Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s order allowing contact sports to resume affected numerous local teams and leagues, middle school football included.
The TPJHS Junior Bears officially began practice Wednesday ahead of just their second season in program history. All Monroe County middle school football programs completed their inaugural seasons last year.
Tellico was slated to continue practice the following Thursday and Friday. All county middle school teams are now practicing, as both the Sequoyah Junior Chiefs and the SJHS Junior Cats have started practice, as well.
Head coach Lynn Rowe announced via the team’s Facebook page that the Junior Bears will kick off their 2020 season as originally scheduled.
“We plan on going with our original schedule with games beginning on August 20,” Rowe wrote.
Tellico finished its 2019 campaign with a 2-5 record. The Junior Bears boasted arguably the best turnaround of any county team, turning a rough start into positive momentum and a SETAC Papa’s Pizza Bowl win.
Sweetwater held the best record of county middle school teams last season at 4-4, including a sweep of county opponents. Sequoyah finished at 3-6.
Both the Junior Cats and the Junior Chiefs lost in the first round of the SETAC playoffs last year.