Unaka High School

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Unaka High School
119 Robinson Lane
Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643
Coordinates 36°23′05″N 82°08′42″W / 36.38478°N 82.14511°W / 36.38478; -82.14511Coordinates: 36°23′05″N 82°08′42″W / 36.38478°N 82.14511°W / 36.38478; -82.14511
Type Public
Established 1922
School district Carter County Schools
Principal Betsy Oliver
Faculty 27.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9 to 12
Enrollment 395[1] (2005-06)
Student to teacher ratio 14.6[1]
Color(s) Maroon and White[2]         
Athletics conference TSSAA District 1 Division 1 East[2]
Mascot Park Ranger
Team name Rangers/Lady Rangers

Unaka High School is a public high school located northeast of Elizabethton, Tennessee in the Hunter community.


Work on the school began in 1920 and the construction was finished in 1922. Mr. Cole, a forest ranger, arranged for the government to donate the lumber for the construction of the school which was to come from the Unaka mountains. Resulting in the source of the name and mascot: Unaka for the mountains and Rangers in honor of Mr. Cole. In the 1970s the vocational programs were expanded in all Carter County high schools, with a new building at Unaka High housing Auto Body Repair, Cosmetology, General Building and Trades, and Vocational Office Education. Also, students had the option of attending alternative vocation classes at Hampton, or Happy Valley: Auto Mechanics, Drafting, Health Occupations, Small Engines, and Electricity and Welding. There is also a meat processing class that was introduced by Mr John Hardin in 1982. It's the only one of this type of class offered in the whole United States. It is taught by Mr. Josh Armentrout.[4]



Unaka football: The Home Field is known as Goddard Field named after the school's first head coach, Robert Lynn Goddard. In August 1949, he became head coach at Unaka High School. Immediately, he organized the Watauga Conference in the spring of 1949-50 and was elected as its first President His 1949 team won the first game in the history of Unaka football. During the next 10 years, the Rangers football team under Goddard's leadership won six championships and finished second four times with only one losing season. Years later, the school named the stadium in front of Unaka High School the "Goddard Field" in his honor.[5] The current head coach is Steve "Pink" McKinney who played football for Goddard at Elizabethton High high school, where Coach Goddard later transferred.


Unaka basketball is rich in tradition. During the 1950s and 1960s Lynn Goddard coached boys basketball for seven years before leaving Unaka. Games are played in Ronnie L. Snavley Gymnasium after coach Ronnie Snavley who led the team to their first state tournament appearance in the 1980s then once more in the following years as a coach. Coach Snavley was succeeded by Coach Donald Ensor; Ensor had great success as the Rangers coach leading them to three state tournament appearances including a state championship in 2004 and sending numerous players to continue their careers in college basketball. Under coach Ensor the Rangers won 9 straight Conference Titles; after his resignation his younger brother took over for one year leading them to their 10th consecutive conference championship. The program is now run by coach Aaron Dugger,who played for Coach Ensor,until he graduated from Unaka in 2002. The Rangers have also compiled 12 district championships, 9 regional championships, and 6 sub-state appearances.


Home games are played on Claude Hostlcaw "Field of Dreams." During Lynn Goddard's tenure at Unaka he coached the baseball team 4 years and won three Watauga championships. The current head coach is Tee Blevins. The Ranger baseball program has won or shared 15 straight conference titles, 12 district championships, 13 of the last 15 regional championships, and also won 7 of the last sub-state games to qualify them for 8 state tournament berths in 10 seasons. The Rangers have yet to lose a playoff game on their home field. The Rangers have failed to win a state tournament game in their six appearances. They have sent several players on to play baseball in small division colleges.[6]


Established in 1979, the Unaka Lady Ranger softball has won 25 District Championships, 19 Regional Championships, and 5 Sub-States. Appearing in 5 State Tournament quarter finals and 8 State Tournament final eights, places the program as one of the elite in Tennessee. The program was built from the ground up by Coach Ronnie Hicks, and it remained under his care and supervision until his retirement in May 2011.


  1. ^ a b c Unaka High School. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved on 2008-07-31. "Students: 395 (2005-2006)"
  2. ^ a b School Directory. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  3. ^ Unaka High School website. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  4. ^ School History. Unaka High School. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  5. ^ Lynn Goddard Obituary
  6. ^ The success Unaka has achieved in baseball over the last decade has made their program one of the premier single A baseball programs in East Tennessee as well as statewide.School web-site

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