published Friday, October 11th, 2013

Central High School inducting 15 in first class

Central High School's inaugural athletic Hall of Fame event is scheduled for this evening at the Harrison school. Some ceremonies begin at 5 followed immediately by a $10-per-plate barbecue in the school's cafeteria.

Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at halftime of the Purple Pounders' homecoming game against Brainerd.

Those being inducted are Red Etter, Stan Farmer, Damon Duval, Gene Etter, Gibby Gilbert, Bobby Hoppe, Robert Long, Bob McCoy, Heather Randolph, George Shuford, Archie Slaten, Reuben Smith, Bob Standifer, Eddie Test and Lamar Wheat.

As part of the weekend's festivities, there is also a golf tournament Saturday afternoon at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.

Cats-Bruins biggest?

There is never lack for drama when Dalton and Northwest Whitfield get together on the football field, but this year's edition of the rivalry is arguably the most anticipated in the 33 years the teams have met.

"I remember in 2007 we were undefeated and felt we had a good team and they were 5-1," said Northwest Whitfield coach Josh Robinson, the team's defensive coordinator then. "We lost in overtime 14-7. That was a big game, but the way this one is set up with the opportunity to be in the driver's seat in our subregion, it may be the biggest."

The Bruins (5-0) and Catamounts (3-2 and winners of three straight) are each 1-0 in Region 7B-AAAA. The loser would obviously need help to claim the subregion title and the automatic state playoff berth that goes with it. Dalton leads the series 27-5 and has won the last five meetings, though most have been settled in the final quarter.

"This is what makes high school football fun," Robinson said. "You wish every week was like this. It's a special time, and the kids will remember it win or lose. The whole community looks forward to it, and I hope the place is jammed full of Dalton and Northwest fans."

Sternum bruised

An ambulance was called after last Friday's game at Signal Mountain, and Notre Dame lineman Hunter Stolpmann was transported to the hospital with what was later diagnosed as a bruised sternum.

Stolpmann went through practice Wednesday. The Irish play at Polk County tonight.

Gatewood wary

McMinn County goes into tonight's District 5-AAA game at East Hamilton with a 2-4 overall record compared to the Hurricanes' mark of 5-1. But despite what NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells said about teams being what their records are, East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood isn't buying it.

Both teams have played challenging schedules, but the 2012 district-champion Cherokees came into this season having to find successors for three spots on the offensive line. One ended up getting hurt, and one wasn't even on the team last year.

McMinn coach Bo Cagle said the new line has made tremendous strides from the beginning of the season, particularly with pass protection. The Cherokees are coming off a 42-7 district victory over Soddy-Daisy.

"Next year we only lose one," Cagle said, "so the future looks pretty bright right there."

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