By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The town of Elizabethton has set aside September 4 as a historic date in Carter County. Thats the day the Cyclones will open up their 2015 home football season inside their new Citizens Bank Stadium.
A neighboring county will also get a chance to make history in E-town on the same date. A hungry Johnson County squad would like nothing more than to spoil that day for Elizabethton. And a win before a sold out crowd would definitely do that.
Nearly all the local prognosticators will give the young Horns very little chance at pulling off an upset.
I am the one exception.
The most logical reason would be to point out the loss of All-State running back Ethan Thomas who is now playing football at Eastern Kentucky University. In three seasons he scored 73 rushing touchdowns and ran for over 6100 yards.
Also gone is kicker Logan Birchfield, the teams second leading scorer, who is now kicking for Austin Peay University.
But Im not looking at those factors and heres why.
Johnson Countys last win over the Cyclones came in 2006. They departed Rider Field with a 15-7 victory which vaulted them into the first round of the playoff against Morristown East.
They lost the playoff game 17-14 but still came away with a ton of satisfaction that lasted nearly four years all because of beating the Cyclones. The two schools didnt resume play again until 2010.
Since that time the Longhorns have been outscored 203-41 resulting in five straight losses. But this years squad is a bit different.
A couple of second place finishes at Lynchburg University and Hampton High School in passing league camps has certainly created some excitement. This years squad is made up of some senior veterans and a talented sophomore class.
Coach Don Kerley admitted after the JV win last year that the future looked bright for Johnson County football. I am starting to think so too.
Happy Valley and Cloudland are no longer on the schedule and neither is Grayson County. But their schedule is a good one.
They open the season at home against Sullivan East and will travel to Hampton on the following week. No doubt theyll be battle tested. But the Cyclones will be too.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.