published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

East Hamilton busy with opener details

From Monday through Thursday, East Hamilton athletic director Brad Jackson managed 20 total minutes for lunch.

"It has been busier than the Volkswagen plant around here," he said as the school, numerous county employees and many volunteers went through last-minute preparations for the school hosting its first football game tonight.

"The bleachers are finished. Thank goodness we have had good weather," Jackson said Wednesday between meetings on a hectic day of a hectic week. "I don't think I'll relax at all until around midnight Friday."

His list of last-minute details seemed to grow rather than shrink before the game tonight against Central.

The school will have temporary concession stands plus two Coca-Cola wagons, but Jackson said they would have full service with regard to sandwiches, candy and other concession items. Portable bathrooms also will be in place.

The scoreboard is working.

"We don't have a flagpole yet, but I think we have that covered with the Marine Corps color guard," Jackson said.

Work also continues on fencing on the home side and on an inner-stadium fence around the football field, and there will be eight handicapped parking spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are temporary bleachers in each end zone for overflow for this first game, but Jackson said he would love to find more temporary bleachers for the rest of the football season.

East Hamilton also will have volunteers to help with parking.

Helton on the field

Former Baylor linebacker David Helton will be on the field Saturday when Duke opens the 2011 season at home against Richmond. A first-year Blue Devil, Helton (6-4, 220) is penciled in on all of the special teams and is the first backup at middle linebacker on the depth chart.

Raiders honor Monroe

Cleveland High School will honor legendary head coach Benny Monroe and the 2011 state champion wrestling team tonight before its district battle against Ooltewah at Benny Monroe Stadium.

Athletic director Mike Collier will present a plaque recognizing the contributions to the school by Monroe, who won three consecutive Class 4A state championships at Cleveland (1993-95). All former coaches and players are encouraged to attend.

Wrestling coach Eric Phillips will present his Blue Raiders with their state championship rings.

Alabama RB gains 411

Daleville High School running back Brandon Burks ran for 411 yards and seven touchdowns last week in a 53-23 win over Bullock County. It is the seventh-best rushing performance in Alabama prep history and the state's first 400-yard rushing game since 2008. The state record is 531 by Tony Dixon in 2003.

North Jackson has played Daleville once in the postseason, winning 21-14 in 1993. Daleville is in Class 3A and North Jackson is now in Class 4A.

Sweet message

Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds has a pretty sweet tradition in his house. Literally. After each Buccaneers win, his wife, Cindy, stops on her way home to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the family. By the time Coach Reynolds arrives home after his postgame duties, the sugary snack is an enjoyable way to wrap up the night.

But after last week's 7-6 overtime win at East Ridge, after the Bucs rushed for just 50 yards on 34 carries, Reynolds' wife left a message along with his celebratory donut.

"My wife left a note with the doughnut that just said, 'Your offensive line needs to block better,'" Reynolds said with a laugh. "When it's so obvious that even my wife comments on it, you know you need to work on it. That's been our challenge this week getting ready for Silverdale Baptist."

BlueCross starts series

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the TSSAA have announced the formation of the BlueCross Championship Series, designed to recognize athletic excellence and sportsmanship in high schools across the state.

Schools will be awarded points based on quarterfinal, semifinal and championship appearances, with the potential points earned increasing at each level of competition. Sports with individual and team competitions will earn points based on team composite scores, not individual performances. Sports without a tiered quarterfinal, semifinal, final and championship round system will be awarded points based on final standings at championship events.

As a way of recognizing sportsmanship among Tennessee high schools, only schools that have no reported incidents of unsportsmanlike behavior during the school year will be eligible to win the BlueCross Championship Series in its competitive class.

The total points earned will be divided by the number of sports offered at that school to create an average point total. At the end of the school year, those schools with the top average point totals in their competitive division and class will be named the BlueCross champions and receive $2,500 donations from BlueCross.

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