Randy Smith: Tigers Versus Pirates - All New Meaning

Friday, October 13, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
It's been a while since South Pittsburg's annual meeting with cross county rival Whitwell meant as much as the game tonight does. The two unbeaten Class A squads play at South Pittsburg this evening for the Region title. The two teams are also ranked in the top four in most high school polls, with the Pirates at number one and the Tigers ranked third or fourth depending upon which poll you look at. South Pittsburg has been there many times before but it's been a long time since Whitwell has been unbeaten this far into a regular season.

All those many years that South Pittsburg was ranked and playing for state championships, Whitwell was just trying to forge out a winning season and most of the time the Tigers came up short. There were a few seasons that saw the Tigers win one or even two games with an occasional winless season. Players had to listen to disrespect from both Jasper and South Pittsburg, the other two towns in Marion County. Oh, there was the 1991 season; the one that Whitwell fans fondly look back on. The Tigers that season made it all the way to the state semi-finals before losing to Franklin Road Academy. I had the privilege of doing the Tigers games on radio that season and they were good that year, really good. But seasons like that have been few and far between in Whitwell. 

Then came the 2017 season. First year head coach Randall Bouldin took over with a good group of experienced players and the Tigers have blown through the first seven games unbeaten. A win over South Pittsburg would create more excitement than folks in Whitwell could remember.

The Pirates lead the all-time series with the Tigers 70-12-2, with Whitwell winning the very first meeting back in 1930 by a score of 13-0. Since 2000, South Pittsburg has won by scores of 72-36, 63-7 and 82-0. So you can see why this game is so important to Whitwell. It's not every year the Tigers have a team with enough talent to compete with the Pirates, but in 2017 they do. Whitwell has given up a mere 4.3 points per game this year, and among those seven wins is a win over perennial state power Trousdale County last week. 
If Whitwell wins over the Pirates, the celebration will last until the wee hours of the morning. If South Pittsburg comes out on top, the sun will rise in Whitwell on Saturday morning and the Tigers will begin to prepare for their next opponent. The Tigers will also prepare for what would hopefully be a long playoff run, which could include a rematch with South Pittsburg. 
That's why this game is so important.

* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.

Heights Blasts Covenant Behind Six Double-Figure Scorers

Six of 12 Hamilton Heights players scored in double figures Tuesday night as the Hawks defeated Covenant Christian, 92-70. The Hawks are now 8-2 on the season. Tre Edwards scored 16 points to lead the Hawks, who enjoyed a 42-29 halftime advantage. Kevaughn Ellis and Wheza Panzo each had 15 points, Jordan Rawls added 13 points, Sampson Ruzhentsev 11 and Uros Plavsic 10. ... (click for more)

Majors, Ex-Tennessee Player, Coach Sugar Bowl Hall Of Fame Inductee

NEW ORLEANS -- Legendary former Tennessee football player and head coach Johnny Majors has been named to the inaugural class of the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame, as announced on Monday by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Majors is one of 16 legends who starred in the annual New Orleans football classic. The first class of Hall of Famers spans seven decades of Sugar Bowl action ... (click for more)

Man Barges Into Woman's Home In MLK Neighborhood; Tries To Rape Her; Photos Of Suspect Released

Chattanooga Police said a man barged into a woman's home in the MLK Neighborhood around noon on Tuesday and tried to rape the woman.   Police said, "The victim was followed by the suspect into her residence where the victim was then attacked. The suspect at that time attempted to rape the victim and then fled the scene."   The victim then called the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Moccasin Bend Resident Asks City To Move Police Firing Range So He Can Open Bed And Breakfast Inn

A Moccasin Bend resident is asking the city to move a police firing range from off the historic Bend so he can open a bed and breakfast inn. Steve Holmes also said the move needs to take place because the new Moccasin Bend National Park is set to begin implementing its management plan early next year. He said the park should bring 250,000 visitors to Chattanooga each year with ... (click for more)

Current Republican Tax Plan Will Add To The National Debt

Independent tax experts agree that the Republican tax plan will add over $1 trillion to the national debt, even accounting for economic growth.  Adding to the national debt during good economic times doesn’t seem smart to me. The time for adding anything to the national debt is during a major war or when the economy needs more government spending to stimulate it during a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s Focus On ‘Better’

As I stepped away from the overflow crowd at Monday night’s Town Council meeting on Signal Mountain, I leaned in to tell Jean Trohanis how sorry I was to hear of the loss of her dearest friend. But in that millisecond before I could speak, the former but still-loved elementary school principal gave me her best hallway hiss and, with a pointed finger, she ordered, “You be nice!” ... (click for more)