GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – High school football returns Friday in Tennessee. The 2021-2022 season saw three Northeast Tennessee teams make state championship runs, but each came up short.
With a new season on the horizon, News Channel 11 Sports has compiled a list of five powerhouse teams to keep an eye on. Be sure to stay up to date on the scores around the region on Touchdown Friday Night.
Greeneville Greene Devils
In the regular season, Greeneville was untouchable and undefeated. The Greene Devils never gave up more than two touchdowns in a single game. The 2021 GHS squad defeated local teams like Elizabethton, Volunteer and Dobyns-Bennett, all by double-digit figures.
However, a rematch in the playoffs spelled doom for Greeneville. The Elizabethton Cyclones, whom Greeneville had beaten by 30 points in the regular season, ended the Devils’ chances at a state title in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Greene Devils start their season at home against Knox Central.
After being crowned 4A State Champions of the 2019-2020 season, the Elizabethton Cyclones made a strong effort to hold onto that title. According to the TSSAA, Elizabethton went into the playoffs with an 8-1 season under their belts. Their only loss was to Greeneville.
During their playoff run, the Cyclones got their revenge on the Greene Devils and made it all the way to state championship. However, the repeat was not to be, and Elizabethton fell to Tullahoma in double overtime.
The Cyclones will open their season at home against Science Hill Friday.
In Carter County, the Hampton Bulldogs made history last season. The team’s 7-2 season was just the beginning as the Bulldogs marched their way through playoff opponents, not hitting a real challenge until their semifinal matchup against Trousdale County, who they would defeat 22-20.
After a strong run, the Bulldogs fell just short of a Class 2A state championship in 2021, losing 55-14 to reigning champ Westview in December. The finals appearance marked the first in school history.
Hampton will kick off this season on the road at Pigeon Forge High School Friday night.
Carter County was full of talent last season, as the Cloudland Highlanders played a near-perfect season. Losing to only Hampton in the regular season, Cloudland beat most of their opponents by double digits in 2021. It wasn’t until a one-point victory over Coalfield in the Class 1A playoffs that the Highlanders appeared to have any trouble.
The Highlanders ultimately lost 30-22 to South Pittsburg in the semifinal of the Class 1A playoffs.
Cloudland will start this season on the road against Happy Valley.
South Greene Rebels
After a rocky start to last season, South Greene seemed to hit their stride. The Rebels lost to Daniel Boone and Knoxville Catholic in their first two games but then went on a nine-game winning streak.
Neighbors North Greene and West Greene were both no match for the Rebels, losing 47-0 and 48-7 respectively. However, playoff dreams didn’t last long for South Greene, as the team lost to Oneida in the second round of the Class 2A postseason.
The Rebels will start 2022 on the road at Daniel Boone High School.