Oak Ridge Wildcats have state title aspirations once again

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Oak Ridge Wildcats were just one win away from the program’s first state championship since 1991 last season.

Coach Joe Gaddis and his guys have those high expectations once again in 2021.

The Wildcats return just three starters from last years defense which held teams to 15 points per game.

On offense they have six starters back including one of the best running backs in East Tennessee in senior Kendall Jackson.

“Strong, solid, he’s faster than he was a year ago; he’s stronger, he’s bigger,” Gaddis said of Jackson. “I expect big things from Kendall for sure.”

The Wildcats will have a new starter at quarterback. They have a two-man competition between juniors Peyton Sharpe and Hayden Tarwater.

“Wide receiver is probably our deepest area,” Gaddis said. “We just have to have a quarterback that can get them the ball.”

Oak Ridge opens the season on Thursday, Aug. 19, in a rematch of last years 5A state semifinal matchup against South-Doyle. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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