published Monday, September 27th, 2010

Gossett: Cleveland’s Mobley faces eligibility questions

Cleveland football could be on a skewer before the week is out, leaving one to ask how big a mess will we have in District 5-AAA and has the Blue Raiders’ Oct. 28 game with Soddy-Daisy lost its luster?

Cleveland, which lost quarterback Chad Voytik for the season Friday night in a loss to Red Bank, held running back Jamarcus Mobley out of that game. The move on Mobley was a precaution in case there is some fallout from alleged TSSAA violations regarding Mobley’s residence and his transportation to and from school and practice.

Voytik suffered a compound fracture of the index finger on his right (throwing) hand.

Mobley is a former Soddy-Daisy player, and coach E.K. Slaughter left Soddy-Daisy after the 2008 season to move to Cleveland.

Depending on the TSSAA investigation, the likely worst-case scenario for Cleveland is forfeiting games in which Mobley participated. That means the Blue Raiders would plummet to the bottom of the 5-AAA standings. However, unless the TSSAA has changed its rules again, I don’t believe those forfeits would affect the records of region teams the Blue Raiders beat — Bradley Central and McMinn County. The losses may be vacated but neither Bradley nor McMinn would get a win.

Cleveland currently is tied with Soddy-Daisy with a 2-0 league record. Bradley and Rhea County are tied for third at 1-1, Ooltewah and McMinn County each is 0-1 and Walker Valley is 0-2.

* There are several “rivalry” games this week, including the annual Baylor-McCallie battle Friday at Finley Stadium. Also, Howard hosts Brainerd and Bledsoe County is at home against Sequatchie County.

McCallie appears headed for a second straight losing season, but a win over the unbeaten Red Raiders would avenge last year’s loss and also get the Blue Tornado back to .500.

Sequatchie has lost twice headed into its game against unbeaten Bledsoe. The Indians also have twice since a Sept. 10 loss to Signal Mountain.

Brainerd has struggled with depth and injuries on its way to a 1-4 record, while Howard lost its unbeaten record Friday at Alcoa. The Hustlin’ Tigers, though, are tied for the 6-AA lead with Tyner.

There are several other games Friday that should be entertaining. That list includes Bradley Central at Soddy-Daisy, East Ridge at Tyner and Red Bank at Central.

* The North Georgia schools that had yet to open region schedules will do so this week, and several of those games should be good, including Dalton at Ridgeland and Heritage at Ringgold.

* If you missed it, Hixson got its first win of the season Friday, at DeKalb County, and Meigs County, after going winless in its first four games, won its second straight (41-18 over Tellico Plains).

* The list of unbeatens was pared by one with Howard losing at top-ranked Alcoa. Area schools without a loss include Baylor, Bledsoe County, Copper Basin, Calhoun, Dade County, North Jackson, Fort Payne and Signal Mountain.

Teams that have yet to win are Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, McMinn Central, Northwest Whitfield and Silverdale Baptist.

* Anybody looking for a game next season? A number of schools are already trying to firm up 2011-2012 schedules and Polk County is among those looking for at least one game and maybe two.

* Finally, in the “go figure” department, East Hamilton has yet to have a graduating class but played a homecoming game last Friday.

The Hurricanes still are playing all games on the road and have yet to play a home game on their new campus. Somebody raising money to pay for lighting of the multipurpose facility didn’t get the job done, and that’s hard to imagine as one drives through some of the obviously affluent neighborhoods near the school.

Spare change? Send it to the “Hurricane Boosters shot-in-the-arm club” care of East Hamilton football coach Ted Gatewood.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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