November 28, 2018
By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County’s two year run of going undefeated in league play hasn’t gone unnoticed among the Mountain Six Conference coaches. The Longhorns have been ranked in the AP’s Class 3A poll for 20 consecutive weeks dating back to August of 2017. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year in 2018 after the team graduated 20 seniors from the previous year but that wasn’t the case. The prize puzzle was pieced together by head coach Don Kerley and his staff which saw their team ran roughshod over the opposition. Kerley’s efforts earned him coach of the year honors for the second consecutive year. His record during that span is an astounding 10-0 in league play and a 20-3 overall mark.
Johnson County’s Nathan Lane was tabbed as the Mountain Six Player of the Year. The senior running back compiled some eye-popping statistics over 11 games. He ended the year with 29 touchdowns including five that were scored on special teams and 178 total points. Lane had 120 carries for 965 yards and 15 receptions that totaled 220. He compiled over 2000 all-purpose yards and added 70 tackles on defense.
Tyler Norris was the unanimous choice for defensive player of the year. The senior linebacker rang up 188 tackles that included 20 for losses. Joining them on the all-conference team was senior wide receiver Zach Eller who also made the All-Academic team. Eller led the team in receiving with 15 catches for 350 yards and averaged 23 yards per catch. He also added 660 yards on special teams giving him 1010 all-purpose yards for the season.
Troy Arnold was tabbed to the first team. The senior quarterback threw for over 1000 yards after holding down the start fullback slot last year. Senior lineman Christian Krupsky is joined by freshman tackle John Stout and sophomore center Logan Gilley on the first team. The first team defense had a variety of Longhorns. Seniors, Weston Throop, and Curtis Lowe along with juniors Jared Kimble and sophomore Stacy Greer complete the Longhorns team.
Unicoi County’s Kody Lewis was named the offensive player of the year. Chuckey Doak’s Josh Norton and West Greene’s Kaleb Sciarra were named offensive and defensive lineman of the year. Unicoi’s Brock Thompson was voted underclassman of the year. Several players collected second-team honors that included Johnson County’s, Tyrone McFadden, Ethan Bower, Tyler Phillips, Colt Moody, and Lucas Walters.