Christman in running for Mr. Football award

By Wes Holtsclaw

    Perhaps the biggest honor for a player in the state of Tennessee is to be nominated or honored with the American General Mr. Football Award.
   Cloudland's Dane Christman was announced as one of the three top players in the 1-A Lineman category this past Wednesday. Christman will be up for the award alongside Bruceton-Central's Patrick Willis and Ezell-Harding's Antoine Owens.
   Christman has had two stellar seasons at linebacker for the Highlanders, last season he racked up over 100 tackles, and so far this season he has amassed 144 tackles and 12 sacks, with two fumble recoveries and an interception.
   It's been a great honor for Christman, who has an amazing work ethic with the Highlanders.
   "It feels great," said Christman, "It was a big surprise. I would be tickled to death to get it, but I'd be more than happy to get back to state."
   Christman has been a big key in the middle for Cloudland, controlling the run and applying pressure on the quarterback like they did this past week against Powell Valley.
   "I've really enjoyed playing the position. I'd be mad if I played anywhere else. It's a good place to read from."
   After last season's loss to Ezell-Harding, this season began for the Highlanders in the weight room. Christman displayed an ideal effort with his hard work to get better and put on some weight to better himself at the spot.
   "It was preparation to get stronger, and show more endurance. We've all worked hard during the offseason. It's kind of like a Physical Science deal." he said.
   Christman has enjoyed this season thus far for the Highlanders, who travel to Greenback this week for a big quarterfinal match-up with the undefeated squad.
   "This year's been great," Christman said. "I have had a lot of fun, especially going out there the last game. I enjoy playing with the guys I play with."
   He has had a lot of support from his family, especially his parents.
   "I've had a lot of support from my mom and dad, my brother, my nieces, my grandparents and my girlfriend Nikki. They've been at all of the games."
   Christman will be a needed force this week to stop the Greenback passing game, as Austin James has threw for over 2,300 yards this year.
   "We hope to shut them out this week. We've got to have a good week of preparation, especially in the secondary. If we can keep pressure on him, they can provide good coverage."
   No matter what the results prove to be this week, nobody can take away the excellent season that Christman has had for the Highlanders.
   The Highlanders will be on the road this week, to take on the Cherokees of Greenback. The Highlanders will need to execute top-notch defense the entire contest to pull away from the contest.
   The Cloudland rushing game is good for 28 points any given week, and this week will be no different. However, it will not be a cakewalk for the 'Landers who will need support from all of their fans down in Blount County this Friday night.
   Expect a big defensive game from the Cloudland defensive line, and never look past the offensive performances from Mark Byrd, Dakota Benfield, and Mark Barnett, as well as Derrick Birchfield and Dustin Sluder, both who will be crucial for this contest.
   Although many people expect the Highlanders to fall this week, I believe they will have a good showing on the road. CLOUDLAND 36-14