Two local middle school football squads will officially begin the 2019 season tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 8 as Spring City welcomes Grundy County to town and Rhea Middle makes the trek to Maryville Heritage.

Spring City Middle is back in the Sequatchie Valley League this season and looking to bring some hardware back to a program that has been very successful over the years.

Head coach Anthony Loden is hard at work for his fourth season as head coach at SCMS and 12th overall on the Bulldog staff. He’s looking forward to returning back to face some familiar foes this fall and contend for a championship. He’ll again be assisted by Allen Lane, Wiley Brackett and Roy Guthrie.

Among the key returners this season includes Latron Alloway, Hunter Crowe, Caleb Carr, Jaxon Reed and Kade Houston. Alloway splashed onto the scene as the star running back as a sixth grader and is looking forward to another big year on the ground.

SCMS will get the party started with a 8 p.m. kickoff Thursday night at John Mincy Field in Spring City.

Rhea Middle will look to build off of a perfect 6-0 season in 2018 with several key returners back in the fold this year and another solid eighth grade class set to lead the way. Joe Campbell takes over the reins of the program this season in his third year with the Rhea County Varsity and Middle School Golden Eagle programs.

His staff is made up of Mark Romero  and two new additions to Mark Pemberton’s varsity coaching staff with Jace Greene and Hayden McMahon.

Back under center is quarterback Kaleb Martin who commanded the offense a year ago and brings a full season of experience to the job this year. Maurice Shirley has emerged as a leader up front on both sides of the ball as well as Bencie Rasnake. Additionally, Briley Mayberry, who emerged as a threat with ball in his hands last fall is expected to have another big year playing both ways for the Eagles.

Rhea opens up Thursday night at Maryville Heritage with kickoff slated for 6:15 p.m.

To see a full preview of Dayton City, Spring City, Rhea Middle and Rhea County’s Varsity Eagles, see The Herald-News’ annual preseason football tab entitled Spirit of Autumn.

The tab features rosters, schedules, team and cheerleading squad photos along with team preview stories and is scheduled to hit newsstands Aug. 18.

This is a must-have guide for all Rhea County football fans.