Hampton set for trip to NC mountains to face Avery Co. – www.elizabethton.com

Hampton set for trip to NC mountains to face Avery Co.

Published 1:33 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The Hampton Bulldogs have picked right up from where they left off in the 2021 season as they have won their first two games of the season at Pigeon Forge and last week against Johnson County and now will be boarding the buses on Friday to head toward the mountains of North Carolina to take on Avery County.

Coach Michael Lunsford and his staff know they will have their work cut out for them as Hampton looks to keep their momentum rolling this week against a very talented Avery County program.

“Avery County has some really good athletes and the quarterback there was a sophomore last year and returns as a junior this year,” said Lunsford. “They put up about as many points on us last year as anybody besides South Greene. They scored 26 points on us last year. They are very athletic and very explosive offensively and we will be playing in North Carolina.”

The Hampton coach was asked why he feels that this squad has played so well to open the 2022 campaign.

“It starts with Dylan Trivett and Chance Point who has been rotating at the quarterback slot,” said Lunsford. “Both of them are juniors and have some big-time minutes. And then we have Levi Lunsford who has played running back for three years, that brings a lot of veteran experience having played in the state championship game last year. We felt like he was our best runner last year. Also, we have Johnathan Greenwell there at running back that has been here three or four years. Austin Bentley is playing the fullback position as a senior.”

One point of concern coming into the season for Lunsford was his offensive line who was questionable coming into the season but has proven they are more than ready and capable of filling the shoes of the graduated lineman from the 2021 team.

“Our offensive line has really come along,” said Lunsford. “It was a question mark at the beginning of the season but they have really grown since then.”

Lunsford added that he just wants to keep seeing his team improve week after week so that when the playoffs come at the end of the season, they will be continuing to improve as they did last season when they reached the BlueCross Bowl Class 2-A State Championship game in Chattanooga.

“I feel like we are playing some pretty good football – we have a pretty good football team,” Lunsford said. “There are a lot of areas that we can improve on and a lot of things that I feel that we can do better. It should be an exciting thing because you can see things that you can improve on. The thing about last year’s team that made them so special was they were able to improve in the week two playoffs from week one. And in the third week, they were better than week two. A lot of these guys were on that team last year. They have a great opportunity and are hungry to prove that they can be as good as last year’s team. It gives them a chip on their shoulders to prove that.”

Kickoff for Friday night’s game is 7:30 pm at Avery County High School.

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