Making the turn…

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

One half of the school year is in the books as is the fall portion of sports for local high school athletes with football, girls soccer, volleyball, cross country, and golf now complete as attention turns to winter sports and spring sports like basketball, swimming, baseball, softball, and track getting ready to hit full stride in the upcoming three months of 2022.

Several local teams are playing in Christmas tournaments currently with Elizabethton boys and girls playing in Tampa, Florida, Hampton and Cloudland participating in the Harriman Christmas tournament.

When students return back to school, all local schools will dive into the bulk of their conference slate which should be entertaining to say the least.

In early action, several teams have already been making statements about what they will be bringing to the court in 2022 as the Hampton Bulldogs, Cloudland Lady Highlanders, Elizabethton Lady Cyclones, and Unaka Lady Rangers have already proven they will be a force to be reckoned with when the season resumes in earnest.

The Lady Bulldogs of Hampton have shown that they are not the same Lady Bulldog teams of the last three or four years as new head coach Brandon Carpenter and his staff have the Lady ‘Dogs playing at a much higher level of competition and they will have something to say at district tournament time.

Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s team at Elizabethton still seems to be establishing their identity and with the additon of Nicholas Wilson back after Christmas to take over the post position they might finally settle and also be highly competitive by district tournament time which is all that matters anyway.

The same can be said about Unaka and Cloudland boys team as they continue to show improvement and grit. Happy Valley girls and boys are young but show a lot of heart and hustle on the court and time will tell as they enter the bulk of their conference slate after school resumes.

Swimming is also in full stroke as Elizabethton is showing to be tough competition in all the meets they have participated in to date as several swimmers have qualified for state or getting very close to doing so.

Elizabethton’s soccer team is seeing good numbers turn out for conditioning and drills as 20-plus Cyclones have made it to the field so far.

Baseball, softball, and track teams will start cranking up very soon as teams normally take the field in late February to early March to begin their seasons as district basketball will be wrapping up and teams looking to make it to the state level in regional and sectional play.

Sports fans have a lot to plan for as the schedules will be filled with action and the Star Sports team will be doing their best to cover as many of the events as possible.

It’s a very fun and fast-paced time so everyone needs to fasten their seat belts as the sports season prepares to make a sharp turn on the back side of the 2021-2022 sports season.