ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – State championship dreams are drumming up a big show of support for the Elizabethton Cyclones.
Elizabethton High School will travel to Cookeville to take on the Springfield Yellow Jackets, Saturday.
The Cyclones will have plenty fans in the crowd when they hit the field.
One-thousand additional tickets for the state tournament went on sale at the school, Thursday. There are still tickets available Friday morning, beginning at 10 a.m.
“This is the third round of tickets we’ve received. We started out with 500, after the game against Nolensville,” Elizabethton High School athletic director, Forrest Holt said. “Then received another 1000 tickets from Nashville that we brought back. We sold out of those on Tuesday by about 1 o’clock.”
Cyclone fever has spread across the City of Elizabethton, ahead of Saturday’s state championship game.
“When Elizabethton beat Greeneville, we were screaming alive hear. Everybody was so excited. You have this opportunity to really take the next step, and then when they beat Nolensville last week. To make that step, they’re going to the state championship, the pride that took over this town,” owner of Jiggy Ray’s, John ‘Bull’ Malone said.
Elizabethton High School alumnus class of 1992, John Malone, wants the team to know the community is behind them one-hundred percent, by hosting a senior night at Jiggy Ray’s.
“We’ve invited the Cyclone seniors down. Just a little pat on the back. We’re going to thank them and feed them. They’re going to do a little karaoke with us, and maybe even sign some autographs. How nice would it be to have Jason Whitten’s autograph when he was in high school,” Malone said. “We’ve had some big events before, and we’ve kind of got it down packed. We can handle maybe 120 people in here. They come through, we’ll just keep feeding people and keep pumping out pizzas and salad and making everybody as happy as we can.”
The last time the football team went to the state championship was in 1938.
“1938. So many people weren’t alive the last time this happened. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Malone said.
A once in a lifetime opportunity that will be witnessed by alumni and young fans alike.
“Seth is 8 years old. He plays for the Mighty Mite Cyclones and he goes to Whitten Huddle, loves it and is ready to start playing tomorrow,” Richard Lyons said. “We’ve made arrangements for him to be able to go.”
He is excited about his son being able to see his alma mater in the state championship.
Lyons said, “This is big. Go Cyclones. Bring it home!”
Class of 1983, Dan Britt, is heading to Cookeville this weekend to watch his nephew, number 17, Jake Roberts on the field.
“It’s supremely cool, I mean they’re 14-0,” Britt, owner of Big Dan’s BBQ said. “They’re really ready and they’re just ready to go out there and do their job and win. We’re going to be there pulling for them.”
Malone said, “You know, whether you’re from Happy Valley or Unaka or Hampton or Cloudland, or Elizabethton, everybody’s coming together to support these young men.”
Senior night and karaoke begins at 6:30 tonight.
Another restuarant showing support is Elizabethon’s Beef o’ Brady’s. A watch party will take place Saturday at kickoff.
Before the Cyclones make their way to Cookville, a pep rally will take place Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Fans and the community are invited to Elizabethton High School’s gym, wearing EHS’s school colors: orange and black.
Saturday morning, fans will gather the high school’s student parking lot for a team send-off at 8 a.m.