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Prep notes: Big matchups set season off to telling start

August 16th, 2011 8:51 am by Douglas Fritz

Prep notes: Big matchups set season off to telling start

Week Zero is here, but is not aptly named this year.
The “Zero” suggests almost a dress rehearsal, or a scrimmage where the statistics count.
But Week Zero could be very revealing in 2011. Some of the matchups could give people a good indication where area teams really stand.
Here’s a inquiring look at things that could be revealed:

Science Hill at Greeneville
No. 1 — The Hilltoppers are strong and fast, but is that state-level strong and state-level fast?
No. 2 — Was that 17-14 scrimmage loss to Maryville a hint Greeneville could repeat as Class 4A state champs?
No. 3 — Were Willie Carmicheal and B.J. Spradlin once-in-a-lifetime performers, or just the start in a long line of Greene Devils’ standouts?

Daniel Boone at Elizabethton
No. 1 — Are the Trailblazers going to be in transition this year, or are they again a top five team in the area?
No. 2 — Will the Elizabethton defense be good enough to keep the Cyclones among the top 10 Class 3A teams in the state?

Sullivan Central at Happy Valley
If Happy Valley is going to be a Three Rivers Conference title contender, shouldn’t the offense be able to ball-control its way to a win over a team picked to finish last in the Big Eight?

Sullivan East at David Crockett
No. 1 — Have the Pioneers built enough of a foundation to succeed in the favorite’s role?
No. 2 — Will new coach Mike Locke make a Ralph Nelson-like impact for the Patriots?

Johnson County at Tennessee High
No. 1 — Do the Longhorns have enough of their traditional mountain toughness to overcome inexperience and compete in a big underdog role?
No. 2 — Will head coach Shane Boggs have any growing pains with his new program?

Dobyns-Bennett at Farragut
Are the Indians reloading, or will the early season be more like the struggles of 2009?

South Greene at Unicoi County
Was that jamboree win for the Blue Devils kind of like Steve Spurrier’s preseason debut with the Washington Redskins in 2002, or is Unicoi a real threat this season?

— The Johnson City Press football edition is scheduled for publication in the Thursday edition of the newspaper.
— Several area teams have a nasty one-two combination staring them down at the start of the season. Here’s a look at the three toughest early schedules:
1. Science Hill — The Hilltoppers face the defending Class 4A state champion on the road in Greeneville, and follow it with a game against Class 3A state semifinalist Elizabethton.
2. Johnson County — After meeting Class 5A power Tennessee High on the road, the Longhorns hit the road again for a huge rivalry game against Hampton.
3. Daniel Boone — Back-to-back road games against two of the area’s best quarterbacks — Elizabethton’s McKenly Berry and Cherokee’s T.J. Ryans — gives the Trailblazers a stern pair of tests.
— Signings update: Former Greeneville basketball standout Samantha Fender will get a chance to play at the next level.
Fender recently signed to continue her career at the Air Force Academy.
— After a little jamboree action, there’s cause for a tiny bit of movement in this week’s Prep Top 10:
Team Prv
1. Greeneville 1
2. Dobyns-Bennett 2
3. Science Hill 3
4. Elizabethton 4
5. Daniel Boone 5
6. Sullivan South 6
7. Happy Valley 8
8. Tennessee High 9
9. Sullivan North 7
10. Hampton 10
(tie) Johnson County 10
(tie) West Greene 10

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