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Earnhardt, an ace in the hole for JCHS

Earnhardt (21) brings a work-hard attitude and added leadership to this season’s Horns basketball team. Photo by Joey Icenhour.

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

He was the top golfer on Johnson County’s golf team’s links, but he’s been an ace in the hole for the basketball squad. Jackson Earnhardt draws the attention from opposing teams after his 21-point game he had against Elizabethton last week.  Earnhardt transferred from Watauga High School in nearby Boone, where he played last year. He feels right at home in Johnson County playing for the Longhorns. Earnhardt has made it a habit to hit for 20 or more in several games. It’s something he embraces because he was the go-to guy for Watauga last season. 

“I like for my team to depend on me, but it’s been hard at times,” said Earnhardt.

He mentioned the Hampton game as being one of those times. 

“We were in quarantine for 15 days and had to go play Hampton without any practice. “It’s frustrating because we only had a shootaround before the Hampton game, our big rival. You could really tell the difference. We didn’t have our legs at all, but we gave it everything we had.”

The senior sharpshooter feels like the team is starting to develop some chemistry for the stretch run. 

“We are starting to come together. I think we’ll have it soon. We went to make the regional tournament. Guys like Zack Parsons, Ethan Bower, Clayton Cross, and Trevor Gentry are starting to play well and stepping up, and so are our younger players. We know that we can do it. We need some more time playing and practicing together. It’s like a puzzle. It’s all starting to piece together.”

Earnhardt says the game of basketball is some difference here. He thanked his coaches, Austin Atwood and David Arnold, for pushing him to be the best.

“The game is different here. Coach Atwood and Coach Arnold pushed me when I got here because the competition is so much different. You play good teams night in and night out here, and all the teams are pretty good. You have to be you’re “A” game because there are not automatic wins.” 

Earnhardt closed by saying “I love it here. At Watauga, we had many more people, and it was tough to play because of the numbers. Here we mesh what we have, and the fans at the games are great. I am so happy we made a move for me to come here.”Jackson is the son of James and Nicole Earnhardt.