Former Signal Mountain High School player Tim McClendon and South Pittsburg's D.J. Roberson are on the football team at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., although each is still adjusting to being so far from home, Giants athletic director Lamel Harris said Thursday.
"They're both here, but Tim is out as a result of a concussion and has yet to be cleared," Harris said via email. "D.J. participated in one game, but [I'm] not sure how things will fare for him. He could potentially help us. However, he still needs to tend to some off-the-field issues."
The team is 4-0 and ranked and fifth in the Northern California region.
"Both are finding this transition to be a bit more challenging than they assumed it would be," Harris wrote. "All young men are not cut out to be away from home and immediately responsible for things that are usually taken care of. The transition has not been easy for either of them.
"We hope for both of them that things begin to change for the better, and that they can become more integral parts of what could be a very successful year for the team."
Cats without Gilkey
With five district games remaining, Hixson is looking to beat its District 6-AA showings the last five years. The 2006 team was the last to win at least three district games.
The Wildcats are 2-0 in the district with games remaining against Tyner tonight and then East Hamilton, East Ridge, Brainerd and Central. They will have to tackle Tyner without noseguard Austin Gilkey. When Hixson recovered a fumble early in its loss last week to unbeaten DeKalb County, his exuberance got the best of him.
"He came racing to the sidelines, chest-bumped one of the assistants and wound up rolling his ankle," Wildcats coach Jason Fitzgerald said.
Owls injuries mount
As if having the flu this week didn't already leave him feeling sick, Ooltewah football coach Shannon Williams got the news that left tackle Nathan Weber strained his neck at practice and is doubtful for tonight's 7:30 home game against Soddy-Daisy. He would be the third would-be starter on the offensive line unavailable to play.
And the Owls' woes don't stop there. Three who would be starting in the defensive backfield are out with injuries, too.
"It's been one of those years," Williams said. "One that you hope happens to you only once in your coaching career."
Colts, Lions start well
First-year GHSA varsity programs in northwestern Georgia area rarely experience anything resembling good seasons (Sonoraville, Heritage and North Murray had one win combined), but Coahulla Creek and Christian Heritage are bucking that trend a month into the season.
Coahulla's Class AAA Colts are 2-2 and tied atop Region 5-AAA at 1-0 heading into tonight's game against Cartersville, while the Lions are 3-1 in Class A after moving into GHSA competition this year.
The good start hasn't been without pitfalls.
"We've had some bumps and bruises, but the kids have learned a lot," Coahulla Creek coach Jared Hamlin said. "We had a good opener, but we didn't come out fast in the next two games and it cost us. Last Friday we played a pretty complete game.
"The lesson we've learned is from play one until the end you have to go all out. If we continue to learn from our mistakes and improve each week, that's all I can ask."