Like a final nail into the coffin of that Taylor Swift earworm of a chorus, it turns out they are in fact getting back together.
Alcoa’s 2015 football schedule made the rounds Thursday and was floating around on social media by late afternoon, proudly displaying the fact that for the first time in a decade the Tornadoes will be playing all of the other three teams that call Blount County home.
The renewal of the William Blount and Alcoa series is a win-win for both schools in the uncertain waters of the latest TSSAA plan for prep football and its playoff system. Close to home with a big crowd has distinct advantages with some of region scheduling now being figured out for next fall.
It was sad to see it go away. It’s return is most welcome.
KICKING KUDOS: Jim Hoehn reported for the Associated Press the story out of the Wisconsin state title games of kicker Zach Hintze. The senior hit three field goals to help Fond du Lac Springs High Ledgers cap a perfect season with a 37-28 win over Darlington.
Hintze ended the half with a 49-yard field goal into a stiff wind to put the Ledgers up, 24-21. Then hit chip shots of 39 and 41 for the prospect that connected from 57 in the regular season and 61 in last week’s semifinal.
“It feels like a rock,” Hintze said of kicking in Thursday’s temperatures in the low 20s. “It snuck in. I don’t think I had much more than that.”
Hintze also had three kickoffs for touchbacks, punted out of his own end zone for 55 yards and caught a 68-yard pass to set up Springs’ second touchdown.
It was the fifth state WIAA title for Springs (14-0), which also won eight private school titles. Coach Bob Hyland, the winningest coach in Wisconsin history, improved his record to 413-101-2 in 44 seasons at Springs.
BY THE NUMBERS: Speaking of winning coaches, Alcoa’s Gary Rankin can tie Ken Netherland with a quarterfinal win tonight against CAK. Netherland (Hillcrest 1966-73, Germantown 1974-2002, St. George’s 2003-10, Lausanne 2013) holds the state record for career coaching victories at 368. Rankin in 367-70 entering tonight’s game.
That stands to complicate things about the state’s winningest coach. Maryville’s George Quarles in 220-14 heading into the Rebels quarterfinal with CAK. The .940 winning percentage is best in the state for any coach with more than 50 games experience. Maryville is 194-6 in its last 200 games under Quarles, who was the quickest coach to reach 200 victories in national high school history and hasn’t lost since hitting the milestone last season.
Marcus Fitzsimmons is sports editor at The Daily Times, who enjoys reading comments posted to this column at thedailytimes.com