Raiders fall to Cascade 47-56 in district consolation game

As the TSSAA District 8 Tournament concluded this week several MCHS players earned honors. (Andrew Copeland, Riley Holman, and Brayden Cashion earned All Season recognition. (Photos courtesy of Jeff Reed Photography)

BEDFORD COUNTY — Second effort points by Cascade and low fourth period scoring from the Raiders told the story Thursday night as Moore County lost to Cascade 47-56 in the District 8 consolation game.

The Raiders went into the fourth quarter down by just four points with a clear path to the W but missed shots and Cascade’s second efforts scores sealed the game. The Raiders shot just 5-19 from the floor and 7-17 from the three point line against the Champions.

The two teams traded losses in the regular district season. Cascade beat the Raiders in Lynchburg on January 19 by a final of 56-65. Moore County returned the favor on February 5 at Cascade by beating the Champions, 55-51. Cascade (1) and Moore County (2) came into the District Tournament ranked in the top spots but lost to Fayetteville and Eagleville respectively to match up in the consolation game. With the win, Cascade earned a three seed match up against two seed Merrol Hyde in the Regional Quarterfinals. The Raiders will now face number one seed LEAD Academy on Saturday.

Moore County dominated the first period. They gained the lead at the 2:50 mark thanks to a pair of free throw shots by Dylan Scruggs to go up 7-6. Cascade’s Alex Allison answered with a lay up. Three point shots by Riley Holman and Colton Bateman helped the Raiders end the period with a 12-10 lead.

Brayden Cashion and Riley Hollman earned All Tournament honors. (Photos Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

The Raiders maintained their lead at halftime thanks in part to outstanding defense play by Andrew Copeland who managed five blocked shots in eight minutes. Cascade also wandered into early foul trouble sending Raider shooters to the line eight times in the first half of play. Copeland shot a perfect 4-4 from the line and Dylan Scruggs shot 7-8. A trey by Brayden Cashion and a jumper by Will Harder in the last two minutes helped the Raiders manage a 21-19 lead at the half.

The Raiders needed to keep Cascade high scorer Alex Allison out of the paint in the second half in order to be successful. That’s exactly what didn’t happen. Allison managed his way to the goal and through Raider players for nine second half points. Many of those points were second effort scores from Allison snagging his own rebound. Despite being outscored by Cascade in the third, three point shots by Andrew Copeland and Will Harder helped the Raiders only trail by two, 35-37, at the break.

Copeland‘s defensive efforts showed up in fouls. He started the fourth period on the bench with four. The Raiders trails by as many as eight points before Riley Hollman got them back within six with a jumper. Cascade fouled Dylan Scruggs on two consecutive plays and his 3-4 from the line got the Raiders back within three, 43-46. Allison and Jackson Davis then went back to work in the paint to get Cascade ahead 47-53 with less than a minute remaining. Moore County fouled Allison with thirty second to play. He made both giving Cascade an eight point lead that essentially put it out of reach. At the final buzzer, it was Raiders 47, Champions 56.

Riley Holman led for the Raiders with 10 points. Will Harder and Andrew Copeland followed with nine each. Dylan Scruggs and Brayden Cashion scored seven point each and Colton Bateman added five. Alex Allison led for Cascade with 17.

The Raiders now move on to Class A East Region action and will face District 7 number one seed LEAD Academy in Nashville on Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. To view a full bracket, click here. LEAD Academy only allows two tickets per player but local fans can watch via the NFHS Network thank to the MCHS Sport Network student broadcasting crew. Click here for that link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders battle but fall to Eagles 50-54 in District Tournament

Tournament officials named three MCHS Raiders to the All District Team following Tuesday night’s game: Brayden Cashion, Riley Holman, and Andrew Copeland. (Photo Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS | It was a basketball game that felt a bit like a tennis match with lots of second half lead changes and swinging momentum.

The Raiders battled back from a 14 point third period deficit to get not one but two shots at a tie ballgame with less than a minute to play in Lynchburg. At the final buzzer, they fell to Eagleville 50-54 in the second round of the TSSAA District 8 Tournament. Brayden Cashion was the high scoring Raider with 18 points followed by Will Harder with 12.

The 12-10 Raiders and the 10-13 Eagles split their regular season match ups. The Raiders got the 59-54 win in Rutherford County on January 8 and the Eagles got pay back on January 26 — besting the Raiders in front of the home crowd in Lynchburg 61-50. In tournament action, Cascade and Moore County earned a bye week by coming in first and second in District 8. Eagleville beat Cornersville on February 22 to move on to second round play.

Fast first period and sluggish second

The Raider seemed relaxed and ready to go in warm ups and brought that same energy into the first period. They outscored the Eagles 13-6 in the first stanza thanks in part to the hot hands of Riley Holman who snagged seven points. Moore County gained the advantage by also playing aggressive defense — keeping the Eagle shooters safely on the perimeter.

The Eagles battled back in the second period. After getting on the board first in the second stanza with an Andrew Copeland jumper, the two District 8 teams traded baskets until the Eagles finally got hot at the three point line swishing one from the outside at 2:59 mark to pull them ahead by one: Raiders 19 – Eagles 20. Thirty second later the Eagles rebounded and threw another three point shot to give them a 19-23 advantage. They roared into half time with the momentum. At the end of the first two periods the score was Raiders 19, Eagles 25.

Riley Holman led the first half Raider scoring with 7 followed by Andrew Copeland with 4. Brayden Cashion and Dylan Scruggs added 3 point each and Colton Bateman scored 2.

Two shots at a time ballgame

The Eagles brought their second period momentum into the second half. They put together a 16 point run while holding Moore County to a single basket. Finally at around the 2:41 mark, Andrew Copeland broke the spell with a jumper in the paint. At the time out, Moore County trailed 23-36. Following the time out, Colton Bateman snagged another two points to get the Raiders back within 10.

The Eagles then found a Raider weakness that they exploited down the stretch as they used the screen to create a wide open lane for easy layups. At the end of the third period, Eagleville managed a 14 point lead and the Raiders trailed 26-40.

As if sensing time and opportunities were running out, the Raiders came back to life in the final stanza. Will Harder swished an impressive four from the three point line including three in a row to get the Raiders back within four. On his third, the Raider home crowd erupted and Moore County called for a quick timeout.

Following the break Brayden Cashion scored a quick two points to pull the Raiders within two, 45-47, with 2:53 left to play.

In the bonus, the Eagles then made four consecutive foul shots to build their cushion to 47-51 before Brayden Cashion drained a three to make it 48-51 with 1:03 left to play. On the next Eagle possession, the Raiders sent them back to the foul line but the Eagle shooter missed both. Cashion then muscled for another two points to get the Raiders within a single point, 50-51.

The hot hands that got them back in the game cooled for the Raiders as the seconds ticked down. With 1.2 seconds remaining, the Eagles went back to the line and made the bucket that put the game out of reach, 50-54.

The Raiders put together 50 points: Cashion, 18; Harder,12; Holman,7; Copeland,6; Bateman,4; and Dylan Scruggs,3. Kaden Snitzer was the top Eagleville scorer with 16 followed by Watson and Shingley with 13 each.

The Raiders will move onto a consolation game with Cascade in Bedford County on Thursday, February 25 to determine who they will play first in the Region 4 Tournament. District 8 leader Cascade lost to Fayetteville 53-61 on Tuesday. Tickets will be available at the Go Fans app or you can watch the Moore County Sports Network’s student broadcasting team on the NFHS Network. Click here for that link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

The Lynchburg Times Top 10 stories of 2020

Big changes at the distillery, a playoff run and Mr. Football finalist for the MCHS Raiders, a fiber Internet expansion, and a community coming together in a global pandemic – these are some of our Top 10 headlines from 2020. (File Photos)

Just because Lynchburg’s located in a small Tennessee county doesn’t mean we don’t experience big headlines that trickle through the nation. In 2020, The Lynchburg Times covered lots of headlines. Here are our top 10:

10. Buddy the Beagle gets his own Facebook Page | There’s famous and then there’s Lynchburg famous and Buddy the Beagle is definitely the later. Whether he’s cruising the historic Lynchburg Square looking to score some snacks or up at the Jack Daniel’s Visitor’s Center getting belly rubs from the tourist, Buddy is nothing if not popular. In January, one of Buddy’s friends at Jack, Allison Goodwin Hartung, decided he deserved his very own Facebook page. You can follow his hijinks there. Click here to read that story.

9. Nearest Green and Jack Daniel distillery create diversity partnership | Much of the foundational history of Lynchburg revolves around the unlikely friendship of two men, Jasper Newton Daniel and Nathan “Nearest” Green. Even if you don’t know it, the two shaped Moore County in countless ways that still echo today. So in June it felt fitting that their two distilleries would partner to shape the future of the distilling industry in ways that would have made both men proud. Together, they made a $5 million pledge to launch the Nearest Green School of Distilling, develop the Leadership Acceleration Program (LAP) for apprenticeships and establish the Business Incubation Program (BIP), which is focused on providing expertise and resources to African Americans entering the spirits industry as entrepreneurs. Click here to read that story.

8. Moore County deputy and subject exchange fire | Officer involved shootings are a rarity in Moore County, but in May a Moore County Sheriff’s Deputy and a suicidal subject exchanged fire at a home on Powell Hollow Road. The subject made a full recovery and no charges were filed in the standard TBI investigation that followed. Click here to read that story.

7. Barrel Tax issue fails … again | In 2012, Moore County voters voted down an attempt to levy a separate tax on Jack Daniel’s Distillery barrels. At the time, opponents of the ballot measure argued that it would be an “industry killer” and in 2018 the Tennessee Legislature showed their agreement by passing HB 2038 and SB 2076, bills that clarified that “Tennessee whiskey barrels [should] remain exempt from property tax.” Despite those facts, the issue seems to pop up in Lynchburg every few years. That’s exactly what happened in May when Metro Council member Wayne Hawkins made a presentation asking his fellow council members to approve money to legally revisit the issue. Much discussion ensued, but ultimately the motion failed by a 9-3 margin. Click here to read that story.

6. Kip Moore, Josh Turner, and Justin Moore headlines Lynchburg Music Fest | Lots of local events got cancelled or rescheduled in 2020 but with a brand new sprawling farm venue located in rural Mulberry and plenty of room to social distance, the Lynchburg Music Festival kept their October 4 date and snagged some outstanding acts. In August, they announced that Long Black Train crooner Josh Turner and two Academy of Country Music’s New Artists of the Year Kip Moore and Justin Moore (no relation) would headline. Click here to read that story.

5. Chris Fletcher replaces Jeff Arnett as Jack Daniel Master Distiller | In September, Jeff Arnett shocked Lynchburg and much of the whiskey-making world by announcing his departure from one of the best industry jobs in the world, Jack Daniel Master Distiller. Click here to read that story. Nearly a month later, the distillery announced that the Assistant Master Distiller and grandson of former Master Distiller Frank Bobo, Chris Fletcher, would take over the top spot. Click here to read that story.

4. Kris White replaces Jason Dobbs as MCHS Raider football head coach | In May, Raider Head Football Coach Jason Dobbs announced he was resigning his position at MCHS to pursue an opportunity at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro. Click here to read that story. Later that month, Director of School Chad Moorehead announced that an old coach would be the new head coach, Kris White. He would lead the Raiders to a 10-1 regular season and a playoff run. Click here to read that story.

3. Monster Broadband wins $1.1 million fiber grant | As the COVID 19 situation worsened, more and more Moore County residents depended on the Internet to work, attend classes, and connect online. In August, a local Internet company, Monster Broadband, applied for an were awarded a $1.1 million grant through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund that added 26 new miles of fiber Internet into our tiny county. In October, Metro Moore County applied for funding that added two more roads, Goodbranch and Goosebranch, to Monster’s fiber expansion. Click here to read that story.

2. Raiders make the playoffs; Parker named Mr. Football finalist | After their 10-1 regular season, the Moore County Raiders made a playoff run with not one but two Mr. Football nominees on their roster: Kaden White and Kyler Parker. On November 6, they beat the Wayne County Wildcats 49-14 and then moved passed Huntington on November 13 by a score of 42-22. Moore County ended their season on November 20 with a 38-29 loss to Fayetteville City, who would move on to win their first ever TSSAA Class 1A Football Championship with a 20-14 win over South Pittsburg. Raider QB Kyler Parker would go on to be named as one of the three Class A Mr. Football finalist. Hunter Frame of South Pittsburg ultimately won the award on December 8.

1. COVID-19 virus hits Moore County | Lynchburg may exist inside the second smallest of Tennessee’s 95 counties but the COVID-19 global pandemic created as many headlines here as in bigger cities. By March, confirmed cases of the virus started popping up throughout southern, middle Tennessee including as close as Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, and Lincoln counties. On April 29, the Lynchburg Nursing Center confirmed its first case – the fourth in the county. As of the last day of 2020, Moore County has experienced 701 total cases of COVID-19 and lost six friends and neighbors to the virus. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders seek a little revenge in playoff rematch against Fayetteville Tigers

Senior Dylan Scruggs, who helped tie the regular season game late in the fourth quarter against Fayetteville, will be one of the Raider seniors looking to exact a little revenge this Friday in the playoff rematch. (Photo Credit: Riley Corder for the Moore County Sports Network)

LINCOLN COUNTY — This Friday night, the Moore County Raiders will get a long anticipated opportunity: a rematch with the Fayetteville Tigers. The fellow Region 5A team exists as Moore County’s only loss of the 2020 season. That 28-22 defeat in Lincoln County on September 18 left a bad taste in the Moore County squad’s mouth.

It was an ugly affair.

The Raiders – in an uncharacteristic mistake-riddled first half – suffered nearly 15 first half penalties and lethargic play. Despite the fact that they tied the game late in the fourth quarter with a clutch Kyler Parker to Dylan Scruggs 55 yard touchdown pass, the Tigers faked a punt and scored the go ahead TD with 50 seconds remaining in the game. (To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.) An opportunity to right that wrong’s been circling in the Raiders players heads ever since.

“After that game, the coaching staff focused the team on just getting better each game, but the kids definitely want another shot at them,” Raider Head Coach Kris White said.

The 12-1 Raiders, haven’t loss a game since Fayetteville City, and now boast a Mr. Football finalist, another Mr. Football semi-finalist, an offense that’s as dangerous through the air as on the ground, and a defense that swarms the ball.

Led by Raider quarterback Kyler Parker and senior running back Tyler Smith, the Moore County offense has pieced together 2,345 rushing yards so far this season. The option QB and elusive running back have proven hard to stop.

In receiving, there are playmakers all over the field. Moore County’s balanced their running attack with 1,972 receiving yards led by freshman Dawson White (535), senior Kaden White (509), senior Brayden Cashion (327), and senior Dylan Scruggs (263), who missed several games late in the season due to a knee injury.

On defense, fellow Mr. Football semi-finalist Kaden White leads in tackles with 136 and he’s followed closely by teammates Donavin Pearson (133), Dawson White (121), and Tyler Smith (108).

By comparison, the 10-2 Tigers prefer to run the football. They’ve earned 2,105 yards on the ground and another 912 through the air. The Raider D will need to key in on freshman running back #3 KJ Jackson, who’s amassed 1,257 of the Tiger’s rushing yards this year. Junior Corian Cash (#11) is the Tiger leading receiver with 393 yards.

On the Moore County Sports Network’s Coach’s Corner on Saturday senior Brayden Cashion said it’s just an opportunity to mark another one off the list. Cornersville, Eaglevile, Chapel Hill, Huntingdon … for this year’s Raider seniors the 2020 season has been opportunity to beat those teams that presented obstacles to their collective success in previous seasons.

Despite that mission, senior center and nose guard Zac Carawan said that the Raiders remained level headed going into the game and planned to play with not only a lot of emotion but also a lot of discipline.

“Basically, it’s an opportunity to get revenge, but we also treat it just like any other game,” he said.

Fayetteville’s football stadium is a quick 30 minute trip down Highway 50 and Raiders Nation will likely show up in large numbers. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and are only available through the TSSAA website or the Go Fan app. MCHS Athletic Director Josh Deal told The Times that the Raiders were allocated 800 tickets and we’ve currently sold 501 of those tickets. If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders looking keep playoff bid alive against Huntingdon

Raider QB and Mr. Football semi finalist Kyler Parker celebrates as he runs for six points against Wayne County. (Photo Credit: Emily Black for the Moore County Sports Network)

HUNTINGDON — In post season play, the Raiders have been there and they’ve done that. But this year, the Raider playoff bid feels different and Friday night that road … like years before … goes through Carroll County.

The Moore County Raiders will travel tonight to take on the Region 6A Huntingdon Mustangs in a TSSAA Class 1A round two playoff game. The Raiders enter the contest with a 10-1 record. Their only loss of the season happened at Fayetteville in week five of the regular season.

The two teams are no strangers in post season play. Huntingdon put a stop to Moore County’s playoff bid in 2017 and again in 2018. On Friday, the Raiders will be looking for a little bit of revenge and to prove that they’ve got what it takes this year.

According to Coach White, the Mustangs play physical, smash mouth football and are known to be extremely physical up front. They also run the ball well.

“They are a sound football team,” Coach White says. “We’re gonna have to man up and stop them.”

The Mustangs are big and physical and they expect to be in the playoffs year after year.

Huntingdon enjoys a 9-2 overall records with losses against McKenzie and Milan in the regular season and a perfect Region 6A record. They beat Cornersville 48-8 to advance to the second round game against Moore County.

Stats against Wayne County

In last Friday’s playoff game against Wayne County at home, the Raiders put up 279 total yards of offense – 93 through the air and another 186 on the ground. Raider QB Kyler Parker threw five of eight for 63 percent. Tyler Smith led in both passing and rushing with 142 all purpose yards – three catches for 44 yards and six receptions for 98 yards. He also led the Raiders in scoring with three touchdowns. Chase Bradford was a perfect six of six on point after attempts.

Donavin Pearson led the Raiders on defense with 15 total tackles including eight solo tackles followed by Kaden White with 12 total tackles and an interception.

The 48-14 win over Wayne County gave Coach Kris White his first Moore County playoff victory.

“It was really gratifying but the biggest thing was to get to see these seniors reap the fruit of their labor,” said Coach White. “They believe in our coaching staff and they believe in each other. I’m just really happy for them because this will be their legacy.”

The Mustangs home field might present a bit of a culture shock to most Raider fans. It resembles a small junior college football stadium more than a rural high school football field and the Mustangs play on turf not natural grass. It’s a little more than three hours away for the Raiders, who will travel Friday on not one but three Moore County school buses due to COVID restrictions.

Seating will be limited to a third of the stadium’s total seating capacity, according to MCHS Athletic Director Josh Deal. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and are available only through the TSSAA website or the Go Fan app. According to Deal, tickets are still available. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders ranked #5 in state according to latest AP poll

The Raiders ranked #5 in the latest AP Poll. They take on Mount Pleasant on Friday to end the regular season. (File Graphic)

There isn’t much movement this week in the Associated Press (AP) Tennessee High School Football poll released on Monday as all of the top five teams won their October 23 games or enjoyed a bye week.

Number one South Pittsburg(8-1) beat Sale Creek 84-8. The number two Coalfield (7-0) Yellow Jackets beat Oliver Springs 14-7. Number three Greenfield (8-0) got a win over number eight Lake County (5-1) via forfeit. Number four Copper Basin (8-1) enjoyed a bye week and number five Moore County (8-1) beat Richland 35-7.

According to the TSSAA website, Moore County secured the number two spot in Division 1, Class 1A, Region 5 with their win over Richland. The current sanding are Fayetteville, Moore County, Huntland, Cornersville, Richland, and Mount Pleasant.

In the Coach T poll, Moore County (8-1) dropped to number three behind Coalfield (9-0) and Greenfield (8-0).

Moore County will play their final regular season home game this Friday against Mount Pleasant. It will be First Responder’s Night. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.

 If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

MC History: The Raider, Huntland Rivalry

{Editor’s Note: The annual Moore County versus Huntland rivalry game will be played on Friday in Huntland at 7 p.m.}

Make the mistake of saying native son Johnny Majors is from Huntland and any local will be quick to correct you. It’s a fact that the former UT football coach lived most of his early life in and is “from” Lynchburg … we don’t care what the UT media guides used to say. In fact, Majors Boulevard in Lynchburg pays tribute to the Majors family and their contributions to Moore County.

Johnny was born in 1935 to Shirley Inman and John Elizabeth Bobo Majors in Lynchburg. Shirley Majors played football at Moore County High School before coaching there from 1944-47. He left to restart the football program at Huntland High School. At the time, they hadn’t fielded a team in 20 years. He commuted each day from Moore County to Franklin County so that his children could continue to attend Moore County Schools. But that all came to an end one chilly fall night when Johnny and the MCHS Raiders beat his father’s Huntland Hornets 18-13 in the last regular season game.

Johnny Majors eighth grade yearbook picture … note the Lynchburg, TN. {Historical Photo}

“That’s the last dad-blamed time a son of mine plays against me,” he said, according to the State Archives.

After that, Shirley Majors packed up the family and moved to Huntland where Johnny finished his high school football career. It’s the genesis of an intense rivalry that remains today.

Over the years there have been lots of good-natured hi-jinx. Someone from the Huntland side once sent a black floral wreath to the Raiders prior to game day, according to former MCHS Cafeteria Manager Norma Stone.

Another local legend states the in 1993-94 a crew from Huntland supposedly snuck into Moore County and tagged local speed limit signs with a large “H” from MCHS to Huntland High School. “Occasionally, I will still see a sign with it still on there,” said native Christy Anderson.

Currently, the Raiders and the Hornets are neck and neck in Region 5A standings and each enjoys a 1-1 district record. The winner will likely move to the second spot behind Fayetteville City.

Kick off is at 7 p.m. If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

A Raider Homecoming: Friday night lights is a family affair for the White and Dickey families

The Whites (from left to right Holly, Kaden, Dawson, and Coach Kris White) say they are grateful to be back home in Moore County where football comes with family and a sense of community. (Photo courtesy of the Moore County Sports Network)

Homecoming in Moore County is one part Friday night lights and one part family reunion. Parade floats stuffed with colored tissue paper sit parked in the end zone as the queen and her court sit perched atop borrowed convertibles waiting for their royal loop around the field. It’s a night when the former star quarterback and his buddy lean against the home side fence reminiscing about the good ole days and old fames lock eyes from across the bleachers.

This year’s game will be another kind of homecoming as Raider Coach Kris White, flanked by his sons, Kaden and Dawson, will take the field on Friday for his first ever homecoming game as a head coach.

Community, family, and football

Coach White served as the Raider defense coordinator during the 2007 season under then coach Thomas McDaniel. After one year, he left to take an assistants position at Oakland High School before moving on to Knoxville Catholic High School. But he says Raider Stadium and this community were never far from his mind.

“When I left, we continued to keep up with the team and the players,” he says. “We also had lots of former players and their parents come cheer us on at Oakland.”

Kris and his wife, Holly (Dickey) White knew they always wanted to come back home to southern, middle Tennessee. They also knew that Kris longed for the challenge of a head coaching position but when the idea first popped up, Holly says there was a pause.

“At first, we though not yet,” says Holly. “Our boys (Kaden and Dawson) had already managed several moves during their school careers and we knew they wouldn’t be excited about another one … especially for Kaden senior year.”

But then the phone calls started pouring in … first one and then several from Lynchburg friends, and those involved with the program to voice their support and encouragement. Coach White says after he and Holly discussed it, it was family and a sense of community that finally moved the needle for them.

“My mom didn’t get to come see the boys play last year and neither did Holly’s dad,” Coach White says. “During this pandemic, family’s just started to mean more to everybody.”

In addition to their parents, both Holly and Kris have siblings who live in the area. Friday nights are now a family affair for the White and Dickey families as a sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins line the Moore County bleachers to cheer on Kaden and Dawson. Kaden, a senior, is the leading Raider receivers with 322 yards and Dawson, a freshman, has added 289 of his own all purpose yards. The “Smash Brothers” as the Moore County Sports Network announcers have nicknamed them also combine for an impressive 122 tackles as the Raider’s safeties.

Coach White says family and the love of football in the community made the MCHS job very tempting.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead says when he spotted Kris White’s application in the stack coming in for the Raider football head coach opening, he immediately knew he was the best candidate.

“About a week later, the MCHS administration presented him to me as their choice, and I agreed with the decision,” Director Moorehead says.

Both Coach White and his wife say that no matter how far away they moved that Moore County always felt like home and it didn’t take long for it to become the new normal.

“Moore County treated me great when I coached here before,” Coach White says. “You can feel the love of football and this team in this community. I’ve never forgotten that feeling.”

“Kaden and Dawson stayed connected to lots of their friend from before,” says Holly. “So we knew this transition was going to be much easier than they realized.”

The Whites also had another deep connection to Moore County, Lynchburg native Janice (Keller) Morey and her husband, Randy. The two also coached at Oakland High School during Kris’s tenure there as an assistant.

“I did her girl’s weight program during the day and got to know her well. Of course, Holly already knew her well from growing up together. Randy also coached there. Ryder and Kaden were the same age and played middle school baseball together. Dawson and Keller were also the same age. We all became really good friends.”

Those familiar faces helped smooth the tradition for everyone.

Coaching players to become young men

It’s a combination that seem to be clicking for this year’s Raider team. White inherited a senior-heavy roster from outgoing Raider Coach Jason Dobbs, whom White considers a good friend. He’s added to it rock star athletes from other sports like basketball and baseball to create a bench that’s both athletic and deep.

Beyond athletics, Coach White says he trying to teach his Raider team to become young men with respect and discipline. It’s a coaching style the players respond to as evidenced by their 5-1 record. Coach White credits that winning record not only to his players but also to the skill and devotion of his assistants: Morey, TJ Christian, Wes Black, Schuvaud Whitaker, and Manny Buchanan.

“I’m only as good as my assistants and how hard they work for this team,” says Coach White.

Moore County will take on Jo Bryns tonight at Raider Stadium. Homecoming ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and the game will kick off at 7 p.m. If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

After bye week, Raiders remain #5 in state

Little changed in the top ten Class A teams in the state this past week. The Raiders remain tied with Greenfield for the number five spot, according to the AP. (Lynchburg Times Graphic)

SPORTS | After a week off, the Moore County Raiders remain the number five Class 1A football in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Moore County remains tied with Greenfield for the number five spot, according to the latest poll released on Monday. South Pittsburg remains the undisputed number 1. They haven’t moved from that top spot all season. Copper Basin (2), Fayetteville City (3), and Coalfield (4) round out the top spots. Moore County lost in Fayetteville on September 18 by a 28-22 margin.

Lake County (7), Huntingdon (8), Cornersville (9), and Monterey (10) make up the remaining top ten Class 1A teams. The Raiders beat the Bulldog in Cornersville in September 4 by a final of 33-23.

The Raiders(5-1) will take on Jo Byrns (3-4) on Friday at Raider Stadium. To read our preview of that game, click here.

If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders drop two spots, remain in AP Top 10

The Raiders were ranked #7 in this week’s AP High School Football Top 10. {File Photo}

SPORTS | After losing a close one in Lincoln County last Friday to the Fayetteville City Tigers (4-1), the Moore County Raiders (4-1) remain one of the top 10 Class 1A teams in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP). In the new AP Tennessee High School poll released on Monday, Moore County dropped two spots to number seven.

Fayetteville City – who beat the Raiders 28-22 in week five – rose one spot to number five. Fellow Region 5 team the Cornersville Bulldogs (4-1) moved down one spot to number nine. Number one South Pittsburg (5-0) and number two Lake County (2-0) continue to battle out for the top spot.

In Region 5A action, the Raiders (1-1) remained tied with Cornersville (1-1) for the third spot. Fayetteville City leads with a perfect record in region play followed by Richland (1-0). Both Huntland and Mount Pleasant remain winless in region play.

The Raiders play the fourth of four consecutive road games this Friday night in Eaglesville. According to Moore County Athletic Director Josh Deal tickets will be limited to this away game and will be offered to the families of players, managers, and cheerleaders first. All available tickets can be purchased through the MCHS front office. (Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday: MC’s allotment of tickets is now sold out.) For more information, call 931-759-4231. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}