Happy New Year to you and your family!

We hope you had a great and safe celebrations last night, and are getting ready for a full day of football. As we look at the calendar, today is a slow day in Carter County Sports, but tomorrow the action picks up with a pair of games as well as the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.

Before we look ahead to Friday, we want to take a look back at a busy Tuesday and Wednesday. The holiday tournaments provide a great recharger for the teams as well as great preparation for the day-in and day-out of tournament play.

That said, Elizabethton’s Lady Cyclones sent a loud and clear message to the Three Rivers Conference and the rest of Tennessee. Len Dugger’s squad knocked off the defending South Carolina Class 2A state champions (on their home court and by double-digits), and then rolled past a strong North Forysth team. They topped it off with an impressive win against a national powerhouse in Alabama’s Hoover High School.

The Lady Cyclones were paced by tournament MVP Kayla Marosites as well as Kelci Marosites and Sarah Robinson, who were named to the All-Tournament team. However, the entire Elizabethton squad contributed, and seemed to be finding a groove that will only help them improve as the regular season picks back up.

Each team in the county could say the same as the Holiday tournaments have primed them to get back in the flow of conference play. In addition to Elizabethton, Hampton’s girls squad showed they are improving each game, and could be a factor in the Watauga Valley before things are said and done. Cloudland girls and boys also showed that they are getting better each and every game.

On Friday, we have two Watauga Valley clashes as University High will travel to Hampton, and Cloudland will make the trek to North Greene. All four games should be entertaining contents, especially after the holiday break.

In addition to the basketball, we have a little football game going on in Jacksonville as the Vols take on Iowa in their first bowl game since 2011. We will have coverage of the game, so be sure to check back with us on Friday night.

Until next time, have a great day!