Oneida vs Oliver Springs
Saturday at 2 pm
Playing in the East Tennessee Middle School Championship is nothing new for Oneida Middle and their coach Heath Sexton, after all they have won the last seven Class 2A Championships, but this year an old familiar foe is back in the mix.
The Indians will face Oliver Springs on Saturday at 2 pm at Campbell County High School.
The Bobcats won the title in 2007 before leaving to join the Clinch Valley League with several other teams. They were very successful in their new league as they won or finished runner-up nearly every season. This is their first year back.
"We're going to have to work for every inch we get Saturday," Sexton said. "But I think if our kids show up, perform and play the way we expect them to things will take care of themselves."
The Indians turned in another impressive season this year by going undefeated (9-0) and Sexton feels they have improved along the way.
"We have a good group of kids," he said. "We've played some tuff teams including Rockwood and Cherokee. We have gotten some breaks here and there, but as the season went we got better."
Oliver Springs defeated Rockwood and lost to Cherokee, but were missing a few key players during that lose.
The Indians are known for their unique offense that has had teams scratching their head on how to defend it.
"It's just a single wing," Sexton said. "We started it in 2008 out of necessity and turns out it's worked pretty good for us. Our kids are comfortable with it and we've gotten better as coaches at it."
The Indians have grown accustom to winning and it has become expected, but Sexton said they never talk about it.
"We don't really make a big deal about winning," he said. "We focus on the little things that will make us better and winning just takes care of itself. If all you talk about is winning, you are probably not talking about the things that are going to help you win
The Indians have several athletic kids that can carry the ball and they do a good job of mixing things up, but Sexton credited one unit in particular for this year's success.
"The biggest thing has been our offensive line," Sexton said. "They've been phenomenal. They've been the key for us to do what we've been able to do."
Sexton noted that his team is as excited as any group that he has coached.
"They're excited," he added. "It's a big deal."