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Shinlever’s List

Former Rebel rates friendships forged above season-saving tackle

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

But for one third-and-6, a Maryville football dynasty the last 17 years maybe never happens.

Bearden football Morgan Shinlever addresses the Bulldogs prior to a game.

Bearden football coach Morgan Shinlever addresses the Bulldogs prior to a game.

You’ll never get Morgan Shinlever to admit to such a thing. So many things would fall into place the next couple of seasons.

One thing, however, is indisputable. Had Shinlever, now head coach at Bearden and the school’s 34-year-old athletics director, not made the biggest tackle of his life in a 1998 playoff semifinal, Maryville loses. The Jason and Shawn Witten-led Elizabethton Cyclones move on to crush Whites Creek in the state championship game a week later.

One of the most powerful Maryville football teams in school history leaves without a championship, the program forced to start over.

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