New foes highlight 2013 schedule

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

The 2013 football season is a little more than two months away and this season will feature some schedule changes for all five county high school teams.

The biggest change on the schedule this year is a lack of in-county rivalry games as only four games in 2013 will feature two county opponents squaring off against each other. Rockwood will participate in three of those contests as the Tigers travel to Harriman on Sept. 6, before hosting Kingston on Sept. 13 and Midway on Oct. 25. The only other battle of county opponents takes place in Midway on Oct. 4 when the Green Wave hosts the Blue Devils.
Kingston’s Brian Pankey first year as head coach will feature a difficult schedule as eight of the Yellow Jackets 10 opponents made the playoffs in 2012. Two of those opponents, Christian Academy of Knoxville and Alcoa, have combined to win nine straight state championships.
Sequoyah, Sweetwater, Loudon, Lenoir City, Rockwood and Grace Christian also made the playoffs last year with Grace Christian reaching the Class 2A semifinals. Only Knoxville Catholic and Scott failed to make the playoffs last year, but the Irish are dropping down from Class 5A and are expected to be a year-in and year-out force in District 4-AA.
Kingston’s first game of the season will be on Friday, Aug. 30 against Grace Christian.
The remaining four teams in Roane County will open the season seven days earlier on Aug. 23.
Rockwood’s appears to have the toughest opponent that night as John Webb’s squad hosts Oneida at Civitan Field.
The Indians are one of five opponents the Tigers will face that made the playoffs in 2012. The others include Kingston, Greenback, Midway and Grace Christian.
Rockwood’s remaining five opponents include Wartburg, Harriman, Meigs County, Oakdale and Tellico Plains. The game at Meigs County on Sept. 20 is a new District 3-A contest while the Sept. 6 game at Harriman will be the 94th meeting between the Tigers and Blue Devils.
Like Rockwood, Harriman will also open at home on Friday, Aug. 23 as the Blue Devils will take on Hancock County. The date with the Indians will be the first of four straight home games for the Blue Devils as Sunbright, Rockwood and Whitwell will all visit Harriman before the Blue Devils travel to Grace Christian on Sept. 20.
Harriman actually has six home games in 2013 as they will host Greenback and Tellico Plains later in the season.
Four of Harriman’s opponents, Rockwood, Grace Christian, Greenback and Midway made the playoffs in 2012.
Harriman’s remaining road games will be at Wartburg, Midway and Meigs County.
Oliver Springs and Midway will be making long road trips to start the season as Midway travels to Tri-Cities Christian while Oliver Springs head to Unaka.
Unaka is one of four new non district games on the Bobcats schedule as Wiley Brackett’s remaining non district games include York Institute, Jackson County and Monterey.
Oliver Springs’ District 4-A schedule remains the same with the Bobcats taking on Oakdale, Coalfield, Wartburg, Sunbright, Jellico and Oneida.
Five of Oliver Springs’ opponents, York Institute, Jackson County, Coalfield, Oneida and Monterey, made the playoffs last season.
Midway’s schedule is unique in that the Green Wave open the season with non-district games against Tri-Cities Christian, Whitwell and Hancock County. Joe Campbell’s squad also has an open date in the mix before they play their first District 3-A contest of the season against Tellico Plains on Sept. 20.
The Green Wave will then step out of conference again when they travel to Sunbright before finishing the season with five straight district games, Harriman, Grace Christian, Meigs County, Rockwood and Greenback.
Rockwood, Greenback and Grace Christian are the three Midway opponents that made the playoffs in 2012.