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Weather takes toll on Unicoi, everyone else

Douglas Fritz • Mar 25, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Unicoi County hasn't lost a softball game — unless weather has been the opponent.

A wet spring turned decidedly winter Monday, costing the Lady Blue Devils — and everybody else — probably the better part of a week's worth of games.

“We've had a year or two like this before, but not nearly this much,” said Unicoi County head coach Grady Lingerfelt, whose team has gotten off to a 4-0 start. “We already have three to make up right now. Softball weather will get here eventually, I think.”

The Lady Blue Devils are scheduled to travel to play Johnson County today, but Lingerfelt said Monday, “I don't see that happening.”

A home game against Daniel Boone is on the schedule for Wednesday, but that may be in jeopardy, too. On the bright side of things, the forecast is better for this weekend's Nuclear Fuels Services tournament at Lady Devils Diamond.

“It would be real good if we get that in,” said Lingerfelt.

Certainly the players are ready for an opponent other than the pitching machine.

“They're getting tired of practicing, that's for sure,” said Lingerfelt, whose team has played just one game in the last eight days. “They just need to play somebody.”

— — —

Here are the rankings for area boys basketball teams in terms of state tournament appearances in the three-classification era, which began in 1976:

Team No.

Science Hill 17

Dobyns-Bennett 9

University High 5

Unaka 5

Cloudland 5

Tennessee High 5

Hampton 4

Greeneville 4

Elizabethton 2

Unicoi County 2

Sullivan Central 2

Chuckey-Doak 2

North Greene 2

Daniel Boone 1

Johnson County 1

West Greene 1

Lynn View 1

Area teams without a berth in the three-classification era: David Crockett, Sullivan South, Volunteer, Happy Valley, Sullivan East, Sullivan North, South Greene.

Last week's column listed the state tournament berths by year from 1998-2003. Following is the list from 1976-1997.

Year Team Class

1997 Science Hill AAA

1996 Science Hill AAA

1995 Science Hill AAA

1994 Science Hill AAA

1993 Science Hill, D-B AAA

Chuckey-Doak AA

1992 Dobyns-Bennett AAA

North Greene A

1991 Science Hill AAA

Chuckey-Doak AA

1990 Science Hill AAA

North Greene A

1989 Dobyns-Bennett AAA

University High A

1988 Science Hill AAA

Unaka A

1987 Science Hill, Gr'ville AAA

1986 Unicoi County AA

1985 Tennessee High AAA

Unicoi County AA

Unaka A

1984 Sullivan Central AAA

Johnson County AA

University High A

1983 Elizabethton AAA

West Greene AA

Hampton, U. High A

1982 Science Hill AAA

1981 Dobyns-Bennett AAA

Hampton A

1980 Hampton A

1979 NONE

1978 Tennessee High AAA

1977 Lynn View AA

1976 Science Hill, D-B AAA

— — —

Prep signings: A pair of Daniel Boone football players made their college choices official last week.

Trevor Duncan signed with the University of Charleston in West Virginia. Duncan joins his brother, Matt, who is a linebacker for the Golden Eagles.

Brandon Akers signed with the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.

— — —

Baseball games of the week — (Today) Science Hill at Daniel Boone, Tennessee High at Sullivan South, Johnson County at Happy Valley, (Monday) Tennessee High at Science Hill, Johnson County at Unicoi County, Happy Valley at Elizabethton, University High at Unaka.

The Hilltoppers will have a chance to strengthen themselves as the clear frontrunner in the Big Eight Conference.

— — —

Science Hill battles its way into the No. 2 spot in this week's Prep Top 10 baseball rankings.

Team W-L Prv

1. Unicoi County 5-0 1

2. Science Hill 7-2 4

3. Dobyns-Bennett 5-1 2

4. Sullivan South 3-3 3

5. Daniel Boone 3-3 6

6. Elizabethton 4-6 5

7. Tennessee High 4-2 7

8. University High 5-0 9

9. Johnson County 1-2 10

10. Greeneville 3-2 8

— — —

Softball games of the week — (Today) Dobyns-Bennett at Daniel Boone, (Wednesday) Daniel Boone at Unicoi County, (Friday-Saturday) Nuclear Fuels Services tournament at Erwin, (Monday) Elizabethton at Happy Valley.

It's the biggest early season game of the year as the Lady Trailblazers travel to Erwin. These teams are also scheduled for a game in Gray on April 29.

— — —

Elizabethton remains unbeaten and moves up two spots to No. 3 in this week's softball rankings.

Team W-L Prv

1. Daniel Boone 9-2 1

2. Unicoi County 4-0 2

3. Elizabethton 6-0 5

4. Greeneville 3-0 4

5. Science Hill 3-6 6

6. Dobyns-Bennett 7-4 3

7. Happy Valley 4-0 9

8. Volunteer 2-2 7

9. Tennessee High 3-3 nr

10. David Crockett 1-3 8

(tie) University High 2-1 1