(Photo by Lee Talbert/Press Photo Editor)
David Crockett’s football team has been living in anticipation mode for quite some time.
The calendar has changed, and it’s time to show what all of the fuss is about.
As the Pioneers prepare to play host to Sullivan East tonight at 7:30 in Jonesborough, head coach Jeremy Bosken said there is no shortage of enthusiasm.
“Oh man, I’d say the whole community is chomping at the bit,” said Bosken. “The excitement is unbelievable. The kids are ready, the coaches are ready, the student body is ready, and the community is ready.”
In other season openers today, Johnson County travels to take on Tennessee High, Dobyns-Bennett plays host to Knox Farragut, and Sullivan North is at home to battle Seymour.
Sullivan East is coming off an 0-10 season, and the Patriots have lost 12 games in a row. Therefore, with the expectations for Crockett beginning a new era in football and other sports, a win over the Patriots would seem like a necessary starting point.
Bosken said his players are focused on the Patriots.
“As far as the kids are concerned, this is the only game we have,” said Bosken. “We’re not looking ahead, and we’re not looking behind.”
When Crockett has the football, Bosken said he wants quarterback Ryan Burger to make things work by getting the ball to the right people.
“We will try to get the ball in the playmakers’ hands,” said Bosken. “Burger at quarterback does a great job of facilitating. He’s supposed to get it to the people who make plays. Our offense is clicking right now, and the kids are having fun.”
On defense, the Pioneers will try to prevent East from establishing drives and holding on to the football with its wing-T offense. Bosken said he likes what he has seen from his defensive unit.
“We are starting to come together,” said Bosken. “We’re playing fast, and the energy is amazing.
“East will run the wing-T and do what they do. It’s kind of the same look we saw against Grainger (in a recent scrimmage).”
Overall, Bosken said he’s ready to put a product out on the field, and the players have earned their chance.
“The kids have been working since January,” he said. “They’ve worked all that time for these 48 minutes coming up.
“Friday night is a big fundraiser for us. It benefits the other sports at the school as well. We’ve got to get that small town football feeling again.”
Johnson County at Tennessee High — It’s going to be difficult for the Longhorns to keep wraps on the Vikings’ pass-catch combination of quarterback Peyton Henley and receiver Adam Mitchell.
It’s the same problem any Vikings’ opponent will face.
However, the Longhorns do have one weapon against it: A workhorse running back in Patrick South, who has the ability to help his team move the chains and eat clock.
Knox Farragut at Dobyns-Bennett — The Indians have won three straight games against the Admirals, including last year’s 42-14 blowout.
However, D-B has a lot of proving to do this season after heavy talent graduation.
Seymour at Sullivan North — These teams haven’t met since 2004 in what used to be a league rivalry despite the distance.
Seymour has won eight of 11 meetings, although the Raiders won in 2004.