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Distance of games posing a problem

October 31, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

Some high school away football games have always been a concern for Johnson County. Like the six hours to and from when they play Claiborne County. It doesn’t make playing in Greene County look quite as bad. That is unless you play youth league football for the Longhorns. The distance and game times have suddenly become a concern for the youth league board members, coaches, and parents.
For some reason, the league decided to expand into Greene County, and now teams must travel to Morristown. And you can’t compare the travel distance to high school games.

Some youth league football games begin at 10 am. That’s where the problem starts. When Johnson County plays in Morristown for a 10 am game they must leave before 7 am to arrive for weigh-ins and pregame warm-ups. It’s not much better when they play the Greeneville team or South Greene. Why should a small child be forced on a non-school day to wake up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast, dress and leave for a one-hour football game at 7 am.? Those that represent Johnson County youth football are trying to find answers. One option is currently being looked at, and others will likely be considered. I’m sure they’ll be looking for some valuable input. They have been invited to play in the Abingdon, Virginia league where travel time would be cut in half.

“Game would be played within one hour of Mountain City and some even closer,” said board member and league officer Andrew Hensley. “This would cut down on having to get up early on Saturday’s and get ready to go play football. Our numbers have been down, and sometimes we don’t know if we’ll have enough to play when going to places like Greeneville and Morristown. We played with 11 players a couple of times this year when we had to travel far. We need to do something to get our numbers back up.”

Hensley took time to thank all the players, coaches, parents, board members and sponsors for supporting the teams in 2018. He also said they are already looking at ways they can improve for next year. The current league consists of teams from Cloudland, Hampton, Happy Valley, Elizabethton, Science Hill, Tennessee High and David Crockett in addition to Greeneville, South Greene, and Morristown.

Here is another option that might be considered. I would propose to play only teams from Cloudland, Hampton, Happy Valley, Elizabethton, Science Hill, and Tennessee High. I would also recommend that Unicoi County and possibly Unaka be added to the league.
Saturday morning trips to Greeneville and Morristown is too much for kids playing football at this age. They’ll get enough of that when playing for the high school. What is the answer to this problem? You tell me.

Longhorns remain at No. 5
There was no change in this week’s Associated Press Class 3A poll. Johnson County remained 5th after defeating Unicoi County 35-12.
The Blue Devils remained at No. 10 despite the loss. That’s a vote of respect for the Longhorns. Here is the 3A poll that was released on Tuesday, October 29.

Rank & Team           Rec.             Pts.

1. Alcoa (15)                          10-0                  150
2. Covington                         10-0                  132
3. Red Bank                          9-0                    116
4. Upperman                       10-0                  109
5. Johnson Co.                     9-1                     83
6. Pearl-Cohn                       8-2                    77
7. East Nashville                  9-1                    65
8. Fairview                           8-2                    45
9. Austin-East                     8-2                    20
10 Unicoi Co.                      8-2                     14

Area Ranked Teams: 4A— 4th Elizabethton 9-1;
1A— 7th Cloudland 8-2; 5A—3rd David Crockett 10-0;
7th Daniel Boone 8-2