ROGERSVILLE — Cherokee didn’t miss its chance to ring the bell for good performances in athletics. High notes came in football and girls bowling.
The football team reached the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs and the bowling team found the right groove to reach the state tournament.
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Coming off a one-win season, the Chiefs entered 2019 rather quietly. Within two weeks, they were making big-time noise.
Cherokee’s 32-30 win over Sullivan South in Week 2 sounded the alarm for a different year. The Chiefs eventually won five in a row before losing to eventual Class 4A champion Elizabethton.
A win over Cocke County guaranteed an above-.500 finish, but the Chiefs couldn’t crack the win column again — including a 41-3 loss to South Doyle in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
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The Lady Chiefs bowled over their opponents for a perfect run to the state tournament, winning all 10 of their matches.
But in the state tournament in Smyrna, they were unable to handle Stewarts Creek in the quarterfinals — despite receiving three solid games from Laura Andrews.
In the individual event, Shelbie Garrison finished fourth after a 190-149 loss to state runner-up Kyleigh Husted of White House.
Cherokee’s Austin Kirkpatrick qualified for the state championships and turned in a time of 16.51.41, finishing in the No. 36 spot.
Wins were hard to come by on the court for the Chiefs. They performed well in their own inaugural Big H BBQ Christmas Bash, losing by two points to South Greene in the championship game.
Cherokee picked up just three wins after the Christmas break and bowed out of the district tournament with a tough 62-57 overtime loss to rival Volunteer.
The girls also played their best ball during the school’s Christmas tournament. They picked up four of the season’s seven wins, beating Kentucky’s Betsy Layne 32-30 in the championship contest.
The season ended with a 30-22 loss to Tennessee High in the opening round of the district tournament.