working on perfecting their games.
Exercise for seniors has been shown to offer many benefits, including extending lives.
Statistics show only one in four people between the ages of 65 to 74, exercise on a daily basis. The Johnson County Senior Center offers opportunities for seniors to exercise on a regular basis.
The center has several pieces of exercise equipment. Silver Sneakers is offered three
times a week, and the exercise class for those with arthritis are held twice a week. Additionally, there are other exercise opportunities within the county.

Orioles go undefeated in coach pitch league


Big Johns Closeout Orioles: Team members include; Katelynn Marshall, Grayson Hensley, Gage Grissom, Scotty Orndorf, Shannon Brooks, Ian Lewis, Gavin Mahala, Hunter McElyea, Jonah Adams and Eli Norris. Coaches include: Craig McElyea, Cliff Mahala, and Jeff Lewis.and Andrew Hensley. Not pictured: Chris Brown and Joey Norris

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

One team left little doubt as to who the top dog was in coach pitch Little League play. The Orioles ran the table finishing 11-0 and winning games by lopsided margins.
They outscored their opponents 101-22 and many times didn’t bat but three innings in a game. The team was made up of 10 players and all of them contributed.
Assistant coach Cliff Mahala said the team went through a few growing pains last year, which helped them a lot this season.
“We had to draft several players last year so most of our kids had experience,” said Mahala. “We finished a tough third last season behind two good teams. This was definitely a veteran group of kids.”
The team had several standout players, which started, in the infield.
Gage Grissom (first base), Hunter McElyea (second base), Gavin Mahala (shortstop), Ian Lewis (third base), Grayson Hensley (pitcher) and Scotty Orndorff (catcher) made up that group.
The outfield consisted of Shannon Brooks, Katelynn Marshall, Eli Norris and Jonah Adams.
“Our outfield was always stepping up and making plays,” said head coach Cliff Mahala. “We hit the ball hard and played great defense.”
Grissom, McElyea, Mahala, Lewis and Hensley swatted the ball for high batting averages, as did Orndorff. The younger players complimented the older ones by getting on base and being the table setters.
“It’s one thing to have talent but this group was coachable,” added Mahala. “It’s a good combination when they are talented and coachable.”
McElyea also continued to hand out the compliments to his special group.
“I couldn’t have asked anymore out of these kids. They knew where to go with the ball to get the outs and we hit the ball better than any team I’ve seen at this age. We only had to draft three players because almost all of them played for us last year. I think they all can be very good Little League players.”
Mahala feels like this could be a special group as they continue to develop.
“It speaks volumes about kids when they all love to play. They would go anywhere to practice on an hour’s notice. That’s just the type of kids they were. That’s why they had the success that they did.”


Kimble, the comeback Kid

Jared Kimble was a key player on last year’s squad.
Tomahawk File Photo

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

It was mid October at North Greene High School. Johnson County would destroy the home standing Huskies 54-8 in a non-conference game.
Everything was going well for the State’s third ranked squad as they scored on their first four possessions to go up 28-0. Then disaster set in during the third quarter with the clock running continuously and the Horns up by a lopsided margin.
Jared Kimble had just scored on a 30-yard touchdown run but it was called back due to a penalty. We can only speculate the “what if” factor had the flag not be thrown.
Kimble was hurt on the following play and left the game with a leg injury. It was later determined to be a season ending torn ACL.
He left that game with100 yards on only eight carries and had kicked four extra points. He was leading the conference in punting with a 39-yard average per kick and had booted 29 extra points and a field goal in eight games.
The Horns would go on to complete their banner season with one of their key players on the sideline for the final four games.

The Comeback Begins
The junior standout was expected to contribute on the hardwood for Coach Austin Atwood but those plans got shelved after the surgery. His road to recovery and back on to the football field would be a long one.
“I’ve worked hard nearly every day since my surgery to get back in shape for football. That has been the main thing that has kept me going. The rehab has been hard at times but the support of my family and teammates has enabled me to get me through this. I’m ready to show people what I can do and how hard that we all have worked.”

The show begins
The show started during the passing league on Friday. He caught two touchdown passes including one where he had to make a sharp cut before finding the end zone. He simply sprinted past the defender on his second touchdown reception.
“It’s good to have Jared back on the field,” said head coach Don Kerley. “He’s a very talented football player who does a lot of things for us.”
Kimble smiled when I asked him about the speed that he displayed on his second touchdown catch.
“I feel a lot better now than I did last year after the North Greene game,” said Kimble. “It’s my time to step up and shine and help this year’s team win a lot of football games. We still have some talented players here and we all want to win. We won’t ever forget last season and being state ranked but now is the time to build on that. Nobody is expecting us to be the team we were in 2017. We’re out to prove them wrong.”

Horns capture first in HHS passing league

JC’s Troy Arnold threw several touchdown passes on Saturday in wins over Cloudland, Happy Valley and Hampton. Arnold gets ready to launch one against C-Doak. Photos by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chamber

Tomahawk Sports Editor

The 2017 Longhorns became the first team ever in school history to go 10-0 during the regular season. They finished the year at 11-1, the best record ever by a Johnson County High School football team.
Some talented players from last year’s squad want to make more history in 2018. That group got things off to a good start over the weekend.
Johnson County took first place at Hampton High School on Saturday in their annual 2-day passing league camp. The Longhorns logged victories over Chuckey-Doak, Unaka, Silver Bullets, and Happy Valley in addition to defeating Cloudland and Hampton in the semifinals and championship game.
The Longhorns hadn’t won the event in two years so doing something that the 2017 bunch couldn’t do left the team with a lot of confidence.
It is especially true for starting quarterback Troy Arnold who has waited his turn for three seasons. He was the backup to Nathan Arnold who is now playing at the University of the Cumberland.
“It meant a lot to win it because our seniors were a special group of football players last year,” said Arnold. “We were able to find some new leaders and go-to players over the weekend. We gained a lot of confidence going into our workouts, which begin on Monday. I was able to learn a lot from this.”
Arnold started on Friday by throwing an interception against Chuckey-Doak on their first possession but warmed up on his next three series. He tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Jared Kimble and another one to Zack Eller who also broke up a touchdown pass against the Black Knights.
“Last year was special but I believe that we can be a good football team again this year,” said Eller. “I like the passing camps because you develop a good chemistry with the quarterback and receivers.”
Eller proved his point
by catching seven-touchdown passes in the two-day event. He along with Nathan Lane
and Jared Kimble showed the Horns have plenty of playmakers in addition to talented linebacker and fullback Tyler Norris.
“We have some talented receivers and good running backs,” added Arnold. “We want to show everyone what this team can do. Last year was great but we have to put all that behind us.”
Eller added. “Our goal this year is the same one as last year. We want to go 10-0 and get into the playoffs. We want to establish a winning football program here at JCHS.”

Longhorns ready to resume football workout


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

The two-week dead period is officially over for high school athletics and many football teams took advantage of it on Monday.
Johnson County took part in a passing league day at Elizabethton with the host school and Tri-Cities Christian.
The Longhorns will play on Friday and Saturday at Hampton High School in their
annual passing league weekend.
They’ll also scrimmage Sullivan North at home on August 3 at 6:00 pm and at Daniel Boone on August 9.
Head coach Don Kerley was happy to see the dead period end.
“It’s a tough two weeks because you don’t get to see any of the players or come around the facilities,” said Kerley. “We have three days of passing league play this week and then we’ll get back out in short and into the weight room. We have a couple of early scrimmage games set because we open up at Sullivan East on August 16. That doesn’t give you very much time to prepare.”
Media day for Johnson County High School athletics will be held on Saturday, July 24.

Johnson County falls to JC Nationals 16-10

JC’s 11-12 year old All-Stars played well but in losses to Erwin and Johnson City Nationals over the weekend. Front row (L to R): Nathan King, Chris Reece, Ethan Reece, Graham Reece, Eli Dickens, Nate Dorman Back row (L to R): Coach George Grill, George Grill, Connor Stout, Ezra Howard, Coach Dirk Simcox, Connor Simcox, Dalton Adams, Tyler Bouchelle, Coach Daniel Dickens.

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

BRISTOL—The sleeping giant awoke just a little too late against Johnson City Nationals on Sunday afternoon. Johnson County fell behind 14-2 after two innings but rallied for eight unanswered runs over the next three frames before falling 16-10 in the District 5 All-Star tournament in Bristol.
The loss eliminated Johnson County who lost to Erwin 8-4 on Saturday.
The Longhorns trailed the entire game after failing to score in their first at bat.
Three hits by Noah Hazel, Boaz Lipscomb and Holden Davis allowed the Nationals to take a 3-0 lead after one. It would only get worse from there.
Johnson City broke loose for nine runs in the second inning to go up 14-0. It looked like game might end early due to the mercy rule but that wouldn’t be the case.
The Longhorns got on the board by scoring two in the bottom half to begin their comeback.
Eli Dickens led off with a single down the right field line and moved to third on a base hit by Conner Stout. Conner Simcox got the Horns on the board with a double then Nate Dorman followed with an RBI base hit to cut the lead at 14-2.
Johnson City was able to log a couple more runs in the third thanks to base hits by Brayden Barnett, Petie Corvy and Nakota Graham but the Horns would not be denied.
They continued to chip away at the large deficit by scoring four times in the bottom half to get within 10 at 16-6.
Graham Reece led off with a single then scored on a two-out base hit by Dickens. The hit parade continued with back-to-back one-baggers from Ethan Reece and Tyler Bouchelle. Simcox cleared the bases with a two-run double before Johnson City could record the third
out but the Horns still trailed 16-6.
Johnson County elected to bring in Chris Reece to pitch the fourth inning and it proved to be an excellent move.
The crafty right-hander got his team out of a jam by retiring
the third out of the inning on one pitch with runners at second and third. He went on
to pitch scoreless baseball
over the final two frames allowing only one and two base runners.
Johnson County tallied a pair of runs in the fourth inning that kept the game from ending due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Dalton Adams slapped a two-run single scoring the Reece duo of Graham and Chris that cut the deficit in half at 16-8.
They duplicated that feat again in the fifth inning that edged them with rock-throwing distance at 16-10.
Simcox smacked his third base hit of the game and Ezra Howard laced a solid single. Some heads up running by both runners enabled them to come home after a sacrifice fly off the bat of George Grill got misplayed.
Johnson City was able to retire the Longhorns in their
final at bat to preserve the victory.
Reece was dynamite on the mound in his two plus innings of work. A pair of
good defensive plays form shortstop Graham Reece and one in right field by Howard aided him.
Simcox had a big day at the plate for Johnson County going 3-for-3 with three RBI’s. Graham Reece and Dickens added a pair of hits each and scored twice. Stout, Bouchelle, Dorman, Howard, Adams and Ethan Reece all had one hit apiece.
Hazel and Lipscomb had three hits apiece for Johnson City Nationals. Corvy and Holden Davis provided two apiece.

11-12 Year old Zone 5
All-Star Tournament
Johnson City Nationals 16, Johnson County 10

J. City Nationals 392 200 —16
Johnson Co. 024 220 — 10
WP—Hazel. LP—Adams

Tomahawk Talk: Common bond shared by Coach Kerley and me


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

I can remember the month and year as though it was yesterday. I received a phone call from the Tomahawk’s previous editor Angie Gambill asking me to take over the sports at the newspaper in August of 2014.
I had spent 13 years covering sports at the Elizabethton Star but wasn’t retained after the newspaper was sold. At first, I said no, but then I begin to have second thoughts.
I missed covering the high school games, and I figured that a new change of scenery might be good. The second phone call I made to Angie was one of my best calls ever.
I joined the Tomahawk as the sports editor in September of 2014. My first contact made was with first-year head coach Don Kerley. He had replaced longtime head coach Mike Atwood at the helm but had starred as the Longhorns’ quarterback in 1988, which happened to be one of their best teams ever.
It was the icebreaker that I needed because he and his coaching staff welcomed me with open arms; so did all the middle school and youth league coaches.
I found this community to be a very special place, like a second home for me. I still feel the same way nearly five years later.

Kerley stuck to the game plan
I came on board three games into the season, and the Horns were 1-2 with losses to Tennessee High and Cloudland. They had thrashed Grayson County, Virginia in week two but they found their groove in the first game that I covered. They destroyed Happy Valley 34-14 and nearly knocked off Hampton before losing 30-22.
The following week they hammered Sullivan North 28-6, and the play of one gusty senior stood out.
Warren Kerley’s frame didn’t resemble that of a quarterback, but his play sure did. Kerley threw the ball all over the field in the first three games that I covered, racking up nearly 700 yards passing.
But it was the Unicoi game that defined his toughness and that of his uncle, Coach Don Kerley.

Kerley shines despite the rain and cloudy skies
All of a sudden the season turned magical. The Longhorns would route the Blue Devils 26-6 behind the gutsy play of Warren Kerley that pushed their conference record at 3-0.
The offense moved the football up and down the field and only turned it over one time. Coach Don said it best after the game.
“This might have been our best overall game of the year,” said Kerley. “We had people blocking and not standing around. The defense picked us up, and the offense made plays. It was a well-rounded performance by our players.”

Especially by their little spark plug quarterback
He completed a 31-yard pass inside the 10 to Chase Phillips who had faked a punt on fourth down and tossed a 24-yard pass to Alex Trussler to keep the drive alive.
I had a great deal of respect for Coach Kerley after that drive. He didn’t shy away from the game plan and threw
the ball when most teams would have never entertained the thought on a muddy
Aaron Osborne capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run that put them up 7-0 after Rico Ortega’s PAT.
Unicoi answered by scoring their only touchdown but missed the extra point and trailed 7-6.
Coach Kerley didn’t ditch the passing game. He continued to play the role of a riverboat gambler after their second drive was stalled.
Quarterback Warren Kerley continued to impress by completing a 31-yard pass to Greg Roark on fourth down to the three-yard line after alluding two would-be tacklers. Cole Peters would bulldoze his way in from there to put the Horns up 13-6.
Once again Coach Kerley stuck to the game plan.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Johnson County would add a baker’s dozen in the fourth period to gather the win and run their overall record at 4-3.

Mix it up
Peters rushed for 90 yards including 47 on their longest drive of the year at 99 yards. Kerley’s numbers included 101 yards on the ground and 157 through the air. Osborne added 55 more on the ground as the Horns racked up over 400 yards to total offense.

The buck stops here
That would be the last win of the season despite Johnson County making the playoffs. The conference was stacked, and so was the bottom half of their schedule.
The lost to Elizabethton and Sullivan South in back-to-back weeks who were both ranked in the state polls at the time. South had defeated Greeneville 21-20, and Elizabethton had enjoyed
wins over Tennessee High, Daniel Boone, and David Crockett.
The Longhorns dropped their final two games to Sullivan East 8-19 who finished 7-4 and made the playoffs and to state runner-up Alcoa in the first round of the playoffs.
Throughout the rollercoaster season, Kerley made me feel like a part of the team. He
was the same man who I found to be a role model coach
to his players, a father figure and outstanding Christian man.

Coach Kerley was rewarded last season for weathering the storm. It all started with the conference being realigned. Elizabethton and Tennessee High were no longer there,
and neither was Sullivan
The Horns finished the regular season at 10-0 and won their first-round playoff game over Northview Academy 21-20. They lost a close game the following week to Austin East, but their 11 wins and 11-1 record is now in the record books.
They now are remembered as the team with the best record ever, most wins and highest ranking ever. They were the state’s No. 3 team for seven weeks.
Coach Kerley demeanor never changed during my four years of observing him. He was the same when the team was 11-0 as he was in 2014 when they finished 4-7.
He stuck to the game plan despite some criticism. In return, he gave Johnson County fans something special that would last for a lifetime.
I’ve tried to follow his example and give our readers something special each week that they can enjoy.
God willing I’ll be there on August 16 at Sullivan East to begin my fifth season cover Johnson County sports. So will Coach Kerley.
Go Longhorns. I need a new visor Coach Don.
Tim Chambers is the sportswriter for the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at

Unicoi upends JC All-Stars 8-4

JC’s Graham Reece fires a pitch in the second inning against Unicoi. Reece fanned three straight batters in the inning, but his team fell 8-4 in All-Star play. Photo by Tim Chambers


By Tim Chambers

BRISTOL—Johnson County had Erwin’s 11-12-year-old All-Stars on the hook but couldn’t reel them in on Saturday.
The boys from Unicoi County scored seven unanswered runs and walked away with an 8-4 victory at Fairview Little League Field.
Johnson County’s Graham Reece pitched well over four innings of work, but Johnson County’s defense crumbled in the fifth inning.
The Longhorns trailed 1-0 early in the game but took the lead on a three-run homer off the bat of Dalton Adams to go up 3-1.
Unicoi County tied the game in the third with a pair of runs then put the game away with a five-run fifth.
Johnson County scored a solo run in their last at-bat but couldn’t muster any offense over the final three frames.
Graham Reece and Nate King had the only other hits in the game for Johnson County aside from Adams’ 3-run dinger. Nate Dorman had the other RBI.

Zone 5 Little League
11-12 All Stars
Erwin 8, Johnson County 4

Johnson Co. 003 001— 4
Erwin 102 05x — 8

Longhorns win Legion tournament championship

The Longhorns defeated Hampton 11-4 to win the American Legion championship game. Front row, L-R: Isaiah Curd, Peyton Pavusek, Dalton Adams, Dakota Holt, Asa Lewis and Petie Pavusek. Back Row, L-R: Coaches Chris Dunbar & Travis Holt, Ethan Icenhour, Stacy Greer, Seth Conder, Coach Kevin Icenhour, Ben Howard and Coach Donald Greer. Not pictured: Graham Reece and head coach Michael Icenhour.

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

The Longhorns’ American Legion Post 61 baseball team won a pair of games on Saturday to reach the championship game on Monday. The team saved its best performance for last in the title game against Hampton’s Post 49 squad.
Upcoming freshman Asa Lewis pitched a whale of a game in their 11-4 victory at Johnson County High School. He was aided by some timely hits and good defensive play that allowed them to walk away as champions.
Assistant coach Chris Dunbar was happy with the way the Horns played over the seven-inning contest. He felt like one major factor in the game was jumping on them early.
“We came out aggressive and hit the ball good in the first inning,” said Dunbar. “Asa pitched a great game and had the defense behind him. It says a lot about the way these kids like to compete. I thought we played a complete game with very few mistakes.”
Coach “D” hit the nail on the head about his team’s play. They jumped on top 3-0 in the first inning after holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the top half.
Ben Howard got things started with an RBI single scoring Petie Pavusek who had walked. Seth Conder followed with a two-run base hit plating Ethan Icenhour and Howard that swung the momentum in their favor.
Johnson County put another three runs on the board in the second inning after Lewis had retired Hampton in order.
Dalton Adams and Lewis got it going with back-to-back singles. Howard drove in his second run of the game with another one-bagger.
Stacy Greer closed the frame with a two-run double in the gap that allowed them to stretch their lead at 6-0.
Hampton had only two base runners over the first three innings and one was thrown out trying to steal.
Petie threw out Hampton’s first base runner trying to steal then made a nice catch on a pop foul to end one inning. Peyton Pavusek drove in Ethan Icenhour in the third to stretch their advantage at 7-0.
Hampton finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth with two runs.
Morgan Lyons had an RBI single which was sandwiched in between five walks. Lewis regained his form and retired two consecutive batters with the bases loaded to escape the mess with a 7-2 advantage.
Hampton got within striking distance thanks to a two-run triple by Dalton Rouse in the fifth that cut the deficit at 7-4 but they never scored again.
Johnson County put the game away by adding four more runs in the fifth.
Conder and Dakota Holt all walked and scored as did Peyton Pavusek who singled. Lewis provided an RBI single while Petie Pavusek collected one after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Lewis pitched into the sixth before being relieved by Petie Pavusek who retired all four batters he faced. Lewis scattered six hits and struck out five. He also had a pair of hits and drove in a run.
Howard had a big night for the Horns going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Greer, Conder, Peyton Pavusek, and Adams provided one hit each.
Michael Harrison and Kaleb Royston went 2-for-3 each to lead the Bulldogs.
Assistant coach Kevin Icenhour felt like each game the team improved.
“These kids are starting to develop some chemistry and they enjoy playing ball with each other,” added Icenhour. “They saw themselves improve throughout the summer and that’s why we’re doing this.”
Dunbar added. “It’s awesome to see this kids come out here and want to improve on their skills. It’s good for our program because they all want to become better ball players.”

Longhorns win a pair on Saturday
Johnson County didn’t allow a run in the two games they played on Saturday winning 17-0 and 2-0.
The Horns pulled off a remarkable feat in both games with hitting and pitching.
Asa Lewis, Petie Pavusek, Ben Howard and Stacy Greer all hit home runs over the fence in the first contest. Peyton Pavusek added two hits. Seth Condor had a run scoring double
while Graham Reece and Dakota Holt each hit safely and scored.
The Horns won the second contest 2-0 that wasn’t decided until the final out.
The game was tied 0-0 in the sixth inning until Johnson County broke the deadlock. Ben Howard and Stacy Greer hit back-to-back doubles and each scored giving their team a 2-0 advantage.
That was all the support Howard needed who pitched brilliantly. He tossed a complete game two-hitter and amassed 16 strikeouts in his dominating performance.
Petie Pavusek went 1-3 and team up with Howard to provide Johnson County a “battery” that wouldn’t “die hard.”

American Legion
Championship Game
Johnson County 11,
Hampton 4

Hampton Post 49
000 220 0 — 4 6 3
Johnson Co. Post 61
331 004 0 —11 8 1

Rouse, Lyons (3), Burleson (6) and Street. Lewis, Pet Pavusek (6) and Pet. Pavusek, Conder (6).
WP—Lewis. LP—Rouse


It’s time to hang the 79 banner

Here is a vintage photo of the 1978-79 JCHS basketball team that won the school’s first
District basketball title ever.

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Nearly 40 years have passed since Johnson County pulled off the big shocker in high school basketball. Up until 1978-79, the Longhorns had only experienced three winning seasons in school history, and two of those came during the 30’s.
The 1974-75 team because the first one in nearly four decades to finish above the .500 mark. They finished second in the District, losing to Hampton in a close contest at Elizabethton High School but the magical season came four years later.
Johnson County was cruising around the .500-mark during the 78-79 basketball campaign at 11-12. They entered the District tournament as the third seed behind Happy Valley and West Greene.
A capacity crowd filled the gym at Chuckey-Doak High School to watch Johnson County take on West Greene’s best team ever.
The Buffaloes came into the game with a pair of regular season wins over Johnson County but would not find the third time to be a charm.
They Longhorns would scratch and claw their way to a 56-51 victory. Danny Hensley hit eight free throws in the final 45 seconds that helped Johnson County hold off the Buffaloes. Then lady luck struck twice.
Fourth seed South Greene putting them in the championship game against the Longhorns upset top seed Happy Valley.
It was nearly a carbon copy of the night before as Tim Lipford scored eight fourth-quarter points including four in the final .15 seconds to help Johnson County win the championship game 52-50.
Hensley was named the tournament’s MVP. Lipford was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Terry Lewis and Dennis Greene.
The Longhorns suffered a heartbreaker 58-54 loss to Church Hill in the first round of the regional.
It might not seem like much too some school, but this was a historic season for the Longhorns. It’s your first District title ever by an overachieving team that finished the year 14-13.
A trophy sits inside the school’s trophy case as a reminder, but the team has never had a banner raised in Ray Shoun Gymnasium that serves as a reminder of their achievement.
“We do have a trophy in the trophy case to prove it,” said District MVP Danny Hensley. “But we’ve never had a banner put in the gym or been recognized as the first team ever to win a District tournament at JCHS.”
Hensley said that seeing a banner put up after 40 years would be something special.
“I know how proud that it would make me feel and I believe the rest or our team would feel the same way,” added Hensley. “I’ve been disappointed over the years seeing all those banners hanging in the gym and nothing there to honor our team as the first District championship team ever. I’ve mentioned it before but never ever got done.”
Team members other than Hensley included; Steve Matherly, David Potter, Joe Lunceford, Rick Reece, David Stanley, Malcolm Perdue, Lynn Danner, Brian Farthing, Sam Adams, Jay Humphey, Tim Lipford, Terry Lewis and Dennis Greene. Glen Estep served as head coach.
Basketball season is several months away but what would be more fitting that to see a banner raised on the first night to honor Johnson County’s first ever District Champs.
To quote Larry they cable guy “let’s get ‘er done.”
Hensley and his teammates deserve it.

JC’s 7-8 All-Stars eliminated

JC’s Raylee Matheson stands on third after collecting a base hit against Johnson County. Her team fell 14-3 and lost to Daniel Boone 11-1. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Things got tough for Johnson County’s 7-8 year old All-Star team after defeating Jonesborough 16-5 in the opening round.
The Longhorns got waxed by Johnson City American then fell to Daniel Boone 11-1.
Johnson City scored in every inning to make quick work of the home-standing Horns.
They held Johnson County scoreless over the first two innings and jumped on top 7-0.
Johnson County scored all of its runs in the third inning. Four of their five base hits came in the frame.
Connor Stout, Kaden Huskins and Avery Blevins each had a base hit and scored. Blevins picked up an RBI as did Scotty Orndorff who drove in Blevins with a single.
Raylee Matheson had the only other hit in the game for Johnson County.
They couldn’t muster any offense against Boone losing an 11-1 contest.
Grayson Day had a double and scored to lead the Horns.

Longhorns’ Trio trying to improve the game

Bella Miller, Emmy Miller, and Hannah Brooks are enjoying their summer as members of the East Tennessee Crush
softball team. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

A trio of Lady Longhorns is currently in the meat and potatoes of their summer softball schedule while other high school athletes observe the TSSAA’s dead period.
Hannah Brooks along with sisters Emmy and Bella Miller are members of the East Tennessee Crush 16 and under softball team that competes in the 18 and under division.
Emmy, an up and coming sophomore earned the Tomahawk’s top newcomer award on the All-Johnson/Carter team after hitting .401 this past season. She said the playing against the older girls has helped her improve as a player.
“I feel like I’ve gotten much better this summer because we are playing against some very good teams,” said Emmy. The game is much faster at this level, and most of the pitchers we face can throw the ball hard with good location. You really have to be on top of your game to compete at this level, but I’m glad we’re playing against this type of talent. You have to bring your “A” game.”
Emmy was the starting catcher on the varsity squad for the entire season. She said that making the jump from junior high to high school was an eye-opening experience.
“The speed is much different at the high school level, and all the players can hit the ball,” added Emmy. “The games can be longer, and you play nearly every day. You don’t get many cheap hits in the league that we play in. All the teams have very good athletes.”
Her sister Bella will be one of the few seniors on this year’s squad. She likes the role of being the team leader and loves having her sister and Hannah on the Crush.
“We all played together when we were younger, so it’s fun getting to relive that,” said Bella. “We’ve played in four tournaments so far and finished second in our last one. The games didn’t end until after midnight, and we played all day. I think it might have been the best that we’ve played.”
Hannah is a rising junior who has already caught the eye of several high school coaches. She was intentionally walked 14 times by one team in four games during the season and hit .513 with eight homers.
She said that choosing to play all summer was an easy decision for her.
“I love the game, and we play our hearts out,” said Brooks about her summer team. “I love to compete at a high level and playing the teams that we do makes us better players. We have set some high goals as to where we want to finish over the next two seasons, so we have to push ourselves to get better. In travel ball, we play against a lot of older girls who have already signed to play in college. It can be intimidating yet if we can hit off of them then we can definitely hit good high school pitching. I want to get better because this is the sport that I enjoy playing most.”
Each of the three has had to downsize the sports they were participating in. Bella will drop basketball to focus more on volleyball, softball plus her academics.
Hannah, like Bella, plays volleyball and softball. Emmy gave up volleyball to focus on softball and basketball.
“I take pride in my academics, so I dropped basketball to focus more on my studies,” said Bella. “I love playing both sports, but softball is probably my favorite.”
That wasn’t the case for Emmy who gave up volleyball to play basketball and softball only. She earned a starting role as a freshman on the varsity basketball team and averaged nearly eight points and eight rebounds per contest.
“I like softball best, but I do enjoy playing basketball,” added Emmy. “We have some great basketball coaches that do a lot of drills with us. I feel like the conditioning gets me in shape for our softball season. I like to win, so I want to be good at both sports.”
Brooks didn’t have to think long when choosing her sport.
“I would play softball all year long if I could,” said Brooks. “I definitely will look at playing college softball down the road, but I want to keep improving on my game until then.”
Each player is excited about the upcoming softball season, and they all have played for new head coach Greg Reece in junior high. They all believe he will bring new energy to the team.
Like the energy that they bring to the Crush.
The Crush is likely to play in Johnson City this weekend at Wing Deer Park.

Major IHRA event hopes to attract local racers


Pictured is one of many cars that will be on hand in North Wilkesboro this week at the track. The track is located about hour from Mountain City. Submitted photo.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

A major racing event will return to Wilkes County, N.C. this weekend with the International Hot Rod Association looking to attract bracket racers throughout East Tennessee, Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular will host a double-race weekend this Friday through Sunday at Wilkesboro Dragway. The drag racing event features huge payouts with $10,000-to-win Saturday and $5,000-to-win on Sunday.

IHRA Ironman trophies and large championship checks will be presented to event champions on Saturday and Sunday. Bristol Motor Speedway founder Larry Carrier founded the IHRA in 1970. The organization has been based in West Palm Beach, Fla., since 2013.The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular was created to produce a fun double-race weekend with increased purses that are affordable for grassroots, bracket-racing competitors who support their local tracks each week.

On-site entry fees are $150 for Moser Engineering Saturday with a $10,000-to-win payout, $2,000 for the runner-up, $1,000 for the semifinals, and $100 per round starting with Round 3 winners.  For Sunday, entry fees are $100) with a $5,000-to-win payout, $1,000 for the runner-up, $500 for the semifinals and $100 per round starting with Round 3 winners.

In addition, the Summit Sportsman Spectacular events feature a set of unique bonus opportunities for all current IHRA Summit SuperSeries racers. There are cash bonuses for the Summit SuperSeries member that goes the furthest in eliminations or wins the event.The national contingency program is also available for all IHRA members who advance to the final two rounds each day. As part of its contingency program, Summit Racing Equipment will now pay for the win, runner-up and semifinal positions.

The Friday program in-cludes a test and tune, racer appreciation cookout, and a golf cart race. The race weekend features prizes awarded to the best losing package of first through third rounds. Runner-up finishers will receive prestigious medals as part of their prize package. Each race is set up where Box cars (those with an elec-tronic delay box) will race other Box cars and No Box cars (those without the delay box) are matched up with each other until there are no other No Box cars left. The final No Box racer wins a $1,000 bonus Saturday and a $500 bonus Sunday.

In addition to keep things fair, dragsters are lined up with other dragsters and door cars race other door cars through the early rounds.
All valid competition licenses and chassis certifications will be honored at the Summit Sportsman Spectacular events regardless of sanction.  All drivers running 0-6.39 in the 1/8-mile must have an IHRA, NHRA or accepted competition license.  A valid chassis certification is required for vehicles running 6.00 or quicker.  Chassis certifications and license renewals will be available on site.  Competitors obtaining an IHRA license for the first time are encouraged to complete the licensing process through the IHRA membership department prior to the event to ensure all documents are acceptable.

To become a member of the IHRA, you can email or call 561-337-3015.

Tomahawk Talk: Horns can’t avoid Thursday kickoffs

JC’s Troy Arnold #1 will see time at quarterback in 2018 after being the starting fullback last year. File Photo Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

The month of June is nearly over which means that football season is just around the corner. The youth club is currently signing up players and cheerleaders while the high school athletes are grounded because of dead week over the next two
It hasn’t stopped Longhorn fans about inquiring when and where the season opener is going to be.
Many fans are questioning if the season opener will be played on Thursday or Friday and if Thursday why.
The Longhorns will open up at Sullivan East on Thursday, August 16 at 7:30. The reason is simple.
The NASCAR race at Bristol will be held on the weekend of August 17-19 and East is just a short distance from there. The traffic is heavy during that
time and the restaurants are always full.
Johnson County fans can avoid most of the race
traffic by going over the mountain on game night. Last year the Longhorns broke a three-year losing streak to the Patriots by shutting them out 34-0.
The Longhorns will play their home opener on August 24 against Hampton and will following that up with their second Thursday night game on August 30 against Chuckey-Doak at home.
The schedule is pretty much the same as last year. They are on the road against Sullivan Central, Claiborne County, Cloudland and Unicoi County in addition to the season opener at East. Home games other than Hampton and Chuckey-Doak with include West Greene, Happy Valley and North Greene.
Kickoff times for all regular season games will be at 7:30.
The Horns will once again take part in the passing league at Hampton while continuing their conditioning and weight room training before the first official day of practice.

TSSAA and GameChanger
TSSAA recently announced that GameChanger, the leading digital scorekeeping and team management app for baseball and softball teams will become their reporting tool for preferred pitch counts.
The free app, recently named the exclusive baseball and softball app partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), offers custom pitch count alerts and an inning-by-inning pitch count recaps that make it easy for coaches to monitor and protect their pitchers’ health.
In 2017, TSSAA implemented rules that establish the
maximum number of pitches that can be thrown by pitchers within a set number of days. GameChanger will automatically send comprehensive daily pitch count reports to TSSAA for seamless, statewide pitch count reporting for coaches and TSSAA. In addition to monitoring pitch counts, GameChanger provides coaches with access to
over 150 statistics, instant spray charts, and a full suite of team management features, including game and practice scheduling and a player attendance tracker.
Many of your area sportswriters serve as administrators for the local high schools that they cover. They are able to get up to date game stats along with season stats and a complete box score of each game.
More than 13 million games have been scored using GameChanger.
Tim Chambers is the sports editor at the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at

JC All-Stars eliminated from 9-10 tourney

JC’s Hunter Paisley nabs an inside pitch from his catcher’s position. He played well behind the dish in the All-Star tournament. Photos by Tameula Trivett.

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

BRISTOL—The magical run for Johnson County’s 9-10-year-old All-Star team came to a halt in District play at the hands of Johnson City American and Johnson County Nationals at Bristol’s Fairview Little League Park on Friday. They fell to the Nationals 12-2 in the winner’s bracket finals then lost 13-1 to Johnson City American who went on to win the tournament and advanced to the state tournament.

JC Nationals 12
Johnson County 2
Johnson County held the lead for two-plus innings before the Nationals would take control of the game.
Eli Tester singled in the second inning and moved to third on a base hit by Ethan Smith. Tester scored on a wild pitch to put the Horns on top 1-0.
The Nationals tied the game in the bottom half on back-to-back base hits by Davis Britt and Gabriel Riddle.
Johnson County regained the upper hand in the following frame with a couple of timely hits. Isaac Lewis led off with a double then scored on a single by Chris Canter.
That would be their final run as the Nationals sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom half which led to 10 runs. The ended the game in the following frame.
Lewis had a pair of hits to lead Johnson County. Canter, Juan Mejia, Tester and Smith provided one apiece.
Britt, Ty Young and Jabriel Fain banged out two hits each to lead the Nationals.

Johnson City Americans 13
Johnson County 1
The Longhorns were short-handed in their final game against the Americans with only nine players available for action.
Kaden Blevins and Braxton Bragg had the only base hits in the game for the Longhorns.
Johnson County scored their lone run in the third. Landon Greene was hit by a pitch and later came home on Chris Canter’s groundout.
Carson Jennings and Kaden Blevins had a pair of good defensive plays in the infield for the Longhorns. Juan Mejia made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in centerfield that kept two runs from scoring.
The Americans scored six times in the second inning to go up 7-0. They ended the game in the fourth by putting another five runs on the board.
Mason Francis and Sam Royston had two hits each for the Americans.
“I can’t stress enough how proud that we coaches are of the effort that our kids put forth in this tournament,” said Johnson County’s All-Star manager Charlie Jennings. “We played well when we won our first two games down at Boone but just couldn’t get it going over here. It’s been a long time since Johnson County has won the zone so that was a big accomplishment for our kids. We also want to thank our fans who came out each night to cheer them on. It was a good experience for everyone.”

Longhorns derail Jonesborough All-Stars 16-5

JC’s 7-8 All-Stars defeated Jonesborough 16-5 on Sunday. Front row, L-R: Scotty Orndorff, Camden Johnson, Abby Dickens, Raylee Matheson, Avery Blevins and Connor Stout. 2nd Row, L-R: Conner Wallace, Grayson Day, Hunter McElyea, Cayden Huskins, Audrey Shaw, Gage Grisson and Karter Cox. Back Row, L-R: Coaches Kevin Blevins, Brian Day, Craig McElyea, Cody Matheson and Richie Shaw. Photos by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Not even a souped-up Mustang could have started faster than Johnson County’s 7-8-year-old All-Star team
did on Sunday before a
capacity crowd at Gary Woodard Field. The future
Longhorns scored five times in their first at-bat and held Jonesborough scoreless which jumpstarted them to a 16-5 victory.
It was quite a showing by the Little Longhorns who set the tone with two great defensive plays in the first inning. Johnson County’s manager Kevin Blevins was happy with his team’s game.
“We set the tone by not allowing them to score in the first inning,” said Blevins. “I think it got them down when we came in and scored five quick runs and went up 5-0. Our kids hit the ball well, and we made several good plays defensively. I thought we came out ready to play and they were excited about getting to play at home in front of all the fans. I’m very proud of them.”
It all started with a nice catch by Grayson Day at second base to lead off the game, and then Jonesborough got robbed a second time on a nice over-the-shoulder catch by Karter Cox that saved a run.
Those plays helped spark JC’s offense which scored the maximum five runs in the bottom half.
Cox followed up his great catch with a one-out single and scored on Day’s double. Hunter McElyea and Camden Johnson followed suit by smacking run-scoring singles. Gage Grissom drove in another UN with a single and Abby Dickens capped it off with an RBI double to put them in front 5-0.
The Longhorns’ defense stood out again in the second inning holding Jonesborough to only one run. They kept putting on the pressure with a three-run outburst in their second
Audrey Shaw, Connor Stout, and Cayden Huskins all singled and scored in the inning. Avery Blevins had a 2-run single down the third base line, and Raylee Matheson contributed another single that scored Huskins.
Johnson County led 9-1 after two.
The Longhorn defense continued its dominance by allowing only five runs over four innings while continuing to pad their lead.
Gage Grissom smacked a two-run triple in the third inning scoring Day and McElyea who had swatted singles. Dickens had an RBI base hit and “Connor Connection” of Connor Stout, and Connor Wallace hit safely and scored giving Johnson County a 13-3 advantage.
Jonesborough was able to extend the game by scoring twice in the fourth inning. Johnson County needed three runs to end it on the mercy rule, and they didn’t disappoint their vocal fans.
Blevins got things started with a solid single. Cox and Day both singled and scored putting Johnson County in Monday’s winner’s bracket finals.
Day had three hits and three excellent defensive plays at second base to lead the Longhorns. Blevins, McElyea, Cox, Grissom, Dickens, Stout and Huskins added two apiece. Matheson, Johnson, Wallace, and Shaw provided one apiece. Scotty Orndorff provided some stellar play as well for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns were to play Johnson City Americans on Monday. A win would move them on to District game later in the week.

Zone 2 Little League
7-8 All-Star Tournament
Johnson County 16,
Jonesborough 5

Jonesborough 012 2 — 5
Johnson County 535 3 —16

Tomahawk Talk: Fishing can be family fun

Crystal Carpenter is shown with a nice trout she caught on Watauga Lake. The fish provided a great meal just a few nights later.


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Some of the best fishing in Tennessee can be found just down the road at Watauga Lake, which is located in Johnson and Carter County. I had the pleasure recently to view the lake, which covers over 6400 acres.
I ran upon a couple whose favorite fishing spot was near Watauga Dam, which was completed in 1948 after construction began in 1942.
The Watauga and Elk Rivers border the lake and the water is high at present.
Harold Street and his daughter Crystal Carpenter love to trout fish on the Watauga. The father and daughter duo have caught several whoppers in the past month, and many are much larger than in recent years.
“The fishing has been unbelievable, but it’s the time that we get to spend with each other that so special,” said Carpenter. “I enjoy getting to fish on the lake with my dad. It’s something we’ve enjoyed doing together for years.”
Carpenter stated that several areas where they fish can be 250 feet or deeper. The area where they have had their most success at is around 277 feet deep.
“It varies where we go,” said Carpenter. “We ride the lake all the way from Carter County into Johnson County. You couldn’t find anything more beautiful than riding up and down the lake.”
Carpenter is actively involved in her church at New Hope Ministries where she serves as treasurer. She agreed that nothing came before her church, even fishing.
“We come up sometimes on Sunday after church, but we won’t miss a service for it. There is plenty of time in the afternoons and on Saturday to get in some good fishing. I can always find the time.”
Carpenter’s fishing has been put on hold for the moment due to her daddy being involved in a car accident.
“He was sitting at the red light in Hampton, and a drunk driver ran the light and totaled his truck. He’s got banged up some, and he’s really sore and needs everyone’s prayers. I give God all the glory for allowing him to live. I don’t know what I would do without him.”
I am asking our Tomahawk readers to keep Mr. Street in your prayers.

Johnson County shocks JC All-Stars 7-4

Johnson County’s 9-10-year-old Stars do a little dancing like the Rockettes after their 7-4 win over JC Majors. Photos by Tim Chambers


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

GRAY—A determined group of future Longhorns didn’t back down from a superior Johnson City Majors squad. Instead, they found a way to earn a comeback win in dramatic fashion.
Johnson County’s 9-10-year-old Little League All-Stars took down the Majors 7-4 in the first round of the District Tournament played at Daniel Boone’s Little League Field. The game was stopped in the third inning for 15 minutes due to the heat. The temperatures remained near 90 after the stoppage and Johnson County’s bats stayed hot.
“We hit it well in the third and fifth innings,” said manager Charlie Jennings. “Our pitchers did a great job of throwing strikes, and our defense did a great job of making plays in the field. I felt like we played as a team and the chemistry was very good on the field. This was a huge win for us. Beating them in All-Star play is always special to us.”
It all started in the third inning with the Junior Longhorns trailing 2-0.
Isaac Lewis got things started with a double then scored on a triple off the bat of Braxton Bragg. The Horns tied the game on an RBI single by Carson Jennings then took the lead on Juan Mejia’s run-scoring base hit to go up 3-2.
“When Braxton hit the triple it got us going,” said Jennings. “Lewis that the big leadoff hit and we just kept hitting. It gave us confidence when we finally got the lead.”
The Majors rallied to retake the lead in the following inning.
Ben Cleveland had a clutch two-run single that put them back on top 4-3, but the Longhorns weren’t about to fold.
They rallied for four runs in the fifth by knocking the cover off the baseball.
Jennings got it started with a leadoff single then moved to third on a double from Kaden Blevins. Mejia’s put them back in front with a double scoring Jennings and Blevins for a 5-4 advantage. Eli Tester kept the fire going by doubling in Mejia then Ethan Smith’s groundout extended their lead at 7-4.
The Longhorns used three pitchers, and all of them threw well.
Blevins started on the mound and worked three and 2/3’s innings. He fanned four and allowed only one earned run. Lewis came on to toss 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. He was credited with the win.
Jennings convincingly closed on the mound by striking out a pair of batters in addition to making a great defensive play to earn the save. It was one of four on the day for him. He also led the team in hitting going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Mejia added a pair of hits and three RBI’s. Bragg, Lewis, Blevins, and Tester went 1-for-2 apiece. Smith drove in a run.
“Every kid contributed in the win,” added Jennings. “The kids and our coaches have worked hard trying to prepare them. This was a total team effort. The kids got rewarded for all the hard work they have put in.”
Raden Cutlip had a pair of hits to lead the Majors.
The Longhorns were to play Jonesborough on Monday at 6 pm who defeated Boone 14-2 and Blountville 17-4 in their first two games of the tournament.

Cardinals rally to win Little League softball championship

State Farm Cardinals won the tournament championship 12-11 over the White Sox.
Pictured front row, L-R: Kylah Henley, Sarah Warlock, and Hannah Fletcher. Standing, L-R: Eden Potter, Ashlyn Beam, Shawna Arnold, Chloe Ballard and Lexie Proffitt. Coaches included Chris Baird, Leon Henley, and Jeremy Hagler. Not pictured, Emily Shupe, Ella Icenhour and Allison Trivette. Photos by Tim Chambers


By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor

Little League softball has had a tough times getting in regular season games in 2018 due to the rain, but their tournament was a different story. The best game of the season was played on Thursday before a large gathering of fans at Ralph Stout Park between the Cardinals and White Sox.
The end result was a come-from-behind 12-11 win for the State Farm Cardinals. It was a fitting way to cap off the successful season.
The Cards, who finished in second place during the regular season struggled to take down the lower seeded Sox; fourth in league play. The White Sox barely got by the Diamond Backs 19-18 in the first round and won big over the first place Dodgers on Tuesday who was minus their two best players.
“It’s been a great year for softball,” said Cardinals manager Chris Baird. “We added an extra team and the league we all were pretty balanced. Our kids didn’t quit tonight despite only have eight players. It was an uphill battle, but we played well at the end where it mattered most.”
The Cards had to take an out in the nine spot each time that player would have batted, but they didn’t let it spoil their party.
They scored a pair of runs in the first inning after Chloe Ballard and Lexi Proffitt both singled and crossed the dish.
The White Sox duplicated that feat in their first at-bat. Harley Potter and Zennia Bouchelle both scored after reaching on a base hit and walk.
The Cardinals kept applying the pressure by scoring four more times in the second inning.
Ashlyn Beam and Ballard got things started with base hits apiece. Proffitt plated one with a solid single while Eden Potter brought home two more with a booming double.
The Horns kept applying the pressure in the third inning.
Proffitt and Ballard singled to up their margin at 8-2 but back came the Sox in a fury.
Emma Dugger, Kindal Watson, Bouchelle, Shayden Keith, Emma Savery, Meleah Johnson and Madeline Bendon all reached base and scored putting the Sox on top 9-8.
A two-run double by Bouchelle in the fifth scored Watson, and Harley Potter that upped their advantage at 11-8 but back came the Cardinals for the second time.
Ballard and Kyla Hensley all walked and scored in the fifth to pull them within one at 11-10.
Sarah Warlock and Beam led off the Cards final at-bat with a pair of walks. Singles by Ballard and Kayla Henley would be enough for the Cards to celebrating their 12-11, championship trophy.
Ballard had a monster game for the Cards going 5-for-5, scoring four runs and pitched the win. Proffitt added a 3-for-3 performance, scored four runs and was on base five times. Kayla Henley collected a pair of base hits and scored twice. Potter, Shawna Arnold, Warlock and Beam added one
Bouchelle provided two hits and drove in four runs to
lead the White Sox. Harley Potter had the only other hit. The Sox scored six runs after batters had walked and three more on hit batters. Emma Savery provided them a stellar defensive game at third base by making three huge plays that prevented the Cards from scoring two runs.
“The league came a long way from the first of the season,” said White Sox manager Clay Savery. “I think we can be a pretty good feeder program for the junior high if we can keep our numbers up. The girls are working hard to try and get
better. I’m very proud of our team.”