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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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

IHRA

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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 membership@ihra.com 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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
weeks.
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 tomahawksportseditor@gmail.com.

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
at-bat.
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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

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
apiece.
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.”

Johnson County crushes Jonesborough 20-8

JC’s Chris Canter slaps a 2-run single in the fourth inning against J-Boro. Canter had 4 hits and scored 4 times in their 20-8 win. Photos by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

GRAY—The dominance continued for Johnson County’s 9-10-year-old All-Star team in their game against Jonesborough. It took three hours and 15 minutes to come away with an impressive 20-8 win on Monday night at the Daniel Boone Little League Park.
They’ll now play on Thursday night at 6 pm in Bristol at the Fairview Little League Field against an opponent that is yet to be determined.
The Longhorns banged out 26 hits with several players having multi-hit games. The key factor was the pitching of Carson Jennings who tossed the final three innings without giving up a run.
“Our kids are really playing good as a team right now,” said manager Charlie Jennings. “I thought we made some good plays defensively and we hit the ball all up and down our batting order. I can’t say enough about these kids and the good job that they have done. It’s huge when you don’t have to take a loss into the District. We won two big games over here, and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”
Johnson County jumped on top early by scoring two times in the first inning. Kaden Blevins delivered a two-run single scoring Chris Canter and Carson Jennings who had hit safely, but Jonesborough tied the game in the bottom half.
The future Longhorns pushed three runs across in the third to go up 5-2. Isaac Lewis and Jennings got it started with singles. Blevins and Juan Mejia had back-to-back RBI base hits. Ethan Smith drove in the final run with a groundout after Braxton Bragg had singled, but the lead would be short-lived.
Jonesborough responded by sending 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half that produced six runs on four base hits and four errors. It was all Johnson County from that point.
They trailed 8-5 but erased that deficit in a hurry. Johnson County sent 15 batters to the plate in the fourth and scored 10 times in the frame.
Mejia had a bases-loaded triple that put them back in front while Hunter Paisley stroked a two-run single to aid the cause. They also got RBI base hits from Ethan Smith, Eli Tester, Grayson Espinoza, Lewis and Canter that surged them in front to stay at 17-8.
Proving that “father knows best,” manager Jennings brought in his son Carson to pitch the final three innings of the game, and he didn’t disappoint. He struck out five batters and never allowed a run but also got a diving catch from Mejia in centerfield that ended the fourth inning with runners on second and third.
Jennings fanned two batters in the sixth including the final one with two runners on to end the game.
“It’s been different kids stepping up and making plays,” said Jennings about his squad. “Juan made a great catch in center, and Landon Greene made one out there in the right. We played some very good baseball.”
Johnson County’s hit parade list was pretty impressive.
Lewis and Canter led the way with four hits apiece, and each scored four times. Blevins and Mejia added three hits and three RBI’s apiece. Ethan Smith and Tester also contributed three hits and an RBI each. Jennings delivered two base hits in addition to his outstanding pitching performance. Paisley came off the bench to go 2-for-3 with three RBI’s. Bragg and Espinoza each went 1-for-2.
Aiden Cannon went 4-for-4 to lead Jonesborough while Eli Rice added a 3-for-4 performance.

Little League Zone 1 Tourney
Johnson County 20,
Jonesborough 8

Johnson Co. 203 (12) 03 – 20
Jonesborough 206 000 — 8
WP—Jennings

Longhorn pair learning to shuffle

Natalie Winters (12) earned the job as starting point guard on the varsity basketball team as a sophomore last year.
She also had an outstanding year in softball making the Tomahawk’s All Johnson/Carter team.

Abby Cornett (25) earned a lot of playing time as a
sophomore on the hardwood and started in center field
on the softball team. File Photos Tim Chambers

 

 

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

The average student looks forward to their summer break because it means vacation time and relaxation. It also means going swimming, hiking, beach trips, and fishing. You also can take a boat ride or water ski with Watauga Lake being only minutes away.
That’s not always the case when you are a three-sport athlete like rising juniors Natalie Winters and Abby Cornett are. The reason is quite simple.
Both are members of the varsity basketball softball, and volleyball teams and all three sports have different times they work out during the summer months. The players touched on time management.
“It’s hard to fit them all into your schedule because you have so much that is going on during the summer,” said Winters. “We have our set practice times, but you also want to work on your own to try and get better. We go to ball camps, and we have morning practices, but you get better by putting in the extra time. You have to if you want to play and be good at the varsity level. It’s so much different than middle school.”
It’s worth noting that both girls said that volleyball workouts were optional for now, but they go to try and get better. That’s part of being a competitor.
“Every player is always working hard to get a starting position or gain a lot of playing time,” said Cornett. “It’s that way in any sport. You always want to show the coaches that you’re getting better. The only way to do that is to put the time in on your own.”
The girls will close out summer basketball practice today with a trip to Gate City, Virginia. They were in Greeneville on Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s been fun getting back out on the court, but it has also shown us where we need to be at,” said Winters. “We’ve been playing for two years now, so we’re tired of just playing teams close. We want to win.”
Cornett added. “We all enjoy it because basically, all our friends do it. We usually hang out around one another after practices. We still find the time to do a lot of things when we can. You just have to manage your time wisely.”
Both girls agreed that all the coaches were great to work with. The recent hire of Greg Reece as head softball coach at the high school won’t be a problem for the two.
“We all played for Coach Greg in middle school, and he’s not only a coach but a friend too,” said Cornett. “He’s very approachable and easy to talk with. We shouldn’t have a problem adjusting to his style.”
Winters agreed with Cornett assessment on Reece being a good coach plus a friend. She put a beach trip on the shelf to be here for softball tryouts when they roll around.
“We were looking at taking a trip after basketball was over but I want to be here for tryouts,” added Winters. “We have to prove ourselves all over again although he knows what we can do and saw us play some this year. He’s going to carry more players so you don’t take anything for granted because everyone will be expecting to play. That includes the ones who didn’t play this year.”
The good part about all is that practices don’t run together with one another. The required volleyball practices will begin immediately after basketball is completed.
Softball tryouts will begin on June 16. Finding the time to be good at all three won’t be a problem for the duo. Winters recently proved that.
She found the time to play travel softball for a weekend with softball teammates Hannah Brooks and Emmy Miller despite her busy schedule. She and Cornett wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We not just out there to play we’re out there to win,” said Winters. “I believe we can be good at softball and basketball and our volleyball team should be much improved. We want teams to respect us.”
Cornett added. “We can’t use the excuse that we’re young anymore. It’s time we stepped up and started winning. That’s why we work hard over the summer.”

All-Stars and Mother Nature stall LL season

The Diamondbacks and White Sox players and coaches show good sportsmanship after a hard fought 18-16 game won by the Sox. Photo by Tia Thomas.

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

Rain, rain, go away. All we want to do is play.
Many a Johnson County, Little League player, has said this phrase over the past several weeks because Mother Nature has put a damper on their season.
The league decided to put a halt to their regular season and start the tournament Monday. Rain interrupted play on Monday, but they finally got the games in.
The White Sox earned a close victory over the Diamondbacks who they narrowly defeated on Saturday 18-16. This eliminated the D-Backs from the tournament.
The first place Dodgers are scheduled to play on Tuesday along with the second place Cardinals. The championship game is set for Thursday.
The league has made a vast improvement this year, despite all the rain according to veteran coach Gary Evans.
“We’ve added another team, and we have a lot of younger players this year,” said Evans. “That itself has improved the league, and many girls who have never played before are getting better each and every game.”
The league will not participate in All-Stars this year but would like to resume competing in it next season.
Little League All-Stars to play on Saturday
The Johnson County 9-10-year-old All-Star team will begin play on Saturday at Daniel Boone at noon. Their roster is made up of Carson Jennings, Kaden Blevins, Hunter Paisley, Eli Tester, Ethan Smith, Christopher Canter, Isaac Lewis, Juan Mejia, Grayson Espinoza, Landon Greene, Braxton Bragg and Sawyer Marshall.
The team will open up with the Johnson City Majors and will play on Sunday at 2:00 pm if they win and 4:30 pm should they lose.
The regular season had to be cut short due to All-Star playing dates being pushed up. They might play a season-ending tournament after completion of the All-Stars but all that is still in the planning stages.
The coach pitch All-Star tournament will begin to play on June 24 at Cunningham Park. Johnson County will have a team participating in the event.
The 11-12-year-old All-Stars will begin play on July 7 at a site yet to be determined.

Tomahawk’s Dandy Dozen Baseball Team

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

The Three Rivers Conference is one of the top leagues in the state and that definitely held true for baseball. Elizabethton advanced to the final four of the state tournament and defeated Greeneville in the regional championship game who won the state championship.
Johnson County finished near the bottom but was able to pull off a few significant victories.
The Cyclones amassed 28 wins the best finish since 1958 when they lost to Memphis Christian Brothers in the state championship game 4-3 led by former major leaguer and announcer Tim McCarver.
Their dominance that included the District and Regional championships allow them to stockpile our 2018 Tomahawk’s Dandy Dozen All Johnson/Carter County baseball squad plus one.
Trying to select a player of the year was a tossup between teammates Cory Russell and Evan Carter. Both players were tabbed as co-players of the year after putting up impressive numbers against the area’s best competition.
Russell hit for a .390 average that including a team high 50 RBI’s with 10 coming in the postseason. He also scored 43 runs and was 2-1 on the mound. He already drawing rave reviews as one of East Tennessee’s best shortstops.
Carter batted .377 collecting 44 hits while driving in 46 runs and scoring 33. He amassed 12 doubles and was one of the league’s top pitchers. He has already committed to Duke University to play baseball.
Our top pitcher award goes to Elizabethton’s ace Tre Shoun. It would be hard-pressed to find someone who was more dominating against some of the area’s best teams, especially in postseason play. He finished the year going 10-2, which included a 12-0 win over Grundy County during the state tournament combining with two other pitchers for a no-hitter. He hurled 67 innings in 15 starts with an overall 1.35 ERA. He had a 1.05 ERA in his five starts during the postseason.
Joining the trio of Cyclones on the team is slick fielding second baseman Ethan Eagleston, Evan Perkins and outfielder Ryan Wetzel.
Eggleston was the team’s top defensive player and hit .367 on the season. Perkins batted .409 with 47 hits and 11 doubles and was the league’s top catcher. Wetzel also hit .409 and covered lots of territory from his centerfield position.
Unaka didn’t dominate the Watauga Valley Conference like they had in past years, but they did have a couple of the area’s better players.
John Ramsey earns a spot on the team after going 9-3 on the mound that included three no-hitters. He hit .411 that including 10 doubles and had an ERA of 1.00 with 115 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. Blake King who was productive as one of the league’s best hitters and all-around players joins him on the squad. King hit .390 with nine doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers and 40 RBI’s. He was also 5-3 on the mound with two saves.
Hampton’s Dru Owens was named on every ballot along with their lefty ace Dalton Rouse.
Owens hit .400 with 10 doubles and 27 runs scored. He was also 38-for-39 in stolen base attempts. Rouse was 5-3 with three complete games and one shutout. He ended the year with 87 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings with a 2.58 ERA.
Happy Valley’s Nolan Easlic will represent the Warriors along with outfielder Will Hampton. Easlic hit .380 and was 5-4 on the mound. Hampton batted .350 and was a deer on defense with a vacuum glove.
Cloudland’s shortstop Dillon Johnson had a big season for the Highlanders are their lone representative. He, Hampton and Rouse tied for the final slot with all three being selected making it a baker’s dozen.
Johnson County’s Shane Greer and Josh Tierney are the lone two Longhorns that round out the squad.
Greer hit a sizzling .419 and led the team in base hits and RBI’s Tierney batted a hefty .362 and was second in total base hits.
Our most promising newcomer award goes to Hampton’s freshman first baseman Josh Owens. He hit .254 as an everyday starter but had a .450 on-base percentage. He led the team with 21 walks.
Elizabethton’s Ryan Presnell was the unanimous choice for coach of the year honors.
Bud Icenhour, Jayden Joiner, and Petie Pavusek logged spots on the honorable mention squad for the Longhorns.

Tomahawk’s Dandy Dozen All Johnson/Carter Baseball Team

Co-players of the year:
Cory Russell, Evan Carter, Elizabethton

Pitcher of the year:
Tre Shoun, Elizabethton

Newcomer of the year:
Josh Owens, Hampton

Coach of the Year:
Ryan Presnell, Elizabethton

Best of the Rest
Elizabethton:
Ethan Eagleston, Ryan Wetzel, Evan Perkins

Unaka:
John Ramsey, Blake King

Hampton:
Dru Owens, Dalton Rouse

Cloudland:
Dillon Johnson

Johnson County:
Shane Greer, Josh Tierney

Honorable Mention
Elizabethton: Logan Estep, Matthew Dailey
Happy Valley: Eli Fleenor, Hayden Holtsclaw
Unaka: Daniel Ensor, Bryson Street
Hampton: Gavin Hardin. Caleb Oaks
Cloudland: Colin Morgan

Snyder, a true outdoorsman

Dawson Snyder (10) shows his basketball athleticism against Sullivan North. He’s now leaping streams trying to find the best fishing holes.
File Photo time Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

Dawson Snyder was a sharpshooting guard on the basketball court for three seasons but gave it up to pursue his love during his senior year.
Snyder is still an excellent marksman only now it’s in a different kind of sport.
Considered by many to be one of the best young outdoorsmen in the area Snyder specializes in several different regions.
You can find him hunting for deer during the fall and turkey when spring rolls around. Fishing gets the nod when those two are not in season.
“I love it all, but turkey and deer hunting are my favorites,” he said. “I can’t decide a favorite between the two because I love them both. It’s a wonderful feeling being out in the woods and seeing all the nature that surrounds us. I can’t think of anything better than being able to hunt and fish.”
Snyder deer hunts on the land owned by his family and turkey hunts in the same area along with some property owned by a few select neighbors. You can find him hunting deer in season from late September to early January and turkey from the end of March through early May.
“The hunting in these parts is excellent,” said Snyder. “The turkeys mate during the early part of the season and are fun to track down. I love deer season because it’s because of the peacefulness you find out in the open woods. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I was a young boy.”
Snyder takes this time of the year to enjoying fishing, which he does mostly in Johnson County. He said it’s a blessing to have nearly everything within such a short distance from his house.
“We’ve got some of the best places to fish up here right in our back door,” added Snyder. I fish Doe River, Elk River, Doe Creek and the Laurels. You can’t beat any of them if you know where to look at.”
Snyder always had a knack at finding the right spots on the court during his basketball days. He once fired in 30 plus points in back-to-back junior varsity games and ranks up significant numbers when it comes to reeling in the fish. He agreed there is an art to it.
“Every stream has good and bad places to fish. You usually won’t find good fishing if the area is close to the road. It’s an all-day trip to some places where I go. It takes a lot of practices, and it can be very frustrating at times.”
Snyder has done all types of fishing, but fly-fishing is mostly what he does now. He goes looking for rainbow and brown trout. He gave out some good advice for any person that might be interested in learning the art.
“You have to study it and be patient while learning it. It will make you not want to do it when you first start but stay with it. It gets better each time that you go. You’ll learn something new every time.”
Snyder touched briefly on his basketball days and why he left the hardwood.
“I enjoyed playing with my buddies and being around the competition, but I didn’t miss all the time that it took up. I would rather be outside in the woods that anywhere.”
Snyder gave credit to his grandpa Lynn Snyder for getting him into fishing and his uncle Tom for hunting.
“They broadened my love for it, but my dad was the one who took me first. He doesn’t do it much anymore, but they all had a hand in getting me hooked on it. I’m lucky to be in the family that I’m in.”
Snyder will attend Northeast State beginning this fall and will likely pursue a degree in the agriculture field. He was humble when I ask him if he would ever consider doing a television show if the opportunity arose.
“It would be like living a dream, but I don’t have the experience yet. I have a long ways to go to get where those guys on TV are, but I do think that it would be special.”
Nothing could be more special than seeing Snyder on
TV doing his thing right
here in Johnson County, Tennessee. Sometimes dreams do come true.

Tomahawk Talk: Joiner showcasing his talent with T-C Royals

Jayden Joiner is shown on the mound pitching for Johnson County. He has been a starter for the Horns since his freshman season. File Photo Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

It’s a tough task for head coach Pete Pavusek to build a competitive high school baseball team at Johnson County because so many of his players choose not to play during the summer. Participating takes up time, and usually, lots of travel is involved for kids up here to improve their skills.
That’s not stopping Jayden Joiner who is making the most of his summer. He has a desire to play college baseball, so he’s giving all his time to the sport he excels in.
Joiner is a key member of the RBI’s Tri-Cities Royals 16 and under baseball team. The team is made up of Northeast Tennessee’s elite players including some from the state championship Greeneville High School team.
Joiner’s team participated in their first tournament this past weekend, and his and the team’s performance were outstanding.
They won the Perfect Game – Net Elite Baseball Appy Showcase Wood Bat tournament that contained eight teams. Joiner’s squad competed against two teams from Knoxville, two from Kentucky and one from Nashville in addition to a couple of others.
The Royals went 5-1 en route to winning the championship game against the Clarksville, Kentucky Orioles.
Joiner proved he could hang with the big dog bat the plate and especially on the mound.
He batted .333 with an on-base percentage of .474 and was on base nine of the 19 plate appearances he had.
He pitched a complete seven-inning game against the Tennessee Prospects 16-under team out of Knoxville earning a 3-1 victory. He gave up only one earned run, two hits and struck out seven and walked three. He displayed pinpoint control by throwing just 75 pitches.
He later tossed a complete game in the semi-finals against Nashville’s Showtime Baseball 16-and under team defeating them 4-1.
Joiner allowed only one earned run and one hit with five strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches en route to the victory.
The rising junior will definitely be getting some college looks because of playing against some of the state’s top talent.

TSSAA Dead Period just around the corner
High school coaches are trying to get in some last minute instruction time with players before the mandatory “Dead Period” time begins.
This year Dead Period beings on June 23 and runs through July 8. During this two-week period all workouts, practices, and facilities will be shut down to high school athletes. Weight training and conditioning sessions are also prohibited on school grounds. Coaches are to have no contact with the student-athlete.
Football, volleyball, and golf can continue their summer workouts and conditioning programs beginning on July 9.

Tim Chambers is the sports editor for the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at tomahawksportseditor@gmail.com.

Longhorns’ car show to be held Friday

2018 Johnson County High School Baseball team. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

The baseball team will be holding its 12th annual car show on Friday night, June 8th from 6:00 –9:00 pm at the high school. Head coach Pete Pavusek has over 40 awards to give out and urges everyone to come out and support the baseball team and the show. The cost to enter a car, truck or motorcycle is $20.00 and there is no charge to come and view the vehicles.

There will be a large concession stand filled with food and drinks to be sold during the event. It’s a great night to come and hang out with friends and Longhorn fans.
For more information call 423-291-9229.

Tomahawk Talk- Summer basketball and MIP

                                Pavusek

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

It’s close to being football time in Tennessee but its basketball time for the next couple of weeks for high school teams including Johnson County.The Longhorns will try and get in a few weeks work before the dead period rolls around that will put a halt to everything for two weeks.The girls recently returned from a two-day varsity camp at King College where they went 2-2. Head coach Leon Tolley got pretty much what he expected.

“We didn’t have all of them there, and we had only practiced for three days, so we weren’t game ready to play anybody,” said Tolley. “But the girls did well, and they played hard, but we’ve got to get in better shape and be more physical. We need to be more aggressive and pass the ball better. It’s just the usual stuff you expect to see starting out.”

The team will travel to Greeneville beginning Friday for a four-day camp. They’ll wind up camp play next Wednesday at Gate City, Virginia.

“We just go three weeks because they have to have time to be a kid and do other things they need to do,” added Tolley. “The camps show us where they are now and what they need to work on. Last year we were concerned about running a play, but now we’ve just got to play and read the defense. We’ve got to be aggressive and take up for ourselves.”

The boys were in Pigeon Forge on Tuesday ready to begin to play in their first camp for the summer. They recently held their sports banquet where Blake Atwood and Bud Icenhour shared MVP honors. We will have more on their progress in next week’s edition of Tomahawk Talk.

Tomahawk’s first ever MIP
You always see an MVP named representing the most valuable player for the outstanding numbers that they put up during the season. It’s those numbers that often lead to his or her team having a successful year.

Very seldom does a player ever get recognized for elevating his game to another level from one year to the next but that’s about to change.Tomahawk sports put a lot of thought and studied a lot of stats in trying to decide who would be our MIP or most improved player for 2018. We finally came up with our recipient who we felt like helped their team the most.

Sophomore catcher, Petie Pavusek is our first ever MIP. Pavusek began last season as a freshman at only 14 years of age. This year he came back stronger and played well behind the plate for the Horns in addition to supporting a good batting average. Pavusek hit .310 with 17 walks and 15 base hits. He threw out over 40 percent of the runners attempting to steal and proved to be a wall behind the plate with numerous blocks.Pavusek will try and improve his skills even more by playing summer league baseball. He has amassed 34 walks in two seasons as a Longhorn.

Next week we will name our female MIP for 2018. Tim Chambers is the sports editor at the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at tomahawksportseditor@gmail.com.