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Off the Field – The pieces are there (Sept. 16, 2015 issue)

It is “David versus Goliath” this week for the Unicoi County High School football team.
The Blue Devils welcome Elizabethton to Gentry Stadium on Friday, Sept. 18, with Mountain 8 Conference implications on the line after coming out of this past week with a 34-19 loss to Happy Valley.
Heading into the contest against the Cyclones, the Blue Devils hold a 2-2 mark on the season. Elizabethton boasts a 2-1 record and are coming off a 21-7 victory against Daniel Boone last week.
Crunch time begins for the Blue Devils. There has been a fair share of ups and downs this season, going from high octane offensive performances against West Greene and South Greene, to tough performances in the trenches against the Warriors and Sullivan East.
This team is in a unique situation. Some things go a different way in the two losses and you can easily be looking at a Blue Devil team that is 4-0 heading into this week’s contest.
That being said, Friday’s clash is not sending a lamb to the slaughterhouse. The Blue Devils have shown from time to time this season they can hang with the pack and they can easily hang with Elizabethton if they can pull together a full four-quarter performance.
Would a loss Friday put an end to the season? Of course not.
The Blue Devils will have a bye week following the contest and embark on a five-game stretch for the second half of the season – where they can easily win if the pieces are in place.
The Blue Devils can win. I am a firm believer in the fact this team has the tools to hang with the Cyclones and put together a performance that could be a statement win for head coach Glenn White and company.
I’ve sipped the Blue Kool-Aid before and was burnt. But sitting through practices and hearing the attitude of the players and the coaches about the approach for this season has me believing the Blue Devils are in a position to create some havoc.
There is no need for pressure on the homefield. Win or lose Friday night, the Blue Devils have the full support of the fanbase as they look toward a winning season and a playoff berth in their first year of this new classification.
And to take a page out of last year’s book, the Blue Devils showed they could hang for a period of time with the Cyclones. With the playmakers intact and the injury bug steering clear of Blue Nation, the pieces for a winning puzzle are available. It just needs to be put together.
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The UCHS Lady Blue Devil soccer team had a match last week against Happy Valley that was postponed due to inclement weather. The Lady Blue Devils will square off against the Lady Warriors on Sept. 28 at Happy Valley Elementary School with the start time scheduled for 6 p.m.
Head coach Bettina Chirica and company have one match on the docket for this week: UCHS will travel to face Elizabethton in District 1-A/AA action on Thursday, Sept. 17, in Carter County. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
Along with soccer, the UCHS golf teams will be in action at Buffalo Valley Golf on Thursday with tee-off time set for 3:30 p.m.
Unicoi County Middle School cross country had a meet last week canceled due to inclement weather in Kingsport. The teams are scheduled to be back in action this week in Sullivan County.
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Miss that special athletic moment?
Different photos from the years are featured at www.erwinrecordpix.com and are available to the public. Photography from the site is available for purchase by either download or print.
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The Erwin Record’s award-winning sports coverage doesn’t stop in print.
For updates on athletics from the county, readers are encouraged to visit The Erwin Record Sports page on Facebook. Unicoi County sports can also be followed on Twitter at: @CurtisCarden_ER.