Strange, Thomas to Play in KY-TN Border Bowl

border bowl

The 9th Annual Kentucky vs. Tennessee National Guard Border Bowl with feature two senior Admirals hoping to make one final impression on college recruiters.  Cole Strange and Tanner Thomas will play one more time as teammates in a game that features the best prep players from Tennessee against the best from Kentucky.  Cole and Tanner have already chosen their college destinations, UT-Chattanooga and Columbia University respectively, but will showcase their talents one more time in an Admiral uniform representing the state of Tennessee.  The game is set to kickoff at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 16, at James H. Taylor Stadium on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.  For more information about the game go to the KY-TN Border Bowl website, and as always follow us on twitter @FarragutFB to see highlights from the game!  Good Luck Cole and Tanner!  Go Admirals!

Admirals Place 18 to All-Region 3-5A Team

The 2015 Admirals captured many individual post-season accolades and recognition from opposing Region 3 coaches in addition to the team’s success.  The Admirals won the Region 3-5A Championship, finishing with a 5-0 record, and 10-2 overall advancing to the Second Round of the Class 5A playoffs.  Additionally, the Admirals placed 16 players and two coaches to the All-Region Team, including Coach of the Year, Eddie Courtney.  Here is the complete list of Admirals on the All-Region 3-5A Team.

Coach Eddie Courtney – Coach of the Year

Coach Rusty Partin – Offensive Assistant of the Year

Tanner Thomas – Running Back of the Year

Justin Kirkendall – Defensive Back of the Year

Cole Strange – Defensive Linemen of the Year

Joe Doyle – Punter of the Year

Ben Hoffman – Special Teams Player of the Year

Ambrose Bechtel – Offensive Linemen (Scholar Athlete)

Drew Butler – Linebacker

Cameron Cobb – Linebacker

Hayden Huckaba – Defensive Back

Clay Jolley – Offensive Linemen

Tanner Mengel – Linebacker

Logan Mitchell – Defensive Back

Cole Morgan – Wide Receiver

Jacob Naumoff – Quarterback

Carter Phillipy – Placekicker

Michael Travis – Wide Receiver

In addition to All-Region 3-5A honors, these four players earned Class 5A All-State recognition from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.

Justin Kirkendall – Defensive Back – Justin led Tennessee in all classifications with 10 interceptions in 2015.  Additionally, he recorded 32 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 9 pass breakups from his cornerback position in 2015.  He scored 3 touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 260 yards receiving on offense, and returned one punt for a score vs. Gibbs.

Carter Phillipy – Placekicker – Carter finished his outstanding FHS career converting 12 of 15 field goal attempts with a long of 50 and all 52 extra point attempts during his senior season.  Additionally, he placed 52 of 59 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, fourth-most in Tennessee and second-most in Class 5A.

Cole Strange – Defensive Linemen – Cole recorded 104 tackles in 2015 and finished fourth in FHS history with 18 tackles for loss for the season.  He finished his career with 100+ tackles in each of the last two seasons, and 11th all-time with 226 tackles for his FHS career.

Tanner Thomas – Running Back – Tanner finished his senior campaign with 2,036 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns.  He led the state in Class 5A in both offensive categories.  His production in 2015 placed him fourth all-time for rushing yards in a season and tied for most touchdowns scored in FHS history.  For his career, Tanner finished second all-time with 5, 013 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns.

Artificial Turf Coming to Farragut in 2016!!!

A $10 million donation from the Haslam family, Pilot and Pilot Flying J will mean new, artificial turf fields for the 13 high schools in Knox County. Five schools will receive new tracks in the gift: Austin-East, Bearden, Gibbs, Halls and South-Doyle.

But that’s not all. $1.3 million will go to academics and education in Knox County. Each school will receive $100,000 to fund improvements in the classrooms across the county.

The new additions will be rolled out during the next three years, with the first project to break ground on April 1.  Fulton is guaranteed to receive their new artificial turf field in the first year because of the “Pilot Battle of Champions” matchup with Maryville on Saturday, August 27th. The game will air on WVLT with a grand opening ceremony, involving the Haslam family before the game kicks off.

After a drawing Thursday, the order is set for Knox Co. schools to receive turf football fields.
After a drawing Thursday, the order is set for Knox Co. schools to receive turf football fields.

After a random drawing Thursday night, this is the order that construction will begin in April.

“Thank you to the Haslam family for this great gift. Congrats to Farragut High School , both academically and athletically” said Farragut Head Coach Eddie Courtney.

– Farragut High School
– Powell High School
– Bearden High School
– Fulton High School

– Halls High School
– Gibbs High School
– Karns High School
– Central High School
– Carter High School

– South Doyle High School
– Austin-East High School
– Hardin Valley High School
– West High School

Cole Strange to play in Toyota East vs. West All-Star Game Friday!

Toyota Game logo

Fans be sure to tune into MyVLT  on Friday night at 8 p.m. EST to watch Cole Strange play one final time in an Admiral uniform! Look for #88 during the game, as Cole will be wearing that for the game. The 9th Annual Toyota East vs. West All-Star Game features some of the best senior players selected from the entire state of Tennessee to go head-to-head one more time.  Cole is the 11th former Admiral to be selected for the Toyota East vs. West game since 2007!  Friday’s game will be played at Tennessee Tech University’s Tucker Stadium in Cookeville.  For more information and a look at the game’s complete roster, you can click here for updates on the Toyota E/W Twitter feed.  Of course fans can follow along with @FarragutFB Friday during the game!  Good luck Cole!

Past Admirals selected for Toyota E/W All-Star Game:

2007- Andre Sterling

2008- Will Jackson

2009- DeAndre Purty, Lee Van Dyne

2010- Taino Fears-Perez

2011- Jacob Johnson

2012- Patrick Doucette, Jonathan King

2013- Billy Williams

2014- Nathan Gilliam

Admirals’ Comeback Falls Short, Rhea Co. Wins 40-34

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

Farragut High School football coach Eddie Courtney doesn’t want a heartbreaking season-ending loss to define his 2015 team.

“I’m really proud of these kids,” Courtney said after the Admirals came up on the short end of a 40-34 decision against Rhea County Friday night in a second-round Class 5A Playoff game before a packed house on a chilly night at Bill Clabo Field. “These kids have worked hard and they won a region championship.

“This hurts right now but this game will not and does not define us.”

Farragut (10-2) struggled to contain the Golden Eagles’ multi-pronged running attack,

“That Wing-T is hard to defend and all the credit has to go to Rhea County,” Admirals senior running back Tanner Thomas said. “They’re a great team and they played a great game.” The Golden Eagles (9-3) scored first on quarterback Daniel Dotson’s 1-yard run. Kicker Bhodi Buffenbarger added the extra point to give the visitors a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the opening frame.


PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

Rhea County’s defense stifled Farragut on its first possession but the Admirals got a huge break when Noel Patterson muffed a punt from Farragut’s Joe Doyle. Jack DeVault recovered the fumble and gave his squad the ball at the Rhea County 13-yard line.

A touchdown run from Thomas knotted the game on the next play.

Farragut never led in the game and fell behind 34-17 late in the third quarter before its sputtering offense and struggling defense came to life to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

“We gave them a lot of yards in the first half and in the third quarter before we were able to make some adjustments,” Courtney said.

During Rhea County’s early dominance, the Golden Eagles intercepted Farragut’s Jacob Naumoff and got a touchdown run

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

from Mason Stephenson that made the score 21-7. Patterson also caught a 22-yard scoring strike from Dotson to help the Golden Eagles retake the lead.

Thomas had a 54-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 midway through the second quarter and that represented the last scoring before halftime.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

The Admirals took the third-quarter kickoff and engineered a long drive that netted a 33-yard field goal from Carter Phillipy to make the score 21-17.

But Rhea County scored a pair of touchdowns to push its advantage to 34-17. Dotson appeared to put the game away when he scored from one yard out.

But the Admirals wouldn’t go away. Naumoff’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Mengel pulled Farragut to within 34-24 early in the final frame.

Thomas, who finished with 182 yards, made the score 34-31 and Phillipy went on to tie the game with a 34-yard field goal with 4:46 left to play.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

“We didn’t quit,” DeVault said. “We never quit.” 

Rhea County took a 40-34 lead with just under a minute to play but Buffenbarger missed the extra point, leaving Farragut one last chance to win and advance.

Farragut’s final drive came up empty when Tyler Pendleton intercepted a Naumoff pass at the Rhea County 24.

“I was really proud of our kids for coming back after they tied the game,” said Golden Eagles’ coach Mark Pemberton, who guided Knoxville Catholic to a Class 3A State Championship in 2008. “Farragut has a great football team over there and they’re well coached.

“They came in here 10-1 for a reason and we just made one more big play than they did.”

The loss was a bitter one for junior Admirals junior Cooper Hardin.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz,

“We fought hard to get back in this thing and it hurts to have it taken away on a big play,” Hardin said. “We have a great senior class and I’m going to miss those guys.”

Ken Lay is a Correspondent for the Farragut Press

A special thanks to Carlos Reveiz of CRFOTO for the action shots from the game. Every week be sure to checkout for a full photo gallery from Friday’s game. See a photo you like? They are also available for purchase directly from his website. Click here for this week’s photos.