HONAKER, Va. (WJHL) – Our Tri-Cities Two-A-Days series wraps up after previewing every high school football team in our viewing area. Last, but certainly not least is Honaker High School.
The Tigers have found great success in this region in the past but have been under a tough spell lately, losing four of the last five Black Diamond district titles to Grundy.
But with the right group of players this team can turn it around, evident in their trips to the state championship game in 2000 and 2012.
They went just 1-5 in the spring season but with a healthy offensive line, tailback Skyler Miller and quarterback Sean Gill all coming back they’re hoping to build some chemistry and get back to what Honaker loves to do: punch its opponent in the mouth.
“I really like whatever works, we are typically known to be a run team a power run type team in some form or another our passing game has improved so we’re wanting to incorporate it more and more and as it becomes better we will do it more,” Honaker head football coach Doug Hubbard said.
While the Tigers will be fun to watch on the field, the storyline you can’t avoid is with Hubbard. After 40 years at Honaker, 39 as the head coach, he’s calling it a career. 2021 will be his final season.
He went to Honaker for high school football, then played at ETSU and after graduating in the Spring of 1982 he came right back up to join the coaching staff that following Fall.
Hubbard racked up 213 career wins, 13 district championships and two state runner-ups. An icon in Russell County is in his final season.
“It’s just, I felt like it was time and it’s just been a part of your life I grew up here so I kinda bleed Orange and I love the community and I love where we’re at,” Hubbard said.
“He’s meant very much to this program and to this school on and off the field that man is a legend he helps everybody that needs it best advice I’ve ever gotten from a coach,” senior tight end and safety T.J. Hubbard said, unrelated to coach Hubbard.
“He helps us with anything if we need help in school he helps us if we need help trying to figure out college he’d help us he’d do about anything for us I think and that means a lot to me personally and I think he’s a really good man,” senior offensive and defensive tackle Lucas O’Quinn said.