Cyclones prepped and ready for first-time opponent

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Elizabethton head coach Shawn Witten has always looked forward to preparing for teams that his program has yet faced and he gets another opportunity to do so this week as the Cyclones prepare to make a two-hour bus ride to the Knoxville area to take on new conference foe Seymour.

The Cyclones come into the contest with a 7-1 overall record and carrying a ranking of third in Class 4-A in the latest AP Prep Poll. The Cyclones have had two weeks to get ready after calling nearly 30 teams and basically offering enough money to tantalize a program just to play another game but had no bites as the Cyclones set idle last Friday night.

Seymour’s Eagles come into Friday night’s contest with an overall mark of 6-3 and are 2-2 in their inaugural season in the new conference. The Eagles were beaten last week by the South Greene Rebels 28-21.

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“Seymour really tries to do it the right way but they are just not blessed with a ton of talent,” said Witten in accessing Friday’s contest. “They do run good schemes and have a great place to go play.

“It’s exciting when you play new teams. Just a new challenge of preparation and you always want to get off to a good start in these series. For us, we know where our road is going to lead to so we are approaching it like a playoff game. Just going to get on the bus and go play. We have to play well and do a lot of great things in all three phases after not playing last week. We need to have that type of dominating performance on defense and continue to do a good job pushing the football down the field.”

With the additional time off including the fall break, the Cyclones have spent a lot more time on the practice field than the playing field. As the season winds down for many teams throughout the state, some teams have already begun the process of closing down their season while the Cyclones realize this is the time they look forward to the most.

“When you have great practices they have to translate to the field,” Witten said. “We gave the guys a three-day break and hopefully they are fresh physically and mentally. This time of year you sometimes begin to fade but the really good teams put their foot to the gas. I think we are not trying to put limitations on ourselves and our mentality is that we want to go and win it all.

“It’s going to be really challenging for us. We only have one more home game and everything else will be on the road.”

The kickoff for the contest will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday.