Cloudland’s White pleased with early workouts

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 19, 2019



ROAN MOUNTAIN- The wait is over! It’s football time once again in East Tennessee and students all around the county are lacing up their cleats and slipping on their pads for summer practice.

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The summer heat is a time when football teams get a taste of the battles ahead, and this summer will be no different.

In Roan Mountain, summer football practice is in full swing at Cloudland High School and Coach Glenn White is settling into the reins as their new coach.

White took over the program after the retirement of Mike Lunceford and so far, he is enjoying the challenge.

“I am well pleased with the effort the boys are giving during our summer practice,” White stated. “We’ve had 25 players come out so far and these are the same 25 that went to West Greene and scored two touchdowns and scored another one on a very good defensive play.

“We were able to win down there three touchdowns to nothing.

“We will be okay with these 25 kids, but I am counting on a few younger kids to develop quickly to give the starters some relief,” White continued.

“Right now, we have several kids really standing out. On our offensive and defensive lines, we have David Miller, Eli Preswood, Jed Childers, Logan Johnson and Jarad Julian who played for the last two years and won 18 ballgames. They are probably our strong point.

“We also have some good runners coming back. Conner Birchfield and Tristan Lacy are going to be runners for us, and we have some good young receivers in Levi Caraway and Haden Singleton. They are going to make a difference for us.

“The key is to get the younger kids ready to play for us because with only 25 kids they are going to have to play. With such a small number, it is kind of special to work with these younger kids and get them ready,” White said.

“I wish we had about seven or eight more come out for football. If we had around 32 players like we usually do, I think that would be for the best. We will go with what we have, and the group we have now will do just fine for us.”

Looking ahead, Coach White sees some roadblocks in the program that could cause Cloudland some problems in the future.

“One thing that is going to hurt us in the future is we did not have a junior high school football team last year,” White stated.

“We did not have enough students interested in playing on the middle school team last year, but we will this year and coaches Scott Potter and Rick Birchfield will be working with those kids to get them ready for the high school level.”

After losing Noah Johnson, Josh Blair, Jordan Coffee and Malachi Benfield from last year’s team, some may say this is a rebuilding year for Cloudland but according to Coach White nothing could be further from the truth.

“We are returning nine starters from last year, but the difference in this year’s team are the backups,” White commented. “In the last three years, we have had experienced backups but this year we do not.

“Our backups this year are young and inexperienced, and we are going to have to bring these freshmen and sophomores along very quickly because they will have to play.”

It looks like the Cloudland football program has been left in good hands and if summer practice is any indication, look for good things from this team in the future.