A sneak peak at Region 1 football for 2020

Douglas Fritz • Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 6:04 PM

While Elizabethton will take some time to enjoy its Class 4A state football championship, the rest of the area teams can look ahead to 2020.

Here’s a peek at how Region 1 could shape up for next year:


Dobyns-Bennett should be the team to beat. The Indians have the Z factor in quarterback Zane Whitson, who should be the league’s best in 2020.

1. D-B, 2. Farragut, 3. Science Hill, 4. Hardin Valley, 5. Bearden, 6. Jefferson County, Morristown West.


Daniel Boone seems to have the best mix of returning skill players.

1. Daniel Boone, 2. David Crockett, 3. Tennessee High, 4. Morristown East, 5. Volunteer, 6. Cherokee, 7. Cocke County.


Elizabethton returns a lot of key personnel on both sides of the football.

1. Elizabethton, 2. Greeneville, 3. Sullivan South, 4. Union County, 5. Grainger, 5. Sullivan East, 6. Sullivan Central


Unicoi County has to absorb some key losses, but quarterback Brock Thompson returns.

1. Unicoi County, 2. Chuckey-Doak, 3. Johnson County, 4. West Greene, 5. Claiborne, 6. North Greene


Hampton should be ahead of the crowd in this region.

1. Hampton, 2. South Greene, 3. Happy Valley, 4. Sullivan North, 5. Cosby


Cloudland should once again rule the roost, but Unaka should be much improved.

1. Cloudland, 2. Unaka, 3. Jellico, 4. Hancock County


The thought of Dobyns-Bennett, Tennessee High and Elizabethton all winning state football titles in the same year seems far-fetched. It’s hard to imagine that much talent located within a 30-mile radius.

But that’s exactly what happened this year with Maryville, Knox Central and Alcoa. The Rebels won the Class 6A crown, the Bobcats were tops in Class 5A for the second straight year, and Alcoa claimed its fifth straight Class 3A crown.

The Knoxville-Maryville area has been the state’s best for football since the turn of the century.


It must be tough to have earned 17 state football titles and not carry the distinction of “Title Town.”

Maryville has won those championships, spanning from 1970 to this year.

However, the Rebels are only next-door neighbors to “Title Town” as Alcoa earned No. 18 on Saturday. Alcoa’s first title came in 1977. The Tornadoes have won 13 of the last 16 state championships.


During Dobyns-Bennett’s home game against Tennessee High on Tuesday, it will be Ballin’ 4 Brent Night. Players from both teams will wear T-shirts from the fundraiser that was held in September for official Brent Warner, who is in Houston battling cancer.

T-shirts will be sold for $5 (large and extra large only) to collect donations for Brent and his family.

For anyone who can’t attend the game but wants to contribute, make checks payable to Carrie Warner and send to:

Dobyns-Bennett High School

Attn: Coach Bill Francis

1 Tribe Way

Kingsport, TN 37664


Sullivan East will honor a coaching legend Saturday.

During the games between Sullivan East and Gate City, Virginia, at The Dyer Dome, the school will name their basketball court after the late Mickey Forrester.

The longtime Lady Patriots’ head coach died several years ago after a very successful career.


Boys highlight games


Tennessee High at Dobyns-Bennett


Tennessee High at Science Hill

It’s a challenging week for the Vikings, who should find out exactly where they stand in the Big Seven Conference pecking order by the time Friday’s game is over.


Here’s a look at the first area rankings of the season:

Team W-L
1. Science Hill 9-0
2. Dobyns-Bennett 3-2
3. Sullivan South 7-1
4. Tennessee High 6-2
5. David Crockett 6-2
6. Daniel Boone 5-3
7. Elizabethton 1-2
8. Happy Valley 4-0
9. Sullivan East 6-3
10. Hampton 3-3
(tie) Unicoi County 6-5

Girls highlight games


David Crockett at Johnson County

When was the last time Crockett and Johnson County played a girls basketball game, against each other, that piqued some interest in the area?


Sullivan Central at Elizabethton

Don’t be thrown off by the records. Central is 8-0, but all five of the losses by Elizabethton (3-5) have come against tough Class AAA opponents: twice to Dobyns-Bennett (7-1), Bearden (8-0), Farragut (9-0) and Science Hill (4-3 with losses to Bearden, Farragut and Maryville, which is 6-1).


Here’s a look at the first area rankings on the girls’ side:

Team W-L
1. Science Hill 4-3
2. Dobyns-Bennett 7-1
3. Sullivan Central 8-0
4. Daniel Boone 4-4
5. Elizabethton 3-5
6. Cloudland 6-1
7. Unicoi County 7-3
8. Sullivan South 3-1
9. David Crockett 6-2
10. Sullivan East 5-5


Final football picks record: 17-5.

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