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Region 1-4A 2021 Preview

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By Carter Mansfield

Region 1-4A is loaded, as it contains two state title contenders, along with a number of other up-and-coming programs. There are also several players that will contend for the Mr. Football award in Bryson Rollins of Elizabethton and Mason Gudger of Greeneville. Teams in this region include: Elizabethton, Grainger, Greeneville, Seymour, Sullivan East, and Volunteer. Let’s get into the preview.


Elizabethton

Key Returning Players: QB Bryson Rollins, RB Nate Stephens, WR Jake Roberts

Key Losses: WR Parker Hughes, LB Deuce Morton, OL Cole Morganstern

2020 Record: 15-0

Elizabethton has won thirty consecutive games, along with two straight state championships, and the Cyclones will look to add to that streak of success, even with 4A getting much more difficult as a whole. The Cyclones return a Mr. Football finalist in quarterback Bryson Rollins, along with state championship game MVP Jake Roberts to help carry the offensive load. Elizabethton is my pick to win the region this year, and will definitely be in contention for a third consecutive state title at the end of the season.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

at Science Hill

Rhea County

Greeneville

Daniel Boone

at Grangier

Anderson County

at Sullivan East

at Volunteer

at Seymour

Record Prediction: 9-0 (5-0)

This will be updated if and when Elizabethton adds a tenth game.


Grainger

Key Returning Players: LB Tucker Gilette, DB Ty Overbay, RB Cainnan Long

Key Losses: QB Dawson Holt, OL Austin Cate, OL Bradley Greenlee

2020 Record: 6-5

Grainger is losing a high number of seniors from their 2020, but also return some talent going into 2021. Tucker Gillete looked like a potential star at linebacker last season for the Grizzlies, and Tyler Overbay and Cainnan Long return after all-region seasons in 2020. Expect Grainger to be in a battle for one of the region’s final playoff spots.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

Cumberland Gap

at Greeneville

at Sullivan East

at Chuckey-Doak

Elizabethton

Union County

at Volunteer

at Northview Academy

Seymour

Claiborne

Record Prediction: 7-3 (2-3)


Greeneville

Key Returning Players: RB Mason Gudger, WR Jakobi Gillespie, DL Rashard Claridy

Key Losses: WR Nick Iezzi, OL Clay Odom, OL Jake Hartman

2020 Record: 9-4

Greeneville has one of the best returning groups in the entire state, and the Greene Devils will be looking to compete for a state title in 2021. Mason Gudger was an all-state caliber running back in 2020, and will be the go-to-guy once again for Greeneville in 2021. Jakobi Gillespie has the potential to be one of the state’s biggest breakout players this season at wide receiver and defensive back, as well. Expect Greeneville to be one of 4A’s best teams this season.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

at Knox Central

Grainger

at Elizabethton

Morristown West

Volunteer

Dobyns-Bennett

at Seymour

Oak Ridge

Sullivan East

at Morristown East

Record Prediction: 7-3 (4-1)


Seymour

Key Returning Players: QB Eli Funck, RB Brendon Harris, WR Ryan Lodari

Key Losses: RB Nic Childress, WR Liam Luttrell, LB Michael Nevins

2020 Record: 0-10

Seymour is losing a pretty decent amount of production on both sides of the ball, from a team that went winless in 2020. Quarterback Eli Funck and running back Brendon Harris will be the key on offense for the Eagles in 2021. The competition is stiff in this region, so I would be surprised if Seymour seriously competes for a playoff spot, due to how young they will be.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

at Gatlinburg-Pittman

Cherokee

at Volunteer

at Cocke County

Sullivan East

Heritage

Greeneville

at Grainger

at South Greene

Elizabethton

Record Prediction: 0-10 (0-5)


Sullivan East

Key Returning Players: RB Dominic Cross, WR Hunter Brown, WR Luke Hare

Key Losses: QB Ethan Bradford, OL Owen Laprade, TE Clayton Ivester

2020 Record: 3-8

Sullivan East returns a lot of young talent in 2021, and will look to compete for a playoff spot. Even though the Patriots are young, they are building a very good program with players such as Dominic Cross, who was one of the region’s newcomers of the year in 2020. Expect Sullivan East to compete for one of the region’s final playoff spots in 2021.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

David Crockett

at Pigeon Forge

Grainger

at Johnson County

at Seymour

Unicoi County

Elizabethton

at Union County

at Greeneville

Volunteer

Record Prediction: 4-6 (1-4)


Volunteer

Key Returning Players: QB Garrison Barrett, WR Heath Miller, LB Jared Counts

Key Losses: RB Cameron Johnson, WR Andrew Salyers, LB Connor Crum

2020 Record: 3-7

Volunteer returns a lot of production on both sides of the ball from their 2020 squad. Linebacker Jared Counts was one of the state’s leading tacklers last season, and quarterback Garrison Barrett will look to take the next step after throwing for 1,000+ yards as a junior. Expect Volunteer to make real strides as a program, and be a playoff team in 2021.

2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font)

West Ridge

at Dobyns-Bennett

Seymour

at Greeneville

at Johnson County

Grainger

Tennessee

Elizabethton

at Cherokee

at Sullivan East

Record Prediction: 6-4 (3-2)


Final Standings Prediction

1. Elizabethton

2. Greeneville

3. Volunteer

4. Grainger

5. Sullivan East

6. Seymour


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