NASHVILLE — Four former Rutherford County coaches will get a chance to compete for BlueCross Bowl state championships later this week as head coaches.
Montgomery Bell Academy coach Marty Euverard (Oakland), Alcoa coach Gary Rankin (Riverdale), Ravenwood coach Will Hester (La Vergne) and Knoxville Catholic coach Steve Matthews (Siegel) all have led their teams to this week’s title games in Cookeville.
“It’s great to finally get there,” said Matthews, a former Siegel offensive coordinator, who is in his third season at Catholic. “To be knocking on the door and finally get here, I’m proud of our young men and everything we’ve accomplished.
Catholic (10-4) plays Pearl-Cohn (10-4) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Class 4A championship game.
Catholic assistants Les Greer, Kris White and Steve Wright also have local ties. Greer, who is the Catholic defensive coordinator, is a former Siegel assistant. White is a former Oakland assistant. Wright, a former Oakland offensive lineman, is a volunteer assistant.
“Rutherford County football, you have to compete every week,” Matthews said.
Former Oakland assistant Ben Caudill is now an assistant at Christ Presbyterian Academy, the defending Class 3A state champion, which plays Alcoa in its title game.
JaCoby’s recruiting update: JaCoby Stevens said he hasn’t spoken to LSU’s coaching staff since the school announced that coach Les Miles would return as coach.
Stevens, a junior defensive back, decommitted from the SEC school last week after rumors that Miles would be fired from the school.
“LSU was never out of the equation when I reopened my recruiting,” Stevens said. “But, I am still going to sit back and evaluate things just to see how things are.”
Oakland Hall of Fame: Oakland will be inducting its first basketball hall of fame class Tuesday between the girls and boys basketball games with Columbia. The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. at Randy King Gymnasium.
Former boys coaches Dickie Thomas and Randy King along with former girls coach Ben Cates along with former players Fred Batten Jr. and Alice Lawrence will be honored by the school.
The winner is …: For at least a few seconds, Independence wide receiver Nate Johnson thought he had won the Class 5A Mr. Football Back of the Year award Monday.
Johnson was announced as the winner, but it was revealed that Oak Ridge junior Tee Higgins was the winner and that there had been an error in the script.
“It was just a mistype on the script that got overlooked,” TSSAA assistant director Matthew Gillespie said. “It’s very unfortunate and you feel for that family, that’s who you feel for most. We’re not pointing fingers at us or anybody else. It was just a mistake.”
The senior handled the incident gracefully and said while it was a tough pill to swallow, he couldn’t blame the voters for choosing Higgins.
“It was definitely a gut-shot,” Johnson said. “But the guy next to me, he deserved it. He worked just as hard as I did to get where he was and he came out with the Mr. Football award.”
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager. Contributing: Sam Brown, The Tennessean.
BlueCross Bowl schedule
(All games at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium, Cookeville)
Division II-A: St. George’s (12-1) vs. Northpoint Christian (13-0), 3 p.m.
Division II-AA: Brentwood Academy (11-1) vs. Montgomery Bell Academy (11-1), 7 p.m.
Class 1A: Greenback (12-2) vs. Nashville Christian (13-1), 11 a.m.
Class 3A: Alcoa (13-1) vs. Christ Presbyterian Academy (13-1), 3 p.m.
Class 5A: Sevier County (12-2) vs. Independence (14-0), 7 p.m.
Class 2A: Marion County (13-1) vs. Trezevant (11-3), 11 a.m.
Class 4A: Knoxville Catholic (10-4) vs. Pearl-Cohn (10-4), 3 p.m.
Class 6A: Maryville (14-0) vs. Ravenwood (13-1), 7 p.m.