Congratulations to Cyclones on undefeated season; time to rally teams in playoff season

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Congratulations are in order for the Elizabethton Cyclones Football Team, which finished the season undefeated — a first since 1951.

It has been an historic season for the Cyclones. An undefeated season makes it all the sweeter to the school’s students, parents, faculty, alumni, and patrons. But, to the players and coaches, the 10-0 season is a remarkable testament to the hard work, team effort, and school spirit of a lot of local young men, their families, coaches and fans.

In addition to the football team having a perfect season, the Cyclone Band took second place honors in state competition this weekend in Nashville.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

High school football in East Tennessee is a great tradition. It teaches the value of hard work, goal-setting, and teamwork. It unifies communities and, in some cases, provides a potential gateway to higher education. The proud Cyclones who walk away with an undefeated season will have a lifetime of memories of what they achieved, and their school will honor their achievements even longer. They not only make their school proud, but they make the whole Elizabethton community proud.

They will vie for more gridiron glory when the playoffs begin Friday with kickoff time at 7 p.m. The Cyclones will play East Ridge, who have a 6-4 record this season.

We not only wish the Cyclones well, but all Carter County high school football teams, who will seek to extend the season with play Friday night. They include Cloudland, who takes on Harriman; Hampton who will play Cumberland Gap, Unaka at Greenback, and Happy Valley at Meigs County. All our high school football teams have made us proud.

We are not only proud of our players, but our coaches as well. Many of us tend to forget that coaches, in any sport, are educators, too. The lessons they instill on the field or court may not show up in state data that measure the effectiveness of math or science teachers. But for many young athletes, coaches become surrogate parents, and even if that isn’t the case, the lessons they offer about the ability of sports to develop character — by teaching teamwork, discipline, sacrifice, the value of hard work, a commitment to excellence, handling adversity and defeat — can help shape young lives for a lifetime.

Research shows that being a student-athlete is about a lot more than fun and games. It teaches important life lessons, too. In fact, high school athletes not only have higher grade point averages and fewer school absences than non-athletes, they also develop the kind of work habits and self-discipline skills that help them become more responsible and productive community members.

Attending high school sporting events teaches important life lessons, too.

Among them, it teaches that we can live in different communities, come from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures, cheer for different teams, and still have a common bond.

That’s why attending the activities across the county this fall has been so important. It’s not only an opportunity to cheer for your local high school team, it is also an opportunity to celebrate our commonality. And that’s something our country needs right now.

For each of our high school teams, not only Elizabethton, but Hampton, Unaka, Happy Valley, and Cloudland, we  applaud their persistence, tenacity, preparation and hard work, regardless of the color of the uniform they wear. We acknowledge that education-based, high school sports are enhancing their lives, and ours, in ways that few other activities could. And we agree that, regardless of what side of the field we sit on, attending a high school sporting event is an uplifting, enriching, family-friendly experience for all of us.

Our high schools lie at the heart of the communities they serve. They not only are educating our next generation of leaders, they also are a place where we congregate, where people from every corner of town and all walks of life come together as one. And at no time is this unity more evident than during a high school athletic event.

Opportunities abound in the classroom and outside it. Let’s make the most of them by attending as many athletic events at the high school in our community as possible.

Friday evening begins the playoff season. Let’s be there to rally our teams to victory.