● Ceremony: 7 p.m. Friday ● Court includes: Senior class queen nominees: Taylor Gilmore, Kayla King, Katelyn Sparks and Mallory Winters Senior class king nominees: Eric Anderson, Landon Disney, Justin Kuhn and Hunter Ryan Freshmen: Jaden Harris and Nena Goodson Sophomores: Samuel McCloud and Masey Fox Juniors: Chase Sliger and Megan Floyd
● Parade: 6 p.m. Thursday in downtown Lenoir City ● Ceremony: Half time ● Former classes in attendance: 1962, 1982 ● Court includes: Senior class queen nominees: Jordan Barbour, Savannah Bailey, Jennifer Darby, Holly Ford, Ally Grubb, Hayley McGinnis, Blair Peterson, Bailey Petett, Katherine Reed and April Woody
● Parade: 6 p.m. Friday beginning at Loudon County Schools central office ● Ceremony: Half time ● Former classes in attendance: 1947, 1962 ● Court includes: Senior class queen nominees: Maddy Bright, Nicole Wilkerson, JaimieRae Russell, Taylor Hill, Hannah Nichols, Zoe Grimes, Elizabeth Hampton and Kaylor Kelly
Author: Jonathan Herrmann Source: News-Herald
For the first time this season Lenoir City, Loudon and Greenback will all host home football games in the same week. It also happens to be homecoming for all three schools.
While homecoming can work in the favor of a team, creating added motivation for the players as they look for a win Friday night, it can also be distracting at times.
"There's a lot going on this week and our job, as coaches, is to try and keep them focused with all the things that are going on," Lenoir City coach Mike Zeller said. "These guys have been here a while and they're used to it. Hopefully there won't be too many distractions."
Lenoir City (3-1), coming off its first loss of the season, will host the 5-0 Kingston Yellowjackets of Roane County High School. While the Yellowjackets enter the game undefeated, the combined record of their opponents, 3-20, opens the door for questions.
"They're big, physical," Zeller said. "They've got confidence, they're playing well right now. They control the ball, control the clock and that's probably what they're game planning to do with us."
The Redskins (1-3) will host Sweetwater. Coming off their third loss of the season, which came at the hands of CAK, Loudon will enter the game in dire need of a win to put themselves back on track for a post-season berth.
Sweetwater is 4-1 and off to its best start since 2002. However, the Wildcats are coming off a loss to Polk County, which is the only team with a winning record they have faced in 2012.
"They're not beating themselves," Loudon coach Jeff Harig said. "With the competition they've played in those first few games they had the best athlete on the field (running back Jordan McGaughey) and they didn't beat themselves. So odds are you're going to win."
Greenback (5-0) hosts 3-1 Cloudland, who will make the three hour drive from Roane Mountain for the game. While Cloudland is off to its best start in five years, Greenback has put together its best five-game run since 2002, when the Cherokees were undefeated before being knocked out in the state quarterfinal by Cloudland.
The Cherokees have been dominant to start the season. Allowing just two touchdowns in five games while averaging 45.2 points per game and a winning margin of 42.2 points, which is best in the state among class 1A football teams.
Greenback's offense, led by the trio of Eric Anderson, Richard Seymour and Hunter Cope, has had little trouble moving the ball up and down the field, but face a team in Cloudland that has two shutouts in four games this season.
"We've been running basic stuff offensively," Greenback coach Justin Ridge said. "Every time we try to put in some new wrinkles we always get back to just getting better at our base stuff."
For Loudon, they're hoping to keep the offensive momentum of the last two games going. After scoring only one touchdown in their first two games, the Redskins have put 76 on the board since reinserting Trent Elliott into the starting quarterback role.
"We were able to do some good things on offense," Harig said of the loss to CAK. "I thought we took it up a notch. I will say this, CAK's defense is not where it needs to be, but if we play that way the next six weeks we can win."
Lenoir City will look to correct, for Friday, what cost them the game against Bearden, fumbling the ball away, which had not been a problem heading into last week's game.
"So far I think we've been plus 10 in the turnover ratio," Zeller said. "We lost that Friday night. It's something we're going to have to work on."
The Panthers had averaged just over 35 points in their first three games, but only managed to score 14 against a strong Bulldogs defense. The defense of the Panthers, despite allowing 24 in the game against Bearden, has been strong to start the 2012 season, the strongest Kingston will have faced.
Kingston may also enter the game with the disadvantage of playing without starting quarterback Brandon Ott, who is likely to miss the game having suffered a separated shoulder.
"Any time your missing your quarterback that's big," Zeller said. "But we saw their back up and he did a good job too. They're going to throw when they have to, but they're a run team. As long as they've got someone who can take a snap I think their offense is pretty good."
For Loudon, the team's defense has had both its strengths and weaknesses exposed through four games.
A defensive line, anchored by seniors Tyler Elliott and Bryan McFalls at the defensive end positions, has played physical and done a good job of creating push against their opponents. However, the secondary of the Redskins has shown a tendency toward allowing big plays in the passing game. While Sweetwater is not a pass-first offense, the Wildcats are not afraid to throw the ball when they need to.
Greenback's defense could be tested against Cloudland. The Cherokees have only faced once team so far this season with an offense as consistent as that of Cloudland, week zero against Oneida. While Oneida only managed one touchdown against Greenback, they have scored 110 total points in the four games since, winning all of them.
"Defensively we've had a lot of success because we've been really focused every week," Ridge said. "They really want to be perfect. It's that strive for excellence they have that's made them that good." Cloudland has scored 155 points in four games, but were shutout against Coalfield, who ranks second only to Greenback in points scored and average winning margin.
"They've got a really good running back (Taylor Whitehead)," Ridge said. "He is a real big-play guy. He can give us a lot of trouble if we don't pay attention to where he's at."
Greenback ranks second in the Associated Press Tennessee Prep Football Poll behind South Pittsburg, last season's state runner up, and first in the East Tennessee Sports Writers Poll. Lenoir City ranks fifth in both.