By Tim Chambers
What a difference one year makes. The Longhorns were 0-2 last year with Elizabethton up next en route to a 0-3 start. They had been beaten soundly by state ranked Sullivan East and Hampton.
Let’s fast forward to 2017.
Johnson County is 2-0 with wins over East and state ranked Hampton. And their play has definitely caught the eye of sportswriters across the state.
The Longhorns moved up to No. 6 in the latest AP 3-A poll after knocking off the Bulldogs 20-8 on Friday. The loss dropped Hampton to No. 9 in the latest 2-A poll.
“Our kids are excited about getting recognized for all their hard work,” said JCHS head coach Don Kerley. “We want to play well and stay there. It’s very good exposure for our school and community.”
The Longhorns will try and avoid a trap game at Chuckey-Doak on Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 6:30 in Afton.
“We won’t be taking anyone for granted on our schedule,” said Kerley. “It was a tough road to get where we are. We’ll play them one game at a time. Our focus now is on Chuckey-Doak.”
The Longhorns will play Sullivan Central at home and West Greene over the next couple of weeks before their open date on September 22.
It’s the first time that the Horns have been ranked in the 3-A poll and one of its highest rankings ever.
Tennessee Football Prep Polls
By The Associated Press
The Associated Press’ Top 10 teams in each of Tennessee’s six classes non-financial aid classifications and in the combined Division II financial aid classification as selected by Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters. With first-place votes in parentheses, records through August 28, total points based on 10 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 10th-place vote:
Rec Pts Prv
1. Alcoa (12 1-1 145 1
2. Bolivar Cntrl (3) 2-0 139 4
3. Giles County (1) 1-0 108 5
4. Raleigh Egypt 2-0 96 6
5. Pearl-Cohn 1-1 92 2
6. Johnson County 2-0 70 8
7. Milan 1-1 65 3
8. Austin-East 2-0 52 T9
9. Smith County 2-0 48 T9
10. Red Bank 1-1 37 7
Others receiving 12 or more points: None.
NOTE: Hampton is ranked #9 in 2-A. Cloudland is ranked 10 in 1-A.
Other notables: Elizabethton ranked #7 in 4-A. Happy Valley ranked #11in 2-A.
All Associated Press members in Tennessee are eligible to participate in the high school football poll. Those who voted for this week’s poll are: Chattanooga Free Press, Chattanooga; Cleveland Daily Banner, Cleveland; Cookeville Herald-Citizen, Cookeville; The Tennessean (Nashville), Murfreesboro; State Gazette, Dyersburg; The Greeneville Sun; The Jackson Sun, Jackson; Johnson City Press, Johnson City; Marshall County Tribune (Lewisburg); The Daily Times, Maryville; The Tomahawk, Mountain City; The Commercial Appeal, Memphis; The Oak Ridger (Oak Ridge); The Mountain Press, Sevierville; Union City Daily Messenger, Union City; WCMT, Martin.‡