By Joe King, [email protected]

D.J. Atchley symbolically passes a Carson-Newman ball cap to his son Harrison Atchley. (The Herald/ Joe King)

D.J. Atchley symbolically passes a Carson-Newman ball cap to his son Harrison Atchley. (The Herald/ Joe King)

Achieving a lifetime dream, a student at King’s Academy signed a football scholarship with the same college his father had played for.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Carson-Newman,” said Harrison Atchley at the signing. “My dad and cousins played there. We grew up on that field.”

Although Atchley officially signed with Carson-Newman Feb. 6,  all family members present agreed the young athlete has been determined to follow in his father’s football footsteps since a much earlier time in his life.

“It’s what he has always wanted to do and he can usually do what he wants to do,” said Atchley’s grandmother Nellie Smith. “We encourage him.”

Attesting to his long-time desire to play for Carson-Neman, Atchley’s mother, Wendy Atchley, recalled memories of Carson-Newman football games.

Harrison Atchley makes his dreams come true as he signs with Carson-Newman surrounded by friends and coaching staff. (The Herald/ Joe King)

Harrison Atchley makes his dreams come true as he signs with Carson-Newman surrounded by friends and coaching staff. (The Herald/ Joe King)

“I remember taking him there when he was really little,” she said. “He would play football in the end zone any chance he got.”

Harrisons Atchley’s father, D.J. Harrison, a former Carson-Newman Defensive Linebacker in the early 1980s, also beamed with pride for his son’s accomplishments.

“He probably hasn’t missed four or five home games since he was born,” he said. “I am happy to see his dreams come true.”

Also taking part in praising Harrison Atchley were King’s Academy Athletic Director Marc Weekly and the school’s Head Football Coach Matt Evans.

“The interesting thing about Harrison is he hasn’t even touched his full potential,” Weekly said.

Evans added Harrison Atchley was everything anybody could want in a football player.

“Harrison is a great football player and an even better person,” he said. “He has toughness, intelligence, a love of the game and puts the team ahead of himself every time.”

Backing up the high quality complements given to Harrison Atchley is his many achievements at King’s Academy. As an Honor Roll student, community service enthusiast, Team Captain and a Letter Award winning athlete, Harrison Atchley’s record stands behind the enthusiasm of his future.

As a student of Carson-Newman, Harrison Atchley plans to study Business Management and again continue to follow his father’s footsteps by working for the family business, Atchley Funeral Home.

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