Dowdell scores 27 as Lady Wildcats beat Halls 82-41

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Mykia Dowdell

Freshman post Mykia Dowdell (34) had 27 points for the Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats in a 82-41 win over the Halls Red Devils on Friday night. (Photos by Luther Simmons)


Freshman post Mykia Dowdell scored 27 points for Oak Ridge as the Lady Wildcats opened up a large lead in the second half of a 82-41 win over the Halls Lady Red Devils on Friday night.

The game was closer at halftime, when the Lady Wildcats were up 30-24. Dowdell led all scorers then with 11 points.

But Oak Ridge’s rebounding and defense improved in the second half, and the teamwork was better, Oak Ridge coach David Scott said. The Lady Wildcats scored 52 points in the second half alone.

Other leading scorers on Friday were Caelyn Thompson with 14 points, Princess Bates with 12, Courtney Ellison with 10, Jas Hembry with nine, and Destiny Kassner with seven. [Read more…]

Wildcats get game-saving block to stop Halls’ Moore, who had 34 points

Oak Ridge Ted Mitchell and Halls Braxton Moore

Oak Ridge senior guard Ted Mitchell (4) had a game-saving block against Halls senior guard Braxton Moore (0) as time expired in a 58-56 win for the Wildcats on Friday. (Photos by Melissa Livesey)


Senior guard Braxton Moore of Halls scored 34 points and hit six three-point shots against Oak Ridge on Friday, but a game-saving block by Ted Mitchell in the final seconds preserved a 58-56 win for the undefeated Wildcats.

The Red Devils scored almost half of their points on three-point shots, knocking down nine of them for 27 points.

But Oak Ridge’s depth and the number of players it used—along with the critical stop with less than six seconds remaining—allowed the Wildcats to prevail and improve to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in District 3-AAA. [Read more…]

Football players add depth as Wildcats basketball improves to 8-0

Darel Middleton

Darel Middleton

On Monday, Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said the football players who have started playing basketball showed a “little bit of rust” in a 75-36 drubbing of Clinton. By Tuesday, it appeared that those players had shaken off some of that rust in a more competitive 77-65 win over Powell.

The biggest improvement, at least in terms of scoring, came from 6-foot-6 junior center Darel Middleton, who was playing against his former team on Tuesday. On Monday at Clinton, Middleton had six points total, or less than one basket per quarter. On Tuesday at home against the Panthers, he had 18 points, a team high.

Middleton, who missed the opening games this season because of the football playoffs, also picked up six rebounds on Tuesday. Green said Middleton, who plays defensive end and wide receiver in football, is very athletic, can score inside, and is a great passer.

“His presence in there is a factor,” Green said. [Read more…]

All-District football accolades announced: Gaddis is Coach of the Year

Oak Ridge Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis and Team

Oak Ridge Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis and his football team celebrate an October win in a post-game huddle. (Photo by Julio Culiat)


Information from WYSH Radio

The All-District 3AAA football team for 2014 was announced last week as were individual postseason honors.

The Coach of the Year is Oak Ridge’s Joe Gaddis.

Anderson County’s Matt Fox was named Player of the Year, while Campbell County’s Ethan Jeffers was named Offensive Player of the Year and Gibbs’ Hunter Lane was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Lineman of the Year honors went to Oak Ridge’s Alex Alcorn, the D3AAA Newcomer of the Year was Oak Ridge’s Tee Higgins, and the Specialist of the Year was Oak Ridge’s Brandon Nickle. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge falls to Rhea County in thrilling fourth-quarter comeback

Oak Ridge Wildcats Logan Fadnek and Rhea County Golden Eagles

Rhea County dampened a fourth-quarter comeback by Oak Ridge, sacking Wildcats quarterback Logan Fadnek (17) three times in one eight-play drive before intercepting him. Also pictured above is Tyler Pendleton (40) of the Golden Eagles. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 1:50 a.m. Nov. 24.

Oak Ridge mounted a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback against Rhea County on Friday—narrowing a three-touchdown deficit to one—but the Wildcats were unable to make up for missed opportunities and turnovers and they fell to the Golden Eagles 35-21 in a state quarterfinal playoff game.

Down 28-7 in the final quarter, Oak Ridge scored back-to-back touchdowns in 24 seconds to close the 28-7 deficit to 28-21 with about eight minutes left to play.

After a defensive stop less than two minutes later, the Wildcats had the ball back at midfield, with a chance to tie the game. Oak Ridge fans were fired up, and Coach Joe Gaddis said he’s never heard Blankenship Field so loud. [Read more…]

Two 12-0 teams meet at Blankenship tonight for first time ever

Oak Ridge and Rhea County Pregame Scoreboard

Image courtesy World Webscapes/Chris Ayers


Two 12-0 football teams will play tonight at Blankenship Field for the first time in school history.

The Class 5A quarterfinal game between Oak Ridge and Rhea County starts at 7 p.m.

Wildcats coaches are asking fans to help fill up Jack Armstrong Stadium for the historic game between two undefeated teams. [Read more…]

Lady Wildcats sweep CAK, West at home

By Coach David Scott

The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats swept a pair of games against CAK and West on Saturday at the Oak Ridge High School Arena.

The Lady Wildcats defeated CAK 84-71 in their first basketball game of the day. The Lady Wildcats were led in scoring by freshman post Mykia Dowdell with 17 points, and freshmen Destiny Kassner, who is returning from a lengthy bout of illness, with 14 points, including three three-pointers. Junior captain Caelyn Thompson had 12 points, and finishing out the balanced scoring were Amara Howard and Jasmine Hembry with eight each and Courtney Ellison, a sophomore point guard, who had seven.

The Lady Wildcats had a five-point lead after one quarter, and the game was tied at 40 at the half. The Lady Wildcats exploded for 24 third-quarter points and pushed out to an 11-point lead. Ellison had seven points to help the Lady Wildcats take their first win of the year. [Read more…]

Goal-line stop saves Wildcats’ win, sends Oak Ridge to Class 5A quarterfinals

Oak Ridge Wildcats Tommy Kaczocha and Cleveland Blue Raiders

Oak Ridge safety Tommy Kaczocha (4) tackles Cleveland wide receiver Isaiah Beaty (10) in a 10-6 second round Class 5A playoff win at Blankenship Field on Friday night. Kaczocha, a senior, had five tackles, two assists, an interception, and a blocked pass. Also pictured is junior linebacker Adam Manookian (35), who led the Wildcats with eight tackles and 10 assists. (Photos by Julio Culiat) 


Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m.

The whole season boiled down to these last four plays. Down by only four points, Cleveland had the football on a first-and-10 at the Oak Ridge 11-yard line with 1:17 left to play.

The Wildcats were ahead 10-6, but the Blue Raiders only needed a touchdown to take the lead—and end Oak Ridge’s season in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

But a crucial goal-line stop at Blankenship Field on Friday night preserved the win for the undefeated Wildcats. They now move on to the quarterfinals, playing against Rhea County at home next Friday and setting up a showdown between two 12-0 teams. [Read more…]

TSSAA approves football regional realignments for 2015, 2016

Information from WYSH Radio

On Thursday, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control finalized its realignment of the state’s high school football teams, and there are plenty of changes affecting local teams.

The state’s new Class 6A will be made up of the 31 largest schools in the state by enrollment, except for Maryville, which successfully petitioned the state to move from 5A to 6A. All 32 6A teams will qualify for the postseason, while the remaining Division I classifications will send the top four finishers in each region to the postseason.

The realignment will remain in effect for at least the next two academic years, beginning in 2015.

Locally, the Clinton Dragons are in the new Region 3-5A with Campbell County, Oak Ridge, Farragut, Karns and Lenoir City. Anderson County has moved to Class 4A and will play in Region 2 with Fulton, Carter, Catholic, Central, and Union County. The list of regions served by this radio station is below, with local teams in italics. [Read more…]

After rough first quarter, Wildcats warm up in 70-54 season-opener

Oak Ridge Wildcats Geevantay Gee and Grace Christian

Junior guard Geevantay Gee (12), the only returning starter to play in the season-opener, scored the only points for the Wildcats during the first quarter against Grace Christian on Tuesday, but the rest of the team played better in the next three quarters and Oak Ridge won 70-54.


KARNS—They had a rough start in the season-opener on Tuesday, but the relatively young Oak Ridge Wildcats improved after the first quarter and turned a 12-point deficit into a 70-54 win.

Junior point guard Geevantay Gee, the only returning starter to play in the season-opener at Grace Christian in Karns, scored the only points for the Wildcats during the first quarter—seven total. Meanwhile, the Rams started hot and quickly racked up 19 points.

But after their nerves calmed, the Wildcats started defending better—stepping up their pressure and forcing turnovers—and their performance improved. For example, Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said, the Wildcats had two assists at the half, and Gee alone had five in the second.

After giving up 19 points in the first quarter, the Wildcats held the Rams to 35 total in the next three. Green said he thought Grace Christian became fatigued. [Read more…]

Wildcats use playoff ‘fury,’ determination to eliminate Soddy-Daisy

Oak Ridge Wildcats Tee Higgins and Soddy-Daisy Trojans

Sophomore wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) of the Oak Ridge Wildcats catches a 30-yard touchdown pass over defender Christian Bell (26) of the Soddy-Daisy Trojans, giving Oak Ridge a 23-14 lead midway through the third quarter in a first-round playoff game on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 10:15 a.m.

Ahead by 17-14 at halftime, the Oak Ridge Wildcats played with fury and determination in the second half of their first-round playoff game on Friday and opened up a large lead against Soddy-Daisy, winning 53-28—despite an impressive offensive performance by the Trojans.

The undefeated Wildcats were not happy with the three-point margin at halftime.

“For it to be that close was just unacceptable,” junior running back Jaylen Nickerson said.

The 11-0 team was determined to play better in the second half against the best offense they had played all year, Coach Joe Gaddis said.

“We just came out and played with a fury,” he said.

While the Trojans had held Oak Ridge to two touchdowns and a field goal in the first half, they allowed four in the second—including two by Nickerson—and gave up a safety and an interception returned for a touchdown, or 36 points total. [Read more…]

Wildcats open playoffs at home tonight; coach asks for huge, loud crowd

Oak Ridge Wildcats Football Helmet

The undefeated Oak Ridge Wildcats play in the first round of the Class 5A football playoffs at home tonight against the Soddy-Daisy Trojans. The game starts at 7 p.m. today (Friday, November 7) at Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge.

Coach Joe Gaddis is asking for a huge, loud crowd.

“As we all know, playoff games are ‘winner take all’ in nature,” Gaddis said in a note to fans.”The winner advances, and the loser is finished for the season. It’s hard to believe but we have only had one home playoff game since 2005, and with that in mind, let’s have a HUGE and LOUD crowd Friday night! The weather is going to be cool, crisp, and beautiful…real football weather!”

The Oak Ridge Wildcats Football Boosters will have a tailgate party starting at 4:30 p.m. [Read more…]