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Volunteer High Football Out of the cellar?

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South has completely lost the ability to tackle. Not even gonna try to describe it. Having the leading rusher and tackler on a recruiting trip to West Point this weekend has hurt the defense. 26-14 Volunteer. Still might make a game of it if tackling can clean up. Can't believe how many sophomores are playing for South.

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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!

Didn't realize it had been 5 times. When my son was a sophomore we lost in the first round to an undefeated Tennessee High team (2002). He played free safety and got to try to tackle his older cousin Bart McMillan a few times. 225lbs. to 140Lbs (with rocks in his pockets) Wasn't pretty. Great experience though.  I was there the year we went up to Bristol and knocked them off in the first round. Great win.   Love to see these kids get the opportunity to experience some of that. My nephew was the quarterback on Gate City's last State Championship team (2010). Best year of watching football I've probably ever had. I always thought if the Volunteer kids could just get a little taste of what winning in the playoff is like, they would want more of it and work harder to get more. Winning is contagious. So maybe a 5 win season will turn into something bigger.   Hope so.

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Good win tonight guys.  I think Grainger's win over Cherokee kept us out of the playoffs though. Still a pretty good turnaround from last year and the year before.

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