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Westside football ’09: changes
Jones, HVA, choose not to play Farragut during inaugural varsity season

Happy with the success of his 2008 Hardin Valley Academy Junior Varsity football team in the program’s inaugural season, head coach Wes Jones doesn’t want to bite off more than he can chew moving up to varsity level.

With HVA a member of newly classified District 3-AAA, joining Oak Ridge, Karns, Powell, Central, Anderson County, Campbell County, Clinton and Halls, Jones didn’t want his 2009 slate too tough.

Deciding not to schedule Farragut in 2009, “Coach [Eddie] Courtney and I spoke, and we’re starting up a varsity program for the first time in the history of the school, won’t have a senior on the football team,” Jones said. “You’re looking at a [Farragut] team that’s going to be a contender, have an opportunity to win a state championship next year.

“I don’t know that’s the best thing for the kids starting out this year to load up all your non-conference games with huge 6-A football teams, especially with the way the playoff system is set up, where you’re going to have to have good records to have a possibility to get at-large bids,” he added.

“Like I told coach Courtney when I spoke to him on the phone, ‘I’ll be glad to play you in a couple of years, let us get our feet on the ground. We’re not ready, we’re young.”

Non-district foe Carter opens HVA’s inaugural varsity season at CHS on Week O Aug. 21, then the Hawks’ home opener versus West follows Aug 28.

After a bye on Week 2, Hardin Valley begins District 3-AAA play at home versus Clinton Sept. 11. Other home games are Central Sept. 25, Oak Ridge Oct. 16 and Karns to close out the regular season Oct. 30.

“We’re real excited,” Jones said. “We full-well expect that it’s going to be a tough road for us to make the jump from J-V to varsity.”

Jones said Farragut isn’t the only Westside team his Hawks would consider playing in the coming years. Before running into a scheduling conflict, “We were going to schedule C-A-K,” Jones said. “I would love to get in a position where we could play Bearden and Farragut.”


Finishing 5-2 in its inaugural football season of any kind in 2008, Hardin Valley’s junior varsity effort left Jones pleased. “Number one, I thought it was a tremendous success because we were even able to get a team on the field,” Jones said. “Having kids from all the different schools we got ’em from. Over 50 percent of the kids we had on the team had never even played football. And basically being all freshmen and sophomores, to get a team on the field and get out there and win some ballgames was really exciting.”

Jones said individual team strengths included “a good running back, as a freshman Dorian Eskridge, he had an excellent season. We moved him up to play J-V for us.”

At quarterback, “Jake Bishop had an excellent year,” Jones said. “He managed our football team well. We had a lot of guys step up that were big surprises. We played a whole bunch of people this year.”

Hardin Valley’s first freshmen football team finished 3-5.


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