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Off the Field – Bright futures (Feb. 3, 2016 issue)

The future continues to look bright for the hoopsters at Unicoi County High School.
After battling down to the wire, the Unicoi County Middle School Jr. Lady Blue Devil team came just one game shy of qualifying for the state sectional during last week’s Class AAA Area 1 tournament in Kingsport.
The Jr. Lady Devils, under the direction of first-year head coach Lauren Trivette and assistant coach Emmie Thompson, saw their relatively young varsity team finish third in the league during the regular season and finish “unofficially” second place in the Middle 8 Conference tournament. UCMS qualified for the Middle 8 Conference championship game against Liberty Bell, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
UCMS took the third seed in the Area 1 tournament, due to their regular season finish.
The Lady Devils defeated Johnson County at the start of the Area tournament, then went on to lose a pair of nail biters to Colonial Heights and John Sevier.
Much like their Jr. Blue Devil counterparts, the UCMS girls have the potential of continuing a trend of successful basketball teams at the high school level in the coming years.
For the Lady Devil program at UCHS, head coach Kerri King is already working with young team that has started to turn a corner with the district tournament looming around the bend. With the incoming crew of UCMS athletes coming to the program in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons, Lady Devil fans can expect some bright spots in the coming years.
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Unicoi County Little League will host its final registration for the 2016 season on Thursday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Little League fields in Erwin.
The fees for registration include: T-Ball ($35); Minor ($40); and Major ($45). A $5 application fee is also needed for volunteers wanting to assist for the upcoming year.
The registering child must bring a birth certificate and three proofs of residency to registration. Scholarship opportunities are also available.
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Two battles of Bristol?
East Tennessee State University recently announced that the football program will have its Southern Conference opener at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Buccaneers will have their first full year of conference play in 2016 after playing an independent schedule in their inaugural year in 2015. They will play against Western Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Bristol.
The contest will follow up the University of Tennessee’s contest with Virginia Tech.
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The UCHS Lady Blue Devils host Sullivan Central on Wednesday, Feb. 3, in a makeup contest due to recent inclement weather. The girls’ junior varsity open the night at 6:30 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.
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Visit erwinrecordpix.com to view galleries of sports photos of the Blue Nation. Photos on the site are available for purchase by print or download.
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Readers of The Erwin Record can view updates online of county sports throughout the week. Visit The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page or follow along on Twitter at: @CurtisCarden_ER.