The high school football season has reached its midpoint, and coaches are continuing to piece together great game plans.
The Tennessee Titans are continuing their season-long series of fan polls to select the Titans High School Coach of the Week, and Coach Shawn Witten of Elizabethton, has been chosen to receive the Week 5 honor.
The school will receive a $1,000 grant for its program from Titans Owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr.
Coach Witten's Elizabethton Cyclones defeated their longtime rival Tennessee High Vikings 35-13. The Cyclones, ranked eighth in the state in Class 4A, won easily against Class 5A seventh-ranked Vikings.
"Not only does Coach Witten have his athletes play great on the field, but they are also great young men by the way they present themselves and act in the classroom and gameday, said David Wright, Elizabethton Principal. "Coach does a great job and is a credit to the whole community."
Coach Witten will be the team's guest at the Titans' season finale versus the Houston Texans on Dec. 29 when the team honors all 2013 Coach of the Week winners and announces the 2013 Titans High School Coach of the Year! Witten is also eligible for the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year award. Mr. Adams will make an additional $2,000 grant to the Titans Coach of the Year winner.
In addition to Witten, this week's nominees were Terry Anderson of John Overton High School in Nashville, James Carr of Franklin County High School and Darren Bowling of Union City Side High School. Coach Witten received 68 percent of the votes; Franklin County's Coach Carr came in second, receiving 23 percent of the votes. Coach Carr and the other two finalists remain eligible to win the honor during the remainder of this season.
Nominees are submitted by sports writers and broadcasters across the state with specific criteria in mind. The specific criteria include: beating a longtime rival, snapping a losing streak, defeating a defending champion, recording an amazing come-from-behind victory, and/or involvement in the local community.
Also considered is a coach's commitment to his players' safety through teaching the fundamentals of the game, proper tackling techniques, concussion management practices and adherence to heat and hydration guidelines.
Now in its 15th season, Mr. Adams has awarded more than $166,000 from the Titans Foundation to football programs across the state in honor of the Coach of the Week and Year winners.