Football considering move to 40-second play clock

Douglas Fritz • Updated Mar 12, 2018 at 10:48 PM

High School football might have a little different look for the 2018 season.

On the agenda for Tuesday’s TSSAA Board of Control meeting is discussion about the possibility of changing to a 40-second play clock. The current time between plays before a penalty is assessed is 25 seconds.

The National Federation of High Schools is expected to pass a change regarding the play clock for the 2019 season. Tennessee has been given a chance to experiment with the potential rule change for 2018. Michigan, Indiana and Colorado have experimented with the 40-second play clock since 2016. Texas high schools have followed NCAA rules since 2014, so that state has been using the 40-second clock for four years.

If the NFHS follows NCAA rules for the play clock, which it is likely to do, one of the biggest changes would be the game clock being restarted on out-of-bounds plays once the ball is marked ready for play — unless there is two minutes or less remaining in either half. This rule change would potentially shorten the length of high school games.

Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter said he would not be in favor of a rule that shortens the length of games.

“Our game is already shorter than college and pros,” said Carter. “We don’t have TV timeouts.”

The only natural break would come after an incomplete pass, when the play clock would run while the game clock is stopped. Carter said the game clock running after out-of-bounds plays would encourage teams to go faster in those situations.

“I think we’re putting a lot on the kids now as fast as we’re going and not having breaks,” said Carter. “If the game gets too fast, it can cause injuries. A lot of people still play both ways in high school. Playing both ways and playing faster, there’s something not good about that. I want to know what they are trying to gain with this.”

Spring is here

Just don’t look outside.

Snow greeted the first official day of the spring sports schedule. Baseball, softball, soccer, tennis and track teams began their quests to reach the Spring Fling. This year’s big event is set for May 22-25 in Murfreesboro.

Basketball all-tourney honors

Unaka didn’t reach the Class A state finals, but Myah Parlier was chosen to the all-tournament team.

Parlier was 8 of 9 from the field and finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in the 61-54 quarterfinal win over Wartburg Central. She followed that up with 14 points and nine rebounds in the 57-44 semifinal loss to Summertown.

Parlier was a dominant force on the offensive end at the state level. When she received the basketball on the low block against single man coverage, it was basically a two-point guarantee.

Unaka had a lot going for it this year, and Parlier’s post presence was a big reason the Lady Rangers made it to the state semifinals.

Elizabethton wrestling

The Cyclones enjoyed a standout wrestling season, the most successful in school history.

Elizabethton had 10 wrestlers advance to the recent state individual tournament with six of them earning medals. Sophomore ShaMia Wells earned a state title in the girls’ 215-pound division. Freshman Tyesha Thomas (112) and senior Haley Brown (170) finished as runners-up in their respective classes.

On the boys’ side, junior Kilroy Hill (152) was third, junior Chris Taylor (182) was fourth, and sophomore Hunter Morrell (106) was fifth. Taylor and Hill each reached the career 100-win milestone.

College signings

Happy Valley will be sending a pair of football players to the college level.

Brayden Sams is scheduled to sign Friday with Emory & Henry College. On March 21, Luke Phillips will make it official with the University of the Cumberlands.

Both signings are set for the high school library at 3 p.m. …

Johnson County’s Jordan Edes-King made his college choice recently. He signed to play football at Mars Hill University. …

A pair of Daniel Boone athletes are moving their careers forward. C.J. Carter recently signed to play football at Tusculum College while Kelsi Hatcher signed to play soccer at the University of the Cumberlands. …

Dobyns-Bennett’s Caleb Whetsell made it official recently with Union College. Whetsell signed to play football at the NAIA school.

Baseball rankings

It’s early, so these rankings are based on word of mouth, tradition, and a sprinkle of guesswork. Here is the first Baseball Top 10 of the season.

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Science Hill

2. Dobyns-Bennett

3. Unicoi County

4. Elizabethton

5. Daniel Boone

6. Tennessee High

7. Sullivan South

8. Sullivan East

9. University High

10. North Greene

Softball rankings

For starters, it’s hard not to like Elizabethton and Unicoi County at top the of the softball mix. Daniel Boone is in that conversation as well. Unaka is a team everybody seems to be talking about.

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Elizabethton

2. Unicoi County

3. Daniel Boone

4. Science Hill

5. Unaka

6. David Crockett

7. Cherokee

8. Sullivan South

9. Sullivan East

10. Sullivan Central

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