Northeast Tennessee high school football schedules won’t look the same after enrollment numbers and school consolidations impacted the landscape for area regions.
A year of adjustment will see teams get acclimated to six new leagues — five of which got smaller and necessitated teams adding nonregion games. That has several area schools one game short, including two-time defending TSSAA Class 4A champion Elizabethton.
Here’s a look at schedule makeups for area teams as thoughts begin to drift toward season openers, scheduled for Aug. 20.
The league dropped from seven to six teams and has an odd shape. It starts in Kingsport and goes all the way to Maryville. Knoxville schools are no longer in the mix.
The Indians open at Tennessee High before their home debut against Volunteer. Game No. 3 is the region opener at Morristown East.
Other region games are West Ridge (Week 5), Jefferson County (Week 7), at William Blount (Week 9) and Science Hill (Week 11). The Indians will also play David Crockett at home and Greeneville and Oak Ridge on the road.
The first game in Wolves history will be at Volunteer, followed in Week 2 by another road tilt against Daniel Boone.
West Ridge gets its first taste of region play against Science Hill (Sept. 3) and at Dobyns-Bennett (Sept. 17), games sandwiched around a bye week. Other league games are set for Week 7 (at William Blount), Week 9 (Morristown East) and Week 11 (Jefferson County).
The Wolves will also play Cherokee, at David Crockett, and Tennessee High.
The Hilltoppers kept their traditional opener against Elizabethton and will travel to take on another Class 4A power in Anderson County for their second game.
The region opener is Week 3 on the road against West Ridge.
Science Hill’s other region games are William Blount (Week 5), at Morristown East (Week 7), Jefferson County (Week 9) and Dobyns-Bennett.
Science Hill will also play Powell, Maryville and Daniel Boone.
The league shrinking from seven teams to five, these schools had to find extra games outside the region.
The Trailblazers will travel to South Greene for the opener before playing host to West Ridge.
Boone’s first region game is Week 3 at Cherokee. The Trailblazers also play at Morristown West (Week 5), Tennessee High (Week 9) and David Crockett (Week 10).
Other out-of-league games are at Elizabethton, Christian Academy of Knoxville, at Science Hill and Hampton.
The Pioneers’ schedule includes games against teams from Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.
After opening at Sullivan East, the Pioneers will again travel in Week 2 to play Letcher County Central in Whitesburg, Kentucky.
Crockett’s first region game is Sept. 3 against Morristown West, followed by Tennessee High (Week 5), Cherokee (Week 7) and Boone.
Other nonconference games are D-B, Pisgah (of Canton, North Carolina), West Ridge and Richlands in Virginia.
After the opener against Cocke County, the Chiefs will go on the road to Seymour.
League games other than Boone and Crockett are at Morristown West (Week 9) and at Tennessee High (Week 11).
Other nonregion games are at Clinton, West Ridge, at West Greene and Volunteer.
This league dropped from seven teams to six.
The Cyclones have not found a 10th opponent. Coach Shawn Witten said he was still trying to fill out the schedule on Monday, but things are starting to look bleak.
Elizabethton will jump into the fray against Science Hill before playing host to Rhea County.
The showdown comes early this year as the Cyclones will play host to Greeneville on Sept. 3. Other league games are at Grainger (Week 5), at Sullivan East (Week 8), at Volunteer (Week 9) and at Seymour (Week 11).
Outside the region, Elizabethton will play Boone and Anderson County.
David Crockett is first, followed by a road game against Pigeon Forge.
In the region, the Patriots play Grainger (Week 3), at Seymour (Week 5), Elizabethton, at Greeneville (Week 9) and Volunteer (Week 11).
Outside the region, East will play at Johnson County, Unicoi County and at Union County.
The Falcons get West Ridge first before visiting D-B.
They open region play against Seymour (Week 3) and play at Greeneville (Week 5) then Grainger (Week 7) before finishing with Elizabethton and East.
Nonregion games are at Johnson County, Tennessee High and at Cherokee.
This league experienced a drop from six teams to five.
Visiting Northview Academy is the season opener for the Blue Devils, who play host to Cosby in Week 2.
League games are Claiborne (Week 5), at Chuckey-Doak (Week 7), West Greene (Week 9) and at Johnson County (Week 11).
Unicoi also plays nonregion games at Madison (North Carolina), Happy Valley, at Sullivan East and Cloudland.
A rival is up first for the Longhorns, who visit Hampton in Week 2 before traveling to meet Chuckey-Doak in Week 3 in the region opener.
Other region games are West Greene (Week 5), Claiborne (Week 7) and Unicoi County.
Games outside the region include Sullivan East, Volunteer, Happy Valley, South Greene and Cloudland.
A five-team league dwindled to four.
The Bulldogs meet Pigeon Forge to begin their season before playing the Longhorns.
Region games are in Week 5 (at Happy Valley), Week 7 (South Greene) and Week 9 (Cumberland Gap).
Outside the region, other games are at Avery County (Newland, North Carolina), at Cloudland, at Gatlinburg-Pittman, Unaka and at Daniel Boone.
The Warriors have only nine games scheduled, including the opener at Cloudland.
That’s followed by a home game against Chuckey-Doak.
Region play starts Week 3 at South Greene. Other league games are Hampton and Cumberland Gap (Week 7).
Nonregion games are at Unicoi County, at Unaka, Johnson County and at Pigeon Forge.
The only area region to expand goes from four teams to five.
Also playing only nine games, the Highlanders get started with Happy Valley before opening region play in Week 2 at Unaka.
Other region games are Cosby (Week 5), Jellico (Week 9) and at North Greene (Week 11).
Other nonregion games are Hampton, West Greene, at Unicoi County and at Johnson County.
In a rare scheduling situation, the Rangers open with region games the first two weeks: at North Greene and home for Cloudland.
Other region contests are at Jellico (Week 5) and at Cosby (Week 9).
The Rangers will also play Virginia’s Twin Springs, Happy Valley, at Harlan (Kentucky), Claiborne, at Hampton and Jenkins (Kentucky).