Saturday, March 1, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
The only time the goal posts at Shanks Field at East Ridge High School have been torn down was the night R.C. Helton scored the winning touchdown for the Pioneers in a 10-6 upset of No.5 ranked Red Bank in Nov. 1982.
Three decades later, R.C. is not necessarily looking for the Whitwell High School football fans to tear down the goal posts on Friday nights, but does want the community and students to continue to be avid supporters of the football team.
Officially announced today as the Whitwell head football coach, Helton will put a smash mouth, run-the- football type offensive product on the field each week.
"We will run a Diamond T, multiple formation style offense and with nine starters returning on both sides of the ball we will have an experienced team for 2014," said Helton who was the power back in the talented East Ridge running game opposite Rodney Ballard in the early 1980s under coach Raymond James.
Helton replaces Billy Barnhart who was 5-5 in 2013 and 7-23 for three seasons.
"Last year's team won its final four games and with a veteran group back for this fall we should be in good shape."
Helton was the head coach at Trevor Browne High School in Phoenix, Ariz. the past three years, but has family in the greater Chattanooga area. His record improved each year from 0-10 to 2-8 to 5-5 in 2013.
"I am excited about this community which cares about its football program and the family type atmosphere here at Whitwell," Helton stated.
Spring Game - May 16 "I will be meet with every returning football player in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to the Red and White Spring Game on May 16."
Football Family: Coach Helton's step father is Ga. Tech great and All-American Leon Hardeman, who is a member of the 1952 Ga. Tech national championship team ... Hardeman also played at Trion HS, Lafayette HS and Baylor School before Ga. Tech.
2014 Whitwell Schedule
Aug. 22 @ Mt. Pleasant
Aug. 29 Midway (home opener)
Sept. 5 @ Marion County *
Sept. 12 Harriman
Sept. 19 South Pittsburg *
Sept. 26 Middle Tenn. Christian
Oct. 3 @ Lookout Valley *
Oct. 10 @ Clay County
Oct. 17 Sale Creek *
Oct. 24 @ Richland
* District game
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org