By Tim Chambers
There is one thing that I have learned in my two years plus as sport editor at The Tomahawk. Country boys will be country boys.
Trying to take the country out of a young man who loves to hunt, fish, play football or collect knives is like eliminating the special sauce and sesame seed bun that make up McDonald’s Big Mac. You can’t do it because they go together.
Just like the word “country” does with some young men in Johnson County.
Imagine where McDonalds would be without its Big Mac, fries and sweet tea. The same could be said about eliminating the country boy from Johnson County with all its beautiful lakes, rivers and fields.
All the above go together, but as Paul Harvey would say, “and now, the rest of the story.”
We have some role model student athletes in our Johnson County school system and many are of the good old country boy variety.
They like to hunt and fish because the great outdoors is a way of life in Johnson County.
A few may go throw in a hook, line and sinker after practice. Some may fire off a few rounds of target practice or even shoot a bow. A few like to collect knives and so forth.
It’s a way of life here, and a dang good one.
That’s because country boys will be country boys.
I’ve also found out that many of them aren’t much when it comes to cleaning out their vehicles.
It’s likely that one might find fishing poles, tackle boxes and hunting accessories inside their trucks and cars if the searcher looked well enough. You may even find a knife collection too.
It’s doesn’t make them bad kids, in fact it’s a great way for them to stay out of trouble.
Or is it?
It’s a fact that some high school students do not care if their vehicles are clean on the inside. They ride around with food wrappers, drink cups, fishing poles, tackle boxes, hunting gear and even knives inside of them. It doesn’t mean that they are bad kids.
Sometimes it means they are careless or on a tight schedule. Many are going to use the weekend to get in a little hunting, fishing or even knife collecting.
Have you ever tried to clean a fish with a butter knife or skin a squirrel with a pocket razor? Me neither.
So now it’s time for me to lecture those students on “Car Cleaning 101.” It does not matter if you leave cans or drinking cups inside your vehicle. Food wrappers are acceptable too, but make sure you remove all hooks and any other sharp objects from inside your tackle box. They could be classified as a “weapon.”
And God forbid you make a mistake and leave your hunting knives or prize collection inside your vehicle regardless if it is locked or not. They too can be classified as a “weapon.”
Carrying them can get you kicked out of school too.
I can keep rambling on and on, but for goodness sake let’s look at the common sense factor.
A young man’s life does not need to be destroyed because he made a mistake of not cleaning out his vehicle. Taking one’s senior year away is like a death sentence.
I am begging our school administrators and board members to go back and review their no-tolerance policy. Some situations need to be treated different.
And here’s why.
Having a knife collection inside a kid’s vehicle does not make him a criminal. It’s carelessness.
Each student needs to be reminded with a memo to check their cars. Make sure that any object that can be classified as a weapon is removed from your vehicle.
That includes hunting knives or any other sharp object that might be left inside carelessly. Do not bring them on school property.
Here are a few questions I am pleading with our administrators to review.
When knives are found on school property, were they taken inside the school? Was there ever any intent to bring them inside or did the student athlete in question ever brandish them out in the parking lot?
I believe that the answer would be, “no.”
I have a lot of respect for our school administrators and school personnel. Many of them I consider good friends. I plead with you to read the following.
Sometimes people need a second chance. Many Johnson County students have been given second chances and rightfully so. My line of work as a pastor is to show others how to seek forgiveness. It also means teaching others to learn from their mistakes. Have you ever been given a second chance in life? Comeback kids make a great story. So do second chance opportunities when people take advantage of them. Why ruin a county boy’s dream of attending school with his buddies and finishing out his senior football season because of carelessness? Give the kid a second chance. He deserves that. It’s the right thing to do.
Longhorns on a roll
Don’t look now but the red hot Longhorns are on a roll. They will try and make it four straight wins when they entertain West Greene at home on Friday.
The Horns are currently in a tie for third place and control their own destiny to host a first round playoff game. This comes after dropping their first three games of the season to state ranked Sullivan East, Hampton and Elizabethton.
The Longhorns have several players among the stat leaders in Northeast Tennessee. Two of them rank in the top spot.
Nathan Arnold has thrown for 1178 yards that ranks first among quarterbacks. He has completed 70-of-107 passes with only three interceptions. His completion rate stands at 65.4 percent and he’s thrown for nine touchdowns.
Shane Greer tops area receivers with 28 catches for 661 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s averaging over 23 yards per catch.
Gage Hampton leads the Longhorns’ ground game with 237 yards on 59 carries. He is second on the team in receiving, catching 17 passes for 231 yards.
Arnold had logged 140 yards on 52 carries. Bud Icenhour has 14 catches for 220 yards.
Greer and Hampton have accounted for 42 and 32 points respectively. Icenhour has scored three TDs and a two-point conversion for a total of 20 points.
Nevada Woodard and Isaiah Osborne lead the team in tackles with 42 apiece. Osborne has recorded 14 of those for losses. Benji Bower is third with 30 tackles.
Tim Chambers is the sports editor at the Tomahawk. You can email Tim at [email protected]