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Recapping the Year in Football: Examiner's Top 13 Moments Of 2013

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As we say hello to 2014, let's not forgot the 13 biggest high school football stories of 2013.

13. Devin Rutherford Steps Down at White Station after Testing Scandal Rutherford had both highs and lows in his five year tenure at White Station.

In 2009, the Spartans won the Class 6A state title beating Maryville in the title game and he had a 40-23 overall record.

But problems haunted Rutherford and the Spartan program over the last two seasons as they had to forfeit two games because of an ineligible player, another game with Ridgeway because of hazing allegations.

He was suspended with pay in May for allegations that he physically disciplined a player.

But the Clarence Mumford test taking scandal was what made him resign as he testified against Mumford that he was paid by Mumford to take tests for other teachers.

12. Science Hill finally beats DB
There are losing streaks and then there's the losing streak to Dobyns Bennett for Science Hill.

Finally behind the arm and legs of Science Hill quarterback Malik McGue, the Hilltoppers beat Dobyns Bennett 35-24 for the first time 1994.

With the win, Science Hill won the district 1-AAA title something DB had won three straight seasons.

The win capped nearly two decades of frustration for Science Hill as the Indians had dominated the series beating the Hilltoppers 19 consecutive times.

The win propelled Science Hill to a playoff win over Farragut before falling to Sevier County in the second round.

Dobyns Bennett on the other hand was bounced in the first round of the 6A playoffs by Morristown East and finished 6-5, their worst record since going 5-6 in 2009.

11. Deja Vu
What do coaches Joe Gaddis, Ben Murphy, Paul Brenner and Jeff Robertson have in common?

All four head coaches took over programs for the second time in their careers in 2013.

The headliner was Gaddis who returned to the Oak Ridge sideline after being away for 15 years.

Gaddis was the most successful coach in Oak Ridge history going 119-24 from 1988-1998 and he also led the Wildcats to the 1991 Class AAA state title.

He led the Wildcats to the Class 5A playoffs this season as they posted a 7-4 record.

Ben Murphy returned to the Chuckey Doak sideline after a year away.

Murphy led the program for 10 years from 2002-2011 and had a 32-71 record during that time but stepped away when Aaron Christian took over the job in 2012.

After Christian resigned, Murphy took back the job and promptly led the Black Knights to a 7-4 record and a trip to the 3A playoffs.

For Brenner, who hasn't been far from the Zion Christian program since he started it at the junior varsity level in 2003.

He also was the head coach in 2004-05 before turning the program over to Bob Yancey in 2006.

He stayed on board as the Offensive Coordinator from 2006-2011 before stepping down in 2012 when Walt Smith took over.

Brenner found himself the leader of the program when Smith left to take the Giles County job and Zion finished 2-8 this year.

For Robertson, who is also the Athletic Director at Riverside, he returned this year to return the Panthers to the playoffs this season.

10. They Didn't Make The Playoffs?
Every year teams make and get bounced from the playoffs and the most consistent programs continue to make the playoffs which is impressive.

Since 1982 the last time the Bulldogs missed the playoffs, Milan has been a West Tennessee powerhouse that continually
Battled for a state title winning two of them and winning 66 playoff games.

But after finishing runner up in both 2011 and 2012 to CAK, Milan went 3-7 and missed the playoffs in 2013, for the first time in 31 seasons.

Brentwood High also has a history of making the playoffs as the Bruins have punched their playoff ticket every year since last missing the playoffs in 1996.

The Bruins won a 5A state title in 2002 and have won 26 playoff games during their playoff streak but like Milan they went 3-7 and missed the playoffs this year.

9. 1st Playoff Wins
Campbell County, East Nashville, Fayetteville and Pigeon Forge all are at different stages of their football programs.

But all four programs made school history by winning their first playoff games in 2013.

It took 29 years before Campbell County made the playoffs for the first time in 2004.

Now after three unsuccessful tries, the Cougars beat Gibbs 41-7 in the first round of the 5A playoffs before losing to Knoxville West in second round.

East Nashville which was East Literature until a name change in 2012 had a successful season this year and defeated Lipscomb Academy in the first round of the 3A playoffs.

Not only did East Nashville win their first playoff game after the name change they played 3A runner up CPA well in the second round before losing.

Like East Nashville, Fayetteville won their first playoff game on their first try this year.

The Tigers which played their first varsity season this year, entered the 1A playoffs with a 4-6 record but they became road warriors in the playoffs.

The No. 6 seeded Tigers beat the defending 1A state champions Gordonsville in the first round and then bounced No. 2 seeded Monterey in the second round before bowing to South Pittsburg in the Quarterfinals.

Pigeon Forge under the direction of first year coach Scott Meadows defeated Sullivan North this season after losing their first five playoff appearances.

The Tigers (6-6) ran into Alcoa in the second round but not before making school history.

8. Weird Hiring/Resignations
Ricky Ross and Jack Jakobik thought they had their first head coaching jobs in 2013, they both were hired, Ross at South Pittsburg while Jakobik was replacing Cody Finley at Cheatham County.

But Ross citing a miscommunication over commitment resigned his post at South Pittsburg in March barely two months after getting hired.

South Pittsburg then hired Tim Moore, an ex-Pirate and Moore led South Pittsburg to the 1A state title game.

Jakobik's hiring and sudden resignation after only 20 days on the job was even more bizarre as he was hired on May 3 by the Cheatham County Superintendent but he wasn't the popular community choice.

All Jakobik did was get the job, unfortunately the community didn't give him a chance So Jakobik sensing he was wasn't going to be given a choice resigned and was replaced by longtime Alabama high school coach Brian Mintz.

Mintz led the Cubs to a 3-7 record.

Former NFL player and college assistant Ken Karcher was named the next football coach at the Kings Academy in mid January.

Karcher decided not to take the job a week later and a week after that was named the new head football coach at East Central Community College in Mississippi.

The Kings Academy was able to lure Matt Lowe as their new head coach and Lowe led TKA to a 5-5 record and they almost made the Division II-A playoffs.

Bill Satterfield was thought to be hanging up his whistle following the 2012 season at Seqouyah high school

He supposedly retired in May after coaching for over 40 years.

A month later, he was coaxed back into coaching at Seqouyah for the 2013 season and the Chiefs went 9-3 losing to Hixson in the second round of the 4A playoffs.

7. UT Dominates State In Recruiting
Butch Jones said since he was hired at Tennessee that he was going to rebuild the program "Brick By Brick".

Although the Volunteers finished 5-7 this year, Jones and UT fans should be very impressed with their in state haul in the Class of 2014.

UT has eight players committed to this years class including five stars Josh Malone (Station Camp WR) Jalen Hurd (Beech RB) and Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville Webb DB) along with Charles Mosley (Brighton DT), Derek Barnett (Brentwood Academy TE/DE), Rashaan Gaulden (Independence DB), Vic Wharton (Independence DB) and Aaron Medley (Marshall County K).

6. Roger Perry Steps Down Because of Health

Longtime coach Roger Perry had a near death experience in April.

Perry had five bypass surgery in mid April and in June stepped down from being head coach at Mt. Juliet and allowed son Trey to take over the program.

Roger Perry became the Director of Football Operations at Mt. Juliet and was the offensive coordinator for the Bears this year.

Trey Perry had been the school's defensive coordinator since 2006 and was ready to lead the Bear program into the season.

5. Bowers, Wade Win Appeal to Coach Title Game

Ensworth head football coach Ricky Bowers and offensive coordinator Paul Wade was thrown out of the game at the end of Ensworth's state semifinal win over Brentwood Academy.

Two videotapes surfaced following the ejections as Bowers was thrown out for bumping referee Michael Lloyd while Wade was tossed for using profane language toward Lloyd.

According to TSSAA rules, the ejections of the Ensworth coaches meant they would miss the Division II-AA title game against MUS.

The TSSAA approved an appeal of their suspension because of misapplication of a National Federation of State High School Associations rule about an official’s jurisdiction, executive director Bernard Childress told the Tennessean.

With Bowers and Wade coaching, the Tigers overcame a 10-0 fourth quarter deficit to win their fourth consecutive Division II-AA state title 27-10 over MUS.

4. Improvements/Disappointments
The 10 Biggest Record Improvements in 2013
+9- Morristown East from 1-9 to 10-2
+9- Upperman from 4-6 to 13-1
+8- Melrose from 0-10 to 8-4
+8- Rhea County from 2-8 to 10-2
+7- Bruceton from 1-9 to 8-4
+7- Campbell County from 3-7 to 10-2
+7- Hendersonville from 4-6 to 11-4
+7- Henry County from 8-3 to 15-0
+7- Lewis County from 6-5 to 13-1
+7- Ravenwood from 3-7 to 10-2

The 10 Biggest Record Disappointments in 2013
+9- Beech from 15-0 to 6-5
+9- Cheatham County from 12-1 to 3-7
+9- Milan from 12-3 to 3-7
+8- Boyd Buchanan from 12-2 to 4-7
+8- Brentwood High from 11-2 to 3-7
+8- CAK from 14-1 to 6-7
+8- Columbia from 12-3 to 4-6
+8- Gordonsville from 13-1 to 5-6
+8- Livingston Academy from 11-2 to 3-7
+8- Mt Juliet from 12-2 to 4-6

3. Reflections From Cookeville
First of all Congrats to all the state title winners Knoxville Webb (Division II-A), Ensworth (Division II-AA), Union City (1A), Trousdale County (2A), Alcoa (3A), Fulton (4A), Henry County (5A) and Maryville (6A).

Trousdale County, Fulton, Henry County and Maryville all won the state title undefeated.

But what I will take away from the three day, eight game event hosted by the gracious people of Cookeville was some behind the scenes stuff I was able to get like:

First year South Pittsburg head coach Tim Moore and I talking about his involvement in playing at South Pittsburg in the late 1970s to coaching his alma mater three decades later, nearly three hours before the 1A title game.

Trousdale County head coach Kevin Creasy trying to find answers from his players at halftime of the 2A title game.

With the Yellow Jackets clinging to a 7-6 lead over Adamsville at the half, Creasy decided to change the offense slightly to a more I formation then normal wing T.

The adjustment worked as Trousdale went on to win the 2A title 21-12 and Creasy's third state title in his six years in Hartsville.

CPA coach Ingle Martin talking about what it means to get to the state title game as a coach versus making it as a player.

Martin quarterbacked MBA to three straight Division II titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Walt Smith, one of three first year coaches to make the state title game (David Carter, St. George's, Tim Moore, South Pittsburg) talking about what it meant to him to be able to steer Giles County to the 4A title game.

The biggest hurdle was the opponent in Fulton, who has the state's longest winning streak at 21 games and before all was said and done scored 854 points on the year.

The look on Knoxville West coach Scott Cummings when asked about how good Henry County was pre game on the field.

Cummings, a self proclaimed "worrier" is a even keeled guy on the outside he says but on the inside, well that's a different story.

The 5A game between Henry County and West was the best best game of the three days in Cookeville and it was a real Shane someone had to lose as Henry County nipped West 28-27.

And finally, the militaristic way that Maryville under George Quarles was pre game clash with Hendersonville.

Quarles, who is a cool as a cucumber leaves no stone unturned instructing his troops to get hydrated by getting some Gatorade and making sure everyone had enough air in their helmets.

Quarles walks around the room not saying a word but shakes every players hand while constantly checking his watch.

There's a reason that Maryville never panics in state title games because their leader in George Quarles never does.

2. Marion County Scandal
Unless you have been living under a rock, everyone has heard about the Marion County Scandal that rocked the small knit community of Jasper.

The scandal made the rounds nationwide as well making the ESPN show "Olbermann" twice, yahoo sports and various worldwide newspapers as well.

In it's wake, two assistant coaches were arrested (Michael Schmitt and Joe Dan Gudger), another coach was fired and head coach Mac McCurry resigned as well.

The Warriors also received probation of no spring practice in 2014 and a longer dead period of four weeks instead of the regular two weeks for practicing a former South Pittsburg player.

1. The Death of a Coaching Legend
In March, legendary Lipscomb Academy Glenn McCadams passed away from complications of cancer.

Known as one of the best coaches in the state, his credentials were unbelievable a 319-112 overall record and the Mustangs won three state titles.

Coaches and administrators from across the state came to his visitation and his funeral which showed you the impact that Coach "Mac" had on the field but off the field as well.

Longtime Lipscomb Academy assistant Scott Tillman was named as the interim head coach for the 2013 season and the Mustangs played well going 8-3 on the year and making the playoffs.

Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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