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Legendary coach, Hall of Fame role model

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

He lives only a rock’s throw away from the football field that is named in his honor. And the emblem on his mailbox tells where his heart lies.
Legendary coach Harold Arnold loves Johnson County. And the residents of Johnson County love him.
I had the pleasure of spending nearly two hours with the 88-year old “Superman” on Sunday. I left knowing that I had established a bond with a “super individual.”
Arnold has done it all at Johnson County High School. He was a standout three-sport athlete there and later played football at East Tennessee College.
He joined the Navy while in high school in 1945 and spent two years in the South Pacific. He would come home and complete his high school diploma. In 1952 he became Johnson County’s head football coach. Now he’s their role model citizen.
Coach Arnold and I talked about a smorgasbord of things during our Sunday afternoon meeting. I went there uninvited but it only took minutes to know that I was welcome.

Our conversation began on the front porch. We started out talking about the 1958 football and ended talking about our Lord and Savior.
I had delivered my sermon earlier that day during our Vacation Bible School commencement. Coach delivered me one that afternoon.
The first two things he spoke of were love and caring. He used the 1958 football season as his example.
“Our season wouldn’t have been as special had it not been for the boys from Shady Valley,” said Arnold. “They sacrificed a lot to play.”
So did Arnold and his late wife, Maxine.
Seven boys from Shady were members of the team. Six of them were starters. Arnold and his wife made sure they were taken care of.

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