A shot at Cyclone history… 2019 Elizabethton team can leave legacy with win over Central

Published 12:49 am Friday, November 1, 2019

There have been many a great player that has put on the orange and black for Elizabethton High School and strapped on the helmet tight as they took the field looking for their piece of glory during their high school years on the gridiron.
Not only standout players but coaches like Goddard, Alderson, Treadway,  Rider, Pless, Jenkins, and Witten and none have come close in 68 years of accomplishing what the 2019 Cyclones can do tonight when they take the field at Sullivan Central for a 7:30 pm kickoff.
And that is leaving a legacy – a legacy of a team that scraped, fought, sweat, bled, and left everything they had on the field to accomplish winning 10 games in the regular season against zero losses – perfection.
But that hasn’t been accomplished – not yet. 48 minutes and a Central team that has absolutely nothing to lose are the two last things left standing between that legacy.
Last week served as a wake-up call that no team can be overlooked as South came into Citizens Bank Stadium and did everything but kick one extra point that could have led to an end to the run.
Again, the Cyclones preserved thanks to a blocked point-after attempt that turned out to be the difference in the contest. Just more adversity that the Cyclones have learned to overcome in Coach Shawn Witten’s 13 years at the helm of the program.
This week there is still adversity that the Cyclones must overcome as Parker Hughes went down last week for about four to six weeks with an ankle injury and Zach C. Hartley sitting out a couple of games with what has been ruled as a concussion.
But there is no panic in this team as there are still players like Braden Holly, Jake Roberts, and Nate Stephens just to mention a few who are playmakers and have proven that.
Quarterback Bryson Rollins will now have to know there are other receivers who will have his back and Cade Maupin will have to run with the same drive and determination as he did in the Science Hill and Greeneville games to help pick up more of the load.
No, there is no panic because this Cyclone team has grown up during the season and its always the next man up mentality of a group of kids that have played together and experience success since their days at T.A. Dugger Jr. High.
On paper, this contest should be over by halftime but it’s not what’s on paper that counts – its what goes on when the Cyclones take the field. No errors, making the tackles, and executing their offense and the legacy will be left.
Fail to do so and this team will be another good 9-1 team just like so many more teams that have finished with the same record.
“I think this game is more than just playing Sullivan Central,” Witten said during a mid-week conversation. “It makes a full circle of what our program has been through.
“The first thing that comes to my mind if we can win Friday is the history and all the former players, coaches, and all the great teams since 1951. A lot of people have helped pave the way. The support staff and Danny Smith and his legacy of supporting this football team for 35-plus years.
“Just a proud tradition that has been kept alive and especially my former players in my 13 seasons that have helped pave the way.”
And if that legacy is realized at the end of the game tonight, there are many that feel that if the Cyclones stay focused and do what they are supposed to do over the course of the next five weeks, there could be another historical event on the horizon.
But first things first – that starts with caging a bunch of Cougars who will be wild and beside themselves tonight as they get the opportunity to take on the number one team in the state in Class 4A and play the role of spoiler.
The Cyclones have their sights on a win and branding the record books of EHS with a legacy that will stand far beyond any one win of the 2019 regular season.

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