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Browning, Courtney FHS ‘unsung heroes’

Dear Chuck:

I really enjoy your articles and look forward to reading what you have to say in the paper. I was just wondering if there’s a favorite type of topic or article that you like to write about. Thanks for taking time to answer.

Angela Lawson


That’s a broad question, but I’ve only got one answer: Unsung Heroes.

That is by far my favorite type of human interest story. Hopefully, we can make it a regular feature.

A perfect example would be Farragut High School seniors B.J. Browning and Geoff Courtney.

They’ve practically grown up together and also happen to represent all of the good things about high school athletics.

B.J. is the son of Kathy and Buddy Browning and has worked extremely hard to become a better basketball player.. His dad also happens to be a darn good youth football coach.

Geoff has found his niche as a wide receiver and is the son of Anita and Eddie Courtney. His dad has been the Admirals’ football coach for 10 years and has been waging a courageous battle with cancer.

“I remember when Geoff and B.J. tried out for the freshman basketball team,” said Donald Dodgen, who has been the varsity coach for 10 years. “I watched them play and they both [were] just so little and skinny. I remember thinking, ‘It’s going to take a lot of hard work for them to make it at this level.’ But you know what? That’s exactly what they’ve done. They happen to choose different programs, but they’ve worked really hard in the weight room and at practice to get better.

“It’s been really something to watch someone develop from being just skin and bones as freshmen to a couple of really good football and basketball players,” Dodgen said. “At one time, they were both so skinny that a good gush of wind might have blown them away. They have become assets to our programs and are vital parts of our program. Four years later, it’s just a storybook ending because they have worked so hard to get better.”

B.J. has also become the team’s most reliable 3-point shooter. The 6-foot guard weighs about 150 pounds, up from about 100 pounds as a freshman.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the weight room,” he said. “I was just trying to step up my game and I knew the best way to do that was to get a lot stronger.”

Dear Chuck:

Thanks for publishing the information about “The Hurricanes For Volunteer Relief” at West Town. It was good to see so many people join together for a worthy cause. I also want to thank-you for taking the time to help my son in your putting contest. He’s been talking about golf virtually non-stop. Will you be available for a follow-up lesson anytime soon?

Donald & David Mitchell


Sure, we can work something out, but the people that have seen me play golf probably would laugh at the thought of an “Ask Chuck” putting lesson.

The best thing was the autograph event featuring several former major leaguers, ex-University of Tennessee or NFL standouts raised nearly $3,000 for the American Red Cross for people in the Gulf Coast Region. Every little bit helps and this money went a long way to help people that need it the most.

Award-winning columnist Chuck Cavalaris writes a twice-monthly column for farragutpress. Send questions or comments to or call 865-769-9295.


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