Eagles Set to Face Dragons in First Pre-Season Scrimmage

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Region 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year, Chandler Kaylor is now getting reps at fullback and linebacker. (RheaReview/ElmerHarris)

Congratulations, Eagle Nation! You have made it to the beginning of the high school football season!

It has been a long eight months since our green and gold warriors last exited Bill Horton Field in a crushing, nail-biting playoff loss to the Knoxville West Rebels, but the long wait to see their return is finally over.

The Golden Eagles will travel to scrimmage the Clinton Dragons this Saturday, July 28, at 6 PM.

2018 is a new season, and with it comes new faces on the sideline, new numbers trotting out onto the field as first-time starters, and new names that have yet to be called over the PA system as they cross the goal line or make a stop on defense echoing throughout the valley on a crisp fall night.

Much has already been said about the “new” triple-option offense Coach Pemberton will be rolling out this season, and excitement abounds among the gridiron stars and coaches concerning their new scheme.

This Saturday, Eagle Nation will get to see these young men take the field once again as they travel to Clinton to take on the Dragons.

The Dragons are no stranger to the locals, with the most recent meeting being a 59-14 Eagle rout in Clinton in 2016. Rhea County holds a (3-1) advantage in the series, with the lone loss coming in 1974, the inaugural season for the Golden Eagles.

Clinton High School is coached by Randy McKamey, a Clinton graduate who is entering his second season as the top Dragon, and looks to improve off of last season’s 2-8 record.

Clinton is led on offense by seniors Luke Harrison (Quarterback, 6’3, 180), Andrew Shoopman (Fullback, 6’1, 200), and Josh Breeden (Running back, 5’8, 185) with Jackson Reece (Tackle, 6’4, 255) and Zach Page (Tackle, 6’6, 315) anchoring the line.

The Dragons run a variation of the Wing-T offense, a staple of Coach McKamey’s style from his stint at Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, that Eagle fans should be more than familiar with as it was the Eagles’ base offense from 2013-2015, with the Power-T and Wing-Gun being variations of it as well in 2016 and 2017.

On defense, the Clinton secondary is looking to be much improved from last season, and are on the right track after putting in an impressive performance during 7-on-7 workouts with various other teams. They are led by senior Luke Johnson (Middle Linebacker, 6’2, 223).

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