By Tim Chambers
The TSSAA two-year reclassifications are in, and Johnson County should like what they see. Basketball, football, baseball, and softball will all see changes and a few other sports. There have been considerable gaps in the enrollment numbers in past years, but that will likely change.
Gone from District 3A is Elizabethton, Greeneville, Sullivan East, and Knox Fulton, which will now play in 4A. Unicoi County, Claiborne County, Chuckey-Doak, West Greene, Austin East, Alcoa, Gatlinburg-Pittman, Union County, Northview Academy, Kingston, and Pigeon Forge will now be the teams in Region 3A, which is not so good news to the football playoffs but is for softball, baseball, and basketball.
Teams aside from football should have a better chance of making the state tournament, such as Johnson County, two years ago.It’s my opinion that baseball and softball will benefit nicely since Elizabethton is no longer in 3A. Happy Valley, South Greene, West Greene, Chuckey-Doak, and Hampton will likely make up the basketball, baseball, and softball side of things.
For the Record
Johnson County’s football schedule contained several playoff teams this year. Hampton and Cloudland were both first-round winners. The Longhorns lost to the Bulldogs but defeated Cloudland in Week 9.
Happy Valley also reached the playoff but was defeated.
As expected, several schools are already planning on reducing crowds for basketball games this year. One local school on our schedule has a capacity of 1600 but will only let in a capacity of 400 fans at games. Another school that seats 800 is looking at a capacity of 180 fans. We will try and post seating capacity of all games once we receive it.