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The 3A league is one major mess

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

The Everly Brothers may not ring a bell for today’s generation of high school football players but a song they sang in the 60’s will soon be familiar among the Mountain Eight football coaches and athletic directors.
“Bye, bye love” is a familiar tune that many of us grew up listening to. We know the chorus by heart. Remember “goodbye happiness, hello loneliness, I think I’m going to cry?” That what some administrators are already doing and here is why.
The conference schools are spread out like a week’s washing especially for Johnson County. Can you imagine developing a rivalry among Northview Academy, Claiborne County and Pigeon Forge? It’s not going to happen regardless of what’s at stake.
Everyone is a loser. The biggest one is Elizabethton.
The Cyclones have a good football team and they’re currently ranked No. 5 in the state’s Class 3A poll. But it’s not good when you only have a handful of fans on the visitors’ side during your Homecoming game inside a new five million dollar stadium.
Johnson County fares no better.
Samuel Icenhour’s first quarter touchdown run of 36 yards was more than the number of fans that Northview brought. West Greene probably said the same thing about us last week although the weather conditions were horrible.
The TSSAA has killed high school football in Northeast Tennessee with its numbers game.  And pretty soon they’ll feel the crunch as well.
Johnson County’s biggest rival game is Hampton. Some will say Elizabethton but that will change in two years.
My gut feeling tells me Elizabethton will consider moving back up into 4A after the 2016 season. If that happens they’ll no longer play the Longhorns.
Sullivan South, Greeneville, Sullivan East, Volunteer and Sullivan Central are much more attractive games for them plus Grainger County has a history of fielding some good athletic teams. Cherokee and Seymour are very competitive and each has a nice facility.
You can see how the move would benefit them financially.

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