Despite school out Friday for fall break, both Cumberland County High School and Stone Memorial High School will be hosting crucial district football games.
Coach Russ Partin's Jets (4-3, 0-2) will be hosting the Coffee County Central Red Raiders ( 1-6, 1-1), which is coached by former CCHS coach Eddie Nunley.
Cumberland County will also recognize the football players and coaches from South Cumberland, Martin Elementary, Pleasant Hill and Brown Elementary. Players are asked to wear their game jersey and enter the stadium at the single pass gate on the right side of Jet Stadium. Kickoff will be a 7 p.m.
Coach Mark Wattenbarger's Panthers (3-5, 0-3) will host top-ranked Alcoa (7-0, 3-0) at 6:30 p.m. for senior night.
The Panther seniors are Zack Stedam, John Cain, B.J. Carr, Matt Donnan, John Swafford and Casey Barnwell.
This weekend's games are very important to both CCHS and SMHS.
The first criteria for qualifying for the playoffs is finishing first or second in the district. For this reason, the final quadrants/seedings cannot be set until the conclusion of the regular season. There are four quadrants in each classification.
Teams are listed by criteria. The top 24 teams in 1A and 2A and the top 32 teams in 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A on this list will be in the playoffs, unless a school is not listed in the top 24 (1A, 2A) or top 32 (3A, 4A, 5A, 6A) finishes first or second in their district.
If this happens, a team or teams finishing first or second in the district will replace the lowest rank school(s) on the list.
Alcoa and CAK are tied for the lead in District 4AA at 7-0 and will play each on the final week of the season, which will determine first and second in the district. Last year, they played in week 10 and then played each other in the second week of the playoffs.
Kingston and Loudon are also listed in the top 32 in 4AA, and could make the playoffs as wild card teams.
Alcoa, CAK, Kingston and Loudon are in 3AA's quadrant 2 with Howard, Tyner and York, which has now won four games.
The Panthers (3-5, 0-3) and Scott County (4-3, 0-3) are ranked in the top 32 of Class 4AA. SMHS could qualify for the playoffs by sweeping or splitting the two games.
SMHS is in Quadrant #1 with Greeneville, Gibbs, Claiborne County, Knox Fulton, Scott County, Knox Carter and Sequoyah.
In District 6AAA, the outcome of the Cookeville (5-2, 2-0)-Warren County (3-4, 2-1) game will determine the first- and second-place positions for the district. This is Warren County's last district game of the season, while Cookeville still has to play Coffee County (1-6, 1-1), who is the Jets' foe Friday night.
Cookeville is in Quadrant 2 of 6AAA with Maryville, Riverdale, Franklin County, Soddy-Daisy, Ooltewah and William Blount, while Warren County and several other teams with three wins are just out of the top 32.
The Jets (4-3, 0-2) and White County (4-4, 1-2) are ranked in the top 32 in Class 5A and could qualify for the playoffs based on the above criteria. White County beat CCHS in the season finale to advance into last year's playoffs with a 1-9 record.
To say the least both games with Coffee County and White County are important is an understatement.
CCHS is in Quadrant #2 with Powell, Knox Catholic, Anderson County, Clinton, White County, Cleveland and Lenoir City.
All of these rankings will change after tonight's games.
The Jets' win over SMHS last Friday gave them four victories for 2010. This is the first four-win season since 2004, when they finished 4-6. They have lost 25-straight district/region games since a 15-0 victory over Coffee County in 2005, when they finished 2-8 overall.
Coffee County has won four straight games over the Jets to have a 6-3 series lead and have outscored CCHS 235-172.
The Jets will travel to Kingston on Oct. 22, and will close out the regular season on Oct. 29 against the White County Warriors on senior night.
I want to congratulate both the Jets and Panthers for playing an exciting game last Friday night on Panther Field. The fans for both teams were rocking and rolling.
SMHS Coach Mark Wattenbarger and CCHS Coach Russ Partin and their staffs had their game plans in place, while the officiating crew kept everything under control on the field.
Cumberland County elementary junior varsity basketball season begins on Thursday, Oct. 21, and extends through Thursday, Nov. 18, with the tournament championships at Stone Elementary School.
The varsity season begins on Tuesday, Nov. 9, after the "Meet the Jets and Future Jets" program on Nov. 6 at CCHS, beginning at 1 p.m.
The "Meet the Panthers" play date is Friday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Panther gym, three nights after the regular season openers on Nov. 9.
The "Meet the Panthers" play date schedule will be announced as soon as possible.
Elementary schools involved are Crab Orchard, Homestead, North and Stone.
There will be no rest for the weary, starting Oct. 21.
Speaking of rest, Coach Derek Dooley and his Tennessee Vols have the week off to prepare for a visit by the Alabama Crimson Tide on Oct. 23. The Crimson Tide plays Ole Miss this Saturday, after losing to the "Old Ball Coach," Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks last week.
The Vanderbilt Commodores roll into Athens, GA, Saturday, to face the Georgia Bulldogs, after the 'Dawgs defeated Tennessee last week. The 'Dores defeated Eastern Michigan last Saturday night 52-6.
Coach Russ Huesman and his Chattanooga Mocs (3-2, 2-1) will host the Georgia Southern Eagles (3-2, 2-1) Saturday night for homecoming in Finley Stadium. The Moc faithful will be out in force to cheer their team to a fourth win of the season.
The Southern Conference plays some exciting football and has had teams in the FCS playoffs for several years.
Congratulations to Jefferson County senior Kendall Martindale for winning the Class AAA girls golf championship this week at Willow Creek in Manchester.
Her proud grandparents, Agnes and Gene Garrett, reside in Lake Tansi.
She has committed to play golf at Vanderbilt next year.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)