Catholic causing stir; SH's Adams rises to the top

Douglas Fritz • Oct 17, 2016 at 7:06 PM

Jaylan Adams soared to new heights on Friday night, and his efforts earned him the top spot in this week’s edition of the Players of the Week.

Following the honors is another installment of High School Notes.


Players of the week

Five Star

#11 Jaylan Adams

Science Hill

QB, junior

Racked up 338 yards of offense in a 42-18 win over Jefferson County. Adams completed 21 of 22 passes for 280 yards and a TD.

Four Star

#5 Corey Russell


RB, sophomore

Accounted for 297 all-purpose yards in a 55-0 whipping of West Greene. Russell rushed for 230 yards and three scores.

Three Star

#6 Carter Everett


QB, sophomore

In the win over West Greene, Everett passed for 265 yards and four scores (49, 30, 9 and 61) and completed 14 of 18 passes.

Two Star

#16 Noah Shelton

Daniel Boone

QB, junior

In a 42-35 overtime loss to Morristown West, Shelton racked up 287 yards of offense and four scores. He rushed for 160 and two TDs.

One Star

#21 Dylan Lewis

Unicoi County

LB, senior

In a 35-22 win over Claiborne, Lewis battled his way to 11 tackles. He also had two tackles for loss and a sack.



When Knox Catholic chose to remain in Division I — along with four other private schools — a few red flags went up in Northeast Tennessee.

It’s a matter of interest as Catholic could stand in the postseason way of area teams in several sports.

The Irish will probably be slotted as a Class 5A team in football — after applying the 1.8 multiplier to their enrollment of 619 — and should be Class AAA in the three-classification sports.

With the longstanding leery eye cast by public schools about the way private schools go about filling their athletic rosters, Catholic’s decision isn’t going unnoticed. There has already been talk of potential subterfuge — that private schools will continue reeling in prime athletes, circumventing rules.

Unfortunately for public schools, the TSSAA is not an agency tasked with seeking out offenders.

“It has always been up to the administration of every school to ensure compliance with all of the bylaws,” said TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress via e-mail Monday. “Schools sign a membership contract each year stating they will comply with all TSSAA rules and regulations. We do not go out and accuse schools of cheating, but will respond and investigate any situation if it is deemed there is enough factual information presented for us to do so.”

So basically the watchdog for Catholic, Clarksville Academy, Columbia Academy, Frankin’s Grace Christian Academy, and Trinity Christian Academy is every public school parent, fan or interested party. It’s not just about recruiting, which can be very difficult to prove. Pretty much if the school doesn’t self-report recruiting, or admit wrongdoing if someone else brings it up, it amounts to a he-said-she-said situation that the TSSAA won’t spend a lot of time investigating.

However, in the case of tuition payments — close to the heart of the public-private debate — paper-trail evidence could be obtained.

“If tuition is charged, it must be paid by a parent, bona fide guardian or other family member,” said Childress. “It cannot be paid by an outside source.”

This rule applies to both public and private schools alike. But unless someone comes forward with legitimate facts, the TSSAA’s hands are tied.

One thing the TSSAA doesn’t do — but probably should — is require schools to submit all tuition-paying students to its office.

“They are required to submit financial documentation on all student-athletes who are receiving need-based aid,” said Childress. “This information is checked by our office and approved by the TSSAA Board of Control twice a year.”

Supplying need-based aid means the school has to participate in Division II — which is where all private schools should be. However, for the next four years at least, public schools still must face a handful of privates.

—  —  —

Taking the 2016 football-playing Division I schools, and subtracting the private schools who will move to Division II beginning in 2017 left this unofficial picture for Northeast Tennessee. Assistant executive director Matthew Gillespie said the TSSAA’s goal is to have the class divisions released Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Schools must decide by Oct. 25 whether they will play above their scheduled classification.

The following list includes enrollment size in relation to class:


(49 schools in each class)

Class 6A

Science Hill (No. 5)

Dobyns-Bennett (No. 6)

Class 5A

Daniel Boone (No. 21)

David Crockett (No. 25)

Tennessee High (No. 35)

Cocke County (No. 38)

Cherokee (No. 40)

Volunteer (No. 42)

Class 4A

Sullivan East (No. 24)

Greeneville (No. 32)

Sullivan Central (No. 36)

Sullivan South (No. 38)

Class 3A

Elizabethton (No. 2)

Unicoi County (No. 6)

Johnson County (No. 30)

West Greene (No. 35)

Chuckey-Doak (No. 39)

Class 2A

Happy Valley (No. 7)

South Greene (No. 16)

Sullivan North (No. 25)

Hampton (No. 40)

North Greene (No. 45)

Class A

Unaka (No. 6)

Cloudland (No. 36)

—  —  —


South Greene and Sullivan South take aim at state volleyball titles, beginning Wednesday in Murfreesboro.

The Lady Rebels, state runners-up in 2013 and 2015, carry a 37-2 record into the eight-team event and should have a good shot at earning the school’s first volleyball state title.

South (32-19) will try to defend its 2015 state championship. The Lady Rebels also won titles in 2013, 1996, 1995 and 1984.

All championship matches are set for Friday at Middle Tennessee State University.

—  —  —

Girls soccer

It’s region tournament time, which means Tuesday’s semifinal contests provide either finality or a one-shot chance at reaching the state tournament.

Science Hill (11-9-0) will play host to Morristown West at 7 p.m. with the winner earning a spot in Thursday’s Region 1-AAA title game, and a trip to Saturday’s sectional round.

The other semifinal matches Tennessee High on the road against South-Doyle.

In Class A-AA, Elizabethton (11-5-3) has the unenviable task of traveling to play defending state champion Greeneville (20-1-0) at 6 p.m.

University High (10-1-2) earned home-field advantage against Chuckey-Doak with its double-overtime win over Elizabethton for the district title. The Lady Buccaneers will play C-D at 6:30 p.m. at Civitan Park.

—  —  —

Happy Valley fell out of the top five in the state scoring leaders, but Greeneville and Hampton are there.

Here are the top five in offense, defense and margin of victory:


Union City 52.3

Greeneville 51.8

Dresden 50.4

Wayne County 49.9

Hampton 47.9



Dresden 3.9

Oakland 4.1

Greeneville 5.4

Austin-East 7.5

Forrest 7.6



Dresden 46.5

Greeneville 46.4

Oakland 43.5

Happy Valley 37.7

Austin-East 37.3

—  —  —

Football games of the week

Maryville at Bradley Central

David Crockett at Tennessee High

Cherokee at Sullivan East

Pigeon Forge at Johnson County

Northview Academy at Unicoi County

Rebels vs. Bears — This game lost its luster with Bradley’s defeat against Hardin Valley, and the injury to Bears’ star quarterback Cole Copeland. But it’s still a battle for first place in Region 1-6A.

Pioneers vs. Vikings — Crockett may have the look of a favorite when considering league records, but the Pioneers have never won in Bristol and are 1-11 all-time against Tennessee High.

Chiefs vs. Patriots — How difficult is it to bounce back from a 77-0 defeat and face an opponent the next week with a home playoff berth on the line? That’s the task handed to Cherokee.

Tigers vs. Longhorns and Cougars vs. Blue Devils — Up for grabs in these two games are spots two through four in a region that seems very even (after Elizabethton, that is).

—  —  —

Pick of the week

Johnson County 30, Pigeon Forge 26

Seeking their first home victory of the season, the Longhorns will find a way to make things happen down the stretch.

Picks record: 6-2.

—  —  —

Player of the week

Jaylan Adams, Science Hill

Helping the Hilltoppers continue the good football started the previous week, the junior completed 21 of 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown in a 42-18 whip-down of Jefferson County.

Adams also rushed for 58 yards and another score.

—  —  —

The Hogs Award

Cloudland Highlanders

In a 40-8 win over Hancock County, the Cloud Hogs continued to knock open big holes for standout running back Noah Arnett and the rest of the backfield.

Cloudland’s line paved the way for over 300 yards rushing, and also provided steady pass protection for quarterback Preston Benfield (57 percent completions).

—  —  —

Defensive unit of the week

Greeneville Greene Devils

Offensively the Greene Devils get plenty of attention, but the defense could not be ignored in a 77-0 crush-down of Cherokee.

The Greene Curtain held the Chiefs to 85 total yards, forcing 15 incomplete passes in 21 attempts and allowing less than half a yard per rushing attempt. Greeneville also picked off two passes.

—  —  —

Happy Valley’s loss to Gatlinburg-Pittman affected both the Warriors and Hampton as each team fell three spots in this week’s High School Top 10.


Team W-L (Last week)

1. Greeneville 8-0 (1)

2. Elizabethton 7-1 (2)

3. Dobyns-Bennett 4-4 (5)

4. Science Hill 5-3 (6)

5. Sullivan East 7-1 (7)

6. Happy Valley 7-1 (3)

7. Hampton 7-1 (4)

8. Sullivan North 6-2 (9)

9. Cherokee 6-2 (8)

10. David Crockett 3-5 (10)

(tie) Daniel Boone 3-5 (NR)

—  —  —

Greeneville and Elizabethton take advantage of Bradley Central’s loss to each move up a spot in this week’s Region 1 rankings.

Team W-L (Last week)

1. Maryville 8-0 (1)

2. Greeneville 8-0 (3)

3. Elizabethton 7-1 (4)

4. Hardin Valley 6-2 (8)

5. Morristown West 6-2 (5)

6. Bradley Central 7-1 (2)

7. Dobyns-Bennett 4-4 (9)

8. Science Hill 5-3 (10)

9. Happy Valley 7-1 (6)

10. Hampton 7-1 (7)

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