Cyclones' Turley joins quality NAIA program

By Wes Holtsclaw
One of the NAIA's top football squads received a big local boost, while another local athlete's dream came true.
Thursday afternoon, the Elizabethton Cyclone athletic department helped another athlete earn a chance to continue his athletic and academic career when Adam Turley signed with Campbellsville University in Kentucky.
Turley, also a successful basketballer, was an aggressive, team player on the football field with the Cyclones during his high school career.
He joins a Tiger team that has won conference titles and participated in the NAIA National Playoffs in only 15 years of existence.
"It's real exciting," Turley said. "It's what I've dreamed of and worked hard for the opportunity to do. God has been with me and I've been praying for this."
Turley earned all-state honorable mention honors in all divisions at the wide-receiver position, while picking up All-Northeast Tennessee, all-conference and All-Carter/Johnson honors after his senior year in an Elizabethton uniform.
He was an all-around force to be reckoned with on the football field, also playing a strong defensive back role.
Turley averaged over 15 yards per catch as a receiver for the Cyclones, finishing the season around the top of the Mountain Lakes Conference with 548 yards on 36 grabs with a handful of touchdowns.
He also averaged over 10 yards per punt return, with a 21-yard average per kick return to help the Co-Mountain Lakes Conference champion unit.
Campbellsville is a good academic institution, and it's football team is a tenacious hitting unit, which are two of the reasons Turley chose the program.
"It's a real good academic school and their team has a hard-hitting defense," said Turley. "The coaching staff is great and it's not that far from home. It's the place I wanted to be to get my future started."
Campbellsville went 9-2 in the 2003 regular season of NAIA action, including victories against Austin Peay and UVA-Wise, with its only losses coming to Cumberland College and Georgetown College.
The Tigers have won two Mid-South Conference titles, participated in bowl games and have steadily achieved national rankings.
Offensively, the team is well balanced with over 2,000 passing and rushing yards in their previous campaign.
Turley becomes the second local player to suit up for the unit in recent years. Former Sullivan East Patriot Nathan Stewart was a senior on the squad this past season.
As for Elizabethton, Turley enjoyed his time in the Cyclone uniform and worked to continue what many players before have done.
"There will always be memories," said the senior. "The friends, coaches and Friday nights can't be beat. The fans were great every week. I learned a lot from the senior class before me and did a lot of things to hopefully keep the tradition going."
Turley was pleased with his career at Elizabethton, but wants to take off at Campbellsville.
"Everybody's real excited (for me)," he said. "I had a pretty good career and I'm tickled to death (to sign). I've got a lot more work to do to keep everybody proud. I'm up for it."