South-Doyle ready to put last season behind them

Cherokees’ 2-8 record in 2022 was first losing season since 2015.
Cherokees’ 2-8 record in 2022 was first losing season since 2015.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - After six consecutive winning seasons, the South-Doyle Cherokees are hoping to prove last year’s 2-8 showing was a fluke, instead of a sign of things to come.

With Head Coach Paul Shelton entering his second season at the helm of the program, the mood surrounding the program is much more positive than the one the team felt 12 months ago.

Despite just three starters returning on each side of the ball, Shelton believes the growing pains the team went through in 2022 have created a much more comfortable environment throughout this year’s fall camp.

“Last year was a big recon year. We wanted to win obviously, and we prepared to win, and we did all that stuff to win, but we were very open with where are we at, what do we need, what do we have. So, it feels better in year two,” said Shelton.

The Cherokees will rely on a strong defense in 2023, led by Rolondo Phillips. The senior made 35 tackles a season ago, the most of any returner on the South-Doyle defense.

Offensively, 6′5″ wideout Tamarian Tipton returns for his junior campaign. The two-sport standout hauled in three touchdowns to go along with over 250 receiving yards a season ago.

The Cherokees open 2023 on the road against Lenoir City. It will be the first matchup between the two programs since 2008 when South-Doyle came out on top 20-3.