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Off the Field – Christmas approaches (Dec. 9, 2015 issue)

Get the stockings hung with care and put milk and cookies on standby – Christmas time is almost in Unicoi County.
Both Unicoi County High School varsity basketball teams were able to receive some early gifts last week by opening the Three Rivers Conference schedule with victories over Sullivan South.
While experience on the court may be at the top of the list for Saint Nick, both basketball programs at the Devils’ Den could expect some holiday cheer leading into the new year.
Updates on the holiday tournament schedule for UCHS basketball teams will appear in next week’s issue of The Erwin Record.
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The water continues to be just right for Blue Devil Kaleb Clawson.
After qualifying for the 2016 state swim meet, the UCHS senior continued his tear through the regular season by nabbing a handful of first place finishes during a swim meet held at Sullivan Central High School on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Clawson concludes the regular season on Thursday, Dec. 10, before representing UCHS in the upcoming regional competition, followed by an appearance at the state meet in Knoxville during the month of February.
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One of the area college’s longest-tenured football coaches was recently let go from his position.
Tusculum College announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1, that Frankie DeBusk would not return for his 19th season as the Pioneers’ head football coach.
Throughout his 18 years at the position, DeBusk accumulated a 96-100 overall record and won the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) league titles in 2003 and 2008.
During the 2015 season, the Pioneers finished with a 4-7 record, going 2-5 in the SAC.
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Northeast Tennessee will be on display once again on national television for mixed-martial arts.
Adam “Prime Time” Townsend, a native of Hampton, is set to fight in the main event of RFA 33 on Friday, Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. against E.J. Chavez on AXS TV.
Townsend, riding an eight-fight win streak, signed with the promotion months ago with RFA, which serves as a feeder for the UFC.
The Hampton product trains with Unicoi County native Dustin Walden.
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The University of Tennessee Volunteers are going “bowling” to open 2016.
During the NCAA football bowl selection show on Sunday, Dec. 6, it was announced that the Vols will be facing Northwestern on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl in Florida after finishing the year with an 8-4 record and a 23 ranking in the final college playoff ranking for the 2015 season.
Along with the Vols, the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders will face Western Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 24.
UCHS graduate Taylor Lafever has been a mainstay on the sidelines for the Blue Raiders, working with the athletic staff during his time at MTSU this season.
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The Erwin Record online photo store – www.erwinrecordpix.com – features a variety of photos taken throughout the early part of the basketball season this year in Unicoi County.
Photos on the site are available for purchase by print or download.
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Follow The Erwin Record sports department online for updates on Blue Devil and Lady Blue Devil athletics throughout the week. Readers are encouraged to “like” The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page and follow updates on Twitter at: @CurtisCarden_ER.