The 5 Most Under-Rated Football Coaches in PrepXtra

There are more than 60 football programs in the PrepXtra coverage area. Here are five coaches that you don’t talk about much, but should.

5. John Webb, Rockwood
Webb has brought continuity, stability and a winning culture to the Rockwood program. He has maintained its Wing-T roots and grown them into a perennial playoff participant. Rockwood has made 11 playoff appearances (five consecutive) under Webb and had an 11-win season and run to the state semifinals in 2009. The Tigers won 11 games in 2004 and are 113-88 in 18 seasons with him at the helm. Player defections to private schools in recent seasons have diminished the promise that some Rockwood teams might have held, but Webb forged winning campaigns all the same.

4. Jeff Harig, Loudon
Harig has a temperament made for being a head coach, a voice for pregame locker room speeches and a football acumen that ranks right up there with the best. And, he looks like he could still suit up and play any skill position on the field. He’s energetic, super passionate about his craft and still has the desire to get the best out of Loudon, whether it’s a great year for personnel on the roster or not. Harig is 77-58 going into his 13th season. That win total could be higher (and playoff runs longer) had he not coached during an era when Alcoa and CAK were on up-cycles in their program histories (think Phil Mickelson during Tiger’s prime).

3. Tony Lambert, Oneida
Known for his great defensive mind and a Southern drawl that will linger in your ears for hours, Lambert is a proven winner. He did it at Oneida with a 20-6 mark during the 2007-08 seasons. He led Scott to the playoffs in 2011. He is 18-5 at Oneida since his return to the Indians’ sideline in 2012. Lambert brings an unwavering faith and level of leadership to a locker room, and he’s a easy favorite in the coaching fraternity.

2. Brad Conley, Gibbs
From 2001-07, Gibbs won a total of 19 games and made two playoff appearances (with 3-7 regular-season records). Conley took over the Eagles in 2008 and has won 37 games in six seasons with six playoff appearances — including an 11-2 season in 2010 that featured a trip to the 4A state quarterfinals. Conley brings passion and a great father-figure presence to the program. And in a day and age when option, run-first offenses are seen as antiquated and stale, Conley makes it cool, appealing and effective.

1. Caine Ballard, Greeneville
Ballard jumped off the Maryville coaching tree, landed on both feet and then built a championship-caliber program 80 minutes East of Knoxville. Unfortunately, that locale doesn’t receive the lion’s share of attention. Still, all Ballard has done is win 87.1 percent of his games with the Greene Devils, win consecutive 4A titles in 2010-11 and finish runner-up in 2009. Yet when it comes to talking about the state’s elite coaches or when it comes to prime coaching searches within the Tennessee borders, Ballard’s name doesn’t come up as frequently as it should.

TBCA All-State Teams


Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s
All-State Teams (2014)

Pitchers: Donnie Everett (Clarksville), Patrick Raby (Farragut), Justus Sheffield (Tullahoma), Paxton Stover (Dyer County)
Outfielders: Bryce Denton (Ravenwood), Lane Thomas (Bearden), Justin Ammons (Bartlett)
Infielders: Tyler Brown (Dyer County), Chase Chambers (Farragut), Brandon Montgomery (Collierville), Christian Bailey (Dobyns-Bennett)
Catcher: Alex Webb (Columbia)
Utility: Drew Huff (Riverdale), Kyle Hubbuch (Wilson Central), Juwan Burney (Arlington), Dale Burdick (Summitt)
Pitchers: Reid Cantrell (CAK), Ethan Small (Lexington), Corey Bates (Grainger), Ethan Elliott (Catholic)
Outfielders: MacKenzie Jackson (Murfreesboro Central), Bradyn McClain (Covington), Micah McRary (Sequoyah), Corey Johnson (White House).
Infielders: Darek Sargent (Murfreesboro Central), Trey Cabbage (Grainger), Andrew Knell (CPA), Bailey Baker (Sycamore).
Catcher: Josh Frantz (Spring Hill).
Utility: Adam Reed (Catholic), Zack Osborne (CAK), Charter Helton (Lewis County), Garrett Dalton (Sequoyah).
Pitchers: Drew Hall (Goodpasture), Hayden Crowe (JCS), David Looney (Cornersville), Logan Hollingsworth (Forrest), Skyler Harrison (Halls).
Outfielders: Carter Wiseman (Goodpasture), Tyler Atwood (Gordonsville), Dusty Meador (Watertown).
Infielders: Ryan Kemp (Goodpasture), Alex Brewer (Forrest), Dannon Grubb (Rockwood), Clint Fisher (Riverside).
Utility: Matt Poteete (JCS), Taylor McCarty (Huntingdon), Quin Frost (Community), Nathaniel Morrison (Summertown), Austin Matthews (Summertown).
Pitchers: Jack Flannagan (Father Ryan), John Wesley Ray (Christian Bros), Chris Durham (Christian Bros), Elliott Dockery (McCallie), Alex Higley (Webb)
Outfielders: Tyler Maxey (Baylor), Matt Cogen (BGA), Colton Neel (MUS), Blain Curtis (TRA), Joseph Patterson (USJ).
Infielders: Kyle Congor (Brentwood Academy), Tyler Payne (McCallie), Michael Fitzsimmons (MUS), Austin Orr (USJ).
Catcher: Walker Grisanti (Christian Bros), Will Reddick (DCA)
Utility: Connor Alexander (TRA), Corey Henderson (Christian Bros), Ben Lowe (ECS), Jackson Ward (Harding Academy), Will Morrow (Webb)

Linebacker prospect Brant Mitchell to pick a school ‘soon’


Webb School of Knoxville senior linebacker Brant Mitchell (6-3, 240) finally cracked the door open a bit and let the media peek into his recruitment.
The highly touted prospect — ranked as a 3-star by Rivals and 247sports — said Friday, July 11, at the Knoxville Football Officials Association’s Media Day that he will be making his college commitment choice “soon.”
Tennessee, Louisville, Mississippi State, Duke, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati are the most notable schools that have offered Mitchell, who has been mostly mum on any leader(s).
“It is hard,” Mitchell said of the recruiting process. “I still really don’t know where I want to go. I’m making a serious decision here soon. I am going to do that. The process, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been blessed to be a part of it. A lot of kids don’t get to do it. I feel honored and privileged to get to do it.”
Mitchell added: “I plan to take a few more visits. Once the season comes around, I might go to a couple of games. But here soon, I’m going to make a decision.”
Mitchell declined to shed any light on where his visits might be and when. “I’m going to keep that on the down low,” he said.
Mitchell won the 2013 Division II-A Mr. Football Lineman award. He was an all-state selection and First Team All-PrepXtra choice as a junior.
Webb opens the year with games at Maryville (Aug. 22) and at Chattanooga Baylor (Aug. 29).
“There’s no way you can set up a timeline for this kind of stuff,” said Mitchell of a possible recruiting/commitment timeline. “Somebody can walk up to your door the next day, and you think you’ve made up your mind. Another school will come into the picture. You just don’t know.
“When I know, I’ll definitely (commit).”

7-on-7 Passing Schedules


Maryville College 7-on-7 Perimeter Passing Day
Admission: $5
9 a.m.

Anderson County vs. East Ridge
Campbell County vs. White County
East Hamilton vs. Farragut
Claiborne vs. Howard
Greenback vs. Heritage
Giles vs. Loudon
Alcoa vs. South-Doyle
Boyd-Buchanan vs. Clinton
Cookeville vs. Pigeon Forge
Jefferson County vs. Maryville
10 a.m.
Anderson County vs. East Hamilton
Campbell County vs. Farragut
East Ridge vs. White County
Claiborne vs. Loudon
Giles County vs. Greenback
Heritage vs. Howard
Alcoa vs. Clinton
Boyd-Buchanan vs. South-Doyle
Cookeville vs. Jefferson County
Maryville vs. Pigeon Forge
11 a.m.
Anderson County vs. Farragut
Campbell County vs. East Ridge
East Hamilton vs. White County
Claiborne vs. Giles County
Greenback vs. Howard
Heritage vs. Loudon
Alcoa vs. Boyd-Buchanan
Clinton vs. South-Doyle
Cookeville vs. Maryville
Jefferson County vs. Pigeon Forge
Anderson County vs. White County
Campbell County vs. East Hamilton
East Ridge vs. Farragut
Claiborne vs. Heritage
Giles County vs. Howard
Greenback vs. Loudon
Boyd-Buchanan vs. Pigeon Forge
Clinton vs. Cookeville
Maryville vs. South-Doyle
Alcoa vs. Jefferson County
1 p.m.
Bearden vs. Carter
Powell vs. Sequoyah
Tennessee High vs. William Blount
Hardin Valley vs. Bell County
Seymour vs. Livingston Academy
Central vs. Lenoir City
Catholic vs. Cleveland
Elizabethton vs. Northview
Giles County vs. Oak Ridge
Ooltewah vs. West
2 p.m.
Bearden vs. Powell
Carter vs. Tennessee High
Sequoyah vs. William Blount
Hardin Valley vs. Central
Lenoir City vs. Livingston Academy
Seymour vs. Bell County
Catholic vs. Northview
Cleveland vs. Elizabethton
Giles County vs. Ooltewah
Oak Ridge vs. West
3 p.m.
Bearden vs. Sequoyah
Powell vs. Tennessee High
Carter vs. William Blount
Hardin Valley vs. Seymour
Central vs. Livingston Academy
Bell County vs. Lenoir City
Catholic vs. Elizabethton
Cleveland vs. Northview
Oak Ridge vs. Ooltewah
Giles County vs. West
4 p.m.
Bearden vs. Tennessee High
Carter vs. Sequoyah
Powell vs. William Blount
Hardin Valley vs. Livingston Academy
Bell County vs. Central
Lenoir City vs. Seymour
Elizabethton vs. West
Cleveland vs. Giles County
Northview vs. Oak Ridge
Catholic vs. Ooltewah

PrepXtra Coaching Win-Loss Records


Go ahead.
Scroll down to George Quarles’ coaching record at Maryville and giggle. It’s OK. I do it every year. It’s insane to see and even more stupid to try and comprehend how near-perfect it is.
Anyway, this is a list of coaches in the PrepXtra coverage area for the 2014 season and their win-loss records.
Guys making debuts at new schools are in bold.

Alcoa: Gary Rankin (356-68 lifetime, ninth season at Alcoa), .839 winning percentage
Anderson County: Davey Gillum (40-21, sixth season)
Austin-East: Jeff Phillips (1-9, second season)
Bearden: Morgan Shinlever (0-0, first season)
CAK: Rusty Bradley (70-22, eighth season)
Campbell County: Justin Price (16-16, fourth season)
Carter: Jeff McMillan (0-0, first season)
Catholic: Steve Matthews (10-4, second season)
Central: Bryson Rosser (0-0, first season)
Claiborne: Barry Liles (87-115 overall, 12th season at Claiborne)
Clinton: Josh Kerr (9-41, third season at Clinton)
Coalfield: Keith Henry (97-47, seventh season)
Cocke County: Caleb Slover (1-9, second season)
Cosby: Kevin Hall (5-15, third season)
Cumberland Gap: Corey Russell (2-8, second season)
Farragut: Eddie Courtney (124-81, 19th season)
Fulton: Rob Black (36-7, fourth season), .837 winning percentage
Gatlinburg-Pittman: Benny Hammonds (327-151, 43rd season)
Gibbs: Brad Conley (37-31, seventh season)
Grace Christian: Randy McKamey (66-15, eighth season)
Grainger: Chad Tate (4-7, second season)
Greenback: Jason Hicks (7-5, second season)
Greeneville: Caine Ballard (61-9, sixth season), .871 winning percentage
Halls: J.D. Overton (1-19, third season)
Hardin Valley: Wes Jones (44-73, sixth season at HVA)
Harriman: Travis Tapp (10th season)
Heritage: Tim Hammontree (91-75, third season at Heritage)
Jefferson County: Kenny Cobble (17-15, fourth season)
Jellico: Brad Lawson (2-28, fourth season)
Karns: Tobi Kilgore (5-5, first season at Karns)
The King’s Academy: Matt Lowe (54-28, second season at TKA)
Kingston: Brian Pankey (3-17, second season at Kingston)
Lenoir City: Jeff Cortez (0-0, first season)
Loudon: Jeff Harig (77-58, 13th season)
Maryville: George Quarles (208-14, 16th season), .937 winning percentage
McMinn Central: Josh Goodin (17-35, sixth season)
McMinn County: Bo Cagle (47-30, eighth season)
Midway: Joe Campbell (17-17, fourth season)
Morristown East: Dewayne Wells (29-74, first season at Morristown East)
Morristown West: Lamar Brown (44-24, seventh season)
Oakdale: JR Voyles (9-32, fifth season)
Oak Ridge: Joe Gaddis (265-116 overall, 126-28 at Oak Ridge, second season in second stint at Oak Ridge).
Oliver Springs: Wiley Brackett (39-50, ninth season)
Oneida: Tony Lambert (43-17, fifth season with Oneida)
Pigeon Forge: Scott Meadows (115-64, second season at Pigeon Forge)
Powell: John Allen (75-74, first season at Powell)
Rockwood: John Webb (113-88, 19th season)
Scott: Keith Shannon (15-25, fifth season)
Sequoyah: Bill Satterfield (228-108, seventh season at Sequoyah), .679 winning percentage
Sevier County: Tony Linginfelter (0-0, first season)
Seymour: Jerry Cooper (235-77, first season at Seymour)
South-Doyle: Clark Duncan (138-110, sixth season at South-Doyle)
Sunbright: Scott Stephens (31-24, sixth season)
Sweetwater: Craig Moser (80-59, second season with Sweetwater)
Tellico Plains: John Mullinax (140-81, third season with Tellico Plains)
TSD: Barry Swafford (5-12, third season).
Union County: Ethan Edmiston (3-7, second season)
Wartburg: Toney Brawner (6-14, third season)
Webb School: David Meske (228-110, 30th season), .675 winning percentage
West: Scott Cummings (87-57, 13th season)
William Blount: Justin Ridge (32-24, second season at William Blount)

The 5 Toughest Football Schedules in PrepXtra


The start of the high school football season is less than two months away, so might as well start looking ahead. Media Day is July 11, and it’ll be full steam ahead for Team PrepXtra from there on out.
Just doing some summer cramming, I decided to look at some of the area’s toughest schedules.
Just picked out five that I thought were insanely hard. Have a look. It’s free.

at Notre Dame: 9-4 last season, Class 3A state quarterfinalist
Coalfield: 9-4 last season, Class 1A state semifinalist led by OL/DL Zach Stewart, a Tennessee commitment.
at CAK: 2011-12 Class 3A champ, 2013 Class 3A state quarterfinals.
Tyner: hasn’t missed the playoffs in more than a decade.
at Kingston
Anderson County: 11-2, Class 5A state quarterfinalist with returning 2,000-yard rusher.
at Scott: 7-4 in 2013.
Webb: defending Division II-A state champion
Alcoa: defending Class 3A state champion

FRA: 6-6, Division II-A state quarterfinalist
at Powell
Catholic: 10-4, Class 4A state semifinalist last season
at Webb: defending Division II-A state champion
at Scott: 7-4 in 2013
Grace Christian: Class 2A state semifinalist last season
at Belfry: 14-1, Kentucky’s Class 3A defending state champion, 2012 state runner-up
Alcoa: Defending Class 3A state champion
at Livingston Academy

at Maryville: 15-0, Class 6A state champion
at Baylor: 7-5 last season, led by Mississippi State QB commitment Nick Tiano
at CAK: 2011-12 Class 3A champ, 2013 Class 3A state quarterfinals
FRA: 6-6, Division II-A state quarterfinalist
DCA: 10-3 last season, Division II-A state semifinalist
at BGA: 7-4 last season, Division II-A playoffs
at Ezell-Harding
at Catholic:
10-4, Class 4A state semifinalist last season
King’s Academy

Webb: Defending Division II-A state champion
Alcoa: Defending Class 3A state champion
at West: Class 5A state runner-up
at HVA
Sevier County:
11-2 last season, 6A state quarterfinals
Lenoir City:
5-6, Class 5A playoffs
at William Blount
at Bearden
6-5, 6A playoffs

Dobyns-Bennett: 6-5 last season, Class 6A playoffs
at Oak Ridge: 7-5 last season, Class 5A playoffs
Lenoir City: 5-6, Class 5A playoffs
Fulton: 15-0, Class 4A state champion
West: 13-2, Class 5A state runner-up
at Hardin Valley
at Heritage
at William Blount

at Maryville: 15-0, Class 6A state champion

Alcoa LHP throws 18-strikeout perfect game


An unwritten rule in baseball requires teammates to not talk to their starting pitcher while he’s got a no-hitter going.
Redmond Walsh’s teammates on his Diamond Baseball/Simcox Academy 16-under team broke that rule Thursday in Columbia, S.C.
“Going into the sixth inning, they were like, ‘Hey, you have a perfect game going on,’” recalled Walsh, a rising Alcoa High School junior.
Didn’t matter.
Didn’t jinx the 16-year-old lefty (@redmondwalsh1 on Twitter).


He polished off the 18-strikeout, perfect-game performance and did so on quite the stage — the field at the University of South Carolina. His team won, 5-0, in the Dynamic Baseball Tournament.
Walsh’s previous best, as far as strikeouts in a start, was “seven or eight” in a high school game. The only three he didn’t retire by strikeout Thursday were a pair of infield pop-outs in the fourth inning and the final batter of the game.
“Once we got to the seventh, no one was talking to me at all,” Walsh said of his teammates. “Just going out there, it was nerve-wracking, especially the last at-bat.
“The kid hit a grounder up the middle. I thought it was about to bounce over my head. I had to reach up and catch it and make the throw to first.”
Walsh, in hopes of ultimately getting a Division I scholarship offer in his future, is working on his velocity this summer. But he credited his sinker and change-up pitches for the dominant outing.
“I feel like I pitch better when I don’t try to dominate a team – and just go out and throw strikes. It just happened to be one of those days where I pitched really good and they had a hard time hitting me, so.”

Alcoa HS buys Big Ten scoreboard

Looks like Alcoa will have a new — well, sort of new — scoreboard in time for the 2014 season. A report from The Daily Times said the school has bought a pre-owned jumbotron from Purdue University for $255,000.
Anyway, this new jumbotron in Alcoa will be massive …

Bearden SS commits to Lady Vols


Bearden High School shortstop Alaeni Ray committed Wednesday afternoon to play softball for the University of Tennessee, announcing the decision on her Twitter account.
“It has been my dream since I first started,” she told the News Sentinel.
Ray hit .487 as a junior this past season with five home runs and 39 RBIs.

Coaches Association: All-State Soccer

Tennessee Soccer Coaches All-State Teams

Forwards: Naba Al-Zhiri (John Overton), Lucas Altman (Science Hill), Rogelio Balderas (Station Camp), Nelson Cardona (McMinn County), Fletcher Eckern (Farragut), Lert Hasani (Gallatin), Felipe Hernandez (Blackman), John Huffman (Science Hill), Ike Hunsucker (Morristown West), Kyle Johannes (Centennial), Blade Kimbro (Oak Ridge), Peyton McNatt (Houston), Marvin Mendy (Farragut), Evan Reiley (Cookeville), Cameron Schneider (HVA), Miles Scott (Germantown), Cameron Woodfin (Mt. Juliet), Nick Zalewski (Cookeville), Oscar Zamura (Antioch).
Midfielders: Allister Berger (Franklin), Jake Bouldien (Collierville), Dale Cook (West Creek), Ryan Coughenour (Farragut), Shawn Foster (HVA), Leudy Franco (Ooltewah), Mason Gasaway (Clarksville), Will Little (Science hill), Bewar Mohamed (John Overton), Richie Reichenberger (Hendersonville), Victor Tsado (John Overton).
Defenders: Chuka Aruh (Lebanon), Kyle Bennett (Riverdale), Hunter Hall (Bearden), John Jucchesi (Science Hill), Logan Kington (HVA), Tyler Klarner (Farragut), Marlow Payant (Collierville), Austin Petrovich (Brentwood), Chad Reisenbeck (Houston), Brad Ross (Franklin), Alexander Rigatti (Maryville), Angel Santiago (Ooltewah).
Goalkeepers: Ryan Jorgensen (Maryville), Brady Thornbury (Collierville).
Forwards: Brandon Belcher (Lexington), Gavin Cox (White House Heritage), Wade Crutchfield (CAK), Hays Culbreth (Greeneville), Carson East (Hume-Fogg), Julius Juette (Chuckey-Doak), Josh Matthews (Dyersburg), Tommy Metke (Martin Luther King).
Midfielders: Porter Black (Chattanooga Christian), Benito Diaz (Crockett County), Dallas Dunn (CAK), Zach McNeill (Dyersburg), Lupe Medina (Stratford), Keyarash Namtapanah (Hume-Fogg), Tyler Robertson (Notre Dame), Balsa Rogosic (Greeneville), Robert Schorr (Signal Mountain).
Defenders: John Broyles (CAK), Tyler Coe (Chuckey-Doak), Andrew Clark (Signal Mountain), Patrick Ferrell (Hume-Fogg), Bennie Harris (Lipscomb), Justus McMillan (Boyd-Buchanan), Reid Weber (Lipscomb).
Goalkeepers: Taylor Bailey (Greeneville), Alan Serna (Hume-Fogg), Stephen Sherer (South Gibson)
Forwards: Thom Garner (FRA), JC Swope (USN)
Midfielders: Chase Clack (ECS), Matt McKeand (BGA), Christophe Nabhan (USJ), Carson Schelp (St. George’s
Defenders: Daniel Brown (BGA), Dean Brown (St. George’s), Ben Coffman (USJ), Reid Dickerson (USN), Connor Jacobs (Webb), Isaac James (ECS), Tyler Lourens (St. George’s), Ryan Merritt (Hardin Academy), TJ Norris (FRA), Julien Tremblay (BGA)
Goalkeepers: Jarrett Bristol (BGA), Jackson Lansing (Webb), Heath McCurdy (Harding Academy)
Forwards: Cole Cannon (Christian Bros), Andrew Conwell (MBA), Luke Parker (St. Benedict), Robert Stagmaier (Baylor), Lowry Wilson (Father Ryan)
Midfielders: Austin Maize (Baylor), Andrew McKeever (Christian Bros), Barrett Mills (Christian Bros), Jonah Rappuhn (MBA), Jack Skahan (MUS)
Defenders: Jake Barrett (Christian Bros), Rafael Gaglianone (Baylor), Nicholas Pietrangelo (Christian Bros), Luke Strebel (Father Ryan)
Goalkeepers: Colin Brewer (Baylor)