Jr. Rangers rebuilding

  By Adam Buckles
  STAR Correspondent

  Last year's Unaka junior high football squad produced a record of 5-4, resulting in a tie for second place. This year's club looks to have a lot more new faces for this season's campaign.
  Matt Wilson enters his third year as the coach and expresses his concerns about his young crew.
  "We lost basically our whole team and we have got one starter returning out of last year's team," said Wilson.
  The lone ranger out of the bunch is quarterback Dustin Carden.
  "I'm ready for this year, and I just hope we can win the league," Carden said.
  Along with Carden at quarterback, Chris Pierce and Brett Yelton will aim to run the ball in the backfield. Brandon Taylor will hike to Carden, while Ryan Gouge, James Coffey, Chad Odom and Jesse Cowden are set to see action on the line. Kelly Rapert appears to have the tight end position.
  On the other side of the pigskin, Pierce will lead the linebacker core, and Cowden, Carden, and Franky Covarrubius will fill the defensive back slots.
  The Jr. Rangers lost a coin flip last year for second place, which sent Johnson County to the championship game against Hampton.
  Andy Naylor will assist Wilson this year, after helping Unaka High School the past four years.
  "We have about 30 kids out right now, and hopefully we will be able to get some more out when school starts this week," said Wilson.
  "I look for Johnson County to have great year, I think Cloudland has some good material this year, and I don't really know much about Happy Valley and Hampton," Wilson stated.
  Unaka will kick off its season at Happy Valley in the Little Watuaga Jamboree Thursday night at six o'clock.