(Well really, I’m back – but…)
Due to interest apparently being there, In Overtime is officially getting rebooted for the upcoming weeks and I thought it would be a good transition to go with “In The Bleachers” – a bit of a mini-series of news, with my personal spin on it, and always a way to interact with The Erwin Record readers, or any other publication.
Just to get back on the online groove – we’ll wet the whistles with a quick look at what’s gone on so far in the Three Rivers Conference.
Round Fire – A bit of my personal FYI so far into the season.
Three Rivers Conference:
Boys side - Can’t say it is the biggest surprise on the boys side, but Unicoi County has came out of the gate with a brand-spanking new lineup and boasts a 7-4 record on the year with quality wins over Class AAA’s Volunteer, Cocke County & Science Hill, along with a win over last year’s conference champs, Sullivan South. Losses from North Buncombe, David Crockett, Morristown East and Sullivan East are the only spots in the loss column. It’s still early in the year – but head coach John English, along with Michael Smith, Ben Evely and Drew Rice deserve an award of sorts for the job they’ve pulled together so far. And you can’t knock away credit from the players. Zach Thelen has emerged as the all-around threat in every aspect of the game the Blue Devils needed while offensive production is coming in droves from senior Merrick Nicksic, sophomore Dylan Putman and freshman Trevor Hensley. Overall the team has bought in to the product and only have room for growth through the regular season.
That being said – it’ll be a four team with the Blue Devils, Elizabethton, Sullivan South and Sullivan East. Each team has their own cog. Elizabethton has Tyler Nichols, Sullivan South has Will Blair and Christian Comsa while Sullivan East has Gavin Grubb. You need a player(s) to take over in postseason time and so far in this early season, the players haven’t missed the quota on providing sparks for wins. Johnson County will be lurking in the waters with last year’s district MVP Chase Phillips (can’t place them in my district title mix just yet – honestly have seen them play) while Sullivan North and Happy Valley have shown they scrap and potentially bust a bubble during tourney time.
Girls side - Elizabethton is Elizabethton. Enough said. Probably better than last year but they’ll have to keep their eyes on Happy Valley, Sullivan East and to an extant Unicoi County. The Lady Warriors had the Cyclones sweating in their first meeting this season while East, loaded from last year, kept pace with the squad in the jamboree and will provide it once again when they meet. Even the Lady Devils, their record doesn’t show it just yet but the team is too dangerous to overlook with their shooters and in-your-face defensive presence that nearly netted a come-from-behind victory against the Lady Warriors. Along with Sullivan South, look for UC/HV/East to duel it out for the No. 2 – No. 5 spots. Johnson County and Sullivan North – you have to applaud the credit. Coaches and kids deserve better, just a lack of depth to choose from in the area.
Feel free to comment below on a team that has surprised you this season. Early season with a lot of ball left, who do you have as the conference champions?
It’s almost a new year. The Erwin Record is currently in the works of providing a Top 10 of 2014. Have a moment that sticks out? Feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org and your moment could appear in the final issue of The Erwin Record for this year.
Really want to give a big thanks for all the support for the increased traffic for the social media sites. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I’ve plugged before but the followers, likes, whatever else, don’t mean too much. We’ve utilized these tools to help keep updates on local athletes across the area. In 2014, there was a dramatic spike up and I greatly appreciate it. I enjoy the writing, the more support shown, the more tools I’ll look into and bring them to the coverage forte.
That’ll wrap up it up for this go around. More posts online will be featured in the coming weeks.
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