Rangers ready for 1st conference battle

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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BY C.Y. Peters
The Unaka Rangers’ football season has begun on a somber note, as they find themselves staring at a disappointing 0-2 record. They have suffered back-to-back losses, first to the formidable 3-A powerhouse Chucky Doak and then to Virginia’s top-ranked Twin Springs. Last week’s game had been an ordeal. Penalties, miscues, and a string of injuries plagued them from kickoff to the final whistle.
Early in the game, their star quarterback, Bryinn Repass, was sidelined by injury. He is also the punter. Linemen were succumbing to cramps one after another. It felt like an unending string of setbacks. Amidst the adversity, though, there were bright spots. Connor McKinney had carried the team, rushing 15 times for an impressive 100 yards. A.J. Greenless had also showcased his skills, racking up 57 yards on 11 carries. On the defensive end, Isaiah White and Michael Gray made key tackles, showing resilience in the face of adversity.
This week, the Rangers are set to face Cosby, a team with a record of 1-2. Cosby has started the season strong, defeating Cumberland Gap 28-14 in the opener, but they have stumbled in their last two games. For Unaka, the focus has shifted to securing a conference win. Conference victories are what matters most at this point.
Coach O’Brien Bennett is closing in on a significant milestone. He was just five wins away from becoming Unaka’s second all-time winningest coach, trailing behind the legendary Lynn Goddard, after whom the field had been named. Lynn Goddard had been Unaka’s first 11-man football coach and a true icon in the school’s history.
The anticipation is palpable as the Rangers prepared to face Cosby. The team is eager to turn the season around and start their climb in the conference standings. The past losses are behind them, and the future is full of possibilities. Game time was set for 7:30, and the Rangers are determined to make their mark. The stage is set, and the Rangers are ready to seize their moment on the field at Unaka.

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