Dragons unable to find new Friday foe, pick up ‘COVID win’; Rest of Week 4 loaded

As we have been reporting all week, Clinton was set to host Cherokee High School out of Rogersville this Friday but COVID issues within the Cherokee football program have forced them to cancel the game. This is the second straight game the Chiefs have had to cancel due to COVID and the associated protocols.

Clinton officials tried to locate a substitute opponent, but those efforts were unsuccessful, meaning that the Dragons will be idle this week and will be awarded a COVID win. 

The TSSAA reminds fans that, “If a school is forced to cancel a contest due to COVID-19 this football season, the game will be considered a ‘no contest’ and the team will not receive a loss on their schedule. The school that is able to play will receive a win for playoff seeding purposes. They may schedule a replacement opponent, but the result of the newly scheduled contest must count in the school’s overall record in place of the ‘COVID-19’ win. A school’s overall, regular-season record cannot include more than 10 results.”

Fox & Farley Friday Night Football will return next week as the Dragons head to Powell to take on the Panthers, currently the #3 team in the latest 5A poll, and boasting the nation’s highest-rated high school defensive lineman, Walter Nolen, who is ranked as high as the #2 overall recruiting target in the country, and the #1 prospect in Tennessee.

The 6 foot 5 inch, 300-pound senior transfer from the Memphis area has listed Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Michigan as his five finalists in the recruiting process.

Coverage on WYSH will begin Friday, September 17th, with The Eye Center Pregame Show at 7:00, taking you up to the 7:30 kickoff of Clinton at Powell on Fox & Farley Friday Night Football.

In the meantime, there are several very good games dotting the schedule for Week 4. 

The Thursday night TV game has Gatlinburg-Pittman visiting 3rd-ranked Loudon.

Friday is highlighted by Anderson County’s visit to Rhea County to try and ground the Golden Eagles.  Oak Ridge will hit the road to battle Farragut.  In the last five meetings, the home team has won every game except in 2018 when Farragut defeated Oak Ridge, 20-14.

Campbell County, which is coming off a COVID-related bye week, heads to Hamblen County to tangle with the Morristown East Hurricanes.  The Cougars’ Region game against Lenoir City was canceled last week due to COVID issues at Lenoir City, and CCHS was credited with a COVID win.  The county’s other team, Jellico, will be at home to face North Greene on Friday.

The state’s best rivalry will be renewed Friday when Maryville visits Alcoa, which has not beaten the Rebels at home in this annual rivalry since 2009, with Maryville winning nine of the last 10 meetings overall.  The Tornadoes are #1 in Class 3A while Maryville is at #2 in the Class 6A poll, trailing only Oakland.

A couple of Clinton’s Region rivals, including next week’s opponent, Powell, will head northeast on Friday.  For Karns, that means a trip to Bristol and a date with Tennessee High, while the Panthers visit Johnson City to face off against the Science Hill Hilltoppers. 

Several Knox County schools will square off in Week 4, with West visiting Fulton, one year after the Rebels snapped a long Falcon winning streak with a 22-0 victory. Fulton has still won four of the past five meetings in this series.  Gibbs also heads to Fountain City and a date with the Central Bobcats.  Bearden will play host to South-Doyle in another intracounty matchup. 

Elsewhere, Sunbright plays at Coalfield, Wartburg visits Oakdale, and Halls is home for Jefferson County.

The OEB Game of the Week on BBB-TV will be Kingston at Rockwood, with coverage beginning at 7:00.

TSSAA continues to encourage “everyone — administrators, coaches, officials, and fans — to work together to follow the protocols that host schools have in place so that our student-athletes have the opportunity to enjoy athletic competition throughout this new year.”

Although most TSSAA mandates from a year ago are no longer in place, it is important that visiting teams and spectators adhere to the rules or requirements that may have been instituted by local school boards, municipalities, and other government agencies where they are traveling.

The full scoreboard and schedules can be found at https://tssaasports.com/sports/football/.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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