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It’s time for fall football in Northeast Tennessee

In Northeast Tennessee, August means the beginning of high school football.
The local football season got off to a chaotic start last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, our local teams are slated to kick off on schedule. On Friday night, Elizabethton High School will kick off its season in a game with Science Hill High School at ETSU in what has been dubbed the “Railroad Rumble.” The title is very fitting since the Tweetsie Trail begins just a short distance from the old football stadium at Science Hill High School and runs through Elizabethton, connecting the two communities of Johnson City and Elizabethton.
Elizabethton will be seeking its third state championship under the guidance of Coach Shawn Witten. It will take some hard work to achieve that goal, but it can be done.
COVID has made its presence known again this season as the Happy Valley Warriors have had to postpone their opening game with the Cloudland Highlanders due to some Happy Valley players testing positive for the coronavirus.
But long before the foot meets the leather for the opening football game, teams have been hard at work with grueling summer practices as well as after-school practice sessions.
What makes high school football so special goes well beyond the Xs and Os. It reflects in the genuine love and passion that players, coaches and fans exhibit for the sport and for each other.
When the Friday Night Lights illuminate across Carter County and Northeast Tennessee, everyone convenes at the local high school football field. It is the biggest and best show in town. Players and coaches pour it all out on the field an in effort to prevail. Fans pack the stands to support and cheer on student-athletes they know and have relationships with. There’s a genuine love and desire to see the team and players do well. It is about school and community pride.
The bonds and relationships formed in high school typically last a lifetime. Football offers some great opportunities for high school kids. It offers them the opportunity to grow, to achieve.
High school football has always been about building a solid foundation for a young person’s life, based on principles and experiences that can only be taught through the games. It’s about cultivating genuine relationships between players, coaches, and a community of fans.
There’s nothing like high school football. For fans, it gives them something to brag about.
We wish all our teams a successful season. Work hard and do good!