By Tim Chambers
The future appears bright for Johnson County, especially if they look real hard in Shady Valley. Kyle Sluder has been a standout player throughout this pandemic year. He led the football team in rushing and scoring as they finished undefeated, and he’s currently playing big for
the basketball Longhorns, who last week defeated Hampton 47-28 in middle school action.
Sluder was instrumental in their football championship game, rushing for over 100 yards and scoring three touchdowns. He also came up with nine tackles on defense.
He was just as tough on the hardwood with his counterpart Jace Stout. They are the leading scorer and rebounders on the basketball team.
“There’s a lot of pressure on Jace and me because we have to play well,” said Sluder. “I embrace and accept that role. We just want to win. It’s special when we do that.”
Against Hampton, Stout had eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds while
Stout tossed in 13 with five boards.
“Kyle is a coach’s dream, and so is Jace,” said head coach Mark McClain. “You would love to have a whole team that played like them. “Kyle is smart, and he just wants to win. That’s what I love about him. He’s an excellent student in the classroom and a great team leader.”
“I want to try and make the team in each sport,” added Sluder. “I want to try and contribute.”
The younger Sluder is active in his church at Central Baptist. He agreed he loved attending church and serving the Lord.
Sluder smiled big when asked what teams he liked to beat most. “Unicoi County and Hampton,” he said. “They are our rivals.”
Sluder is one kid that the Longhorn fans can look
forward to watching on the football field and basketball court.