Preps Preview: Bledsoe County Warriors

Preps Preview: Bledsoe County Warriors

August 17th, 2012 in Sports - Preps

Fan's guide to this year's Bledsoe County Warriors

Coach: Jason Reel (25-9 in fifth year here) Stadium address: 877 Main St., Pikeville, TN 37367

Three strengths

1) Running back Holden Boynton was a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago and Reel plans to step up his production after the graduation of Brandon Smith, who ran for more than 1,400 yards and caught 55 passes for another 709 yards.

2) There is experience and depth in both lines, which will be anchored by senior returnees Riley Wooden and Jesse Sandell. Though just a 6-footer and 250 pounds, Sandell has drawn interest from Duke and Georgia Tech along with Tennessee Tech and Carson-Newman.

3) Although 2011 receiving leader Jeremiah Gilbert may move to quarterback, the receiver corps could still be a strength with the likes of senior Gage Frady, who'll also play linebacker, and 6-foot-5 Nathaniel Collins. It definitely will be a strength if the coaching staff gets comfortable with a quarterback besides Gilbert.

Three concerns

1) Quarterback Cody Holloway is gone after topping the 2,000-yard mark last fall. The job may be turned over to Gilbert, but Reel is still considering the possibility of Dakota Wooden under center. Wooden, also a senior, was injured last year and did not get to play. "I'm at least 50-50 and maybe 60-40 [for] Dakota being able to handle the job," the coach said.

2) The staff may have to remind some players about the team philosophy that was so well embraced by the 2011 group. "It's we and not me. The kids have been on some good teams and I'm anxious to see how they work together," Reel said.

3) The kicking game wasn't on par with the team's 10-2 performance, but Reel said Hunter Bishop had worked hard and been fairly consistent. The punting chores likely will fall to Gilbert, which might give the Warriors an edge if they go with some special-teams chicanery.

Bledsoe receiver Jeremiah Gilbert

Bledsoe receiver Jeremiah Gilbert

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

Three questions with ...


(Senior tackle)

Q: Bledsoe County is coming off a 10-2 season. What are expectations this year?

A: As high as possible. You can only do as well as you think you will. We have worked hard in the offseason. We always expect to win state.

Q: What is the strength of the team?

A: I believe our defense is our strong suit. It's the best we've had since I've been here. And our offensive line is good. We have key players at wide receiver, in the offensive line, in the backfield and in the secondary - guys that are proven.

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned from football?

A: It's all about teamwork. Teamwork makes you be at your best. If there's no teamwork then it's hard for anybody to look good.


10 - Wins last year, the most since 1995. The Warriors failed to get above .500 from 1999 to 2008 and had just one year in that span with five wins.

25 - Victories in 34 games since a 1-9 campaign in 2008. Bledsoe has made the postseason the past three years but has just one win in four playoff games (44-25 last year over Meigs County).

29 - Ongoing consecutive regular-season games with at least 13 points scored. The Warriors scored in the 60s twice, 61-34 over Notre Dame last year and 63-34 over Chattanooga Christian in 2009.

Recent history

The Warriors had their first playoff win since 1998 and their first 10-win season in 15 years. They lost early to Signal Mountain but then reeled off four straight district wins, including a 21-17 victory over biggest rival Sequatchie County. They scored more than 50 points in three games and topped 40 seven times. Here's a look at the regular-season win total the last five years:







2011 stats leaders

RUSHING Att Yards Avg TD

Brandon Smith 214 1428 6.7 21

*Holden Boynton 145 1076 7.4 10

PASSING Comp-Att Yards Int TD

Cody Holloway 153 273 2130 12 23


*Jeremiah Gilbert 58 823 14.2 6

Brandon Smith 55 709 12.9 8

*Nathaniel Collins 15 230 16.0 2

TACKLES Solo Assists Total

Tyler Henderson 69 37 87.5

*Gage Frady 50 45 72.5

Brandon Smith 38 16 46

*Holden Boynton 31 13 37.5

*returning player


Aug. 17 Cumberland County, 8

Aug. 24 Marion County, 8

Aug. 31 at Signal Mountain*, 7

Sept. 14 at Notre Dame*

Sept. 21 at McMinn Central

Sept. 28 Sequatchie County*, 8

Oct. 5 at York Institute, 8

Oct. 12 at Grundy County*, 8

Oct. 19 Sweetwater

Oct. 26 Chattanooga Christian*

*District 7-AA game

Times Eastern. 7:30 start unless otherwise noted.


2 Nathaniel Collins Sophomore

3 Barrett Bice Junior

4 Thomas Hankins Junior

5 Lucas Frady Junior

6 Gage Frady Senior

9 Connor Boynton Sophomore

10 Brandon Harris Freshman

11 Jeremiah Gilbert Senior

12 Dakota Wooden Senior

14 Chris Strange Senior

15 Brett Harris Junior

16 Blake Rogers Freshman

18 Travis Johnson Sophomore

20 Brady Heard Sophomore

21 Austin Mercer Sophomore

22 Bradley Smith Sophomore

23 Jacob Brown Sophomore

24 Holden Boynton Senior

25 Lance Marshall Senior

28 Dustin Boynton Sophomore

30 Dillon Blankenship Freshman

31 Ben Mills Freshman

32 Josh Neal Junior

33 Austin Wilkey Freshman

34 Caleb Smith Freshman

35 Tavian Dodd Freshman

36 Jessie Mooneyham Senior

40 Dalton Daughtrey Senior

42 Gryffyn Haverlandt Senior

44 A.J. Lawrence Senior

48 Samuel Reyes Sophomore

49 Slayton Pettit Freshman

50 Matt Vaughn Sophomore

51 Kaden Measles Junior

52 Logan Frady Freshman

53 Drake Brown Junior

54 Brett Boring Freshman

55 Jerry Harvey Freshman

57 Riley Wooden Senior

58 Jesse Blankenship Sophomore

60 Adam Roberson Junior

62 Jonathan Farinella Senior

64 Cole Frechette Senior

65 Dillion Stinnett Junior

66 Robert Mills Junior

68 Tyler Young Sophomore

69 Patrick Burgess Senior

70 Zach Brill Freshman

72 Blake Sorrow Sophomore

73 Tristan Dawson Junior

75 Matt Yother Freshman

76 Jacob Sinclair Sophomore

77 Jesse Sandell Senior

78 Jordan Mitchem Senior

79 Dalton Swanger Sophomore

80 Dylan Daughtrey Sophomore

82 Drew Summers Sophomore

83 Hunter Bishop Senior

84 Bryan Mitchem Freshman

86 Hunter Holland Freshman

88 Skylar Standefer Freshman