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Longhorns ready for Friday Night Lights

Members of the Johnson County High School varsity football team pose for a photo ahead of the 2020-2021 fall football season. Once again led by Coach Don Kerley, the program is committed to prove its worth, starting with a season-opener away game against Hampton on Friday night. Photo by Legacy Studios.

Staff note: Johnson County High School announced that its August 27 Longhorn football match against Hampton has been postponed due to COVID related concerns within the football program.

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The Johnson County High School’s football team is less than a week away from the highly anticipated matchup between the Longhorns and Hampton High School’s Bulldogs. There is no doubt that Coach Don Kerley and his football players are haunted by last year’s disappointing loss to the Dogs. However, Kerley has been preparing his players for quite a while, and Senior Dalton Brown is more than ready for the first game, emphasizing how hard the team has worked and what they have to overcome to get the win over Hampton.

“We have definitely been working for the challenge, and have been showing a lot of intensity in practice and I hope that will carry on against Hampton,” he said. “The seniors need to step up and lead accordingly as well.”

Seniors Corie Neely, Nathan Rice, and Brown will be strong offensively while senior Ethan Icenhour and junior Grinnan Walker will lead in halting the Bulldogs offense. The Longhorns will be relying heavily on quarterback Connor Simcox as well. Kerley is confident in his young quarterback and many Longhorn fans can not wait to see what Simcox can throw against the rival team.

Brown will be an important leader for his team and has been throughout his high school career. When asked about the upcoming season, The 5’8 senior responded, “We have been showing a lot of intensity this year. Actions lead greater than words ever will. Work hard every single day, every single play.”

The Shady Valley senior has found success living by the words above. He has quietly helped carry the team, playing where he is asked to play and giving it all for the Longhorn Nation. Hampton High School narrowly won last week against Pigeon Forge. Hampton led in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers had the ball, but the Bulldogs defense shut down any hopes of Pigeon Forge getting points on the clock thanks to a last-second sack by Collin Morgan.The Longhorns will travel to Hampton High School on August 27 for the season’s first game. The kickoff time is 7:30 pm.