Town of Ringgold Gets a Kick Out of Football

Tigers Host Central Carrollton Friday in State Quarters

Thursday, November 28, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

It’s been 22 years since Ringgold assistant head football coach Coby Holtcamp has had football practice as part of his Thanksgiving Day agenda.

Exactly 22 years to the day.

Today, the 40-year-old Holtcamp along with the other Ringgold Tiger coaches and players put the final touches on a game plan which hopefully will produce a Friday Night Lights home win against Central Carrollton in a Georgia AAA quarterfinal playoff game.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Turn back the calendar to Thursday Nov., 28, 1991 and a 17-year-old Holtcamp – a senior quarterback for the Whitwell Tigers - delayed turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie a few hours for a holiday morning playoff practice.

He probably had an extra slice or two of celebration pie the next night as he scored two touchdowns in a 28-7 Whitwell upset on the road of big, bad defending Class A state champ Trousdale County on Nov. 29.

Holtcamp, along with head coach Robert Akin who 10 years ago had that special T-Day practice on the way to a 1993 Boyd Buchanan state championship run, hope that their experience of winning big playoff games can be passed along to their players.

One Tiger who shines brighter as the stakes get higher is senior quarterback Slade Dale

While his athletic future is baseball – heading to the U. of Georgia next fall – he had performed some miracles on the gridiron this fall.

A prep version of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, Dale has confused and frustrated opposing defenses all season with his arm and legs, having led the Blue and White Tigers to the school’s first two playoff wins earlier this month.

“Slade has great football intelligence that you cannot coach,” said Holtcamp. “He has a great mind for the game.”

While Ringgold is known for its strong baseball program, Dale and company have given the Ringgold faithful a reason to make Friday night football a high priority.

But while Dale steals the headlines, a soft spoken 5-4, 15-year-old sophomore is the important exclamation point at the end of Dale’s dazzling, crowd-cheering plays.

Abel Vargas has been playing organized soccer since the age of four acquiring a few championship trophies along the way, never kicked an extra point until midway through this season and has been a key factor in the team’s success.

“He’s a godsend for our program,” said Holtcamp. “He’s Mr. Automatic having missed only one extra point attempt in seven games since taking over the extra point and field goal duties in the 30-0 win at Sonoraville, Oct. 4.

“At first, my parents were against me playing football thinking I would be chased by 200 pound linemen (Vargas weighs 130), but after I explained my role on the team they became supportive of my new sport,” said Vargas who makes As and Bs, and speaks fluent Spanish and is now studying German.

A win tomorrow night and a spot in the state semis will most likely depend on the exploits of Ringgold’s “Johnny Football” and his golden arm, but a one or two point Tiger victory could bring warranted attention for Mr. Automatic, better known as Abel “much more than able” Vargas.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


CCS, Signal Mountain Split In Distric 7-AA Matchup

The Chattanooga Christian School basketball teams split with Signal Mountain in a district 7-AA matchup at CCS.  The Lady Eagles of Signal Mountain held CCS to just 19 points, winning 32-19.  The Charger boys improved their district record to 2-0 with a 54-45 win.  In the low scoring girls game, Signal Mountain led 10-6 at the half.  Signal would score 14 ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tyner Girls Defeated Howard 40-35

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (5)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)