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What NE Tennessee school has enjoyed the most football playoff success?

Douglas Fritz • Jul 15, 2019 at 6:24 PM

Fifty years ago, the TSSAA held its first football playoffs.

Since then, area teams have won their share of postseason football contests. But how do area schools rank against each other?

In order to create a ranking that was a mix of current and past, points were awarded for the following accomplishments:

— 18 points for a state title

— 12 points for reaching the finals

— 8 points for a semifinal appearance

— 6 points for a quarterfinal appearance

— 2 points for each playoff victory

— 1 point for each consecutive year reaching playoffs

Under this scoring system, each team’s total reflects only the finishing point of a given year. For example, a team gets eight total points for reaching the semifinals and doesn’t get points for the quarterfinals in that season.

Before we get to the rankings, an interesting note is Hampton holds the area’s longest playoff streak at 15 years. Dobyns-Bennett’s impressive 25-year streak ended last season. Elizabethton is next with 11. Science Hill has nine.

Here are the rankings with a note about each team:

1. Elizabethton (139)

The Cyclones have six semifinal finishes and 34 total wins.

2. Dobyns-Bennett (118)

Four trips to the semifinals and four quarterfinal finishes boosted the Indians’ total.

3. Tennessee High (104)

Thirty-six of the Vikings’ points came from their state titles in the early 1970s.

4. Hampton (91)

The Bulldogs own 19 playoff wins.

5. Sullivan South (82)

Two semifinal and four quarterfinal finishes are part of the Rebels’ resume.

6. Cloudland (71)

The Highlanders have one finish in the finals, semifinals and quarterfinals.

7. Science Hill (59)

Three trips to the quarterfinals gave the Hilltoppers an 18-point boost.

8. Sullivan North (50)

The Raiders have four finishes in the quarterfinals.

9. Happy Valley (32)

Eight playoff wins helped the Warriors’ total.

10. Daniel Boone (31)

The Trailblazers have two quarterfinal finishes and eight wins.

11. Unicoi County (18)

In 1985, the Blue Devils reached the quarterfinals.

12. Cherokee (18)

The Chiefs reached the semifinals in 1994.

13. David Crockett (13)

Last year’s playoff run boosted the Pioneers’ total by 10 points.

14. Johnson County (8)

Three playoff wins make up most of the Longhorns’ total.

15. Sullivan Central (4)

The Cougars have two playoff wins (1994, 1999).

16. Sullivan East (2)

The Patriots earned a playoff win in 2004.

16. Volunteer (2)

In the 2007 playoffs, the Falcons defeated Tennessee High.

18. Unaka (0)

The Rangers have qualified for the playoffs 14 times.


Pencil in Ravenwood as the favorite to win the Class 6A football title this year.

According to a story in the Commercial Appeal, five Memphis Central college prospects plan to transfer to the Brentwood school. Included in the mix is four-star lineman Chris Morris and highly regarded quarterback Tevin Carter. Those two players were ruled ineligible by the TSSAA after transferring to Memphis Central from Freedom Prep because Central is in the same school zone. Transferring to Ravenwood would make them eligible if they have a bona fide change of address.

Morris (6-3, 287) is ranked No. 3 in Tennessee and No. 87 nationally. Carter (6-3, 205) is a sophomore who has received offers from Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee.

Also transferring is defensive end Renard Gwynn (6-4, 240), who is rated No. 20 in the state and has offers from Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The other transfers are defensive back Tamerius Bell and defensive lineman Terry Carter.

Earlier this summer, Reggie Grimes II transferred to Ravenwood from Mt. Juliet. Grimes is currently ineligible at Ravenwood under TSSAA transfer rules but reportedly plans to file a hardship. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end is rated as the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee and is the No. 31 overall prospect in the country, according to 247Sports Composite. He has visits scheduled for Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Ravenwood reached the state semifinals last season, losing to Memphis Whitehaven.

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