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DandDD

Volunteer High Football Out of the cellar?

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What are your stats to prove that? Venable, in my opinion, is the best coach volunteer ever had. Most wins as a head coach and first winning season as head coach. Hard to argue with that.

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What are your stats to prove that? Venable, in my opinion, is the best coach volunteer ever had. Most wins as a head coach and first winning season as head coach. Hard to argue with that.

TORCH

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What are your stats to prove that? Venable, in my opinion, is the best coach volunteer ever had. Most wins as a head coach and first winning season as head coach. Hard to argue with that.

I agree with you on Venable being the best coach in school history.  Hands down.  If they'd given him that job in the 80s to re-lay the foundation that got torn down when they consolidated Church Hill, Volunteer would probably be on about the same level as Boone or Cherokee.

 

Watson was only there for a year before politics ran him off.  He got a chance to go to D-B, make a ton more money, and have a lot fewer headaches as Clark's DC, so he took it.  He was a great coach, but one and done disqualifies him from this discussion, IMO.

 

People don't remember how much of a trainwreck the Volunteer program was in the 80s and early 90s.  I think at one point they had 9 different head coaches in the first 12 years or something because the politics there were (and still are) crazy.

 

A lot of good football coaches, including Church Hill legends, got burned out and ran off like clockwork.  Many of those went to Dobyns-Bennet and spent the next 20 years making more money to make Graham Clark look great.  Most of the rest just quit coaching all together.

Edited by BlueDevil58

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I agree with you on Venable being the best coach in school history.  Hands down.  If they'd given him that job in the 80s to re-lay the foundation that got torn down when they consolidated Church Hill, Volunteer would probably be on about the same level as Boone or Cherokee.

 

Watson was only there for a year before politics ran him off.  He got a chance to go to D-B, make a ton more money, and have a lot fewer headaches as Clark's DC, so he took it.  He was a great coach, but one and done disqualifies him from this discussion, IMO.

 

People don't remember how much of a trainwreck the Volunteer program was in the 80s and early 90s.  I think at one point they had 9 different head coaches in the first 12 years or something because the politics there were (and still are) crazy.

 

A lot of good football coaches, including Church Hill legends, got burned out and ran off like clockwork.  Many of those went to Dobyns-Bennet and spent the next 20 years making more money to make Graham Clark look great.  Most of the rest just quit coaching all together.

I always thought that if they would have let Coach Salley come in there from Church hill the first few years he could have layed the ground work for a successful program. I think he was the AD for a short time. He would have had the right people with him to make it go.

There are so many things that have to happen to build a successful athletic program. Some of these things are much tougher in county schools mostly due to how you are able to hire coaches. I look around in our area (upper east Tn) and I see one of the biggest things is growth of a community. The Gray area and Jonesborough areas are growing. If you haven't noticed just drive through those areas and you'll see what I mean. That being said, New blood in the area brings more kids and new enthusiasm. In recent years we've seen Boone have some pretty good teams. Crockett is even becoming very competitive and I have always looked at their football program a lot like Volunteers (perennial win for most teams). Can't say that about them as much now. Those areas will continue to grow due to there geographic location between JC and Kingsport. I don't see that growth in Hawkins co. In fact a lot of the good athletes that have played at Church Hill when it was a High School and in the early years at Volunteer seem to migrate with their families toward Kingsport and Sullivan Co. Places to work have a lot to do with that. In my opinion that puts Volunteer one step behind right off the bat. I sometime wonder what it would have been like in that area if Phipps Bend Nuclear plant had started up. That area would have boomed.

Just an editorial. Don't ask that you agree just something to think about. :idea:

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Just read where volunteer still has a shot at the playoffs. A Seymour loss to greeneville and a granger loss to Cherokee with a win by volunteer would create a 3 way tie. Not sure what the tie breaker is. Not sure any of the 3 care to finish 4th to be honest. Knox catholic would await.

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Just read where volunteer still has a shot at the playoffs. A Seymour loss to greeneville and a granger loss to Cherokee with a win by volunteer would create a 3 way tie. Not sure what the tie breaker is. Not sure any of the 3 care to finish 4th to be honest. Knox catholic would await.

If we could be get in a trip to Catholic would probably be ugly. But maybe it's a step in the right direction for the football program. Get a little taste of what playoff football is like. Shame it would have to be against Defending State Champs (possibly state champs again this year). We've been to the playoffs 2 times (maybe 3. Not sure about the third time) in 36 yrs. It would be nice to see it happen.  Still have to do our end of the deal. Beat South. We'll see.

Edited by DandDD

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If we could be get in a trip to Catholic would probably be ugly. But maybe it's a step in the right direction for the football program. Get a little taste of what playoff football is like. Shame it would have to be against Defending State Champs (possibly state champs again this year). We've been to the playoffs 2 times (maybe 3. Not sure about the third time) in 36 yrs. It would be nice to see it happen.  Still have to do our end of the deal. Beat South. We'll see.

Volunteer's been to the playoffs 5 times, but it's been a while (2007).  They have one playoff win, against Tennessee High in Rider's third year (2007), which was a rematch of the previous year's 1st round game.  I think Venable got them there twice, with a 3rd postseason appearance in a "bowl game" in 1999, and Steve Starnes got them to their first playoff game in 1995.  From 1995-2008 or so, VHS was usually a decent, competitive team.

 

Going back to what you said in a previous post, the best thing they could have done back when they opened the school would have been to give the job to Coach Salley, but I've heard different stories about why he didn't get the job.  I heard he wanted it, but got cheated out of it through politics and I've also heard that he didn't want to coach anywhere else besides CHHS, where he took over as principal of the new middle school the next year.  Whatever it was, many of those early VHS coaches were former Salley players and assistants whose main "flaw" was simply not being Coach Salley, so the revolving door spun for the next decade and a half.

 

That's a good point about the economics.  The thing that Church Hill used to have going for it was that it was close to Kingsport and houses were cheap there, so people would buy homes in that part of Hawkins County and commute to work at the factories in Kingsport or over at the press or glass plant.

 

Now those factories are shrinking (or already gone) and young families have little reason to settle or stay in Church Hill anymore.  If you go through downtown Church Hill, that community is a shadow of what it was 20 or 30 years ago.  Johnson City and the area right around it is really about the only part of the Tri Cities that's showing growth nowadays, so you see that in the spillover to the county schools in Washington and Carter Co.

 

Church Hill still has talent in the community at CHMS, but the better athletes there hop on the Dobyns-Bennett express lane after 8th grade because their parents don't want them to play for VHS.  Some even go to Virginia, Cherokee, or Sullivan County schools.  When I played there in the 90s, 3 starters on Dobyns-Bennett's team, including an All-State OL, lived in the Volunteer zone and South had 2 more.  Caleb Herron, state POY at Gate City in 2014, lived less than a mile from VHS and several other starters on that team lived nearly as close.

 

It's sad.  The communities in Church Hill and Surgoinsville have lost all sense of pride and identity over the past 20 years.

 

Good luck to them tonight on getting playoff appearance #6 to break the drought.  It's about time!

Edited by BlueDevil58

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Actually, I was wrong.  Watson was coach there for the first 5 years before going to D-B.  His record was 14-35.  They "only" had 6 coaches in their first 17 years before Venable and Rider stabilized things.

 

http://www.tennprepdb.com/teamhomeseasons.aspx?Team1=Volunteer

 

I still say that Gene Venable was the best they ever had, though.  2 of those 5 playoff appearances, the best win percentage, and the first actual winning season in school history were all on his watch.

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Interesting.  I did not know this about Coach Venable.  Point taken.

 

So, as I think I threw out before on this thread, this may be a real opportunity for Volunteer to beat South.  5 Srs, a ton of injuries, sophomores galore.  Maybe the worst play caller in the area (maybe he'll go back to middle school track or whatever next season).  Shh, I didn't tell you this, Falcon faithful, but look for the dive and draw straight up the gut.  LOL  Falcons are Senior heavy and a new coach.  They have a new optimism in Eastern Hawkins Co. 

 

Any score predictions?  I am going South by 2.  South until proven different.

The Falcons will come out fired up, but will burn out.  The Rebels will start slow but pull it out late.  A lady at work told me that there are a few kids at South that have parents with Church Hill ties as well, so that makes things interesting for those kids.  Just a prediction, so feel free to gig me if ya need to.  (I'm going the DB/SHHS game, so let me know how I did.   ;) )

 

.

Edited by Pudding

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