By Steve Williams
Knox County high school football put a feather in its cap with a 20-13 win over East Tennessee in the first-ever Rivalry Showcase Game Dec. 11 at Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge.
The Knox County team was presented the Bob Black Trophy for its victory.
Shawn Gary of South-Doyle rushed for 118 yards and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns and was named Most Valuable Player.
Clark Duncan of South-Doyle was the head coach of the local team of senior players. Fulton’s Rob Black served as assistant head coach.
Scott Cummings, former Halls coach who was named the new Oak Ridge head coach last week, was the Knox County team’s offensive coordinator. Nick Craney (Central) and Brad Turner (Gibbs) were co-defensive coordinators.
The Knox County staff also included Lamar Brown (West), Antonio Mays (Austin-East), Morgan Shinlever (formerly of Bearden) and Brad Taylor (Karns).
The event also included a 250-member marching band and $12,000 worth of fireworks.
CUMMINGS’ DEPARTURE: Scott Cummings is the new head coach at Oak Ridge. Cummings left Halls to replace OR’s Joe Gaddis, who retired after the end of the season.
“I’m going to Oak Ridge because it’s such a great school system and I will be getting a substantial raise,” Cummings told The Focus last week. “I have nothing but good things to say about the Halls community. We’ve been able to better the facilities and create a culture I know will continue.
“The administration at Halls has been very supportive of our program and they understand football is important to the people of Halls. They will find a good coach. I really appreciate my time there and wish everyone nothing but the best.”
NOLEN’S SIGNING: Powell’s Walter Nolen III, one of the nation’s top-rated defensive linemen, fulfilled his commitment and signed with Texas A&M last Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the PHS auditorium.
One observer told The Focus that the event was low key. “You had local media there, a few coaches, the Powell athletic director and about 15 players, if that, there.”
Other local players inking scholarship papers in the Early Signing Period were CAK’s Malachi Harrison with Furman and Fulton brothers Keenan and Seth Vaughn with Tennessee Tech.
Shannon Blair of West re-opened his recruitment due to a Michigan State defensive back coach leaving, said West AD Tom Poisal, adding that Blair will sign in February.
South-Doyle Coach Clark Duncan said Shawn Gary is in the process of weighing his options. “More than likely, he’s going to go the JUCO route.”
COURTNEY HONORED: Farragut Coach Eddie Courtney was inducted into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Dec. 4 in Chattanooga, the final day of this season’s TSSAA BlueCross Bowl games.a