TOP PHOTO: New Campbell County Basketball Coach Ernie Clawson works with his team at Monday’s practice.

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – A lot of things have changed since Ernie Clawson accepted the head basketball coaching position at Campbell County High School on April 20. His sports wardrobe has grown from the one Cougar T-shirt he had, and he has a hungry and inspired group of young men eager to play basketball for the Orange-n-Blue.

Though Clawson and his assistant coach, his brother, Brandon Clawson took over while school was out in the early weeks of the pandemic, they have made the most of everyday. “It was a short summer, and we’re a little bit behind the 8-ball, but our kids are working hard,” said Ernie Clawson.

“I see a lot of good things, but obviously we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be,” said the first year head coach. When asked what he likes best about his team, he quickly responded that he likes about 98% of the team’s work ethic with hopes to bring along the other 2%, and if he does that he said “we’ll be fine.”

Clawson said, “The players are listening, and we’ve changed some practice habits. If you’re going to improve, I feel like you have to bring intensity everyday you walk onto this court.”

“This is the game of basketball. It’s a game. In order to become better, one, do things the right way but you also gotta make it fun. The kids are having fun out here. They’re playing hard and being aggressive. If you’re energy is high, I feel like your practices are exceptional and that’s what we wanna see,” said Coach Ernie Clawson.

He thanks everybody for welcoming him to CCHS and appreciates the support. “We’re hoping to produce a great product for them to watch.

The Cougars were set to open the season on Tuesday at Knoxville against Hardin Valley Academy. However, over the weekend, HVA was forced to cancel the game because of illness.

Campbell hosts Bearden tonight at 7:30 pm at Brown Gym. While the Cougars struggled to eight wins a season ago, Bearden finished 23 & 9 and was three-points away from making the sub-state (final 16 teams). Campbell was caught up in a 12-game winning streak the Bulldogs put together last year falling at Bearden 78 to 37 on January 3. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/19/2020-6AM)