SportsRebels win every match with Horns

Like many other programs, the Johnson County tennis team was not looking forward to their first official match against the Sullivan South Rebels. Knowing very little about the actual team, fans were expecting the worst and were justified in their concerns. Dominating their home court in Kingsport, the Rebels took the win in every single match up, claiming victories in singles and doubles for both the girls and boys teams.

“They were just good and we lost. That’s about all there is to say,” began Head Coach Steve Nave. “They were what I expected, but also a little different. They were very consistent. They weren’t overpowering like Elizabethton or Unicoi but they were very, very good players. They were smart and consistent, something you don’t see a whole lot in high school tennis.”

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Horns upset Cougars for the win

It was a real nail biter Tuesday night in Johnson County as the Longhorn baseball team played their closest game this year. Considering that the Sullivan Central Cougars are a much bigger and higher ranked team, an upset was big deal and even more so considering the Longhorns led the game from the very first inning.

Offensively Johnson County got off to a great start, leading off in the first with a hit from Samuel Icenhour followed up by another hit from freshman Daniel Livorsi. Those two advances paved the way for senior Sam Thomas to land a critical shot that not only put another runner on base but also gave Johnson County their first two runs of the evening. Thomas was eventually batted in as well, giving Payton Fenner an RBI and leaving the Longhorns out front 3-0 to start off the second.

Contact on the ball didn’t falter and the Longhorns saw another three run sweep in the three with seniors Thomas, Blade Hampton, and Jake Sutherland all taking first as well as freshman Nicholas Whitener. Sutherland was regrettably left on base at first, but the drive still went a long way to offset the Cougar’s single run earned during the second inning.  More...


Longhorns no match for Rebels

Although the Longhorns have been steadily improving throughout the year they were still no match for the speed and experience of the visiting Sullivan South Rebels at home last Thursday. That said, Johnson County did do a little better this time around compared to their earlier 18-1 blowout against the same team. The Rebels did lead off with some solid hitting but many of the runs they made, especially early were simply because of errors made in Johnson County’s fielding.

Time and again South would advance to second or even third on a missed catch or a ground ball, making an already difficult situation even more troublesome. “They were tough, but it would have been a whole less if we had just made the plays,” said head Coach Pete Pavusek.  “We made a bunch of errors on plays that you need to make. That would have made it a close game. You give a good team like that extra outs and they’re going to make you pay for it.”

Taking advantage of any slip up, the Rebels managed to push three runners through in the first inning but then went on a two inning dry spell thanks to numerous strikeouts from pitcher Logan Sargent. Leading Johnson County through the first four innings, Sargent picked up seven strikeouts in all among 52 strikes total. Many of those solid throws came at a critical time when Johnson County still had a chance to get in the game, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff.  More...


Girls face tough competition in Kingsport tournament

Every season the Lady Longhorn softball team plays in a series of tournaments outside of their normal conference bouts. Most recently the team traveled to Kingsport to take part in one of the biggest regional tournaments hosted by the Eastman Chemical Company. Having held out through an altered schedule thanks to several spring showers, the girls played in four tough match ups against some of the best talent in East Tennessee. Only one of the teams was local, a kick off match against the Lady Trailblazers from Daniel Boone. As head Coach Dana Smith pointed out that initial showing didn’t turn out as well as hoped.

“The weekend at Eastman we hit well at times and didn’t hit well at times,” Smith began.  “The first game we played against Daniel Boone, and we couldn’t play defense to save our life and we couldn’t hit to save our life. Boone is a very good hitting team. Sometimes we show our age and sometimes we don’t. Consistency is one of those things we’ve been talking about so much and that’s all I expect of them.”

After getting blown over by Daniel Boone, Johnson County faced an even worse opponent, The Greenbriar Bobcats from Robertson County. Playing through five innings, the Lady Longhorns managed just one hit, a second inning drive by Brianna Snyder that helped her eventually reach second. That was a close as Johnson County came to completing a run while the Bobcats had put up seven in the same amount of time. Pitcher Cindi Eddington led from the mound and did a fairly good job in the later innings, holding Greenbriar to just one more scoring sweep in the fourth. Yet, the lack of offensive success left the Lady Longhorns unable to counter the earlier push.  More...


Horns beat Rebels 5-1

The Lady Longhorns took on the Sullivan South Lady Rebels for the second time this year playing in Kingsport last Thursday evening. Having soundly beaten the Lady Rebels at home, Johnson County was looking for another easy victory. However this time around South was much tougher on the defense making it a far closer battle than it had been before.

“It was going to be whoever was going to start hitting at the right time,” said Coach Dana Smith. “It was back and forth, back and forth. It was going to be whoever got their people on first, because defensively everybody was doing ok.”

Neither side had much progress through the first three innings. South was able to push a runner to early in the second thanks to a Johnson County error in right field, but that drive was cut short by a couple of quick outs from the infield. The Lady Longhorns had a little better luck when Kelsey Duperry landed a hit at the beginning of the third and then got batted in on a hit by Cindi Eddington. Regrettably, Eddington was left on first by two following out, but her efforts did earn her an RBI and the first scoring run of the game.  More...


Unicoi wins over JC 9-3

Johnson County’s girls played against Unicoi for the first time this season last Tuesday night at home and the results were at best mixed. Contact on the ball was sporadic overall, with only four hits in all added to a couple of walks. Two of those were amazing home run drives by pitcher Cindi Eddington and a third was a double by Jayme Jennings. Despite those advances there were just as many strikeouts, and more disturbing for the Lady Longhorn coaching staff, several standing strikeouts.

 “We played better than what the score shows,” began Head Coach Dana Smith.  “We pushed a really good game. We kept them off balance a lot. Cindi hit two out to start off with and we were ahead two nothing. Overall I was pleased, but what I wasn’t pleased with was that some of our hitters had three strikeouts standing and weren’t fouling balls off enough. That’s one thing Unicoi does, they were battling, and battling, and battling. I keep trying to tell them if they don’t battle it’s going to hurt us eventually.”

Defensively Johnson County actually did a very good job holding the Lady Blue Devils through the whole first half of the game. Both the first and second innings went by without Unicoi getting on base and even when they did hit a double in the third the runner was left on base before any damage could be done. The turning point in the game came in the fourth when, with two outs on the board, the Lady Blue Devils began a series of consecutive hits including one homer that eventually allowed them to put in five runs.  More...


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