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Off the Field – Resolutions for new year (Jan. 6, 2016 issue)

A new year brings a new outlook to life, with situations, experiences and decisions. For athletics in Unicoi County, it could be a year’s worth of bright spots, starting with the high school and middle school programs.
A resolution for Kerri King’s Lady Blue Devil basketball team is putting together a full four-quarter effort.
The girls have shown intensity in spurts this season and have turned in five wins on different occasions. But the sting was felt in the Johnson City Honda Classic, where the undersized and youthful squad experienced problems heading into the new year.
With half a season of experience under their belts, the ladies have the potential to shake things up leading to the District 1-AA tournament. A pair of contests against Johnson County and Sullivan North can rekindle the fight and give the team momentum throughout the remainder of the season.
For the Blue Devils and head coach Michael Smith, their resolution to gain experience had an important early start during the Bearden Super 16 tournament.
Earning victories over Corryton Gibbs, who have defeated teams from this area already this season, and knocking off Knoxville Christian School, which was only KCS’ second loss of the season, provided a spark for the Blue Devils heading into 2016.
Get excited, Blue Nation. Both teams will be back in the Devils’ Den to provide excitement. The guys and gals have high ceilings with the postseason around the bend.
Be sure to make your voices heard, loud and clear, throughout the season to cheer the teams to victory.
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Updates on the Unicoi County Middle School basketball teams will be back on the radar in 2016. Both teams opened the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 5, with games against Liberty Bell.
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A year of missed opportunities by the University of Tennessee Volunteer football program concluded on a high note during the annual Outback Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 1.
The Vols ran rampant in the Sunshine State and earned a decisive 45-6 win over Northwestern, ending the season in dominant fashion. The 2016 season will be an important one for head coach Butch Jones and his squad.
With question marks at Georgia, problems at Florida, coaching changes at Missouri … the SEC East is open for the taking by the Vols.
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Have a sports story you want to share?
The Erwin Record wants to hear from the community as coverage begins for the new year. Whether it is about a dedicated fan or moments away from the area, send over story ideas to [email protected] to be considered for an upcoming edition of the paper.
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Readers are encouraged to check out The Erwin Record Sports Department online for updates on Blue Nation athletics. Be sure to check out The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page and follow along on Twitter: @CurtisCarden_ER and on Instagram: curtcarden.
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Visit erwinrecordpix.com for photos taken throughout the basketball season.