School: David Crockett
Coach: Kent Green
2006 Record: 4-6, 2-5
Offensive starters back: 5
Defensive starters back: 6
JONESBOROUGH — It didn’t take Kent Green very long to make believers of Crockett’s victory-starved football fans.
After taking over as coach, he pumped confidence into the players and installed a ball-control power offense that clicked.
The Pioneers won four games with a program that had become too accustomed to 0-10 seasons. Actually, they had lost 30 of their last 31 games.
“I felt it would be a challenge,” Green said.
Crockett beat Greeneville for the first time in 22 years — a feat regarded as a benchmark for a successful season.
Around Jonesborough, there’s been a complete turnaround in attitude toward the sport.
It helped that Crockett got two Greens for the price of one. Green brought in his father Ken, who had retired as Daniel Boone’s longtime mentor, as a non-paid volunteer coach.
Even though Kent Green played for his father at Boone, that school never gets mentioned in public by the two men.
“I’m not going to say their name,” Kent Green said, only commenting that “the Gray Station team is going to be very good.”
Crockett’s fortunes definitely are on the upswing.
“We think we can get in the playoffs with an upset or two,” Green said. “We feel we can be competitive. We want to be better. We get on the bus pretty good. The kids have more pep in their step, but they are a little bit hungry.”
Green is optimistic about seeing the program improve one step at a time.
“We’re very talented at the skill positions,” he said. “If we can hold our own up front, we’ll have a chance to win some games.”
Eric Richardson will lead the team at quarterback. He has a nice touch on his passes. He’ll be getting the ball in the hands of tailback Jamey Copas as often as possible.
Experienced players around them are split end Barry VanDelinder, the Pioneers’ leading receiver last season; defensive end/guard Alonzo Willis; center Brian Johnson; guard John Woods; and tight end Brandon Massey.
Others who’ll be playing key roles are defensive end Robbie Johnson, cornerback Ben Scott and outside linebacker Tyler Shipley.
Green isn’t making any predictions as to how his team will fare.