Christopher James

Reporter’s Notebook

Archive for the ‘Greenback’ Category

Cherokee Rock

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Greenback sure knows how to put on a show.

One week later…

Greenback coaches, left to right, Sean Evans, Mark Streit and Justin Ridge talk to their players after the 'Kees 24-13 win over Pigeon Forge Friday.

By any measure, the Cherokees were pretty bad offensively last week at Meigs County. On Friday against Pigeon Forge, Greenback went from  17 yards rushing the week before to 307. Chew on that for a minute. Is this the same team?
“We knew they didn’t have much on us,” ‘Kees coach Justin Ridge said. “The lack of offense last week actually helped us this week. What’d you key on if you only have 11 yards at halftime?”
Picking holes in the defense is one thing, but Greenback just took off Friday, blasting through tackles to gain extra real estate. Richard Seymour’s 128-yard, one touchdown day proves the freshman could be the man in the backfield. Ernie Stinnett’s 68-yard performance was solid as well, proving the ‘Kees will have multiple weapons to draw upon.
“(Seymour)’s young, but he’s still pretty good,” Stinnett said. “He can carry the ball like the best of us.”

Defensive praise

Greenback got what it needed on defense, particularly after Tigers tailback Chase Travis left the game. Ridge said he had been preoccupied with Pigeon Forge’s senior wideout, Rodney Porter. Stinnett and Travis Sellers clamped Porter down, giving up just two catches for three yards. Ridge quickly switched gears to focus on Travis, who burned the Cherokees in the first half with 117 yards and two scores before leaving with a concussion at halftime. Pigeon Forge really struggled without Travis, including on a botched fourth quarter punt that set up Seymour’s late touchdown to ice the game. Travis is the Tigers punter

Greenback 24, Pigeon Forge 13
Up next: Greenback (1-1) at Rockwood, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

“(Travis) broke the line, he was gone,” Ridge said. “That took away one of their threats and I think they just got in the power I and tried to run over us, but we’re pretty good against that.”
Pretty good to the tune of 30 rushing yards and one first down gained by the Tigers in the second half.

Too much youth

Pigeon Forge should be a force in a couple years, especially considering how young they are. Besides a stud sophomore tailback, the Tigers started Kaleb Black, a freshman, under center. Black was solid, particularly late when he converted a fourth-and-17 for Pigeon Forge’s only first down of the second half.
“We’re young, but these guys are competitors,” Tigers coach Lee Hammonds said. “These guys are battlers.”

No distractions

Hammonds briefly addressed the arrest and resignation of assistant Josh Briscoe, a former wide receiver at Tennessee, and the effect it had on his team. (For those of you who missed it, here’s the link.)
“We handled it well,” Hammonds said. “Kids, we used it as a positive.”

Lights out

The lights above the visiting bleachers at Cooper Field went out early in Friday’s game. Fort Loudon Electric arrived in the second quarter before determining that a transformer needed to be replaced. The second half was delayed 30 minutes before beginning, with the lights still darkened. Ridge told me, in Friday’s game story, the delay actually helped his team.

Jumping off

The win could be a nice launching pad for the Cherokees, who open District 3-A play next week at Rockwood. I’ll be live blogging on the road again, this time from Lenoir City when Heritage puts its 2-0 record on the line against the Panthers.

Next week: Heritage at Lenoir City, Live! at 7 p.m.

Written by christopherjames

August 29th, 2009 at 2:13 am

Posted in Football, Greenback, Preps

In-Game Live: Pigeon Forge at Greenback

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Greenback (1-1) 24 Pigeon Forge (0-1) 13

PF turns over on downs on a fumbled exchange.

PF converts a fourth and 17 to stay alive.

A sack saddles PF with a third and 25 at their own 23.

Seymour takes a 10 yard end around for a score.

GB turns over on downs but a bad snap on a PF punt puts GB at the PF 9.

Stinnett breaks a 25 yard gain and the final period will start with Gb threatening at the PF 35.

GB calls a timeout before a third and 12. PF is stumbling without Travis
Stinnett fumbles a nine yard pass and Sellers picks it up and goes 67 yards to the house.

Travis is out for the Tigers with a concussion.

Trey Glenn fumbles at midfield, killing a promising drive.

Greenback players warm up at Cooper Field Friday before the start of the second half against Pigeon Forge. You can see the lights on the opposite side are out.

Third quarter kickoff is now set for 9:15. Fort Loudon Electric is here and will be replacing the transformer within the hour. Play will resume without lights on the visitors’ side.

We’re in a 30 minute delay while lights on the far side are fixed.

Sellers is sacked for a loss of 14 to end the half and preserve a one point Tigers lead. PF is using a freshman qb, Kaleb Black (33 yards rushing) and a sophomore tailback, Chase Travis (117 yards, two touchdowns). GB freshman Richard Seymour has been just as good with 64 rushing yards.

GB at the Pf 27

GB turns it over on downs at the PF 25.

One side of lights are out but Travis makes a 25-yd Td rush on a second effort.

80 yard kick return TD by Ernie Stinnett.

Chase Travis takes a pitch 55 yards down the right side for a Td. He kicks the XP too.

After another PF punt, Gb drives 56 yards capped by a 10 yard Trey Glenn TD rush

GB gains -1 yard and punts.
Tigers stall at midfield despite two gb offsides penalties.

PF wins the toss and will receive.

Skies have cleared here at Cooper Field in time for Greenback’s home opener. I just spoke to Pigeon Forge coach Lee Hammonds and he made it clear he wouldn’t answer any questions about Josh Briscoe, the former UT receiver who resigned as a Tigers’ assistant this week.

Written by christopherjames

August 28th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Football, Greenback, Preps

Hanging out at the Jamboree

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Some sideline chatter from the Maryville Orthopaedic Clinc Football Jamboree:

    Alcoa 27, William Blount 0
  • Alcoa’s Tyler Lee didn’t see any of the field Friday night at Shields Stadium, but sure was busy on the sidelines. The former defensive end has started working as a student trainer, something he’d like to pursue in college, after suffering an ACL injury this summer playing tennis. While he said he was bummed about missing his senior football season, Lee is recieving plenty of interest as a tennis player from schools like Huntingdon, a Maryville College rival.
  • Maryville 10, Greenback 0
  • Greenback’s Trey Glenn, who bruised his left knee in a scrimmage with Coalfield a couple weeks ago, said he should be back at practice Monday.  Initially the knee didn’t bother him, but it started giving him problems in the last week.
    “There’s a sharp pain when I cut,” Glenn said. “We just didn’t want to take a chance.”
  • Week 0: Alcoa at Bell County (Ky.), 6:30 p.m.
  • Alcoa defensive coordinator Brian Nix said he’s fired up to open the season next week in Bell County, Ky. The Tornadoes face a stiff test against the Bluegrass state’s defending class 4A champs. Nix sized up the school of about 1000 students.
    “They beat everyone they played, 14-0,” Nix said. “I’m excited. The kids have been playing each other for three weeks. It’ll be fun.”

Written by christopherjames

August 14th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Alcoa, Football, Greenback, Preps

Region Roundup

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It’s been a busy week with teams in action from Sevierville to Harriman in the district basketball tournaments. Some thoughts as we move to the region openers.

Greenback: I saw both the Cherokees and Lady Cherokees drop games to Harriman this week. In both cases, coach Ed McCollum seemed confident Greenback would’ve won had suspended point guards Sarah Walker and Chris Sabo been in those games. Sabo will be back Saturday night at Oliver Springs but McCollum said Wednesday he hadn’t decided if Walker’s suspension would include Friday’s region opener with Coalfield at Greenback High School.

Heritage: The Lady Mountaineers will have to go the rest of the way without forward Lanie Brimer, whose out for the season after going down with a fractured tibia in the district semis, as they welcome Clinton to town Friday. Heritage won that semifinal against Farragut despite a sluggish start. I would expect to see Kat Morris and particularly freshman Miranda Maples asked to step up and fill that void.

Other Games: Maryville girls travel to Powell Friday; Rebels host Central Saturday; Alcoa travels to Stone Memorial Saturday.

I’ll be in Oliver Springs Saturday to see Greenback.

Written by christopherjames

February 26th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Putting wrestling to bed

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Wrestling season is now officially over in Blount County, and Blake Ridenour finally has that state championship for Maryville. The senior dominated Chris Sinsheimer of Independence, taking him down early and often en route to an 8-0 major decision in the 152 pound final.
The win means the Rebels’ top wrestler went the entire season without allowing a takedown, Maryville coach Mark Humphrey said. Ridenour’s next challenge will be surgery after suffering that hernia early this week. As you’ll be able to read in Saturday’s recap, Ridenour won despite a couple injury issues that caused him breathing problems, a hernia being one. Humphrey said the senior told him “I feel like crap” after every round in Chattanooga.
Ridenour wasn’t feeling so bad tonight though. He is now the first Blount County champ since Everett’s Doug Overly in 1964 and Ron Wilson in 1961. (Hear Ridenour moments after his win)

Jacob Holley almost joined Ridenour on top of the podium, but a shoulder injury originally suffered at this tournament last year was his undoing. The William Blount senior said he has almost no cartilage or ligaments in his right shoulder now. When it popped out in the 125 pound final, he couldn’t recover.

Finally, Greenback goes home with three medals, two for third and a second place finish for Jeremy Miller. The Cherokees finish eighth overall and first among A/AA schools. 

Tennessee Wrestlers now enter an offseason which has become as important as ever. Ridenour announced Friday he’ll wrestle on a full ride at Carson Newman. For the area underclassmen, Humphrey said Ridenour showed them what it takes to be a state champ.

“Wrestle a lot,” Humphrey said.

Written by christopherjames

February 21st, 2009 at 1:13 am

In-Game Live: State Wrestling Championships

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CHATTANOOGA — Ridenour def. Sinsheimer, MD 8-0
Blake Ridenour wins Maryville’s first state wrestling title, 8-0.

Graham def. Miller, 3-2
Jeremy Miller loses a narrow 3-2 decision at 135 pounds, leaving Blake Ridenour as the only area shot for a state title.
The Greenback sophomore locks horns with Bradley Central’s David Graham for five minutes, keeping the match scoreless. With 53 seconds to go, Miller gets caught and rolled over, registering a near fall before a quick reversal pulls him within one. Stuck on top of Graham, Miller can’t get the turn and loses the state championship by a point.

Lewis pins Holley, 0:34
Jacob Holley gets pinned 34 seconds into the 125 pound championship match. Soddy Daisy freshman Campbell Lewis takes down the William Blount senior for the state title, rolling Holley on his back 15 seconds into the match before getting the final pin.
Govs’ coach Matt Talley said Holley’s right shoulder popped out on impact, sinking his chances. Holley has dealt with shoulder problems all year, Talley said.

Written by christopherjames

February 20th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Live from McKenzie

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CHATTANOOGA — Three area wrestlers are set to compete for a state title here within the hour. Greenback’s Jared Browning and Jackie Miller already earned third place medals at 112 and 189 pounds earlier today.
The medal winners are just marching onto the floor at McKenzie Arena now. Finals are slated to start at 6 p.m. Jacob Holley from William Blount will lead off the local trio in the 125 pound title match. Greenback’s Jeremy Miller is next at 135 followed by Blake Ridenour at 152 when he attempts to become Maryville’s first ever wrestling state champion.
A win for Holley would be just as monumental. It would also be quite an accomplishment for first year Govs’ coach Matt Talley. The teacher at William Blount’s ninth grade academy fell into the position this year and now has a wrestler on the verge of a state title. After speaking to Talley, you can tell he’s passionate about wrestling having spent his youth on mats in West Knoxville. Yet nothing compares to what he said last night on the phone from Chattanooga. (Hear Talley)

Written by christopherjames

February 20th, 2009 at 5:54 pm