Team dedicates victory to fallen comrade

Throughout the state this week, football teams are expiriencing highs and lows across the board. But at Forrest High School in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, this is a week of remembrance.
   Last Friday night, Chad Franklin, a 16 year-old junior tight end for the Rockets died after he collapsed during the team's warmups just minutes before Forrest's game against Watertown.
   According to the Nashville Tennessean First year coach Kyle Stacey learned of his players' passing before the second half and told his squad.
   The Rockets won the game 33-35 in their first victory of the season dedicating the win to their fallen player. Franklin was the vice president of the student council at his school, and will be well remembered by his school.
   At his funeral yesterday morning, members of several schools were at hand for Franklin's funeral, including the entire Moore County football team, who is Forrest's biggest rival.
   My heartfelt condolences go out to the Franklin family, the Rocket football squad, and Forrest High School. Forrest travels to South Pittsburg for a game this Friday night.
   BYRD READY TO RETURN AGAINST JELLICO
   After sitting out the past two weeks due to a surgery, Cloudland quarterback Mark Byrd will be back and ready to play in Cloudland's conference showdown against Jellico.
   "I feel fine," said Byrd, "It was a little sore today when I started practice, but it's felt better."
   Byrd believes he will be able to play on both sides of the ball this week.
   "I believe I'm going to play both sides. We've just got to practice hard and take on Jellico's air attack."
   Byrd was happy to see his teammate Cole Gouge do well in the previous two contests for the 'Landers.
   "He did fine. He ran things well and did a good job."
   Cole Gouge was happy to get the expirience, but is ready to get his game on for Jellico.
   "It was a change," said Gouge, "I don't know which position I like better. We have a good enough of a line that either one of us could have success. We've got to concentrate on stoppind the pass and be ready for some different things."
   Cloudland lineman Dale Baker was happy with his team's performance against South Greene but believes the defensive line needs to be ready for Jellico.
   "We need to work hard," said Baker, "They look great, they have a good pass rush. We haven't been doing too good on the defensive line, and we need to build it up for them."
   If this year's match-up is anything like last year's contest on the road, it will not be pretty for the Blue Devils. I look for Mark Barnett and the Birchfield boys (Jason, Derrick, and Gregory) to seal the deal for the Highlanders. CLOUDLAND 58-6
   Sullivan East at Elizabethton
   Elizabethton returns with a home game this week against the Patriots in what should be an easy win for the Cyclones. Although Sullivan East has a better squad this year, I don't believe they can match well with Betsy. ELIZABETHTON 40-12
   Cosby at Unaka
  
This is the date Ranger fans have marked on their calendars all season long. It could possibly serve as the first win of the season for the creekers, but Cosby is coming into this one with an improved squad. UNAKA 28-24
   Chuckey-Doak at Happy Valley
  
The Warriors will be ready for this conference match-up. Rolling off of two big wins, Happy Valley will host the Black Knights at home, and in my opinion will lay the smackdown all over the boys from Greene County. HAPPY VALLEY 44-22
   Johnson County at Daniel Boone
  
The Longhorns will be seeking their second win of the season this week when they face off with Daniel Boone. Boone is coming off of a big victory over Cherokee, while Johnson County was stopped by a foot against Happy Valley.
   I look for Johnson County to step up big with a challenge, but they must have some offense. DANIEL BOONE 8-6
   WESLEY'S OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DAKOTA BENFIELD, CLOUDLAND AND MITCHELL MORTON, HAMPTON
  
Benfield and Morton were both stunning this past Friday in wins over South Greene and Unicoi County respectively. Both players were listed as Honorable Mention in this week's AP selections.
   Benfield carried the ball 25 times for 232 yards with three touchdowns for the Highlanders over the Rebels, while Morton passed six of nine for 152 yards with two scores, and a touchdown on the ground.
   WESLEY'S DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DANE CHRISTMAN, CLOUDLAND AND MARK BARNETT, CLOUDLAND
  
Christman tallied fifteen tackles with two sacks against South Greene, while Mark Barnett compiled ten tackles of his own, including the hit heard 'round Greene County with a kickoff piledriver on a returner in the third quarter.
   Both players were selected in this week's honorable mention selections by the AP.
   WESLEY'S LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: JEREMY COOK, UNAKA AND JEREMY WARD, CLOUDLAND
  
This quarterback turned defensive lineman has played stellar at Defensive End for the Rangers. The senior plays a big spot on the squad and deserves the spot on this week's team.
  
Jeremy Ward helped power a Cloudland offensive line unit to an impressive 553 yards on the ground this week against South Greene. Ward, a senior, is also a defensive line standout for the 'Landers.
   PICKS OF THE WEEK
  
I stunk it up worse than being locked in a room with limburger cheese this past week with a 10-5 record. I enter this week with a 55-15 standing.
   Greenville 34, Volunteer 12
   Morristown West 38, Morristown East 18
   Maryville 44, Knox Powell 22
   Powell Valley 36, North Greene 13
   West Greene 21, South Greene 18
   Sullivan South 28, Sullivan Central 21
   Sullivan North 32, Claiborne County 10
   Sweetwater 25, Rockwood 22
   Tennessee High 55, Unicoi County 20
   Oliver Springs 24, Alcoa 19