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Elizabethton's unbeaten football teams have Maupin connection

Douglas Fritz • Updated Nov 7, 2019 at 2:30 PM

Eight decades is a long time to connect the dots, but Cade Maupin’s return to his family roots this summer helped supply a surprise ending for a story that didn’t come into focus until last week.

Cade helped Elizabethton finish off its first perfect regular season since 1951 with Friday’s 37-0 win over Sullivan Central. A key member of the 1951 squad was Cade’s grandfather, Bob Maupin, who scored three touchdowns in a 27-0 win over Dobyns-Bennett when John Treadway’s team capped its 10-0 regular season.

The other part of the Maupin connection was the 1938 Cyclones, the school’s only other undefeated team at 9-0-1 with the tie coming against Kingsport. Playing key roles on that team — which eventually won the no-classification state title in the only year of playoffs before 1969 — were twins Charlie and Walter Maupin. They were Cade’s great-great-uncles.

Chris Maupin, Cade’s dad, said he didn’t have any thoughts of the long-spanning connection when he made the difficult decision earlier this year to move Cade and his younger sister, Whitley, to Elizabethton. Cade had been a standout for the Indians in football and baseball. His older brother, Cole, had been a D-B football standout. And Chris was an important part of D-B teams that posted undefeated regular seasons in 1986 and 1987.

Chris said one reason he moved his family to Elizabethton was to honor his dad, who passed away in April.

“We had ties to Elizabethton because of my dad,” said Chris. “We grew up pulling for Elizabethton along with D-B because my mom went to D-B. We had mixed ties.

“If dad was still alive, he would have loved to see his grandson playing for Elizabethton. When he died, I found the scrapbook and that’s when I realized the connection.”

Chris said the Central game tugged at his heart a little.

“I was probably a little more emotional about the Central game,” said Chris. “I thought, ‘Boy, my dad would like to be here.’ He was always proud to be on the only perfect team at Elizabethton. He would have been just as proud to see Cade be a part of this one.”

Chris said the three standout teams at Elizabethton had two things in common.

“They won because of true team efforts, and they had great coaching,” said Chris. “The 1951 team was Treadway’s second season. And Coach Witten, he’s like his grandfather (former Cyclones’ coach Dave Rider). They get the best out of what they have. They’ve competed through the years with Tennessee High, D-B and Science Hill, even when they didn’t have the same level of players.

“It’s all about the teams. There were a lot of pieces these teams fit together, and that’s why they went undefeated. I just have the utmost respect for all the things the Cyclones have accomplished through the years, and we are just proud to be a part of it.”

And if the Cyclones put together another perfect regular season over the next four years, there’s a chance the Maupin connection could continue. Cade’s cousin, Gib, is an eighth-grade quarterback at T.A. Dugger.

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