Brewer takes in jamboree
Steve Brewer was back at Sevier County High School on Friday night.
But the former Smoky Bears football coach was only watching, not coaching for the first time in more than two decades.
“One of the things that hit me first, this was the time of the year when I always spent time with (sons and assistant coaches) Jonathan and Jordan because we were always at practice,” Brewer said. “That doesn’t happen anymore. That’s probably the first thing that hit me because I was used to seeing them on a daily basis related to football and now I don’t get that.”
Brewer, who resigned last spring after 22 seasons to take a position with First Baptist Church in Sevierville, kept an eye on the Volunteer Chevrolet Smoky Mountain Kickoff Jamboree from one corner of the track at SCHS. He said he’s enjoying his work at the church and was “delighted” to see the Bears’ new artificial turf field and video board.
Brewer said head coach Tony Linginfelter, Brewer’s long-time offensive coordinator, has welcomed his former boss back to scrimmages, practices and games. Of course Brewer still talks to the Bears’ new offensive coordinator, his son Jonathan, often. He’ll still be around, even if he isn’t coaching.
“Well my stomach’s not turning quite as much,” Brewer said. “Football is a great mixture of nerves and excitement at the same time. I haven’t really had that yet but I think when I watch us play I’ll probably be a little more nervous. When you’re on the sidelines, so much is happening to capture your attention, it’s just like you don’t have room for nervousness unless it’s coming down to one play. Now, I won’t have that. I’ll just be sitting up there watching.”
The former coach’s new job with the church is still a people business. He said he’s excited about the opportunity to help in much the same way he led young men at Sevier County for years.
“I’m still having the opportunity to hopefully impact some lives,” he said. “It’s new. There’s a lot I’ve still got to learn. I’m enjoying it.”
Sevier County had a good night in Friday's jamboree, not only beating Pigeon Forge in its quarter but taking home trophies in four of the five halftime skills competitions. Devante Matthews won the punt contest, Austin Rice won the pass contest and Seth Arwood (linemen) and Connor Bailey (backs and receivers) were winners in the 40-yard dash. Seymour's J.J. Jerman broke up the Bears' dominance by taking the kickoff contest.
All five county teams, including The King's Academy, have games in Week 0. Sevier County travels to Bearden, which has a new coach in Morgan Shinlever. The Bears dropped 62 on the Bulldogs in the season opener last year.
The only county team to open at home is Seymour, which welcomes Sullivan North in the Tennessee debut for Eagles coach Jerry Cooper. Pigeon Forge is at Cosby while Gatlinburg-Pittman travels to Newport to face Cocke County. The King's Academy makes the road trip to Sunbright. All five games kickoff at 7:30 p.m.