Jackson schools consider artificial turf field

fr turfSchool officials in Jackson County will be crossing their fingers over the next few weeks, hoping to get a low number back from a study looking at the cost of putting artificial turf on the football field of Smoky Mountain High School.

Pisgah-Tuscola rivalry is as good as it gets

op coxWhen my daughter, who is a freshman this year at Tuscola High School, made the Color Guard this summer, the first thought I had was that I would soon be seeing high school football games again for the first time since the late 1980s, when I was a fledgling sports writer for the Watauga Democrat in Boone. My second thought was that I would finally get my first real taste of the vaunted Tuscola-Pisgah rivalry, an intense battle that has been going on for more than 50 years.

This must be the place

art theplaceThe blazing Knoxville sun was quickly falling to the west, heading further down the road to Memphis and points beyond. Rocketing down Interstate 40, I shot into The Marble City, merging onto Neyland Drive.

Pardon the explanation, but I can’t help myself

op frI am living the days I have dreamed of all my life. “One day,” I said, somewhere ages and ages ago, “I will have children, and I will watch the Super Bowl with them just like I watched it with my dad.”

And now I do have children, and I am watching the Super Bowl with them, explaining different fine points of the game, explaining what the game represents and why the game means so much to the players, the coaches, and the fans. I am explaining (I do a lot of explaining — I am a teacher, you see, and a former sportswriter, so it’s not as if I can help myself. I would explain the game to the dog if the kids weren’t here) … wait a minute, where was I?

What to do when winning means closing: Parent wants discussion about football-related school closure in Swain

fr footballSwain County students may have been cheering when the high school football team’s trip to the state semifinals meant everyone got out early that day, but not all parents felt the same way. Elizabeth Wilmot, a Bryson City resident with two children who attend elementary school, was angry when she received an automated call from the school system on Tuesday, Dec. 3, informing her that school would be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. that Friday, Dec. 6. 

Family, feuds and football

coverHeather Brookshire is behind enemy lines. 

“Everybody has been giving me a hard time all day,” she chuckled.

Taking orders and running around DuVall’s Restaurant in Waynesville last Friday morning, Brookshire is sporting a bright red and white shirt with the words “Pisgah Black Bears” emblazoned across it. 

Swain school officials take swift action against football player for racial insults on Facebook

A Swain County High School junior varsity football player was suspended from school for 10 days and kicked off the team for racially derogatory comments made to a member of the Cherokee JV football team.

This must be the place

art placeThe floor below me began to shake.

For a moment, the idea of the structure collapsing seemed plausible. All around me, thousands of people were screaming, thrashing their arms wildly with manic looks on their faces. It was Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., and I was partaking in my first Southeastern Conference (SEC) football game.

Gridiron Gals: WCU program teaches women football tactics

fr womenfootballFemale fans of Western Carolina University athletics know three things — which player the quarterback is, when a touchdown is scored and, more importantly, how to tailgate.

WCU lines up against the Crimson Tide, for good or ill

coverDown by six touchdowns to the University of Alabama at halftime, Western Carolina University head coach Mark Speir never gave up on his team.

“When you’re getting into an ugly ball game like that, our players didn’t quit playing; they kept fighting,” he said. “At halftime, we were going to play for 30 more minutes and see where our program is at in [its] infant stage.”

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