no avatar

NET football teams take positive steps during spring

By DOUGLAS FRITZ • Jun 10, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Spring football practice gives area coaches a glimpse of what the upcoming season might look like.

It’s a time to evaluate strengths and maybe give players a look at positions they haven’t played before or in spots where their roles may increase.

Following is a brief look at how things went for several area large-school teams during the allotment of days allowed by the TSSAA for spring practice.


Coach: Joey Christian

Last year’s record: 4-6

The Indians turned in a good spring, Christian said.

“Our kids were excited and really engaged. We got most of our offense and defense installed and are light-years ahead of last year. We have a group of kids who want to be here and have fun working.”


Coach: Stacy Carter

Last year’s record: 6-6.

“Spring practice went really well,” Carter said. “We found seven or eight kids on the offensive line we can work with.”

Also, Connor Batchelder stepped up at the quarterback position: “He had a good spring and a really good spring scrimmage.”

Turning in good scrimmage performances against Knox West were running back Chris Thomas, receiver Marquis Griffin and linebacker Malik Bowman.


Coach: Hayden Chandley

Last year’s record: 12-1

Chandley said he loved his team’s energy from start to finish.

“The kids were flying and rallying to the football. We didn’t install a lot of stuff in the spring because we wanted to see our kids line up, not have to think a lot, and just play ball. Overall, we as a staff were pleased with our performance all spring long.”

There were plenty of bright spots.

“Defensively, we are replacing eight starters from last year so that was a concern going in, but our kids responded well and showed some promise on that side of the ball,” Chandley said.


Coach: Jeremy Jenkins

Last year’s record: 9-3

The Trailblazers were focused on getting in shape for the 2019 season, Jenkins said.

“The main thing was to see how our strength and conditioning program showed up in the spring with our athletes. I was really pleased with that. I was also pleased with our start to the summer program.”


Coach: Justin Hilton

Last year’s record: 8-4

Hilton said getting stronger was an important step for the Rebels.

“I feel like we increased our overall team strength this offseason, especially in the offensive and defensive lines. The players competed in our scrimmages and played hard. I think we have some depth, and that will only help our players improve in practice. They are a fun bunch and very coachable.”


Coach: Shawn Witten

Last year’s record: 10-2

The Cyclones didn’t have a scrimmage, but Witten said it was a positive spring.

“Overall it was an extremely productive spring. We really tried to focus on line-of-scrimmage play and linebacker play. The biggest area for improvement has to be from the linebacker position. We have the right guys competing for those spots — seniors Jordan Haynes and Remington Tyree, junior Deuce Morton, and sophomore Blake Stewart at inside linebacker — we just need better results.”

Kingsport Times News Videos