After only six months on the job, Scott Smith has been relieved of his coaching duties at Grundy County.
Grundy County was to be the ninth program that Smith has led as he was the head coach at Greenbrier (1989-90), Ezell Harding (1999-2003), Independence (2004-06), Science Hill (2007-09), Moore County (2010-13), Warren County (2014) Franklin County (2015-16) and Glencliff (January-June 2016).
Smith was hired as the Yellow Jackets head coach back in February but he will not coach a game at Grundy County after a meeting with new Yellow Jacket Athletic Director Leon Woodlee.
“We decided to go in a different direction with our football program and felt like Coach Smith wasn’t doing the things that it takes a make a successful program,” Woodlee said.
“He was being paid to mow the football field and to make the locker room a priority and both of those responsibilities were not being met, the players deserve better, we also wanted to get South Pittsburg, Marion County and Whitwell back on the schedule for the future because they are valley rivalries we need to get back on the schedule and he refused to schedule them in the next schedule cycle.”
“There were a laundry list of things that were not being done by Coach Smith and we felt like there was a definite need for a change.”
Smith’s overall coaching record is 148-88 and he led Ezell to the Class 1A state championship in 2001 and he also started the Independence football program back in 2004.
“The first thing that Mr. Woodlee wanted me to do was to fire my entire staff and I didn’t think that was fair to them or the kids and I refused to do that, I told him that I would reexamine the staff after the season and he wasn’t interested in that.”
“It’s your typical small town politics at its best, there are four board members and they run everything in the county, they got rid of the old superintendent and the AD and they replace them with their own people, it’s really a shame,” Smith said.
The next coach will be the eighth head coach since 2000 for the Yellow Jackets joining Greg Brewer (2000, 2005-06), Ken Colquette (2001-04), Chris Pickett (2007), Jim Swafford (2008), Nick Bryant (2009-14), Tate (2015-17) and Smith (February-July 2017).
Dorian Hopkins has the recruiting pressure off now and is focused on his senior season at MUS.
The rising senior linebacker has committed to Tulsa and will now concentrate on a hopefully injury free 2018 season.
“All of us here at MUS are very proud of Dorian and excited that he will get the opportunity to continue with football at Tulsa,” MUS coach Bobby Alston said.
Hopkins (6-0, 235) chose the Golden Hurricanes over an offer from Texas San Antonio.
In 2017, injuries made Hopkins miss three games but he still managed 67 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Hopkins had a stellar sophomore season in 2016 as he recorded 98 tackles including 16 tackles for loss, five sacks and forced three fumbles as he won the Division II-AA Mr. Football Lineman award.
He is the first in state commitment to Tulsa since 2014 when the Golden Hurricane signed two Memphis area players in White Station linebacker Petera Wilson and Whitehaven running back Ramadi Warren.
Ballard commits to Army
Greeneville quarterback Cade Ballard is ready to help his Greene Devils defend their Class 4A state title in 2018 and he’s also excited to be able to get his recruitment out of the way as well.
Ballard who won the Class 4A Mr. Football award after passing for 3,148 yards and 38 touchdowns and also added 985 rushing and 21 more touchdowns has committed to Army.
He chose the Black Knights over offers from Air Force, Austin Peay, Citadel, Eastern Kentucky, MTSU and Wofford
Ballard is the third Greene Devil to commit in the Class of 2019 joining tight end Cameron Hite (Wake Forest) and wide receiver Dorien Goddard (Virginia), the number climbs to four with junior Will Albright committing to Tennessee as a long snapper.
Ballard will be a four year starter at quarterback this season and has passed for 6,349yards and 83 touchdowns with only 18 interceptions and has accumulated 8,175 yards of total offense and has 123 total touchdowns rushing and passing.
Frierson pledges to ETSU
Battle Ground Academy rising senior running back Jaylen Frierson has committed to East Tennessee State.
Frierson (6’1, 225) chose the Buccaneers over interest from Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Samford and Tennessee State.
“Jaylen’s one of the best kids that I have ever coached because of his team first attitude and the way he works hard to make himself a better football player,” BGA coach Roc Batten said.
Frierson had an injury plagued junior year as he only saw action in five games as he rushed for 301 yards and scored two touchdowns on just 46 carries.
This season, Frierson will play both at running back but also see time at rush end and at linebacker as well.
“He’s looking forward to playing his senior year, injury free and show what he can really do on the football field,” Batten said.
The following 41 players have committed in the Class of 2019:
MUS linebacker Dorian Hopkins (Tulsa), Greeneville quarterback Cade Ballard (Army), BGA running back Jaylen Frierson (ETSU), Lebanon defensive end Zion Logue (Georgia), Elizabethton offensive tackle Garrett Jennings (Western Kentucky), ECS kicker Chandler Caughron (Central Arkansas), defensive tackle Marlon Alexander (Gardner Webb), Farragut running back Isaiah Gibbs (UT-Martin), Pearl Cohn defensive tackle Elijah Simmons (Tennessee), CPA Linebacker Kane Patterson (Ohio State), Oakland defensive back Woodi Washington (Oklahoma), Independence wide receiver T.J. Sheffield (Notre Dame), Maplewood defensive back Travares Springer (Western Kentucky), CPA tight end Bryce McCormick (Furman), Lausanne running back Eric Gray (Michigan), Pearl Cohn wide receiver Jayden Harrison (Vanderbilt), Science Hill offensive tackle Blake Austin (Coastal Carolina), FRA athlete Lance Wilhoite (Oregon), Cordova offensive lineman Matthew Bedford (Indiana), BGA linebacker Chico Bennett (Georgia Tech), Whitehaven athlete Devin Boddie (Vanderbilt), Red Bank athlete Calvin Jackson (Wofford), Whitehaven athlete Keveon Mullins (South Carolina), Fulton linebacker Robquan Thomas (Austin Peay), Davidson Academy quarterback Stone Norton (Florida International), Christian Brothers defensive end Christian James (Vanderbilt), Germantown tight end Conner Richardson (Tulane), Dyersburg linebacker Chris Russell (Memphis), Karns athlete Thomas Harper (Oklahoma State), MBA linebacker Jackson Hannah (Nebraska), Oakland defensive end Joseph Anderson (South Carolina), Davidson Academy running back Da’Joun Hewitt (Purdue), Davidson Academy defensive end Ani Izuchukwu (Mississippi State), Greeneville wide receiver Dorien Goddard (Virginia), Memphis Central defensive tackle Trevis Hopper (Memphis), Greeneville tight end Cameron Hite (Wake Forest), Christian Brothers defensive end Bill Norton (Georgia), MUS defensive back Maurice Hampton (LSU), MBA offensive lineman Jackson Lampley (Tennessee), Kirby quarterback Jaden Johnson (Louisville) and Friendship Christian defensive tackle Luke Smith (Appalachian State)
Contact Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew