Horns to conduct basketball camp

Staff Report

Johnson County Longhorns will hold their annual youth basketball camp beginning on Monday, May 27 through Thursday, May 30, at Johnson County High School. The camp will start at daily at 8 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m.
Longhorns head coach Austin Atwood and his 2018-2019 team will teach fundamentals, stress team play and show campers the proper shooting technique. This camp is for boys and girls (1st grade through 8th grade) with a variety of activities to take place, it’s goal is to see the kids improve their basketball knowledge and enjoy themselves. The cost is $50 per player. There is a reduced deal for siblings. Two siblings for $80. Three siblings for $100. Camp fees include a camp t-shirt and awards. Concessions are available daily (pizza, drinks, & candy). For additional info call Austin Atwood at (423) 742-2870.

Girls historic tennis season ends with sub-state loss

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

There is a quote in tennis, “Love is nothing in tennis, but in life, it’s everything.” The love for the JCHS girls’ tennis team was well demonstrated Thursday afternoon at JCHS by the large number of fans that came out to cheer the Lady Longhorns to victory against Gatlinburg Pittman.
The Lady Longhorns fought hard, but the Gatlinburg Pittman Highlanders just had too much experience for the first-time regional champions.
District Player of the Year, Taylor Cox had the top spot of the sub-state competition and started the event off by dominating her opponent with a two-set win (6-4) (6-3).
No. 2, Olivia Cox’s opponent had a pretty good lob-net game and kept Cox moving; eventually, the Highlander went on to win, (6-3) (6-4).
No. 3 Taylor Parsons and No. 4 Margaret Morrow would be worthy competitors in singles action but could not take control of the match, both losing their matches in two sets.
No. 5, Rhiannon Icenhour approached her match with the Lady Longhorns already at a (1-3) disadvantage so the outcome of her game would determine if the girls continued to play.
Understandably, the pressure of what was at stake weighed heavily on the sophomore. Icenhour would not gain much ground in the first set, which led to a 2-6 defeat. The second set did not start well for the Lady Longhorn, down 1-2, but the netter had something to prove. She wasn’t going down without a fight and caught up with her opponent (5-5).
However, as in the previous matches before, the strategic game plan of the Highlander would be too much for the JCHS tennis player, so Gatlinburg Pittman got its fourth win and became the sub-state champion allowing the team to advance to the state playoffs.
Icenhour may have lost her match, but thanks to her never-give-up attitude, she gained the respect of her competitors.
The Lady Longhorns ambition of going all the way to state may have come to an end last Thursday afternoon.
But, the girls exuded qualities of a champion throughout the whole season and will be able to accomplish even more next year with all players returning except for senior Margaret Morrow.

Craig and Doyle Tester win big at The Holston

Father-son team, Craig and Doyle Tester enjoy the spotlight after winning the Holston tourney in Morristown TN. The men took home a total payout of $11,080.00 for the win and big smallmouth. Submitted photo.

Report by Morristown Marine Tournament

The father-son team of Craig and Doyle Tester beat the elements and a robust field of talented anglers to claim victory on the third stop of the Morristown Team Trail at beautiful South Holston Lake in Bristol TN/VA.
The Tester-duo of Butler, in Johnson County TN, led the way with a monster sack of 21.25 lbs, anchored by a 5.80 smallmouth that also gave them Big Smallmouth for the tournament. The rain halted a post-tournament interview, but Craig and Doyle have put in their time on South Holston. The men took home a total payout of $11,080.00 for the win and big smallmouth.
The weather was nasty, with a late spring cold front all but killing the bedded smallmouth bite and an all-day rain that soaked everything under the sun and brought the lake up several inches. The fishery went from on fire to tough in a matter of three days.
A total of 229 boats registered and 167 of them weighed fish. The total tournament weight was 2,281.95 lbs, with 796 full fish weighed and 794 of them successfully released.
Tourney officials paid out $47,680.00 in 38 places and contingency money, with 15.88 lbs being the cut weight. There was a tie at 38th place, so both teams were paid.
Right on their heels were Jack Faulkner and Ronnie Carey of Jacksboro, TN and Middlesboro, KY with a total weight of 20.37 lbs. The two took home a total payout of $7,000.00 for their second place finish and contingency money for Highest Finishing Skeeter ($3,000.00), Highest Finishing Enigma Rods($200) and Highest Finishing Gray Insurance($250).
Third place went to JR Henard and Travis Carpenter, both of Rogersville, TN, with a mixed bag weighing 19.27 lbs. The team took home a check for $2,550.00 for their efforts.
Fourth place was Knoxville, TN angler Jordan Card and Bobby Drinnon of Rogersville, TN with a 19.22 lb bag. Jordan and Bobby took home $1550.00.
Closing out the top five was Preston and Jalen Shuffler of Greeneville, TN with a five-fish limit weighing 19.18 lbs. The Shufflers cashed a check worth $1050.00 for their day of fishing.
The Citizens Bank Big Largemouth went to Vince Salyer and Michael Ervin of Kingsport, TN with a toad weighing 6.48 lbs. Additionally, Vince and Michael also won the second Highest Finishing Skeeter and 8th place overall. Congrats, gentlemen!
The Citizens Bank Big Smallmouth went to the overall winners, Craig and Doyle Tester with their hawg 5.80 brown fish. Event organizers would like to thank Yamaha outboards, Skeeter Boats, B&H Sales, Citizens Bank, B&M Tire, Taylor Battery/Deka, Gray Insurance Agency, Cumberland Gap Spring Water, Old Stage Printing and Sullivan County/Observation Knob Park for hosting this event.
For more information, please visit, www.morristownmarine.com.

Cox Twins get second chance at state berth

Cox twins Olivia and Taylor smile and proudly display their medals after wining the regional tournament and claiming a second chance at state. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

Neither a rain delay nor colder temperatures could get in the way of Cox
twins, Olivia and Taylor’s dream of getting a second chance at the state playoffs this week.
The girls, along with teammates Mason Stanley, Noah Cox, Dalton Sluder, Margaret Morrow, and Hannah Bauer traveled to Greeneville Tennis Complex for the regional tournament.
The Cox twins admittedly struggled early against South Greene’s Scout Hopson and Chloe Kinsler. Taylor stated she was concerned at first because the courts were wet and slick, and following the rain delay, she and Olivia found it difficult to get back into the rhythm of the game until Assistant Coach and the twins’ dad, Craig Cox had a few words to say.
“He told us to get our heads in the game and concentrate on what we were doing,” Olivia said.
Craig added, “I reminded them what was at stake if they didn’t play their game.”
The reminder seemed to have paid off as the girls won a very heated first match 6-4, followed by stepping up their game and winning the second set 6-4 as well.
After eliminating South Greene, the twins faced Claiborne County that won earlier against JCHS teammates, Morrow and
Bauer. Claiborne County’s Madison Edwards and Rebecca Williams simply could not handle the powerhouse of the Cox twins, so the girls easily won their second match, (6-1) (6-2)
and thus, winning the regional tournament and a second chance to win at the state playoffs.
While the girls reflected on their season success, Stanley battled his regional finals once again facing Adam Nelson from Sullivan North. Stanley started out strong, but after Nelson gained some ground on the JCHS tennis player, the Longhorn struggled to find his momentum and would eventually lose to Nelson (7-5) (6-1).
Cox and Sluder played one of their best matches against South Greene’s Lawson Burns and Aiden Hawk, but it just wasn’t enough to get a win for the duo. (6-4) (6-3).
Morrow and Bauer played well, but just could not get past the net game of Claiborne County’s Edwards, which eliminated the girls in first round action.
Olivia emphasized how eager she was to get a second chance at the state prize.
“Taylor and I want to go back and do better,” she said. “Nerves got the best of us last year, so this year we know what to expect.
Hopefully, we can play our game.”
The Cox sisters will be facing Halls High School from Lauderdale County Thursday at 12:30 p.m. Live daily coverage will be streaming on WGNS FM 101.9/100.5.

Longhorns Ladies Four-Peat!

The 2019 JCMS Lady Longhorns Little Watauga Conference Championship team. Back Row, L-R: Assistant Coach Mark Humphrey, Hannah Fritts,
Aden Thomas, Aubrie Baird, Amy Gunter, Kendyl Kleine, Autumn Lewis, Audrey Savery, Head Coach Haley Miller. Front Row, L-R: Eden Potter, Manager Isabella, Zennia Bouchelle, Autumn Shepherd, Mackenzie Poe, Mattie Jones. Photo by Tia Thomas

JCMS Lady Longhorns end 2018-2019 season as conference and district champs.
The Lady Longhorns won their fourth district title in a row

Submitted by
Mark Humphrey
Assistant Softball Coach Johnson County Middle School

The JCMS Lady Longhorns were prepared to defend their District title last week with the Unaka Lady Rangers wanting revenge for their late-season loss to the Horns.
In the end, of an intense and close game, however, the Lady Longhorns defeated Unaka 10-8 to win their fourth district title in a row and the chance to host next year’s tournament.
The Lady Rangers came out hitting, but Hannah Fritts cut down the runners at second to get out of the inning. Mattie Jones got the Longhorns off to a great start with a leadoff double. She then scored on Hannah Fritts’ double giving the Horns an early 1-0 lead.
The Rangers got a one-out triple from Alyssa but were unable to get her home as the defense stiffened. Kendyl Klein doubled with one out, but the Lady Ranger’ Reagan threw Kline out at the plate after Mattie Jones’ single.
The Lady Rangers scored five runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-1 lead. The Lady Longhorns came roaring back with three runs on doubles by Autumn Lewis, Aubrey Baird, and Makenzie Poe cutting the Rangers lead to 5-4.
The Longhorns held Unaka scoreless in the top of the fourth inning then turned up the heat scoring four more runs on hits by Amy Gunter, Aubrey Baird, and a bases-clearing triple by Zennia Bouchelle making the score 8-5.
The Rangers roared right back scoring three runs tying the score back up at 8-8.

Autumn Lewis snags a throw to second to force the last out against Unaka to secure the Lady Longhorn’s fourth consecutive Little Watauga Conference Championship. Lewis was later awarded All Conference honors.

Hannah Fritts and Autumn Lewis got on base with singles but were left stranded on the bases leaving the score tied.
The Rangers were three up and three down in the half of the sixth inning. Aubrey Baird led off the bottom of the sixth inning with her third hit of the night. Maddie Jones walked with two outs setting the stage for Autumn Shepherd to blast a two-run double to put the Longhorns up 10-8.

JCMS pitcher Hannah Fritts makes a big play at home to prevent another Unaka run in the battle for the title between the two conference powerhouses. The Lady Longhorns edged Unaka out with a final score of 10-8 to earn their fourth consecutive Little Watauga Conference Championship at their home field in Mountain City on May 14.

The Lady Rangers would not give up as they banged out three hits, but the Longhorns defense would not allow them to score to shut the door on their upset bid and take a hard-fought 10-8 victory.
All-Conference honors went to Hannah Fritts, Autumn Lewis, and Mattie Jones. Honorable Mention All-Conference honors went to Autumn Shepherd.
The Lady Longhorns close out the season as Conference and District Champions and a 16-8 overall record and 11-1 in conference play.


Congratulations to Coach Hailey Miller on her first season as a head coach and to all the girls on the team that made this possible.

JCMS defeat Cloudland in District crown quest

Autumn Lewis hammering a stand up triple during the JCMS Lady Longhorns battle against the Cloudland Lady Highlanders for a spot in the Conference Championship. The Horns defeated Cloudland 7-3 at Bob Kirksey Field in Mountain City to earn the opportunity to defend their conference championship title. Photos by Tia Thomas

Submitted by Mark Humphrey

The JCMS Lady Longhorns started their quest for their fourth District crown against a stubborn Cloudland team.
Cloudland led 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning when the Horns bats started coming to life.
With the score 3-2, Makenzie Poe smashed a single up the middle to drive in two runs to give the Lady Longhorns a 4-3 lead.
Hannah Fritts came on in relief of Autumn Lewis to slam the door on the Lady Highlanders and pick up the win on the mound.
Autumn Shepherd and Hannah Fritts picked up three hits each to pace the Longhorns, while Aiden Thomas, Lewis, and Poe added two hits each.
Maddi Jones, Audrey Savery, and Aubrie Baird had a hit apiece. Lexie Proffit filled in at shortstop to help the defensive effort.

The Lady Horns capture historic win

The Lady Longhorn tennis team captured a historic win against South Greene in regionals at JCHS tennis courts. They are the first girls’ tennis team to go to sub-state. Pictured Hannah Bauer, Taylor Parsons, Olivia Cox, Coach Zach Pittman, Taylor Cox, Rhiannon Icenhour, and Margaret Morrow. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

The JCHS girls had more to prove than just winning a title when it came to the competition against South Greene.
But, according to the TSSAA records, JCHS has never had a girls’ tennis team make it to sub-state, which made the victory over the Lady Rebels even sweeter.
Last year’s loss left a bitter taste with the girls, and they were eager to fight for a long overdue win.
A large number of fans that came out to cheer the Lady Longhorns to victory Thursday at JCHS tennis courts were fortunate to witness the fight these girls had as they went into battle against the Lady Rebels.
For a tennis team to advance to the next level, the team would have to win four out of seven matches. The first team to win four matches would go to sub-state.
No. 1 seed, Taylor Cox would once again face off with her nemesis Jaelyn Casteel. The two have faced each other four other times, with Casteel always getting the win.
However, the tides quickly turned as a determined Cox never let up on Casteel. Cox was behind in the first set, but quickly caught up and the first set would go to a tiebreaker.
Cox expressed how she was already a “nervous wreck,” but when she was faced with a tiebreaker she “about lost it.”
“I had never won a tiebreaker, so I was just about to cry when we reached that point,” she said.
Cox buckled down harder, and everyone watching the match saw an unwavering spirit come over the Lady Longhorn as she would go on to win her first ever tiebreaker.
The defeat from the tiebreaker seemed too much for Casteel, and Cox took full advantage of her vulnerability and quickly captured the second set.
As Taylor Cox was giving her all against her opponent, her twin sister Olivia Cox was also playing one of her best matches. Olivia seemed to have had fire coming from that racquet, and her opponent quickly felt the burn and couldn’t handle the power plays from the junior Longhorn which led to Olivia’s 6-3, 6-3 win.
“I wanted this win so bad, Last year was a tough loss for our team,” Olivia said. “I didn’t want that to happen again.” She continued, “I love my teammates, and it would be so nice if we all could go to state.”
After the Cox twins won their matches, the team had two more wins before they could claim the victory. The next two wins would come from two fierce, strong-willed athletes; No. 3 Taylor Parsons and No. 5 Rhiannon Icenhour. The girls’ do-or-die attitude secured the team’s spot at sectionals.
Assistant Coach, Tim Tugman said, “Winning regionals for this team was an impressive feat, and each player contributed to this success.”

 

Jayden Joiner signs with Milligan

L to R: Christie Joiner, Coach Crabtree, Jayden Joiner, Paul Hoilman from RBI Tri-Cities, and Steve Joiner. Submited photo.

Submitted

As the JCHS baseball season comes to an end, one senior is closing the books on his four year career with the Longhorns and is beginning his journey playing baseball at the college level. Jayden Joiner signed his Letter of Intent to play baseball for the Milligan Buffalos starting this fall. He plans to study Physical Education and Exercise Science and hopes to one day be a baseball coach at the high school or college level.
Jayden has started all four years with the varsity Longhorns at short-stop and has also contributed on the mound for the last three years. Coach Pete Pavusek commented, “Jayden has worked so hard at baseball. He has come a long way and it has been a joy and pleasure coaching him. Jayden is off to bigger and better things in life and I look forward to watching it unfold. We will miss him here at Johnson County.”
Jayden stated, “I’ve always loved the game since I started playing T-ball for Coach Brad Reece twelve years ago. I learned more and more about the game at every level and I know I have a lot more to learn. That’s why I was excited to get to be a part of Milligan Baseball and to have the opportunity to play and learn under Coach Grewe. He’s coached at Notre Dame, LSU, and Michigan State. He’s giving me the opportunity to be a student coach/player and I can’t wait to get started. I know I’m going to learn so much from him.”
Jayden has also played travel baseball for RBI Tri-Cities in Johnson City and has played tournaments from Georgia to Kentucky competing against teams from all over the country. He plans on playing this summer for RBI and will be competing in 8 tournaments all over the southeast before starting Milligan in late August.
His parents are Steve and Christie Joiner of Mountain City. Grandparents are Shane and Rita Reece, Larry Woodward, all of Mountain City and Glen Joiner of Valdosta, GA. Jayden also has a brother, Stephen Joiner, who graduated from Milligan and is now a professor of political science at Carson Newman.

Longhorn netters advance to regionals

Small School District One Player of the Year, Taylor Cox, left, and sister Olivia Cox, display their awards for Small School Division One District Champions. Photo by Craig Cox.

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

Four groups of the Longhorn netters easily surpassed the first-round action Monday at Milligan College and finished with district finals on Tuesday.
Mason Stanley would be in a battle with Sullivan North’s Adam Nelson. Stanley was hitting well and had good placement, but it just wasn’t enough to defeat Nelson.
Noah Cox and Dalton Sluder got off to a rough start with North’s Tray Williams and Dalton Hatmaker. Nerves appeared to be a contributing factor in the first set, but communication between players provided a much better second set, but Cox and Sluder would succumb to a strong net game provided by Tray Williams.
“Tray’s athleticism and height made it difficult to get anything past him,” Cox said.
Assistant Coach, Tim Tugman spoke highly of Sluder and Cox, “Noah and Dalton have worked very hard this year, not only on the physical aspects of tennis but on the mental aspects and I am proud of what they have accomplished.”
Taylor and Olivia Cox faced a couple of familiar faces during the district finals; their teammates, Margaret Morrow and Hannah Bauer. It would be a valiant effort by Morrow and Bauer, but they were no match for the dynamic duo. The sisters’ experience, strategy and possibly twin connection made them fierce competitors. The tennis partners were excited to win the title of district champs. Olivia said, “last year we didn’t play very well in the finals and lost against Chuckey Doak, so to win the district this year was pretty nice.” Taylor expressed her appreciation for her opponents/teammates, “We love Margaret and Hannah; we had fun playing against them, and I’m happy they still get to go to regionals with us.”
Stanley, Cox, Sluder, Bauer, and Morrow placed second in the district tournament and will play in regionals along with the Cox twins Monday at Greeneville Tennis Complex.
Taylor Cox received the honor of Player of the Year. Taylor’s dad and Assistant Coach Craig Cox was ecstatic about his daughter receiving the award,” Taylor has worked hard all year, and I am glad she was recognized for her effort.” Coach Zach Pittman added, “I wish Taylor could play both singles and doubles because I think she could easily win both.”
Pittman feels good about his team moving forward into regionals, He states, “I feel the Cox twins have a great shot of not only going to state but winning it all and Mason fought hard and will rebound to win regionals.” Coach Zach Pittman also received the award for Coach of the Year.

Spring practice begins for the JCHS football

JCHS Football Coach Don Kerley emphasized that spring practice is essential because it gives the coaches a chance to learn different plays and have an idea of team placement and individual talent. Photo by Beth Cox.

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

The grass is green, the sun is shining, and pollen is everywhere which can only mean one thing; spring, and of course football practice at JCHS.
Coach Don Kerley along with his assistant football coaches, Matt Bray, Craig Cox, Randy Smith, Chris Dunn, Bo Henson, Gary Horne, and Billy Heck are gearing up for another successful season this fall, which begins in the spring.
The two-week spring practice allows the coaches to examine the level of teamwork, commitment, and work ethic of the football players.
“Spring practice is very important to getting the football season off to a good start,” Cox said. It alows players to get excited about the upcoming season and hopefully motivate the guys to workout throughout the summer.”
Luckily the weather has cooperated with the football schedule, and Coach Kerley has been able to utilize the time given to him for spring practice.
Kerley emphasized that spring practice is essential because it gives the coaches a chance to learn different plays and have an idea of team placement and individual talent.
The practice also allows the players a chance to work together as a team. “It’s also been a while since they players have dressed out, so this two-week time period allows the players to get comfortable wearing football pads again,” Kerley said.
The football team is on the practice field right after school; practice can last up to three hours with intermittent water breaks.
Kerley has scheduled offensive days, defensive days and days for combined practices for his players.
Spring practice ends on Friday, May 17, before the team travels to David Crockett High School for a scrimmage game on Tuesday, May 21.
The football team will continue to work out throughout the month of June until the final week.
The last week of June and the first week of July is considered a dead period for all sports, which is a requirement by TSSAA.
The JCHS football team will also travel to UVA Wise this summer for football camp.
As for the football field is concerned school officials said the project continues and volunteers are still needed to help. Donations are always appreciated to help with the construction cost.
Banners are on sale right now, and money made from the sale will go directly to help with expenses for the renovation of the football field. Anyone interested in purchasing a banner may contact Coach Kerley at 423-444-9724.

Lady Horns command respect

Hannah Fritts throwing strong in the 2nd inning of the Lady Horns’ bid against the Ridgeview Raptors in the regional tournament at Ridgeview Elementary in Gray. Photos by Tia Thomas

 

JCMS Lady Longhorns show strength against

Submitted by
Mark Humphrey

The Johnson County Middle School Lady Longhorns battled No.1 seed Ridgeview in the opener of the 2019 Regional tournament last week.
Facing the undefeated (18-0) Ridgeview presented a sizable challenge for the girls, but not enough to back down from a fight.
The Lady Longhorns fought hard and earned Ridgeview’s respect as the girls held their ground for five innings before falling 13-3.

Autumn Shepherd waiting for a Ridgeview runner at third.

Hannah Fritts and Autumn Lewis each had two hits, and Autumn Shepherd had a big double to drive in two runs.
Amy Gunter added a hit to round out the Longhorn offensive attack, while Audrey Savery made a beautiful catch at the fence to rob Ridgeview’s big power hitter of her third home run.

Audrey Savery makes her second spectacular catch of the evening. The Longhorns fell to the Raptors 13-3.

The Lady Horns will be back on the field Saturday morning at 8 to defend their District crown.

undefeated Ridgeview

 

Horns season ends with loss to Warriors

JC’s Stacy Greer takes a pitch outside against Happy Valley. Greer and the Longhorns lost to the Warriors 5-2 in the District 1-AA tournament.
Photo by Tomahawk Sports

Tomahawk Sports

JOHNSON CITY—All good things must come to a close, and this was the case on Monday at TVA Credit Union Ball Park. Happy Valley scored three times in the first inning then held on for a 5-2 win over the Longhorns in the District 1-AA baseball tournament.
It wasn’t the ending that the Horns had hoped for after entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed team, with a sweep over the Warriors and Unicoi County during the regular season under their belt.
They lost leading hitter Asa Lewis last week due to a season-ending injury, and they didn’t appear to be in sync over the past couple of games, which resulted in two losses.
Head coach Pete Pavusek summed up the season.
“We had a really good year, but we didn’t finish it out as we wanted,” said Pavusek. “For some reason, we didn’t appear ready to play, but it doesn’t take away from what this group has accomplished. We went 12-10 overall and were picked to finish last in the league, but the kids kept playing hard. We played three freshmen and a lot of sophomores and juniors. We’re proud of our senior players and all they gave. It has definitely been a good year for us.”
Jayden Joiner was one senior who stepped up his game. He came on in the fourth inning and held the Warriors to only one unearned run. He ended the game with three strikeouts and contributed a base hit.
The Horns scored solo runs in the first and fifth innings for their only two runs during the game.
Senior Reese Stout singled in senior Weston Throop who had walked and stole second in the first inning.
Freshman Ethan Icenhour doubled in Ben Howard
who has singled during the fifth.
Happy Valley’s Michael Harrah proved to be too tough for the Longhorn hitters. He ended the game with 12 strikeouts and walked only two batters. Harrah had four hits and pitched out a jam in the fifth after Johnson County had runners at second and third with no outs and failed to get them in.
Howard, Joiner, Stout, and Icenhour had one hit each for the Longhorns. Ben Howard struck out six batters in four innings of work as the Horns’ starting pitcher.
Bart Wilson led the Warriors at the plate, totaling three hits. Jacob Absher added two hits.
The Warriors were beaten by Unicoi County 8-1 following their win over Johnson County.

Little League Softball at Ralph Stout Park

The Snowguard Diamondback’s Summer Cox takes off for first after a dropped third strike by the State Farm Cardinal’s catcher, Ella Icenhour in Little League Softball action Saturday at Ralph Stout Park.
The Diamondbacks just barely edged out the Cardinals in the 20-19 game.

Middle school Horns take 2 in tourney

JCMS” Graham Reece drove in 2 runs against UH and played a good defensive game behind the plate. His team will play Hampton on Tuesday.
Photo by Tammy Trivett

Tomahawk Sports

JOHNSON CITY—The Junior High Longhorns are off and running in the junior high season ending District tournament played at Indian Trail Middle School last week. They bested Cloudland 33-1 in their opening game and then powered past University School 15-4 to move into the finals of the winners’ bracket where they’ll face Hampton on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Johnson County 15
University School 4
The Longhorns scored 12 runs in the second inning after putting three on the board in the first frame.
Dakota Holt and George Grill both singled in the first inning. Peyton Pavusek drove in the first run with a double. The Horns got a RBI fielders’ choice from Dakota Holt and a sacrifice bunt from Graham Reece that plated another one to go up 3-0.
They batted around nearly twice in the following frame that resulted in a dozen runs being scored.
Connor Simcox delivered a huge bases loaded triple to the fence that scored three runs. Pavusek, Holt, Grill and Ezra Howard all had two hits in the inning. Graham Reece and Nate King also knocked in runs with a base hit each.
The Horns put in on cruise control from there with Pavusek picking up the win on the mound with nearly three innings of work. He allowed only one hit and fanned three. He also went 4-for-4 at the plate with 2 doubles.
Holt added a 3-for-4 performance. Grill, Howard and Reece provided two hits each. Tanner Marshall, Simcox and Tyler Bouchelle were 1-for-1 each. Nate King had the other base hit.

JCMS 33
Cloudland 1
The Longhorns ran roughshod over the inexperienced Highlanders in their opening game of the tournament.
Peyton Pavusek and George Grill had three hits each to lead the Horns. Ezra Howard and Tanner Marshall were 2-for- each with a pair of doubles. George Grill, Connor Simcox, Dominic Kelly, Connor Stout and Graham Reece collected one hit apiece.
The quartet pitching staff of Simcox, Holt, Pavusek and Howard threw less than 19 pitches each to silence the Highlanders’ bats.
The Longhorns scored 16 runs in the first inning and during the second. They were also cashed in on 15 walks.

Happy Valley eliminates Lady Longhorns

JC’s Maddi Edington tags out a Warrior. Edington had two hits in their elimination game.

Tomahawk Sports

ELIZABETHTON—Johnson County’s up and down roller coaster softball season came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday in the play-in game of the District 1-AA softball tournament. The Longhorns squandered away a 7-0 lead and fell 8-7 to Happy Valley at Elizabethton High School.
The Lady Warriors scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up by one after trailing 7-1 entering the frame.
It appeared like the Horns had the game well in hand after sprinting to what seemed to be a sizable advantage. They scored three times in the first inning.
Bella Miller’s RBI double plated Natalie Winters for the first run. Tiffany Price delivered the big blow, a two-run single that scored Lindsey Wills and Miller for a 3-0 advantage.
They continued to pad their lead in the fifth inning with a four-run outburst.
Abby Cornett led off with a single then later scored on an infield single by Winters. They upped the ante at 7-0 thanks to a two-run double by Emmy Miller and an RBI groundout from her sister Bella.
Johnson County got an outstanding pitching effort by freshman Hailey Rider for five innings. She struck out the side in the second inning an escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third, but lady luck wasn’t with the Longhorns in the sixth.
The Warriors sent 12 batters to the plate and eight hit safely. Hannah Brooks came on in relief of Rider with the score 7-4 and the bases loaded, but a costly error prevented them from getting out of the inning with a three-run lead.
Instead, Maddie Lingerfelt smacked a clutch two-out single that put them in front 8-7. The Horns went down in order in the seventh ending their season with 13 total wins under first-year head coach Greg Reece.
Maddi Edington went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Longhorns. Price, Bella Miller, Emmy Miller, Cornett, Winters, and Wills added one apiece.
Hannah Brooks was intentionally walked four times in the game and received the same number during Tuesday’s game with the Valley at home, which resulted in a loss.
Lingerfelt had three base hits to lead the Warriors with Laura Rice added two.
The Lady Longhorns had a chance to avoid the play-in game and get into the double elimination but dropped a 5-1 contest to Happy Valley on senior day at home.
Natalie Winters went 2-for-2 to lead the Longhorns. Tiffany Price and Cassidy Lakatos had the only other hits.
Bella Miller and Lindsey
Wills were the only two seniors on the Longhorns roster. They’ll return seven starters next year
with a good core of sophomores and a talented incoming freshman class.
Head coach Greg Reece remains optimistic after their up and
down year.
“Senior night was disappointing because we had countless opportunities to win. We didn’t make the adjustments early enough and that falls on me as a coach. Our two seniors Bella Miller and Lindsey Wills have been great players for our program and leaders. I can’t say enough about these two because they both can play miultiple positions.”
Reece went on to say about the 8-7 District loss.
“For five and a half innings we were the better team. Hailey Rider pitched great but eventually HV adjusted and started getting some baserunners. We had some uncharacteristic play in that sixth inning, and HV got hot with the bat.
Overall, it was a good season, but nowhere near our expectations. We won thirteen varsity games, and we won the bronze bracket at Tiny Day. Losing to HV on Tuesday put us in a three way tie, and I drew the number seven tie breaker back in November.
But most encouraging is that we competed with the top teams in the conference. Sullivan East had to beat us in the last inning both times, and we played Unicoi tough all three times. Our team batting average improved significantly and at times we were very good defensively. There are a lot of improvements to be made but with the youth we have I expect us to show a great deal of improvement in our outcomes next season.”

Saluting three seniors in tennis

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

Seniors Mason Stanley, Noah Cox and Margaret Morrow will be putting down their tennis racquets for a little while as they say goodbye to JCHS, but it will be a brief pause as all three have shared their love of tennis and will continue to play after high school through various recreational venues.
All three seniors plan to attend college in the fall.
Stanley will be attending ETSU where he will be majoring in Biology. Morrow and Cox will be attending Northeast State Community College.
Cox is planning to major in Film Development and Morrow in Nursing.
Stanley is leaving JCHS with fond memories of his four years playing for great coaches whom aside from tennis, taught him valuable life lessons
He credits Tim Tugman and Zach Pittman for being instrumental in helping him to become a better tennis player.
“These two men have given me more than I could ever have asked for as coaches and friends,” Stanley said while expressing his admiration for Pittman and Tugman.
Stanley fondly remembers when he finally defeated his coach; a pivotal moment of accomplishment for the young tennis player because of the respect for Pittman as a tennis player as well as a coach.
Cox played tennis all four years, but the highlight of his career was playing doubles in regionals with partner Will Henson.
Grateful for his dad’s help and support throughout the years Cox added, “I also appreciate the coaches I have had; Crabtree, Pittman and Tugman, they all helped me to be a better player.”
Morrow started playing her junior year and fell in love with the sport. The highlight of Morrow’s tennis action came this year in a tiebreaker against North in doubles with partner Rhiannon Icenhour. Morrow is grateful for all the tennis coaches. She states, “I thank every one of them for all they did for me.”
Coach Pittman is grateful for the fantastic leadership of these “amazing” seniors. He articulated his pride for his senior tennis players by stating “Margaret, Noah and Mason have pushed themselves and their teammates to be better players and people, and they will be missed more than I can describe.”

Horns show competitiveness in latest match

Taylor Parsons and Rhiannon Icenhour are all smiles after easily winning in doubles against Sullivan Central on Tuesday. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

The Longhorns were on the road this week as they faced two fierce competitors with Sullivan Central on Tuesday and Sullivan South on Thursday.
The tennis team came out swinging Tuesday against the Cougars and didn’t stop until the last match was played.
In boys’ action, the Longhorns played strong and left the Cougars purring like kittens as the boys easily gained the lead with No. 1, Mason Stanley controlling the match against Ben Williams with the 8-1 win followed by both No. 2 Noah Cox and, No. 3 Dalton Sluder with the same, 8-1 score over their opponents. No. 4 Will Henson was right behind his teammates with an 8-0 win over Zach Hughnett.
In doubles play, the diligent partnership of Cox and Sluder outplayed Williams and Tyler Jones and came out victorious with an 8-1 win.
Noah Nelson and Henson came up short against Jack Musick and Mark Robinette with an 8-6 loss.
Stanley and Adam Manuel would finish with an 8-4 match over Hughnett and Landon Locklear.
The girls annihilated the Cougars with the most wins across the board. No. 1, Taylor Cox’s match was one for the record book as she and her opponent, Amanda Robinette, were in action for well over an hour, but Cox kept the lead and finished 8-3. No. 2, Olivia Cox overpowered Natalie Scott with an 8-0 win followed by No. 3, Taylor Parsons edging by Amelia Margett with the 8-6 victory. No. 4, Margaret Morrow’s match was a close one, but Morrow was strategically outplayed in the end by Alexa Cassidy. No. 5, Rhiannon Icenhour and No. 6, Hannah Bauer would also add to the win column with (8-5) and (8-6) respectively.
The Lady Longhorns’ doubles’ play ended with T. Cox and O. Cox (8-2), Morrow and Bauer (8-4), and Parsons and Icenhour (8-2)
The Longhorns traveled to Sullivan South for their last match of the regular season. Sullivan South was a tough opponent for the tennis team, but good competition for the Longhorns as they get ready to head into district playoffs. The only victory for the Longhorns came from No. 3, Dalton Sluder with an 8-3 win over South.
The Lady Longhorns had a few more wins in their column with No. 1, Taylor Cox getting the 8-0 advantage over her opponent, followed by No. 3, Taylor Parsons (8-3). In doubles, the Cox twins would continue their winning streak with a hard-fought match and narrowly getting the 9-7 win. Parsons and Rhiannon Icenhour would finish strong with an 8-4 win over South.
Coach Pittman was pleased with his team’s performance and states, “both boys and girls look good going into district tournament on Monday.”
Taylor Parsons and Rhiannon Icenhour are all smiles after easily winning in doubles against Sullivan Central on Tuesday.

Horns upended by Unicoi

JC’s seniors Eric Neely, Weston Throop, Jayden Joiner and Reese Stout pose for a picture on senior day. They will play HV on Monday in the District Tournament.

Tomahawk Sports

ELIZABETHTON—Johnson County’s dominance over Unicoi County ended on Saturday in the first round of the District 1-AA tournament. The Longhorns fell into the loser’s bracket after losing 7-2 at Milligan College on Anglin Field.
Errors killed the Longhorns as nearly every run scored by the Blue Devils were unearned.
A sure double play ball that would have ended the inning resulted in a two-base error that allowed the Devils to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
The Blue Devils got a strong pitching performance from sophomore Jordan Bridges who came within one pitch of throwing a complete game.
Bridges was supported with a 4-0 lead after three innings of play, and only two of those runs were earned.
The Longhorns played without freshman standout Asa Lewis who was lost for the season with a possible torn ACL this past week. Lewis was hitting over .500 and had been a massive part of the Longhorns’ offense.
The Blue Devils got a pair
of RBI singles from LJ
Mitchell and Brett Strother in the third that ended the day for Longhorns’ starting pitcher Jayden Joiner.
Bradley Livorsi’s single drove in Weston Throop for Johnson County’s first run of the game after Throop had reached on a base hit. Livorsi also had a triple in the game but was left stranded in the second inning.
Livorsi ended the day going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. Joiner and Icenhour also collected two hits apiece. Ben Howard had the only other one.
Freshman Zack Parsons pitched well in relief for the
Longhorns He struck out three
batters in 2 2/3 innings and
allowed only one run. He also got the Horns out of jam upon entering the game.
The Longhorns will now move to TVA Credit Union Ballpark what was once known as Cardinal
Park in Johnson City on Legion Street.
They play Happy Valley at 5 p.m. on Monday and will face Unicoi County at 7:30 on Monday should they win.

JCHS Boys, Girls tennis team prove different results in last week tennis play

 

By Beth Cox

Coach Zach Pittman has had some difficulty in finding matches for the boys’ tennis team, so when East Side High School Spartans from Coeburn, VA accepted the challenge to play at JCHS on Monday, Pittman was ready to give the boys some
competition and experience playing an aggressive tennis team.
East Side came out strong and controlled the play throughout the competition. The Longhorns played tough and fought hard with that “never give up” attitude, but the score just didn’t represent how hard they fought for the win.
No. 1 Mason Stanley would go two sets against East Side but would not be able to get the win,
(4-6) (2-6)
In other singles matches, No. 2 seed Noah Cox (5-8), No. 3 Dalton Sluder (2-8), No. 5 Noah Nelson (0-8), and No, 6 Adam Manuel (3-8). Will Henson (No. 4) would be the only winner of the evening (8-4).
In doubles action, East Side continued to overpower the Longhorns ending with Stanley and Henson (2-8), Cox and Sluder (3-8) and Nelson and Manuel (1-8).
Coach Pittman responded to the Longhorns defeat, “East Side got to everything and kept the ball in play. We had a chance to win but hit too many unforced errors.”
The Lady Longhorns played against Happy Valley High School Tuesday afternoon at JCHS tennis courts. The fans who went out to cheer on them as they faced off with the Lady Warriors were in for a real treat.
The Lady Horns wrangled in the Warriors early and never let go of the reigns.
In singles play, the experience of the Longhorns proved to be too much for the Warriors.
No. 1 Taylor Cox, No. 2 Olivia Cox, No. 3 Taylor Parsons and No. 5 Rhiannon Icenhour all won their singles matches with an 8-0 score, followed by No. 4 Margaret Morrow (8-1), and No. 6 Hannah Bauer (8-4).
In doubles play, the power continued to go to the Lady Longhorns; twin sisters, T. Cox and O. Cox and the duo of Parsons and Morrow would both win 8-3.
Freshmen twin sisters Kaylee and Ashlee Williams were able to get to be a part of the action Tuesday afternoon, with their first doubles match going to the Warriors (5-8).

Girls’ Tennis capture second conference championship, boys win district

The Lady Longhorns tennis team were all smiles as they won their second
conference championship under Coach Zach Pittman. The Longhorns defeated Chuckey Doak Thursday at Greeneville Tennis Complex in Greeneville Tennessee. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox

The JCHS Tennis team traveled to Greeneville Tennis Complex Thursday looking to pick up a much-needed win against Chuckey Doak on their home court. They accomplished their goal by easily defeating the Black Knights, which would give the Longhorns their first conference win and the Lady Longhorns the title of district champions for the second year in a row.
The Lady Longhorns rallied together and proved to Chuckey Doak they came to claim the coveted number one spot for the district.
No. 1, Taylor Cox aced her singles match with a 6-0 win Breanna Shelton with No. 2, Olivia Cox right behind her with a 6-2 win over Katie Crane.
The Lady Longhorns continued to overpower Chuckey Doak with Taylor Parsons (6-3), Rhiannon Icenhour (6-4), Kaylee Williams (6-3). Hannah Bauer, nursing a sore ankle, lost 2-6.
In doubles play the winning continued with twins, T. Cox and O. Cox ( 6-1) followed by Parsons and Icenhour (6-3) which secured their place as number one in the conference.
In boys’ action, Chuckey Doak was simply no match for the Longhorns. No. 1 Mason Stanley (6-1), No. 2 Noah Cox (6-0), and No.3 Will Henson (6-2), and No 4., Noah Nelson (6-0) easily captured the conference win. In doubles, Stanley and Cox (6-2) and Henson and Nelson (6-0) completed the unanimous victory over the Black Knights.
The Longhorns have lost the past two matches, so this win will surely build their confidence as they begin the road to district tournaments.
Coach Pittman was delighted with the win over Chuckey Doak. Under his leadership, the girls’ tennis team have been conference champions, but he isn’t taking much time to think about that; he is now focusing on getting his team ready for district and regional tournaments.
Pittman states,” Our girls played good enough to win, but they need to step it up to another level if our aspirations of going to state are going to come to fruition.” Pittman was in this same position last year with one set away from the girls’ team going to state, so he knows what needs to be done. He said his team match will be working hard over the next couple of weeks to get ready for tournament actions which starts May 6 and May 7 at Milligan College.