SportsGirls basketball gains experience at MTSU team camp

The Lady Longhorns basketball team has had another busy and successful summer. After traveling several hours to take part in a nearly week long team camp at Middle Tennessee State University, the girls were back home to play a series of games hosted by Gate City High School in Virginia. Featuring teams from all over East Tennessee, the MTSU camp saw the Lady Longhorns pitted against some of the best talent in the state including the Riverdale High School Lady Warriors from Murfreesboro.

With a limited summer roster, players on the bench with injuries, and a seven hour road trip behind them, Coach Todd Whittemore admitted that opening game was a tough one, but it did force the girls to start thinking like a team. “We just played who they threw at us,” Whittemore said. “We only had seven girls and we played all different levels of competition. We opened up and our first game was against Riverdale. They are the team that beat Science Hill in the state finals the last two years in a row, but we needed that. We needed one of those trips that forces you to have to either come away from it better for it or totally dismantled. It’s never just in the middle and I felt like we came back as a much closer group. Finally in the era after Brooke Brown, we had them saying things like ‘ok lets run this play.’ Finally Brooke’s not telling them or I’m not telling them. They’re actually coming up with ideas that are based on things they think they are good at or they think they like. Once we hit that bump in the road, once they started thinking on their own, they did much better.”

The trip included returning players like Gianna Lay, Mackenzie Bauer, Kourtney Tolley, Kelsey Duperry, and Michala Cretsinger as well as relatively new faces including Kelsey Terrell and incoming freshman Brianna Arnold. Faced with a huge, talented, hometown team, the girls were only able to score a handful of points in that first game. Things got better as the trip moved on and Johnson County eventually settled with a 2-6 record overall. More...

Perkins coaches, Worley plays in Fellowship of Christian Athletes game

Johnson County played a big role in Friday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Baseball All-Game hosted at King University in Bristol. A matchup between East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the game featured some of the best talent from around the region while at the same time promoting the Christian faith. JCHS Assistant Coach and JV Head Coach Nicholas Perkins was once again asked to take the helm for the Tennessee team, which included players from nine different clubs as well as the Longhorns’ own Adam Worley.

“It’s an honor,” Perkins said about the experience. “It’s humbling. The greatest victory I could ever have as a coach would be God using me to play a small part in bringing players to Him. This is an event that is unapologetically Christian. The emphasis first and foremost is on Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. We had devotion at practice Thursday at the Diamond Elite baseball facility in Bristol and then Gary Maggard, who coordinates the entire event, shared a devotion with the Virginia team as well as our team prior to the game Friday. The game is very much secondary.”

While the FCA organizes numerous games, this all-star match up in particular is one of the few that incorporates active high school players and not just graduates or players who eligibility has expired. That said, there was a second game played later in the evening that featured only 2014 graduates, with Johnson County’s Sam Thomas among them.  More...

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