Farragut fans — if you can’t make it to the game then be sure to join the Voice of the Admirals, Erik Gerhardt, on WFIV 105.3 FM. Pre-game coverage typically starts at 7 pm. We caught up with Erik as he was preparing for the upcoming broadcast season:
What do you think about the line-up of opponents this season?
District 4 AAA is in my opinion, like Region 2 5A before it, one of the most competitive in the state. Throw in the likes of Dobyns-Bennett, Oak Ridge and McMinn Co. for your non-district opponents and Farragut’s schedule has to be considered among the most challenging in Tennessee. I love having the opportunity to broadcast such an exciting regular season schedule. Of course, many schools have gone the opposite direction with their non-district contests looking to capitalize on the obvious flaws in this system the TSSAA has imposed. Beyond my own broadcasting interests, though, I believe most times the team will be better served in the long run – the reward outweighing the risk – for having played a more competitive schedule.
What are the key games?
I could easily make the case that they’re all key games, especially considering the competitive nature of the schedule which makes a slip-up against a supposed inferior opponent all the more difficult to overcome. Most people probably wouldn’t have pointed to the Lenoir City game last year, but that outcome resulted in Farragut — ridiculously — having to travel half way across the state for the 1st round of the playoffs. Had the Admirals defeated the Panthers, they would have hosted Blackman in the opening round (the same ridiculous 1st round pairing — the 2 runners-up from the state’s 2 toughest districts — but at least more to Farragut’s favor). From a traditional standpoint, certainly Bearden and Oak Ridge jump out as key games. Owning the head-to-head over West the last 2 seasons has given Farragut the nod for 2nd place in District 4AAA (not that it’s been at all helpful where post season positioning has been concerned), and I expect West will again have a strong, athletic team that will be near the top of the heap. There’s also Catholic and William Blount, the district opener and the regular season finale. Those games are big because of where they fall on the schedule and, additionally, because I expect both to be much improved. Of course, any team aspiring to win District 4 is going to have to knock off Maryville, so that one’s always very important.
Reflections on the program and its history?
Farragut has had some very good teams over the years, many of those in recent years. I will always remember with special fondness the 1981 team because I was at such an impressionable age (6th grade) and Farragut had such an outstanding season. I hope today’s players appreciate the opportunity they have to make that type of impression on younger kids. It’s the kind of thing Coach Courtney consistently emphasizes. I also hope the Farragut community recognizes how extremely fortunate it is to have a coach that knows the program’s history — because he’s lived it (34th season at FHS coming up) — but is in no way given to nostalgia. Coach Courtney’s focus is solely on this team, its next opponent, and ultimately helping these players mature and achieve something special. From a broadcaster’s perspective, I couldn’t ask for a more accomodating coach with which to work. I’m stating the obvious here, but it speaks volumes that his name graces PrepXtra’s Courage Award. While the playing surface at Farragut appropriately bears Coach Bill Clabo’s name, given the stadium reconstruction in 2008 which he largely oversaw, it seems only fitting that Coach Eddie Courtney’s name, sooner rather than later, become the official stadium title.
I’m just looking forward to another entertaining season. I wish the Admirals the best of health and the best of luck in 2012.Tweet