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Longhorns shine in sneak preview

By Beth Cox

Sports Writer

The fans of Longhorn football got a real treat last week when the Longhorns scrimmaged both Unaka on Tuesday and Cloudland on Friday. Unaka lost seven seniors last year but has some strong players returning. With quarterback Landon Ramsey and the return of last year’s rushing leader, Jomol Blamo, the Longhorns had to find a way to stop the dynamic duo.

According to Coach Don Kerley, “we need to work on our defense” as the Rangers quickly made their way down the field.

Unaka has a fast team but is not on the football roster. The scrimmage was a great experience for the Longhorns to take on a fast team.

Johnson County will be playing the Highlanders in regular season. Cloudland has lost a few seniors and, for the most part, is a young team this year. With the words that coaches hate to hear, it is a rebuilding year for the young team with a young coach to add to the mix.

Scott Potter stepped down in 2021, and Zac Benfield took the coaching position.    

Although Johnson County’s defense needs work, offensively progress is happening with quarterback Connor Simcox at the helm. Kerley is impressed with Simcox’s work ethic and improvements in getting the ball down the field.
One thing is for sure, Simcox has a strong arm and can throw the ball, and in the scrimmage games, he looked for his “go-to” Grinnan Walker in scrimmage action, and Walker did not disappoint.

Simcox felt the Longhorns made positive progress in the two scrimmages, “well one thing I could definitely tell was the improvement from the first scrimmage to the other. Every player on the field improved from the first to the second scrimmage. Another thing I could tell
is that the guys love to get
out there and compete and play hard. Every play we got guys running around hustling and it’s great. I think everyone’s expectations on the team is to have a great year and that’s why we’re working so hard to make each other better and challenge each other.”

The Longhorns won’t face Cloudland for a while, but the scrimmages put everything in perspective for the Horns as the season is only two weeks away.   

Kerley has been bragging about his team and is proud of the group effort shown throughout the summer.

With the two scrimmages and the 7-on-7 tourneys, the Longhorns have
proven themselves as genuine contenders within
the district this year as long as everyone can stay
healthy.

Next week The Tomahawk will have the Fall Sports edition, and anyone who wishes to place  individual player ads needs to contact Rick Wallace at [email protected]