Success reflected by the numbers…Cyclone football hosts ‘Meet the Cyclones’

Published 11:20 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
From the outside looking in, the parking lot at Elizabethton High School Friday evening looked like football had kicked off for another season.
However, that was not the case but a time for fans and family to see how the success of the Cyclone football program continues to grow and evolve after winning two state championships and a state runner-up trophy from 2019 to 2021 seasons.
That success was seen Friday night in the numbers from the Jr. Cyclone youth league to the high school varsity team as each team was recognized as they ran out of the Cyclone football helmet including the cheerleaders that represented each team.
With 95 players at the middle school level and 75 players on the Cyclone JV and Varsity teams, numbers like this reflect why Cyclone football continues to be examined from the outside to see exactly how the programs work hand in hand to prepare future rosters for years to come.
Added to that, the numbers at the youth league level also are eye-popping as Elizabethton High School head coach Shawn Witten continues to build for future years as he invests time not only at the high school level but even into the flag football teams and above which will fill his player needs in the future.
“Our motto in this town has really become ‘Strength in our numbers’ and in our town, it is incredible what we are putting together,” said Witten. “The amount of youth football players and the amount of T.A. Dugger football players we have along with the cheerleaders at each level, we are building something special here. For our fans, we want them to know what they are supporting and why they are supporting it.”
Witten added that on the flip side, it’s now the next guy’s turn. With the graduation of ultra-successful quarterback Bryson Rollins and star players like Jake Roberts, Trenton Taylor, and Conner Johnson to name a few, it’s the guys who have been waiting in the wings time to step up to lead the program.
Brock Pittman, head coach of the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones, added that with 95 players on his roster, the focus is to keep each player engaged as the team prepares to defend its conference title.
“Football is important in Elizabethton and we have success due to the numbers that come out,” Pittman said. “The coaches have worked really hard and the kids have worked really hard and gotten a lot of things done in this first week of practice. We put on the pads for the first time yesterday which changed the dynamics of what they have learned and we had to reel them back in mentally, but we are really excited about our team.

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