Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County’s playoff win over Northview Academy last year was big. Beating Sullivan East on Thursday would be just as big for this year’s young team.
Knocking off Hampton next week in their home opener would be even bigger, but none of those games will ever compare to the battle just won by Johnson County’s football coaching staff.
Longhorns’ assistant football coach and defensive coordinator Tom Kerley was recently hospitalized with what started out to be an abscessed tooth. It turned out to be a battle for his life.
Coach Tom was hospitalized for several days in the ICU unit at Abingdon, Virginia. Prayers were being offered up in mass numbers because the Longhorn nation was worried about one of their own.
Kerley life was in jeopardy due to an infection that had reached him, and he spent some time hooked up to a ventilator.
Coach Tom battled death down to the wire for four quarters, before coming out on top in overtime. That is a huge example of willpower, determination and never quit attitude that can be learned by all his
players. It’s also a testament about how prayer can change things.
Not only did Coach Tom cheat death but his dad was in the hospital at the same time with a broken hip, which left Coach Don Kerley to try shuffling his football duties around his heavy heart for Tom and his dad.
He logged several miles back and forth from Abingdon to Mountain City and other places.
But that wasn’t the only issue to hit the Horns’ coaching staff.
Their assistant coach Matt Bray lost his dad around the same time, so their hearts got even heavier. It forced the team and staff to rally around one another for a third time.
The Horns will open up at Sullivan East on Thursday. They would love to start the season off with a win, but no victory will ever be bigger than the one coach Tom shared with them just recently.
I know why and fully understand.
My wife just survived two heart attacks and triple bypass surgery three weeks ago. Doctors told her she cheated death too.
It was a victory for my family and me just like Tom was to Coach Don and his family.
We all have a lot to be thankful for.
Let the football season begin.
This week schedule:
Johnson County’s volleyball team will be taking part in Elizabethton’s Invitational on Saturday. The youth league football kickoff their regular season on Saturday with four Johnson County teams on the card. Listed below are the area football games scheduled for this week.