Reflecting on Friday's big scare
By Wes Holtsclaw
This past Friday an accident nearly took the
lives of three of my friends.
I remember driving home that afternoon on my
way to Cloudland High School for what would be the start of
the high school season. When I saw a Cloudland footballer
on a stretcher beside his wrecked automobile, I couldn't believe
my own eyes.
As Coach Mike Lunsford stated Friday night after
the Cloudland-Hampton football game, the car was beat to pieces.
There was this little thing in the back of my mind expecting
the worst, but they are now okay.
The season on the playing field might be over
for two of the gentlemen, but they were given a second chance
and are on the path to recovery. Sure, a lot of us feel bad
that the Highlanders will be without them, but we should be
thankful that they are alive.
Broken ankles can be fixed, but you only get
one life. I thank God that my friends are okay and are at
home recovering with a chance of gracing the field again.
Going into college, I know that I still have
the teenage mindset of being invincible. But it is something
like this that makes you realize that you are not invincible,
and that you should count your blessings everyday.
A lot of times I find myself asking the question
"What If?" After the incident Friday, the Cloudland football
team wasn't thinking "What If?" The team responded to what
happened and pulled off an amazing performance.
After the game, several players offered their
prayers and wishes to their teammates, and signed a gameball
for their friends.
You would think that something like the incident
could beat a team emotionally. I admire the Cloudland coaching
staff for keeping its composure and keeping its team up through
all of the events.
A lot of decisions had to be made before the
game, and nobody truly knows how much they went through preparing
to replace one of their best players. I salute the Cloudland
football team, its coaches, and send my thoughts and prayers
to my friends.
There is a long road left in this season, and
after what I saw before and after the game in that locker
room, I know exactly why I am proud to be a Highlander.
WEEK ONE IS HERE!
With the events of Week Zero behind us, football
season has begun, and it started off with a bang. I connected
with nine out of my ten picks last week, with my only losing
decision coming in the Ootlewah-Red Bank matchup.
This week there are several big games across
the state, and especially in this area. I am jumping the gun
on our Friday afternoon picks with a look at ten more games
across the state.
Elizabethton 28, Science Hill 16
Happy Valley 34, Unicoi County 14
Johnson County 32, South Greene 18
Greeneville 40, Chuckey-Doak 10
Maryville 32, Alcoa 6
Greenback 38, Pigeon Forge 21
South Pittsburg 28, Marion County 21
Christ Presbyterian Academy 20, University School
of Jackson 14
Fairview 42, Hickman County 20
McMinn County 30, Bradley Central 26
WESLEY'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MARK BYRD, CLOUDLAND
Byrd was the shining star against the Hampton
Bulldogs this week for the Cloudland Highlanders, starting
this season with a bang.
Mark carried the ball nine times for 124 yards,
and had three touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
Next week, I will begin with a separate offensive/defensive
player and lineman of the week award.
GAMES ON THE RADIO THIS WEEK:
John Holsclaw and Dale Fair began another season
at WBEJ this past Friday night, and will begin a new season
of Elizabethton Cyclone football this Friday night in their
game against Science Hill.
WBEJ offers the best broadcast look of county
football each and every week and will continue that this season.
The Happy Valley-Unicoi County contest will be
aired this week on WEMB-AM radio in Erwin. WEMB provides great
coverage of Unicoi County and will be on tap this season.