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Off the Field – Hoops season has arrived (Nov. 18, 2015 issue)

It is tip-off time for the Blue Nation.
Unicoi County High School is set to storm the courts across the area for another year of action in the Three Rivers Conference.
The Blue Devils are under new management, to a certain degree, with Michael Smith assuming the reins of the program.
Smith has been a mainstay with the program over the years, and brings stability and the normal pace of hoops as the program works to carry on the tradition of longtime head coach John English. A loaded deck of talent also helps.
For the Lady Blue Devils and head coach Kerri King, it is a year of new looks as returning players Hannah Rice, Neelee Griffith and Ashlie Padgett bring a bevy of experience this season.
Underclassmen will look to hold on to the mantle and aim for a successful finish to the year. With the regular season around the bend, be sure to pack the stands and support the programs as another year of hoops is upon the area.
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We can’t forget about the upcoming hardwood stars of the Valley Beautiful.
The Unicoi County Middle School basketball teams are currently making their way through the Middle Eight Conference.
As their season progresses, The Erwin Record will be keeping updates on the future Blue Devil and Lady Blue Devil hoop stars.
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The East Tennessee State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will hold its fourth annual Bucky’s Jingle Bell 5K on Saturday, Dec. 5, in Johnson City.
The race, which starts and ends at Summers-Taylor Stadium on campus, will begin at 11 a.m.
Participants can pre-register for $25 until Dec. 3. Those who sign up the day of the race have to pay $30. ETSU faculty and staff members can register for $10 and students for $5. All proceeds benefit the ETSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Prizes will be given to those with the most festive costumes and each participant receives a Bucky’s Jingle Bell 5K T-shirt.
For more information, contact ETSU Academic Advisor Amy Wilks at [email protected] or visit for additional information on news from the university.
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Daily sports updates are available to readers online at The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page. Blue Devil and Lady Blue Devil athletics can also be followed on Twitter at: @CurtisCarden_ER.