Make quality, not quantity, sports priority

Douglas Fritz • Sep 17, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Find a way to make today really matter, and it will stay with you forever.

It may seem a little off-target for a high school sports column, but a friend — who is a coach — is experiencing the kind of life storm capable of dashing the Titanic to pieces against the rocks.

Out of respect for the coach and his family, details are confidential. But this coach has helped a lot of kids learn how valuable it can be to work together, making the whole bigger than the sum of its parts — which should be the main goal of high school athletics.

A thrilling victory is a great memory, and a gut-wrenching loss is hard to release from the mind. However, those final results are secondary to the true meaning of life.

We get so caught up in “quantity,” doing more each day. We want life to move so fast. How fast? A wise person recently painted this picture, “We get so upset in a drive-through because we don't get our food fast enough — as if we should be able to drive by at 60 mph and have them throw the food in our window.”

If only today, put quantity aside and reach for quality. Take 30 minutes or an hour and give the time away. Write a thank you note to a former coach, or even a rival you respect from another school. Visit an injured athlete from your school or another school, or pool together some money and buy a clean DVD movie for a classmate or student who has been sick. Sow a good seed.


Science Hill took advantage of a loss by Murfreesboro Riverdale to move up to No. 5 in this week's AP state rankings.

It is believed to be one of the highest rankings ever for the Hilltoppers.

Ahead of Science Hill is No. 1 Maryville, followed by Murfreesboro Siegel, Dobyns-Bennett and Memphis Whitehaven.


Parity is not a big part of the picture these days in area football leagues. When teams are playing in the conference, close games haven't been the normal result.

In two Big Eight Conference contests, Science Hill won by a combined margin of 118-15. Dobyns-Bennett by a total of 112-34. Tennessee High? 98-33.

Greeneville's first Blue Ridge Conference game produced a 72-7 victory.

In the Mountain East Conference, Cloudland has lined up twice with a combined score of 109-0. Hampton is just 49-7 in two games, but it would likely have been something like 100-7 if Hancock County hadn't forfeited.

The Three Rivers Conference has a little different look, but mainly because the top two teams went head-to-head Friday night. Elizabethton's 23-21 win over Sullivan North was a dandy that possibly decided the league's championship — unless Johnson County has something to say about it.

There are some good matchups remaining for area teams, but the TSSAA's mix of two playoff classes in the same league tends to result in quite a few lopsided scores.


Football games of the week: Elizabethton at Sullivan South, Greeneville at Alcoa, Johnson County at Hampton.

Cyclones vs. Rebels — This one looks like a very entertaining matchup.

South has been scoring and giving up a ton of points this season. Elizabethton has only scored over 23 points one time, but it's defense has been very solid.

Greene Devils vs. Tornadoes — After an 0-2 start, Greeneville has outscored its opponents 121-14 in two games. However, last year's 42-14 whipping of Alcoa will certainly stoke a fire for the Tornadoes.

Longhorns vs. Bulldogs — It came down to overtime and a 2-point conversion in this year's first meeting. While a repeat performance that dramatic seems unlikely, it certainly should be quite a battle once again.


Pick of the Week — Hampton 25, Johnson County 19.

The Bulldogs didn't finish the game last time, and the Longhorns bulled their way to victory. Look for Hampton to pull a 48-minute shift this time around.

Picks record: 5-0.


Player of the week — Malik Foreman of Dobyns-Bennett.

Moving from wide receiver to quarterback because of an injury, Foreman broke loose for 280 total yards and finished with 377 all-purpose yards.

The senior was 3 of 3 passing for 118 yards and two TDs, rushed five times for 133 yards and two TDs, and added a fifth score on a 60-yard interception return in a 56-21 win over Daniel Boone.

Foreman also caught two passes for 29 yards, and returned a kickoff 37 yards.


The Hogs Award — Science Hill Hilltoppers.

The Hill Hogs rooted David Crockett's defense out of the way in a 63-8 pounding. Science Hill rushed 36 times for 418 yards, an eye-popping 11.6 yards per carry.

Also, pass protection was perfect as the 'Toppers completed all three of their attempts.


Defensive unit of the week — Science Hill Hilltoppers.

Joining the offense in a dominating performance, the “HillStoppers” defensive unit made it a rare daily double of awards.

Science Hill allowed just 57 yards of offense until an 86-yard run by Crockett with just under three minutes left in the game. Despite the long run, the Hilltoppers allowed less than two yards per rushing attempt. They picked off two passes, recovered three fumbles, and forced five Crockett punts.


Prep spotlight: Coaches can submit standout performances for girls soccer, volleyball, cross country and golf to dfritz@johnsoncitypress.com.

Deadline is Sunday at midnight.


This Week in Prep History — September 13, 2002.

Adam Jarrett and Travis Costner combined for 237 yards rushing and five touchdowns as David Crockett crushed rival Daniel Boone, 41-12. Quarterback Josh Longworth was 5 of 9 for 141 yards.


Tennessee High muscles it way up two spots to No. 4 in this week's Prep Top 10.

Team W-L Prv

1. Dobyns-Bennett 5-0 1

2. Science Hill 5-0 2

3. Greeneville 2-2 4

4. Tennessee High 4-1 6

5. Daniel Boone 4-1 5

6. Elizabethton 3-2 7

7. Sullivan North 4-1 3

8. Johnson County 3-1 9

9. Hampton 3-1 10

10. Sullivan South 2-2 8

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