Rhea Co Keeps Winning With Old School Wing ‘T’ Offense


Evensville, TN-(WDEF-TV) Rhea County is perfect 9-0 this season, and they’re winning with an offense that’s been around since General Neyland was still coaching at Tennessee.
The ground oriented Wing T offense has been a staple for Golden Eagles head coach Mark Pemberton. Last Friday, Pemberton saw his team rack up 66 points in their win over Karns.

Maybe Rhea County highlights should be in black and white since they’re running an offense invented in 1951.
Reporter:”Why do you think the Wing T has stood the test of time?”
Said Pemberton:”Well it’s a system. It’s a system that’s based in the run game, but you can throw the football out of it. I’m a system guy. I believe in the system. I don’t think I could coach a spread anyway. Not smart enough I don’t guess.”
Said quarterback Kaleb Martin:”It’s a really simple job. Just handing it off. It’s simple. I don’t know it’s just so simple to run the Wing T.”
Simple, yet deceptive because so many plays run out of a similar look, and the counters are killers.
Said Pemberton:”It’s a little harder now days to prepare for because everybody is a spread team. Everybody gears their defenses towards spread offenses, so now in a week’s time or four days time, you’ve got to prepare for the Wing T.”
The offense is run heavy, and if you can wing it, why fling it.
Rhea County won a game this year throwing the ball only four times.
Reporter:”Have you ever won a game throwing it zero times?”
Said Pemberton:”Yeah we have.”(laughter)
Reporter:”How many times has that happened?”
Said Pemberton:”Several times. Just run the football and be physical.”
Reporter:”How fun do you think it is for offensive linemen to run the Wing T?”
Said Pemberton:”Well, we tell them those are the guys that win ballgames for us. Those are the most important people are our linemen.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.