• 77°

Are you ready for some football…

For fans of Monday Night Football, one has to remember Hank Williams Jr. strumming out an opening song asking if those tuning in were ready for some football.
If that question was asked to many residents here in Carter County as August 20th is right around the corner, the answer would be a resounding yes as the 2021 prep high school football season is getting ready to kick off for county teams.

One of the biggest games on the slate to open the season is the Elizabethton Cyclones and the Science Hill Hilltoppers who will be getting a chance to play in the spotlight at William B. Greene Stadium on the campus of ETSU.

Many wonders if the Cyclones will be able to make another remarkable run to the state title in 2021 and have asked if I believed if Coach Shawn Witten’s team could make another undefeated run.

My response is very simple – after winning two state titles back-to-back, the Cyclones are going to be like that big 24-point buck wandering around the woods of Carter County with a $25,000 prize on the line for harvesting it.

After being so successful, teams will be loading up to bring it everything they have to knock Elizabethton off their perch in 2021 and that starts next Friday with Science Hill.

In all honesty, it’s going to be tough for the Cyclones to continued their undefeated streak wearing such a big crosshair on their backs. However, that doesn’t mean that Elizabethton can’t make it back to the state title game again because even with a one or two-loss season, they have put in the work and know what it takes to get there so they can do so.

When you are talking about playing teams like the Hilltoppers, Greeneville, and Anderson County, you are talking about playing some of the stiffest competition of anyone in the state.

So fans shouldn’t be alarmed if the Cyclones see their win streak end. There is still many paths to the state championship.

Two other teams to keep a keen eye on in the county is the Hampton Bulldogs and the Cloudland Highlanders.

Both teams have had solid preseasons especially Coach Zack Benfield’s Highlanders who have had some solid scrimmages during their pre-season workouts.

And never count out a Michael Lunsford-coached Bulldog team even in losing senior standout Morgan Lyons for a portion of the season to a broken ankle.

That was one of Mayor Curt Alexander’s arguments for scheduling the downtown Christmas Parade for December as the last two years many have been out of town for the state championship game for Elizabethton and missed out on the parade.

Any of our county schools could be in Chattanooga this year since they are so strong and the logical thing to do was to move it to December 11th, a week later than what was proposed.

Unaka can never be left out of the mix as well because the Rangers were able to experience a home playoff game last season and are hungry to go deep in the playoffs.

The Warriors of Happy Valley have had the worst of starts as Coach Jason Jarrett’s team has been struggling with COVID and will be behind the eight-ball when everyone can get back to work.

It has been so bad that the Warriors haven’t been able to have a media day yet for the team and their cheerleaders.

And besides prep football getting underway, it’s not that long until the ETSU Bucs and Tennessee Vols kick off their 2021 season along with my Tennessee Titans.

So, my answer is yes absolutely when asked if I am ready for some football and it doesn’t take a country superstar having to ask me.