Burchfield vs Coalfield
Saturday at noon
The Burchfield Rams have already made school history just by reaching the Class 1A East Tennessee Middle School Championship game, but they hope to put the icing on the cake by winning the title.
The Rams are 8-1 and they are excited about the opportunity as they travel to Campbell County on Saturday, October 29 to face Coalfield.
"We are excited about it," Burchfield coach Sam Cooper said. "Our biggest challenge is to keep everything normal as possible. We want to let them be excited, but not get overexcited and get tired late in the week."
The Rams defeated Coalfield earlier in the season in what turned out to be a one-sided contest, but Cooper knows that Coalfield has an edge when it comes to experience.
"We are the favorite, but Coalfield has been there several times," Cooper said. "It's a first for us. For Coalfield's eighth graders it's their third straight time playing in this game."
Cooper has a lot of confidence in his players and his coaching staff. Charles Golden is the defensive coordinator and even stepped in as interim head coach while Cooper's wife was having complication with her pregnancy.
"He started in 2006 and he's carried a lot of the weight this year," Cooper said. "My wife had our baby on July 28 and she was nine weeks early."
Cole Hammock is coaching the offensive line and Cooper says he is a big part of the team's success as well.
"He teaches the kids," Cooper said. "The kids remember watching him play at Scott High. He does a really good job with the offensive line."
Brandon Smith is the spotter and also helps with the line and coaches the defensive backs. Don Massengale has been the equipment manager and statistician since 2008.
"Brandon does a great job," Cooper said. "He breaks down tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses on our opponents."
Another part of Burchfield's success this season comes from the addition of Jon Fletcher as the offensive coordinator. Fletcher has opened up the passing game and the Rams have been putting up points in a hurry.
"He has been calling plays and he's done a very good job for us," Cooper said. "He has tweaked our offense. This year with Fletcher we've opened it up some. We have a quick scoring offense and we throw the ball more."
Cooper is the head coach, but said that they run things a little different at Burchfield.
"We've got the attitude that every coach on our staff is the head coach," he added. "Everyone has to do their job and set an example for the kids."
"It's been a historical season for our team. We have the opportunity to go down in history."