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Tomahawk Talk: It that time of year

November 14, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

One coach said it best at the jamboree on Thursday night at Daniel Boone.

“Basketball is here. Thank God it’s that time of year.”

The chilly evening temperatures and leaves on the ground spells basketball season is here for us old timers like me. Johnson County’s girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will open up play on Thursday and Friday night in the Hall of Champions game to held inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium. The girls will play back-to-back games against Volunteer at 5:30 and David Crockett at 7:00 pm on Thursday. The boys will battle Science Hill on Friday at 6:30 and Sullivan North at 8:00 pm. The two teams will play again on Saturday. The girls will battle Tennessee High and Daniel Boone at Vance Middle School and Vikings Hall at times to be determined. The Longhorns will take on Ashe County at a time to be determined. David Crockett was scheduled to take part in the event but opted out due to their football team playing in the playoffs on Friday.

JCMS gets swept
The middle school Longhorns were swept in all four games at Chuckey-Doak on Thursday. They’ll be at home on Thursday night to take on Happy Valley.

Austin-East proved over the weekend that it can play a close second fiddle when it comes to playoff football. Gatlinburg-Pittman found that out the hard way. Many felt like the Highlanders lost to Kingston to avoid playing Alcoa in the second round of the 3A playoffs. Instead they defeated Johnson County 36-33 last Friday in the first round of the playoffs. The Highlanders were 6-4 during the regular season while Kingston was 3-7. Longhorn fans can now sit back and enjoy. G-P got crushed by at Austin East 54-6 on Friday in the second round of the playoffs.

Nearing the 300 milestone
JCHS’ head coach Austin Atwood is only 13 wins away from entering into the 300 win club as a head coach. Atwood will be faced with the task of trying to replace four starters off of last year’s squad that compiled 22 wins. Blake Atwood is likely to enter into the 1500 point club soon. This would be a great accomplishment for the father and son combination.

Did Tennessee hire the right football coach?
Fans were about to raise doubt about the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt as Tennessee’s head football coach. That was until Saturday. Pruitt become the first coach ever to defeat two top 20 ranked teams in his first year as head coach. The Vols can secure a bowl bid if they can win at home against Missouri on Saturday or at Vanderbilt in their final regular season game.

How do you like me now?
It wasn’t long ago that ETSU’s first year head coach Randy Sanders was put on administrative leave for slapping a player in the helmet. They might be slapping him with a big raise after the 2018 football season. The Bucs can win the Southern Conference title outright with a win over Sanford at home on Saturday. The Bucs are currently 6-1 in league play while Wofford is 6-2. Sanford defeated the Terriers 35-20 at home giving ETSU a chance to do the improbable. Sanders served as offensive coordinator at Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida State before landing the ETSU job. The Bucs are ranked No.18 in the latest FCS college football poll.

Some big time football close by
Appalachian State is only 30 minutes away and is currently 7-2 on the season. The Mountaineers were ranked in the top 25 before losing at Georgia Southern back on October 15. Appy will play their final two games at home inside of Kidd Brewer Stadium. They’ll take on Georgia State on Saturday at 2:30 pm and Troy on November 24 at 2:30 pm for senior day. Troy is undefeated in league play at 6-0 while Appy is 5-1. The Mountaineers can reach the Sun Belt championship game on December 1 if they can put together back-to-back wins.

Tim Chambers is the sports editor for the Tomahawk. He can be reached at [email protected]