Whether they used to play or the history of a game between two games ceases to exist, we’re counting down the shortlist of matchups that fans of the Valley (or as least the writers of the Valley) would be most interested in seeing in the near future.
For the purposes of this countdown, we are including teams from the Sequatchie Valley and only considering games against opponents outside of the region. The team does not have to be apart of the TSSAA but must spark some interest among the Sequatchie Valley Football Fans. Also the team must have not played each other in 2015 and will not play each other in 2016.
5. Chattanooga Christian vs. Bledsoe County
Modern Era Series Record: 4-2, Bledsoe County
Last Matchup: (2014) Bledsoe County, 21-14
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: Many could see this as a surprise on our list. That is unless you’ve been to a matchup between the Chargers and Warriors in the past five or six years. The total margin of victory in their last five matchups total was 21 points. That’s an average of 4.2 points a game between the teams with the largest being their last game in which the difference was a touchdown. This series gave us a great district rivalry from 2009 until 2014 when the TSSAA realigned teams into regions. The game sort of went unnoticed in recent memory mostly due to the fact that it fell on the last week of the season. Back in 2011, it was a crucial matchup that decided Bledsoe County’s district title, but it also went down to the wire with the Warriors earning their only lead of the game with 25 seconds left in the fourth. They took the matchup 43-42. Maybe the two teams have stepped in different directions, but it’s definitely worth another shot for an instant classic.
4. South Pittsburg vs. Signal Mountain
Modern Era Series Record: 3-1, Signal Mountain
Last Matchup: (2012) Signal Mountain, 55-54
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: This series used to be the talk of the Chattanooga sports world garnering a lot of attention for several reasons. The first was the success and perceived success of both programs in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Believe it or not, Signal Mountain was formerly in District 6-A with the likes of Marion County, South Pittsburg,and Whitwell when it first started its’ football program in 2009. It was only among the Class A programs for two year before moving up to 4A a year after its only State Championship in 2A in 2010. That was also a year in which South Pittsburg won a State Championship in the 1A Classification. Either way, this series garnered a ton of media attention and sold tickets all across the Chattanooga football landscape at a time that was special for Sequatchie Valley football.
3. Sequatchie County vs. Soddy Daisy
Last Matchup: None
Combined 2015 Record: 14-8 (8-4)
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: Although the communities of Dunlap and Soddy-Daisy are only a Cumberland Plateau ridge away, the two programs haven’t played each other in recent history. And for most it’s a shame due to the hype both school’s pep squads get on a regular basis. The Daisy Crazies and The Tribe have come to life in recent years in both the gridiron stadiums and hardwood arenas around the Chattanooga area. And if you don’t think the squad dislike each other, just look to the twitter sphere, searching for the two squads. It’s intense, and they haven’t even played common opponents. That tied in with the size of the schools could make an interesting matchup even if the only hype comes from the pep squads. Either way, this matchup is way overdue.
2. Marion County vs. Bradley Central
Last Matchup: None
Combined 2015 Record: 20-6 (10-4)
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: There’s no real connection between Bradley Central and Marion County, but I can guarantee
you are now intrigued by a possible matchup of that magnitude. The interest comes from the feel of a David versus Goliath matchup, but in reality, both programs have had a lot of success in past years. They look to be pretty evenly matchup with the Class 2A Runner-Up and a borderline 2nd Round Class 6A program. Marion County has scheduled teams such as Hixson and Central in previous years, but the jump from 4A to 6A could be a real challenge for the Warriors. Both teams could benefit from a potential matchup, and with the Bears’ automatic berth into the 6A Playoffs, it doesn’t hurt to play a team in a lesser classification. And if Marion County could pull off the upset, there is no team below 3A that wouldn’t be intimidated. Your move new head coach Joey Mathis.
1. South Pittsburg vs. North Jackson (AL)
Last Matchup: None
Combined 2015 Record: 16-9 (13-1)
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: A State Border away from the Pirates is a team that’s had some success since its 1988 inception. Coming from the ashes of Stevenson and Bridgeport high schools, the North Jackson Chiefs have a State Championship to their name in Alabama compared to South Pittsburg’s five titles. There has been a long-standing intensity among the two schools who haven’t ever played each other, and the debate on who is actually superior remains to be seen. The Chiefs only outnumber the Pirates enrollment by roughly 100 students, and although they are in the 4A Classification in Alabama, they wouldn’t even be the biggest 1A school on the other side of the border. Those numbers both come from the 2015 season, but they remain relatively the same. North Jackson did however matchup with Marion County back in 1988 and 1989 and lost both times against the Warriors. A lot of fans have wanted to see his series manifest itself even if it had to be played at a neutral site, but only time will tell if the teams could ever play on the same field.
Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @RCS_Chandler.