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Coaching rivals Culbreth, Turner share region honors; Ruoff MVP

Just as rival coaches Steve Spurrier and Phil Fulmer each share college football national titles at Florida and Tennessee, respectively, so too do Wallie Culbreth and Eric Turner as high school soccer coach.

As for 2005, Culbreth, Farragut High School boys soccer skipper, and Turner, Bearden head coach, share Region 2-AAA Coach of the Year honors. Farragut defender Kirk Ruoff, Region 2-AAA Most Valuable Player, is among 12 FHS and BHS All-region honorees. See list in Sports briefs on page 14.

Though the Culbreth-Turner rivalry is a bit more civil than Spurrier-Fulmer, itís an intense numbers game thatís dead even according to Culbreth.

After four years of head-to-head battles in which Turner and his Bearden SoccerDawgs enjoyed an unbeaten national title season (2002) followed by Culbrethís 2004 national crown, the head-to-head numbers stand at Culbreth 6 wins, Turner 6 wins.

Praising Turnerís ability to make game-time adjustments, ďEricís a great coach, but we keep this running battle,Ē Culbreth said. ďWe have a pretty good understanding of each other. ... Iíll do anything I can do during a game to get under his skin, and heíll do the same thing to me. And Iím very conscious of what heís doing so that he doesnít out-move me. It is a chess match, player by player.

ďIíve beaten him at his own game and heís beaten me at my own game,Ē Culbreth added.

But thereís also cooperation among these two competitors.

ďBut, when the gameís over with, itís over with,Ē Culbreth said. ďAnd we talk periodically, at least once a week during the season just to compare notes on our competitors. ...Ē


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