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Smith County High School football players commit to college teams, military service

L to R: Jaden Apple-Gibbs, John Ross Hord, Cameron Spivey, Kobe Williams, Joey Gantenbein, Chris Cunningham

Last month, the friends and family of six Smith County High School football players gathered in the Smith County High School gymnasium to celebrate the players’ accomplishments and future plans.

Three players signed on with college teams, two shared their plans to join the military, and one committed to serving in the police force.

In a short ceremony, Smith County High School football coach Scott Murray commended his players for their character, work ethic, leadership skills, and academic performance. He described them as the “total package” as he expressed his pride.

Each student was given the opportunity to tell the audience about his future plans and express gratitude to the people who helped him along the way.

Jaden Apple-Gibbs signed on to play football at Greenville University in Greenville, Illinois.

John Ross Hord committed to play football at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. 

Cameron Spivey will continue his football career at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. 

Kobe Williams plans to join the Air Force. 

Joey Gantenbein will enlist in the Navy. 

Chris Cunningham, whose injuries prevented him from joining the Army as he initially planned, will join the police force after he graduates.

Coach Murray also acknowledged Jared Grisham, who could not attend the ceremony because he was attending a military signing event on the same day.

Coach Murray told his players that he was glad to see that they have found their future homes, but he also reminded them that they will always have a special place in Owl Nation. “Your home will always be here,” Murray reassured the seniors.

Congratulations to these exceptional students! We look forward to seeing all the great things you will accomplish in the future.

Smith County Little League launches new website; activities suspended until April 11

Although Smith County Little League Baseball/Softball has suspended all activities until April 11, 2020, the new Little League website is up and running!

If you have any pictures of your player’s team in action last year, feel free to message Smith County Little League on Facebook so that your pictures can be added to the website. 

Smith County Little League would like to send a big thanks to Grok Gates for helping with the new site! Any feedback is appreciated. 

Click here to check out the Smith County Little League website!

Also, be sure to read the following important announcement:

Smith County Little League Baseball/Softball has suspended all activities until April 11th. The final tryout that was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14th will now be held on April 11th. This will not affect the start of our LL season as it was set to begin April 19th. Please continue to sign up online if you have not signed up yet. This ruling was handed down from our district not from the local level. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to any of the following people: 

  • Slick Collins – President (615)735-7661
  • Tracy Mofield -Vice President (615)735-7926
  • Michael Hughes – Sports Information Officer (615)418-5275

Click here to access the online sign up form: https://form.jotform.com/vols187/SmithCountyLLRegistration. 

Smith County High School Baseball and Softball Strikes Out Tobacco!

CARTHAGE, Tenn. – The Smith County High School Baseball and Softball teams recently made the pledge to “Strike Out Tobacco!”

Coach Connie Holder and Coach Lynus Martin and their teams each signed a pledge form promising not to use ANY tobacco or electronic cigarette (vape) products.

Once signed, the Tennessee Department of Health, in conjunction with TNSTRONG (a youth-led initiative to take down tobacco in Tennessee), sent both coaches and their teams a “We Struck out Tobacco” banner to be hung at the school.

As a reward for their tobacco-free leadership role, they will be receiving a TNSTRONG five- gallon bucket filled with practice baseballs and softballs.

Great job, Owls!

Registration for Jr. Pro Basketball at Defeated Elementary School now underway

Registration for Defeated Elementary School Jr. Pro Basketball for the 2019-2020 season is now underway!

The fee to participate in Jr. Pro Basketball is $40 per child.

Draft (coaches only) will be held on January 12, 2020. Practices start January 25, and games start February 22. The season will be over by March 21, 2020. No teams play every night. 

Only registration forms postmarked by January 3, 2020, will be accepted.

Click here to download the printable registration form.

Defeated Elementary School sponsors this program. All checks should be made payable to Defeated Elementary School. Mail to DES Jr. Pro, 451 Defeated Creek Highway, Carthage, TN 37030. 

For more information, please contact Meranda Cook at 615-744-3150, Brandon Rigsby at 615-744-3421 or email cookm4@smithcoedu.net.

GHS Cheer places in Smoky Mountain Mid-South Regional Cheerleading Competition, earns bid to compete nationally

1st Row (L to R)- Haylee Reece, Violet Gillilan | 2nd Row (L to R) Kelli Gregory, Madison Wolf, Kailee Barrett, Cassi Vaden | 3rd Row (L to R) Brylee Hunt, Alivia Schwan, Skye Manor, Jaycee Johnson, Megan Greenhaw

On December 7, 2019, the Gordonsville High School Varsity Cheerleading squad competed in the Smoky Mountain Mid-South Regional Cheerleading Competition.

They competed in the game day division which highlights the aspects of traditional cheerleading. Each squad performed a routine consisting of two band dances and two crowd leading cheers.

The GHS cheerleaders came in 4th overall and earned an invitation to compete at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida in the National High School Cheerleading Championships in February 2020. 

The competition standings are as follows:

Smoky Mountain Mid-South Regional Championships – Game Day Varsity Non Tumbling Division

  1. Baylor School (Private)
  2. Creek Wood High School (4A)
  3. Bartlett High School (6A)
  4. Gordonsville High School (1A)
  5. Upperman High School (3A)
  6. Fultondale High School (4A)
  7. Oliver Springs High School (1A)
  8. Overton High School (5A)
  9. Jellico High School (1A)

Congratulations, GHS Cheer!

Smith County’s John Ross Hord named DTC Communications “Player of the Year”

The following article first appeared on the DTC3 website. Click here to see the original article.

DTC Communications “Player of the Year” John Ross Hord

Each season, DTC Sports selects an outstanding player from the DTC service area for the DTC Communications Player of the Year. This year, the honor went to Smith County High School senior, John Ross Hord.

Hord was chosen based on his outstanding performance throughout the 2019 regular season. He was twice named DTC Sports Player of the Game during the season, for his performance against the Gordonsville Tigers in Week 2, and again in Week 7, as the Owls won an important Region 4-3A game over Sequatchie County.

Offensively, throughout the ten games of the regular season, Hord rushed for 1,048 yards on 156 carries – an average of 6.7 yards per carry – and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, Hord caught 14 passes for another 123 yards and added another score. In total, on offense, Hord tallied 1,171 total yards and 19 touchdowns, good enough to score 114 of the Owls’ 294 total points this season.

Hord was equally as important on the defensive side of the ball for Smith County, as he registered 90 total tackles – which ranked second on the team – logged six tackles for loss, had one interception and a fumble recovery from his linebacker position. Hord’s efforts helped the Owls earn a 6-4 overall record, a 4-1 record in Region 4-3A – good enough for a second-place finish – and a first-round home playoff game against Sweetwater on Friday night, November 8.

Hord finished his career at SCHS with 2,361 rushing yards on 487 carries (4.8 YPC) and scored 37 TD. He also caught 45 passes for an additional 447 yards and 3 TD. Hord was also among the team leaders in tackles on defense during all four years of his tenure. His career stats put Hord among the best players to ever suit up for the Smith County Owl football program.

In addition to Hord’s individual award, DTC Communications also presented Smith County High School head football coach Scott Murray, and the Smith County High School Football Program, a check for $500 for having this year’s DTC Communications Player of the Year. Tom Duggin of DTC Sports made the presentations to Hord and Coach Murray during a pep rally at the school, Friday afternoon, before the playoff game with Sweetwater.

“DTC Communications is proud to be a community partner with the local schools in our service area, and we are equally proud to recognize the accomplishments of the outstanding student-athletes within the area,” said Chris Townson, CEO of DTC Communications. “I want to personally congratulate both John Ross Hord and the Smith County High School football team for their remarkable accomplishments throughout the 2019 high school football season.”

Hord becomes the third Smith County Owl to win the DTC Player of the Year Award, joining Jalen Manning (2013), and Carson Hackett (2017). Other past winners include Lucas Phillips (2012) and Steven Jennings (2014, 2015) of DeKalb County, and Seth Price (2016) and Deramus Carey (2018) of Watertown.

DTC Sports and DTC Communications are proud to recognize Smith County High School senior running back/linebacker John Ross Hord as the DTC Communications Player of the Year, and proudly congratulate both he and the Smith County High School football team for their outstanding accomplishments in 2019.

DTC Communications is proud to continue their long-standing support of its communities and the athletic programs within these communities.

Gordonsville High School Basketball Preview

by Ryan Nixon

The 2019-2020 Gordonsville High School Boys Basketball Team

Gordonsville Tigers Season Preview

The Gordonsville Tigers hired Gregg Bibb as their new head coach during the off-season. Bibb was the head coach of the Smith County Lady Owls last season, and the the Tigers are hoping that he can take them to the next level this season.

The Tigers will look to build off of last season, where the team got hot late in the season and made a run to the region semifinals. Despite losing two of their leading scorers from last year, Gordonsville is retaining a lot of key pieces from that run and could have another good year this season.

“There are good pieces to the puzzle to work with,” Bibb said. “It is just up to me to figure out the best way to use them to give us the best chance to succeed.  We are changing the style of play somewhat so I will have to be patient and the players focusing on the changes we’re making and having an attention to detail of doing all the small parts correctly.”

With the core of this years team being juniors and seniors, the Tigers should have the experience needed to fine tune their game to the new style of play. Bibb stated that this teams main goal is to get better every day and maintain effort and good things will follow.

“I think the main goal that I have for us is a consistency of effort and every day doing what we need to do and doing it to the best of our ability to get better every day,” Bibb said. “Move forward every day we set foot on the floor so we can be playing our best basketball in February.  I also have high expectations for our players in the classroom and in the community.  We talk about us representing our family, school, community and team every time we are out in the public, with how we speak and treat others.”

The 2019-2020 Gordonsville High School Girls Basketball Team

Gordonsville Tigerettes Season Preview

The Gordonsville Tigers will look to continue their upward trend following last years breakout 10-17 season under head coach Jacob Dillard.

Doing so will be a challenge for the Tigerettes, as Gordonsville has a tough regular season schedule, thanks in part to playing in one of the best districts in the state.

“We embrace the challenge that our schedule presents to us this year, our district is one of the toughest in the state each year,” Dillard said. “Our scheduling will hopefully get us ready for our district and understand the level we need to play at each night. One of our goals is to continue to build from year to year like we have in our first two years, the players understand what we expect from them everyday now. We expect to take another step forward this year and have the potential to be a good team this year with key pieces returning for us.”

The team has three seniors returning, Trinity Potts, Lera Britt, and Abby Gochcoff, and no juniors. The team has six sophomores and three freshmen. Dillard stated that despite the team being young, they have gained a lot of experience the past couple years, which will help not only this season but also in building the foundation for the next couple years of building up this program.

11/23 6:00pEast Robertson
11/23 TBA@ Friendship Christian (Two Games)
11/26 6:00p@ Smith County
11/29 6:00pWatertown
12/3 6:00pEagleville
12/10 6:00pClay County
12/12 6:00p@ Van Buren County
12/13 6:00p@ Jackson County
12/17 6:00p@ Red Boiling Springs
12/20 6:00pPickett County
12/21 6:00pSmith County
11/26-28 TBAFriendship Christian Tournament
1/7 6:00pTrousdale County
1/10 6:00pMonterey
1/14 6:00p@ Clarkrange
1/17 7:00p@ Clay County
1/21 6:00pJackson County
1/24 6:00pRed Boiling Springs
1/27 6:00pVan Buren County
1/28 6:00p@ Pickett County
1/31 6:00p@ Trousdale County
2/4 6:00p@ Monterey
2/7 6:00pClarkrange
2/10 6:00p@ Watertown
2/14 7:00p@ Eagleville

Smith County High School Basketball Preview

by Ryan Nixon

The 2019-2020 Smith County High School Boys Basketball Team

Smith County Owls Season Preview

Following a tough season last year, the Owls brought in Trey Sanders as the new head coach.  Sanders coached the Owls over 12 years ago, but has been the Head Coach of the Gordonsville Tigers since.

Sanders and the Owls will have a lot to prove this season, as they went 1-25 last season.  Sanders said that the Owls had a good summer, and this change of energy could help the Owls turn some head in the season.

“The team responded well at camp this summer,” Sanders said. ”We were able to win some games, which gave them some encouragement.  I learned a lot about them, as they learned a lot about me.  The guys are excited and eager to play.  One thing I have tried to have them focus on is attitude.  I encourage them to approach everything with a ‘We can, We will’ attitude.”

The Owls will have a slight disadvantage at the start of the season, as they have eight players on the football team which have not been able to get much practice with the team. This could lead to a slow start to these players when the season starts.

The 2019-2020 Smith County High School Girls Basketball Team

Smith County Lady Owls Season Preview

The Lady Owls will be led by a new head coach, Todd Hess, when their season starts. Hess was a member of the Lady Owls coaching staff last year, but was promoted this offseason when Gregg Bibb went to Gordonsville.

The coaching change will only be a part of the new look Lady Owls, who had five seniors graduate last year. Hess will need to look to their four juniors to provide leadership this year, as there are no seniors on the roster. Experience is a point that may be lacking, with their only being a few players on the Owls team last year that got a significant amount of minutes. With the graduation of 1,000 point scorer Allyssa West, the team will need some new players to step up to fill her shoes.

The Lady Owls will need these young players to learn fast and get their confidence, because they have a difficult path through their conference this year. Macon County and Upperman are two of the better teams in the state, and are the first two district games the Lady Owls will play this year. These games could help quite a bit in building experience and if the Lady Owls can keep it close or get the win, it should work wonders for their confidence throughout the season and on to next year as well.

11/19 3:00p/6:00pHall Of Fame Games at Friendship Christian (Boys)
11/21 3:00P/6:00PHall of Fame Games at Friendship Christian (Girls)
11/23 TBAHall of Fame Games at Red Boiling Springs
11/26 6:00pGordonsville
11/29-30 TBAPickett County Thanksgiving Tournament
12/2 6:00p@Macon County
12/3 6:00pRed Boiling Springs
12/10 6:00pUpperman
12/13 6:00p@Livingston Academy
12/16 6:00pTrousdale County
12/17 6:00p@Portland
12/21 6:00p@Gordonsville
12/27-29 TBALake Cumberland Holiday Classic
12/26-28 TBAWestmoreland Christmas Tournament
1/7 6:00pMerrol Hyde
1/10 6:00p@York Institute
1/14 6:00p@Cannon County
1/17 6:00p@Watertown
1/21 6:00p@DeKalb County
1/24 6:00pMacon County
1/28 6:00p@Upperman
1/31 6:00pLivingston Academy
2/4 6:00pYork Institute
2/7 6:00pCannon County
2/11 6:00pWatertown
2/13 6:00pDeKalb County

Gordonsville wins 17-7 over Whitwell to advance to third round

The Gordonsville Tigers are advancing to the third round following their 17-7 win over Whitwell on Friday night.

The Tigers were able to strike first, scoring halfway through the first quarter on a 24 yard Treyson Davis touchdown rush to put Gordonsville up 7-0.

Neither team was able to score until the second quarter, when the Tigers were able to tack on 3 with a 22 yard field goal by Tanner Pierson with 4 minutes left in the half.

The Tigers extended their lead in the third quarter, with Davis finding the end zone to extend their lead to 17-0. Whitwell was able to narrow the score to 17-7, but it was too little too late and Gordonsville was able to hold their lead and advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Owls lose to Loudon 41-7 in second round of playoffs

The Owls traveled to take on Loudon in the second round of the playoffs, but were unable to take advantage of Loudon’s  five turnovers, losing 41-7 on the road.
The Owls had a bad first half, going down 27-0 in the first half of the game.
The Owls were able to put together a drive to get on the scoreboard early in the second half, with John Ross Hord scoring from a couple yards out to narrow the score to 27-7. The Owls were able to force a turnover on the next drive, but weren’t able to add another touchdown.
Loudon was able to take back the momentum and tack on two more touchdowns to extend their lead to 41-7. This would end up being the final score, wrapping up the Owls season.
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