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Sports Live

Cloudland has to scramble after split with Avery

July 25th, 2011 11:47 pm by Douglas Fritz

When the official TSSAA football schedules were released recently, they weren’t completely accurate.
The most notable correction for this area was Cloudland, which is actually part of the Week Zero crowd.
The Highlanders were originally scheduled to open in Week 1, and had Avery County, N.C., slated for Week 3. However, that game was canceled and Cloudland will instead be off that week — replacing the game with a Week Zero contest on the road against Andrews, N.C.
Highlanders’ head coach Robbie Turbyfill said dropping Avery, a big border rival, was an administrative decision.
“Avery broke a verbal contract to play us in all sports,” said Turbyfill. “We gave them a couple of opportunities to fix it, and they refused.
“We had a contract with Avery. But if you have a contract with an out-of-state team, it’s useless. There’s nothing the TSSAA or North Carolina can do. We were scrambling for a game, and we found Andrews.”
Turbyfill said he wanted to make it clear Cloudland still wants to play Avery in football.
“We didn’t want out,” he said. “It’s a huge loss in money, and it’s a huge rivalry. But it’s over my head. We didn’t have a choice.”
Andrews is located in southwest North Carolina, about a three-hour drive from Roan Mountain.
“It’s almost at the Georgia line,” said Turbyfill. “You could go down to Chattanooga and go across that way.”
Turbyfill said Avery filled its schedule hole by adding a second game against Mitchell County, N.C.
n In other football schedule items, Johnson County, Sullivan North and Sullivan Central will face different opponents than originally scheduled because of Southwest Virginia consolidations.
Pound and Wise (Va.) J.J. Kelly recently consolidated to become Wise-Central. Also, Appalachia and Powell Valley consolidated to become Union, and Coeburn and St. Paul combined to become Eastside.
North had Coeburn, J.J. Kelly and Pound on its 2011 schedule. So the Raiders had to do the most shuffling. The Raiders will play their Week 1 game against Eastside on Aug. 25 — a move to Thursday night because of the Friday races at Bristol Motor Speedway. In Week 5, the Raiders will take on Wise-Central. And in Week 7, North will play Union — a game that has been moved to North’s field, giving the Raiders six home games this season.
Fortunately the transition was fairly smooth for North despite the late consolidations.
“We made up new contracts,” said North principal Richard Carroll. “The dates stayed the same. We just had to change the names.”
Johnson County’s Week 7 game will be played against Wise-Central. And Sullivan Central’s Week 3 contest will be against Wise-Central.
n Daniel Boone will hold its inaugural Lady Blazer softball game on Sept. 10, during the school’s Homecoming week.
“We want to celebrate 32 years of softball excellence,” said head coach Rick Wagner. “The number of games we play will be determined by the number of participants.”
Registration begins at noon on Sept. 10, and runs through 1 p.m. There will also be a home run derby at noon. The first game begins at 2 p.m.
“Any girl who played at Daniel Boone, varsity or junior varsity, is eligible to participate,” said Wagner. “This will be a great opportunity for the current Lady Blazers to meet with players who made Boone a traditional power over the years.”
There will be a $10 fee to cover the cost of the T-shirts. For further information, contact Wagner at

Douglas Fritz is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press. He can be contacted at

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