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…]

Lady Wildcats basketball team has free clinic Tuesday for 2nd-6th graders

The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcat basketball team has a free basketball clinic for girls in the second through sixth grade on Tuesday.

The clinic will be in the Oak Ridge High School Arena. It will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and end at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

There is no registration required, a press release said. The clinic will be conducted by the Lady Wildcat basketball staff and the players on this year’s team.

Boys, girls cross country teams run tough at state championship

Wildcats Gashaw Duhamel 2014 State Cross Country Meet

Junior Gashaw Duhamel of Oak Ridge finished 11th in the 2014 TSSAA Class AAA State Boys’ Cross Country Championship in Nashville on Saturday. (Photos by Kindell Moore) 


The Oak Ridge High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams, both coming off fantastic first-place finishes at regionals in late October, competed in the state championship 5k run in Nashville on Saturday. The boys’ team finished third, and the girls finished ninth.

Girls Team

The girls ran better than their ninth-place finish suggests. Freshman Katharina Gallmeier led the way in running for the Lady Wildcats with a 46th place finish at 20:30:95, followed shortly by senior Aislyn Peacock. Peacock ran a 20:37:41 and finished 49th.

Following closely behind these two was junior Megan Peters, who finished 57th with a time of 20:49:08. Freshman Robyn Wood finished 70th with a 21:05:81, and sophomore Maddie Zawisza finished 72nd with a 21:10:75. Freshman Esther Gallmeier finished 98th with a 21:42:37, and junior Mallika Vohra rounded out the team with a 22:04:80 finish at 109th. [Read more…]

Wildcats to play Soddy-Daisy in first round of football playoffs

Oak Ridge Wildcats Football Helmet

The Oak Ridge Wildcats (10-0) will play the Soddy-Daisy Trojans (4-6) in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs on Friday, November 7. The game starts at 7 p.m. at Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge.

Pairings for the football playoffs for the 2014 Division I BlueCross Bowl were posted on the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association website on Saturday.

Thirty-two teams will compete in 16 games in the Class 5A playoffs next Friday. Winners advance to the second round on November 14.

Other District 3-AAA teams in the playoffs are Anderson County (8-2), Campbell County (8-2), Clinton (7-3), Knoxville Central (5-5), and Gibbs (5-5). [Read more…]

Photo: Cross country teams headed to state get Wildcat send-off

Wildcat Pride Cross Country Sendoff

Wildcat Pride gives a Friday morning send-off to the Oak Ridge boys and girls cross country teams, which are competing in the state meet in Nashville today (Saturday, November 1).


Wildcat Pride gave a Friday morning send-off to the Oak Ridge boys and girls cross country teams, which are competing in the state meet in Nashville today (Saturday, November 1).

The boys and girls cross country teams swept the regional championships for the first time since 2008.

At the state meet, the first 10 finishers in the regional meet, along with the top three teams, will run.

Both Oak Ridge teams run on November 1 at the Percy Warner Steeplechase Cross Country Course in Nashville. The girls will run first at 1:40 p.m. Central time, followed by the boys at 2:20 p.m. Reward ceremonies will begin once all race results have been counted.