Semipro team ready for debut

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Another chance is all it will take.
   Coming out this Saturday for their first contest in the Appalachian Football League division of the semi-professional football council, the local Tennessee Warriors will be taking the field with their heads held high.
   "We've got a real good group," said head coach Shannon Simpson. "We look to face a good running team, and put our defense to the test. We've got to take what they give us and we're going to line up and play hard nosed smashmouth football."
   The Warriors will be taking a lot of looks defensively, and led offensively by quarterback Eric Vaughn of Sullivan North. Vaughn will be joined by his former teammate Jimmy Neeley in the backfield.
   "I think we're going to do really well," said Neely, "We've pulled together and we've got a lot of talent. I'm excited to get it going."
   Also seeing a lot of time running the football and scampering with the special teams unit is new pick up Adonis McGinnis, who was a standout at the old 2-A Holston High School in Knoxville.
   McGinnis has played for two championship teams, including the Knoxville Thunderkats arena team and a semi-pro team in Maryville. He is looking forward to this new opportunity.
   "I don't feel like the competition is going to be much different," said McGinnis. "It's a lot different playing with these guys, because they have a lot more heart and want it more than the other teams did."
   Several county players will be taking the field for the squad including outstanding placekicker Travis Brown. Brown, the former Happy Valley standout, will be joined by Unaka's Jamin Baggett and Elizabethton's Andrew Rhinehart among others.
   Several former college players will be taking the field, including Kevin Carroll, Joey Frachon and James Bonds from Emory and Henry as well as Mike Jones from Appalachian State.
   Carroll, a standout at Volunteer, will be making the rounds at short safety for the squad.
   "We're looking forward to it," said Carroll. "That's our backbone, this defense. Our offense is good, but our defense has looked tough all year and it will hold us together."
   Defensive coach Bo Wilcox is looking for some good things out of his defense, as they are expected to carry the team. Players for the Warriors have came from every end of Northeast Tennessee looking to get some looks from colleges and continue their playing careers.
   A lot of interest has been placed on the squad of former standouts, and coach Sydney Mitchell is excited about it.
   "We've had a lot of interest, and we feel that it will grow. We're here for the community, and we're going to win. That's our objective, to win, and give these guys the chance to have some fun."
   The Warriors open against the Virginia Outlaws in Pennington Gap, Va. with a 7 p.m. gametime.