Ethan Stuart and Krojhn Calbert have been standouts many times at Nunley Stadium, but last week they got their chance to impress while working near Neyland Stadium.
The pair of upcoming Warren County High School Pioneer football players competed in the Future Stars All-Star game pitting the top Tennessee eighth-graders against the best players from Kentucky.
After a week of practice in Knoxville, including spending time at the University of Tennessee, Stuart and Calbert each had a big impact as Team Tennessee blasted Team Kentucky 33-6 Saturday at Knoxville Catholic High School.
Accompanied by WCHS coach Greg Cotten, who served as the team’s linebacker coach, Stuart and Calbert were each starters on Team Tennessee and played for former Vol standout Todd Kelly Sr.
Stuart earned the start at right tackle on offense and helped open up holes and protect the quarterback as the Tennessee offense had a big day. Calbert was a starter at defensive end and finished with two sacks in the contest.
Cotten, who saw two of his linebackers score on turnovers by Team Kentucky, couldn’t have been prouder of the way the Pioneers performed.
“We had a great week in Knoxville and both Ethan and Krojhn played great,” said Cotten.
Calbert, an imposing freshman who could make an immediate impact on the varsity team this fall, was thrilled to play in the game and for coach Kelly.
“I had a great time and it was a great experience,” said Calbert. “They prepared us, and me individually, for the next level mentally and physically. It was just a great experience to see all the different talent.”
As for playing for coach Kelly and wearing orange and white, Calbert got a good mental image of what it would be like to one day compete for the Vols.
“I had a great time with the coaches, especially coach Kelly. He is a great coach,” said Calbert. “For a moment, I thought I was actually playing for the Vols.”
It was the fourth straight year Tennessee has won the game between the two states. For three of those years a member of the Pioneers helped the team to victory. Upcoming senior Ethan Turner was the first Warren County player to make the cut and sophomore Rickie King was on the team last season.