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Preseason ends with scrimmage

With the regular season around the bend, the Unicoi County High School football team went through a live set of exercises during its final scrimmage of the preseason.
The Blue Devils traveled to North Greene on Tuesday, Aug. 11, and performed well, according to head coach Glenn White.
“I thought it went great for us,” White told The Erwin Record. “We did a game-type situation to simulate a game. We had no coaches on the field and we coordinated from the box. I was very pleased with the scrimmage and thought our coaches did a great job.”
The Blue Devils were able to score four touchdowns during the contest while going 3-4 on point-after attempts with the special teams.
“North Greene has a good program,” White said. “They beat Cloudland last year and beat South Greene for the first time in around 20 years. I thought our guys played well. Warren Shelton and Dylon Burgess ran the ball well. (Nick) Fender also ran the ball well but got knicked early on so we pulled him out of the game.”
While the running attack proved to be solid, White said the offense was able to be productive thanks to a quarterback-to-receiver connection that included multiple targets.
“Hunter (Hensley) was poised behind center,” White added. “He also threw the ball well. After the game, North Greene bragged on the receivers.”
Brandon Caldwell, Owen Nicholson, Shaddon Peavyhouse, Eli Gillis and Brett Strother were all able to get in the mix on the offensive side of the ball from the outside.
“It is a tribute to the kids,” White said. “Coach (Jason) Hensley has worked well with the receivers. We have weapons all over the field and we want to utilize them to put us in the best position to win.”
Praise for the offense takes nothing away from the defensive effort, according to the head coach.
“We had a better offensive showing against North Greene than we did in our past two scrimmages,” White said. “But that takes nothing away from our defense. There was one play where they burnt us but we quickly corrected that and I thought played we well the rest of the game.”
The head coach also gave praise to underclassmen for their contributions during the summer with the varsity group.
“It is hard for the young guys,” White said. “To come in as a freshman and sophomore is tough, but they’ve stuck it out and some of our guys have put themselves in a spot to where they could see some varsity time this season.”
The freshmen and sophomores of the team include: Garrett Shelton, Gavin Keasling, Bradley Edwards, Zeb Tipton, Drew Keasling, Ryan Peterson, Michael Hardin, Jonathan Martin, Ikey Edwards, Jeremy Harrell, Christian Yoakley, John Sullins, Dalton Wheeler, Scott Owns, Michael Smith Adam Lingerfelt, Easton Edwards, Riley Fletcher, Isaiah Clark, Shane Armstrong along with Brett and Bryant Strother.
White also credited the play of junior Kendrick Williams as the backup quarterback, as well as Brett Lemmon and Dawson Hensley for their play on the line..
The preseason is over for the gridiron gang and now they have their sights set for a trip to South Greene on Friday, Aug. 21, to open up the regular season, White said.
“I wish it was here now,” he added. “Our guys do, too. It is great that game week is finally here. We’ve practically played a half season the past two weeks with the scrimmages we were in. I’m glad we were able to get those in because I’d rather have us hit against other teams instead of just against ourselves.
“For this week, we just have to focus on polishing everything – offense, defense and special teams to have it ready against the Rebels. South Greene has a very proud tradition and they have a good team,but I fully expect us to go down there Friday and come away with a win. We’ve worked too hard this summer and our guys deserve it.”
Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m.