Saturday, November 18, 2017


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Marion County Warriors get another road win in Loudon 53-38

The Warriors bust through to take the field...and take the field they did!

Marion County High School took a sizable commute to Loudon High School, just south of

Brett Nelson comes out of the line of scrimmage with room to run.

Knoxville, last Friday and came away with a win. With a determination that was powerful and palatable, the Warriors took care of business on both sides of the ball with a couple of mental mistakes, but nothing insurmountable. The game started out looking like there wasn’t going to be a lot of scoring as the first blood on the scoreboard wasn’t spilled until less than five minutes remained in the the first quarter as Jacob Saylors would find the end zone and help lift the Warriors to a 7-0 lead.

Seth McClain (#30) sprints up the middle of the field while Jacob Saylors (#8) protects from the rundown from behind.

The momentum looked to be going decidedly the Warriors’ way when they were able to stop Loudon on the ensuing kickoff at their own 10 yard line. Loudon would issue a wake up call in the drive breaking out for a fifty yard gain and two minutes after Marion got a touchdown, Loudon did the same. It seemed led the offenses were off to the races after that as the first quarter expired with a 14-13 Loudon lead. By halftime, Loudon held a 21-19 lead with a flurry of penalties called against the Warriors. Upon the Loudon team getting called their first penalty late in the second quarter, the Loudon coach violently argued with the referee. No additional penalties were called despite the regulations being clear on sideline protocol.

Marion County emerged from the halftime break with a renewed focus. The Warriors

Jax Rollins (#37) helps clear a path for Jacob Saylors (#8) for the gain.

defense seemed to get stronger throughout the second half while Loudon succumbed to attrition. The Warrior defensive line would stand Loudon at a first and goal and force a field goal and hold two fourth and short to give the offense the ball. Both times the Warriors were able to capitalize on the turnovers. The frustration of the Loudon team started to show as the penalties accumulated for false starts and holding throughout the third and fourth quarter. The player(s) of the game however were definitively the defensive line as they played with a grit rarely seen. A hearty and well deserved congratulations to the Warriors who have pulled the self up to a record of 4-5 overall and a 2-1 regional record. The record becomes very important as Marion County looks to host fellow region member Polk County, who will be bringing a 4-5 overall and a 2-1 regional record. The teams will be fighting for the number two ranking in the Division I, Double A, Region 3 rankings for the post season. Tyner Academy is out of reach for both teams with a 4-0 regional record, they are assured of the first round bye in the post season.

Charges against WHS players dropped in Marion County juvenile court


Two football players that had already been expelled from Whitwell High School, pending their Disciplinary Hearing Committee (DHC) appeal hearing through the school district, have received some good news today as all charges were dropped in Marion County juvenile court today. The incident in question alleged that the the two struck another player in the back with a belt. Unconfirmed reports show that the DHC had already dramatically reduced the initial expulsion to the point that both were expected to play the last game of the regular season plus whatever post season the Tigers earned.

The litigation supersedes the school’s judgement and both students are expected back in school as early as tomorrow. The players will not be cleared to play in tonight’s game against Cannon County at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, but all indications are they will be eligible to play the final season game at home against Sale Creek High School.

Marion County News will continue to follow the story.

MCHS Warriors break out of losing streak with 47-28 win over Tellico Plains

Warrior quarterback leads the pack as he opts to keep the ball and picks up a nice gain.

The Marion County High School Warriors break a three game slide with a win over regional

Warrior Brett Nelson pulls down a reception for the touchdown.

foe Tellico Plains last Friday night. The Bears were bringing an identical 2-4 overall record into the contest and were nursing a two game losing streak themselves. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Warriors sported more grit early and were able to keep the pressure on down the stretch.

The Bears won the toss and elected to receive and thanks to a 40 yard explosion one play in addition to some smaller runs, the Bears would strike first in the end zone and successfully executing the two point conversion for a 8-0 lead over the Warriors. The momentum didn’t seem to favor the Warriors as they mishandled the subsequent kickoff, but recovered the ball. With Brett Nelson grabbing an 8 yard jaunt, quarterback Isaiah Sampson would fire off a 30 yard sprint and Jacob Saylors would carry the next 30 into the end zone to close the gap to 8-7 with the successful extra point with 10 minutes left in the first quarter. The Bears would squeak out several runs on, but Warrior Alex Nunez made a number of stops preventing a big gain down the stretch. Chase Hardin would make a phenomenal breakup of a pass by Tellico to get the ball back on downs. Saylors would take the ball off scrimmage and get to the end zone only to have it called balled because of offensive holding. The next snap the Warriors would earn a false start penalty getting them  a first and twenty three hole. Brett Nelson would change the tide for the Warriors earning the first down with a run. They would continue inching up the field to have Alex Nunez punch through to the end zone . Marion County would be issued a sideline warning by the officials, but Nunez would complete the two point conversion for MCHS to take the lead 15-8 and that score would mark the start of the Warriors’ scoring bonanza as the would amass a 41-8 lead by halftime. Scoring on their first drive in the second half, Head Coach Joey Mathis started using the opportunity to put some lesser experienced players on the field. Tellico Plains would make progress against the Warriors’ second string and would ultimately make another twenty points throughout the second half but would still not be able to overcome the deficit they found themselves in allowing the Warriors to pull off the 47-28 victory.

By the numbers:

MCHS total yards: 408 (70 passing/338 rushing)

First Downs: 13

Sampson went 4/6 in the air

J. Saylors carried 5 times for 141 yards and 3 TDs; Sampson had 5 keepers for 94 yards; Brett Nelson went 4 carries for 60 yards; A Camp had 1 carry for 12 yards; J.Rollins held 3 for 9 yards; A.Jolly ran twice for 8 yards; S McClain ran twice for 3 net yards; R. Dykes carried once for 2 yards

C. Hardin caught two passes for a total of 51 receiving yards and B. Nelson had a catch for 9 yards….both were for a TD

G. Lawson grabbed an interception from Tellico Plains


Tigers grab record-setting 6-0 record with victory over Polk County

Kicker Austin Nunley has been dependable for the Tigers' extra points this season.

The 2017 Whitwell High School Tigers’ football program, even if they accomplish nothing for the rest of the season, have set a record for the school’s program. This season marks

Josh Wingo continues his reputation for gaining the difficult rushing yards for the team, but has laid some monumental blocks for other runners as well.

the first time the Tigers have started the season 6-0. With the convincing victory over the Polk County Wildcats last week, the 2017 Tigers have etched their mark in the history of the program.

The Tigers once again pulled ahead early in the game and never gave up the lead. In the first quarter, spectators would see the usual suspects performing for the Tigers and Josh Wingo and Trayce Condra would be called on to march the ball up the field. Ultimately, Wingo would take a 28 yard jog for the first touchdown with 8:37 left in the first quarter. Whitwell’s unforgiving defense forced the Wildcats into a three and out possession and then to add insult to injury, Hudson Petty would take the punt right through the Polk special teams line and run into the end zone for the second touchdown with Austin Nunley remaining consistent with extra points on the year to bring the Tigers up 14-0 with 6:22 left in the first.

Trayce Condra gathered 205 of his season 648 yard rushing at the Polk game.

Polk County looked like they had gotten their sea legs about them on the next possession with a huge run down to Whitwell’s 29 yard line. But again, the stifling defense held and Whitwell would end up taking over on downs. The Tigers would also come up empty on the scoreboard and punt. Polk would break free for a huge run in the possession and were just barely caught on their way to the end zone. Before the end of the first, the Tigers would get a touchdown again but would fail to convert the two point conversion, but still leading 20-0. In the second, although Polk found the end zone, they weren’t able to execute the point after, but narrowed the gap to 20-6. Tiger Dawson Holloway would hang on to the ball for a run for a touchdown with 9:53 left in the first half to increase the lead to 27-6. Polk would piece together some rushing yardage but would finally see an end to their progress as Thundur Roberts put a hit on Polks runner on a third and five that reminded onlookers that Roberts lives up to his first name.

First year head coach Randall Boldin seems completely at home with the reins in hand, though he is always quick to point out the boys are the ones doing the hard work.

With some trading of possessions, finally Trayce Condra found a seam in the defensive line and exploited it for 79 yards and the touchdown. Coupled with another successful extra point from Nunly, the Tigers took a commanding 34-6. Polk looked like they might take the subsequent kickoff back for a score…apparently that didn’t set well with kicker Austin Nunley who offered the Polk runner the opportunity to lay down with a hit that a linebacker would be proud of.

The game would remain largely a see-saw match with punts injected, but ultimately Condra would find another gap for a run into the end zone for the 41-6 lead. As expected Condra would end up with big yardage on the night going 205 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Josh Wingo would carry 6 times for 54 yards and a touchdown while Dawson Holloway would carry twice for 37 yards and a touchdown. Hudson Petty would end up with a 77 yards punt return for a touchdown as well as receiving a touchdown pass. Austin Nunley would go perfect on extra point conversion on the night with six. Quarterback Warren Ashworth would go six for eight in the air for 108 yards and Holloway would go two for three for 22 yards passing. The Tigers would have a total of 504 yards with 376 of them coming on the ground. The Tiger defense saw a little more strength from this team allowing 192 yards, but there were several key stops that kept the Wildcats from converting those yards into substantial points.

The Tigers will have a couple of weeks to prepare to host Trousdale County on October 6.

Marion County Warriors reconcile last week with a 41-3 win over Bledsoe County

Jacob Saylors turns on the turbo on the second play from scrimmage to give Marion their first points of the game early in the first.
Quarterback Isaiah Sampson would contribute with runs of his own including a touchdown. As Sampson puts more confidence in Marion’s passing game, thanks to yards after completion by receivers the Tribe packed about half and half with pass and rush yards.

Playing  a rare Saturday game during regular season, Marion County High School Warriors took on the Bledsoe County Warriors on neutral ground as they would borrow Boyd-Buchanan’s field because of fears earlier in the week that the remnants of Tropical Depression Harvey might damage Bledsoe’s field beyond being playable. Unfortunately for Bledsoe’s team, Marion came out with a bit of a chip on their shoulder following last week’s one point loss in overtime loss.

It seemed Marion was ready to brush the dust off early as Jacob Saylors was given the outside lane on a sweep and he ran 70 yards for the first touchdown with Hudson

James Hudson would go five for six on extra points for the contest.

adding the extra point for a 7-0 lead with just over a minute missing from the game clock. With little fanfare, the Marion defense would find Bledsoe in the backfield a number of times to keep them from making any progress. About halfway


through the first quarter, Saylors would again get the call for a short run for the touchdown. Saylors ran through two significant defensive efforts to make it to the end zone.

Another backfield tackle by Marion County stymied the Bledsoe efforts to get any offense going with any consistently.

Hudson would connect again to put Marion up 14-0. Marion quarterback Isaiah Sampson would find Brett Nelson on a short pass, but more importantly, Nelson would find a wide open sideline to ‘jog’ down for a 94 yard total gain for the touchdown. Hudson wouldn’t disappoint and put the finishing extra point on the Marion 21-0 first quarter lead.

Kane Hale finishes out his touchdown.


Bledsoe would find some of their sea-worthiness during the second quarter as they would piece together a drive that brought them inside of the 30 yard line, but the Marion defense would hold and force Bledsoe to settle for a field goal midway through the second quarter to close the gap only slightly as Marion maintained a 21-3 lead.

Sampson would punch through the line on a quarterback keeper on the one yard line late in the third to extend Marion’s lead 27-3 with Hudson’s only missed extra point of the contest. Spreading the offense around, Sampson would connect with Kane Hale for a nearly 40 yard touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter. The Marion defense would make some heroic stops throughout the final quarter. Saylors would put the final nail in the coffin for Bledsoe making a 75 year run for a final touchdown for the 41-3 final.

Tigers’ convincing triumph over Boyd Buchanan proves WHS ready to play

Josh Wingo leaves the defense behind on a screen pass and scores for the Tigers.

Whitwell football was a bit of a wild card this year. Many of their core players had returned, but questions remained about the players buy in to yet another new head coach’s program.

Many of those doubts were alleviated for the Tiger Nation as the Tigers would make a

Tigers came prepared to play ball!

reputable showing in last week’s Jamboree against state title contender Marion County and scoring a safety against district rival South Pittsburg Pirates for the only scoring in that matchup. But, let’s face it, the Jamboree format doesn’t really give a complete picture when it comes to stamina and really “finishing a game.” Those doubts are all but erased with the Cats’ performance against Boyd Buchanan.

Hudson Petty watched the defender closely….as he went by him in their recent meeting.

The offense was a little slow to materialize the big gains with the first quarter seeing largely 3-6 yard gains. Making a respectable number of first downs inclluding a couple of third down conversions. That said, the defense kept the Bucs in check and then some. The Bucs would muster only nine first downs during the entire contest. By the second quarter, the Tigers were able to capitalize on some of those holes they were finding in the first quarter and making better matchups on blocks. Finally there was a completion from quarterback Warner Ashworth to Josh Wingo and Wingo found the sideline and went the distance to the end zone at the 7:50 mark in the second quarter. That would serve as the ‘priming of the pump’ for the Whitwell offense as they score again with 2:13 left in the first half and decided to attempt the 2 point conversion….successfully. The Tigers endured a scary moment in the twilight of the first half as Boyd pieced together what looked like a sure long gain pass only to have the receiver watch the ball slide through his hands.

Having lost the coin flip, Whitwell would get the ball first in the second half. On the first play from scrimmage they gained 70 yards on a pass play and looked poised to score again, but would have to make an unsuccessful effort at a field goal. However, the team would rebound. The Bucs started letting their frustrations get the better of them as they started getting pushy in the middle of the third, but it would be reigned in. It would take until less than three minutes left in the third, but the Tigers would score again taking a 22-0 lead. The Tiger defense would recover a fumble and the team turned around and scored again for a 29-0 lead going into the fourth.

Finally in the last two minutes, John King would scamper for the 36-0 final score.

Getting pumped for Tiger football


With new head coach Randall Boldin at the helm, Whitwell High School Tiger Football program is braving the heat to prep for a season filled with promise.

Previously, Coach Boldin expressed his excitement with the players he had. “The guys work hard and are coachable and amazing things happen when you combine those two things.”

August 11 marks the date for the Jamboree so don’t count the Tigers out because they certainly haven’t!

WHS angler team posting early at nationals

This picture has the nationals-bound teams from the Whitwell High School Fishing Team. Three two-man teams are currently vying for national championship in Kentucky.

Updated 6/22/17 – 4:17 pm to reflect new weigh ins being posted

The teams representing the Whitwell High School Fishing Team at the 2017 Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship are posting on day one of the tournament. Cameron Bankstown and Spencer Minter have already posted three fish at nine lbs., eight oz. while Dalton Powell and Baylor Layne posted five fish at 11 lbs. 14 oz.  Finally, Nathan Powell and Chase Cantrell tallied 2 fish at four lbs. 1 oz.

The teams are done with this first day of the the two days teams have to catch some weight. The top angler teams after day two will punch their ticket to compete for the championship on Saturday.

The tournament is being held at Kentucky Lake in Paris, TN. Good luck to all the teams for day two!

Towery announced as new SPHS girls’ basketball coach

Newly minted womens' basketball coach Austin Towery gives players and parents a rundown of what they can expect and what he expects out of them.

Principal Tim Bible announced Tuesday night that Austin Towery, most recently an assistant coach with the Richard Hardy basketball program, will be the Lady Pirates’ coach. Bible acknowledged he was affected by Towery’s enthusiasm for provided a gateway for those that wanted to continue their basketball careers beyond high school in his choice of hiring Towery.

Towery has traveled in local circles as an assistant at both Marion County High School and Richard Hardy Memorial School. Thanks, in no small part to his proximity and experience in the the Pirates’ district, Towery had watched most of the players play over the past few years and said he was exited about the talent pool that was coming back this season. Towery acquiesced to the fact that the program had lost out on some summer practice time as they faced the dawn of the dead period (the two weeks in the summer where Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) forbids sport practices during the summer). Towery announced that the three days preceding the dead period weren’t going to be misspent. “We’re coming out starting tomorrow at 3:00 and knocking some of the rust off.” Towery also presented the lofty goal of creating an identity for South Pittsburg High School for girls’ basketball likening the affiliation of University of Tennessee Lady Vols and the University of Connecticut women’s Huskie teams being branded as powerhouse women’s basketball meccas.

Time will tell if Towery’s approached can translate to the high expectations he’s setting, but be sure and welcome him aboard and come out and support the Lady Pirates!

City of Whitwell celebrates Lady Tigers’ softball success

The 2017 District and Regional Champion WHS Lady Tigers
The Lady Tigers make their way through town with a little help from the Whitwell Police Department and Whitwell Volunteer Fire Department.

The City of Whitwell came together to celebrate the Whitwell High School Lady Tigers’ softball team for their recent run to the state championship tournament. With several city officials and citizens joining in, the Lady Tigers were escorted down the main thoroughfare through town and ended at the park with food and drink to celebrate the success.

The Jasper Journal commends these young womens’ achievement and look forward to next season!