For area high school football fans, the wait is finally over.
Science Hill, Daniel Boone and David Crockett are all set to kick off the 2018 season this Friday night, and hopes are high in all three communities. Full previews of all three teams can be found in the print or online edition of this week’s News & Neighbor along with team pictures, schedules and rosters.
In Johnson City, the Hilltoppers will be relying on a new formula this season, but Science Hill coach Stacy Carter believes it can be a winning one. Since Carter arrived on campus, Science Hill has been synonymous with the spread offense, and the Hilltoppers have won their share of shootouts during his tenure.
But this year, the cards a huge offensive line and a talented stable of running backs call for a punishing run game, which will be complimented by a stingy defense.
“It’s a different team for sure,” Carter said. “We have a lot of returning offensive linemen. We’re gifted at the running back position, and really deep there, too. In general, I think we’re way, way improved on the defensive side of the ball. We’re so much further ahead (on defense) at this time of the year than we were last year.”A punishing run game has long been Daniel Boone’s calling card. While there will be several new faces on the offensive line, the Trailblazers expect to use their vaunted ground game to put up a tough defense of their conference title with junior running back Charlie Cole carrying much of the load.
Although Cole garnered most of the preseason hype –and rightfully so – his backfield mates Devon White and Joe Jones will look to help Cole and fleet-footed quarterback Easton Harrell wear down opposing defenses.
“All three of them bring something to the table,” Jenkins said of his running backs. “We want quality reps with all three of them, and when we can give you a steady dose of them and be fresh come fourth-quarter time, hopefully we can impose our will on you with those three backs coming right at you. That’s kind of what we pride ourselves in here.”
Down in Jonesborough, the strong right arm of junior quarterback Cade Larkins and all the explosive playmakers he has around him have the Crockett faithful expecting big things as well. As first-year coach Hayden Chandley looks at all the offensive weapons set to take the field on Friday night, he can’t help but marvel at the opportunity that lies ahead.
“I thank the Good Lord every night for it,” Chandley said. “I know how blessed I am to walk into a situation like this.”