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Off the Field – Extra perks? (Feb. 18, 2015 issue)

What are the extra perks of district tournaments?
Finish as the first seed, or sometimes second seed, depending on the number of teams in the league, you receive a bye and automatic bid into a region postseason game.
But, should a team inside the conference who didn’t finish as high host the event?
The District 1-AA tournament over the years has rotated sites within the league. This year’s tournament was played at Sullivan East High School.
The Sullivan East Patriots had fans come out in droves in the opening games of the tournament. It is no slight against the Patriot masses. Other teams were able to bring out their own group of supporters.
But with postseason implications on the line. Maybe a neutral site in the coming years would be ideal?
Take District 1-A this season, for example.
The league has a bevy of teams: South Greene, North Greene, Hampton, Cloudland, Unaka and University High. There tournament is also being held at Class AAA school, Daniel Boone High School.
This is just the opinion of a local scribe. But with postseason hopes on the line in the district – a blank slate of sorts in regards to a location would be the best bet.
With regional tournaments, it is a different story. If you make your way out of the district, you deserve the homecourt advantage for that quarterfinals contest.
But after you qualify, why not (once again), shift to a neutral location?
We’ll see how things go over the years. But to the credit of each tournament from the postseason during the years I’ve had the opportunity to cover them, there have been tons of excitement gathered from each event.
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With spring sports right around the bend for Unicoi County High School, the athletic teams will see two new individuals assume head coaching roles while two others remain with their respective team.
Chad Gillis will assume the role of the baseball coach after taking over the duties for the retired Charlie Baxter. Gillis served as an assistant coach with the program last season.
With track and field, Megan Davis will enter the role as head coach this season, replacing Paul Shelton, who left Unicoi County for a teaching position at Knox Bearden High School.
As far as softball and the tennis teams are concerned, Grady Lingerfelt still anchors the Lady Devils while Jonathan Kenney will spearhead the netters for a second season.
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Looking for updates on local athletics throughout the week?
Readers can view The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page daily for breaking news and scores from sporting events – ranging from the high school and middle school – with collegiate updates also included.
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Photos from this basketball season have been uploaded to The Erwin Record photostore.
Visit erwinrecordpix.com for photos of your UCHS teams, as well other teams from over the years.
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Follow me on Twitter: @CurtisCarden_ER.