But it may be surprising how they rank among their peers in terms of sustained excellence.
Here is the list, in order of total wins, over the past 10 seasons:
1. Elizabethton (92-33)
The Cyclones have played 125 games over the last 10 years, which is an impressive 25 playoff contests to easily outdistance all other area squads. They have five seasons with double-digit wins and two years with nine victories.
2. Hampton (85-30)
A pair of losing seasons and some early playoff exits have prevented the Bulldogs from keeping pace with the Cyclones. But the No. 2 spot isn’t a bad place to be, especially on a list including Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill.
3. Dobyns-Bennett (82-35)
With a record of 18-17 over the past three seasons, the Indians dropped into the No. 3 spot. In the first five years, D-B was off to a 49-10 start.
t4. Science Hill and Sullivan North (78-37)
The Hilltoppers have been consistent, winning at least seven games every year except two. The Golden Raiders offset a 1-9 dip with a 23-3 two-year stretch.
6. Sullivan South (76-41)
The Rebels boast four double-digit-win seasons but have been all over the map with two wins one year and two five-victory campaigns.
7. Tennessee High (65-48)
It has been a mixed bag for the Vikings. Their best seasons — three eight-win totals and an 11-1 finish — have kept them among the leaders.
8. Happy Valley (61-49)
The Warriors had four solid years early before a three-year dip. The 19-6 run over the last two seasons pushed them back over the .500 mark.
9. Cloudland (61-51)
Hurt by two seasons with a combined total of four wins early in the stretch, the Highlanders helped their cause with a pair of nine-win efforts.
10. Daniel Boone (59-50)
The Trailblazers had four straight losing seasons and combined mark of 14-27 before last year’s 8-3 record. The first five years with a record of 37-20 kept them afloat.
Dobyns-Bennett’s Brogan Beckner recently announced his college intentions. Beckner committed to play baseball at Virginia Tech.
Tennessee and ETSU were also in the running for the services of Beckner, who can make it official with the Hokies during the November signing period.
D-B coach Ryan Wagner said he believes Beckner has a chance to do well at Virginia Tech.
“He has the makeup to pitch at a high level, and that is why he is going to play in the ACC,” Wagner said of his 6-foot-4 left-hander. “We are definitely glad we have Brogan back for another year.”
Preseason Top 10
It’s not opening week yet, but word of mouth is spreading.
Here is the first installment of the Northeast Tennessee High School Football Top 10 for our coverage area:
1. Science Hill
4. Daniel Boone
5. David Crockett
6. Tennessee High
8. Johnson County
9. Sullivan North
10. Happy Valley