Wildcats round up Mavericks, win AAA District Championship

Oak Ridge Wildcats Undefeated 2014 Season

The Oak Ridge Wildcats football team went undefeated 10-0 in the regular season in 2014 for only the 12th time in school history and the first time since 1999. The Wildcats also won the District 3-AAA title in a Thursday night game against the Anderson County Mavericks at Anderson County High School in Clinton. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


CLINTON—Many players on the Oak Ridge football team don’t remember the last time the Wildcats went undefeated back in 1999. But now, 15 years later, they all have something to hang their hats on: an undefeated season and a district championship.

The Wildcats (10-0, 8-0 District 3-AAA) outlasted the Anderson County Mavericks (8-2, 7-1) to win the district title 28-16 on Thursday at Anderson County High School in Clinton. Oak Ridge was led by the two touchdown catches of sophomore wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Both teams scored one touchdown each in the first quarter, but the usually reliable Brandon Nickle missed a field goal for Oak Ridge. The Wildcats’ touchdown came on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Gavin Warrington halfway through the first quarter.

However, the Mavericks soon proved they deserved to be playing in the District 3-AAA championship. Anderson County faked a handoff up the middle, and quarterback Garrett Johnson, who filled in for injured QB Zane Smith, threw a touchdown pass to Cale Brock.

But the Mavs missed the extra point, making it 7-6 Oak Ridge after the first quarter.

Oak Ridge stepped up on offense and defense in the second quarter. With 8:53 left in the second, senior cornerbacks Jemiah Hall and Ted Mitchell combined for a bone-crushing tackle on Anderson County running back Matt Fox. Mitchell recovered after Fox fumbled, but the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on the following drive. [Read more...]


Oak Ridge boys, girls cross country sweep region, prepare for state

Oak Ridge Boys Cross Country 2014 Region 2-AAA Champions

The Oak Ridge boys cross country team won the regional championship during a Region 2-AAA meet at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on Thursday. (Photos by Nichole Zawisza)


KNOXVILLE—For the first time since 2008, the Oak Ridge boys and girls cross country teams swept the regional championships, and the two high school teams will compete in the state meet in Nashville next Saturday.

Boys Team

The Wildcats saw some stiff competition at the Region 2-AAA meet at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on Thursday, but the Oak Ridge boys’ team had no trouble collectively running past all challengers in the 5,000 meter run. Although Dartanian Oakley of Hardin Valley took home first place, three Oak Ridge runners followed right behind him. Gashaw Duhamel finished second with a time of 16:22:08, Wesley Robinson finished third with a time of 16:25:57, and Tyler Boullie finished fourth with a time 16:32:36. Both Duhamel’s and Robinson’s finishes met the national silver standard, which is finishing a race before the 16:30:00 mark.

The rest of the Oak Ridge boys’ team finished strongly as well. Jacob Etheridge finished seventh with a time of 16:52:39. Shortly behind him were Daniel Beckett running at 16:54:74 to finish 10th and Thomas Colburn running 16:57:14 to finish 11th. Rounding out the seven runners for Oak Ridge was Jose Villegas, who finished 17th with a time of 17:13:91. [Read more...]


Oak Ridge obliterates Knox Central on Senior Night

Gavin Warrington Oak Ridge Wildcats

Backup quarterback Gavin Warrington (11) sparked an offensive outburst early in the third quarter, scoring on a 47-yard quarterback keeper, as the Oak Ridge Wildcats dominated the second half in a 48-7 win over Central on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Wildcats open up large lead in second half

The Oak Ridge Wildcats came into Friday night’s game against the Knox Central Bobcats undefeated and hungry to pick up one last home victory for the seniors on Senior Night. The Wildcats fed that hunger and went back for seconds against the Bobcats, trouncing Knox Central 48-7, with 45 of those points coming in the second half.

The first quarter was very defense-centered for both teams, with neither team scoring a point. Even the second quarter was quiet for both teams, with the only points coming from a 40-yard field goal from Brandon Nickle with 5:40 left in the second quarter. The score at halftime was 3-0 Oak Ridge.

But during the halftime break, running back T.J. Allison said, head coach Joe Gaddis gathered his team and told them to do one thing: “Execute.”

The whole team took that message and ran with it. Allison broke out a long TD run to start out the third quarter, but the play was ultimately reversed on a holding penalty. However, just a few short plays after that, backup quarterback Gavin Warrington snuck the ball up the middle and evaded multiple defensive players on his way to a 47-yard touchdown run. With 11:19 to play in the third, the score was 10-0 Wildcats. With 6:17 left in the third, Allison broke through for a 17-yard touchdown run, this time with no penalty flags to stop him. At that point, it was a commanding 17-0 lead for Oak Ridge (9-0, 7-0 District 3-AAA). [Read more...]

Oak Ridge finds many ways to score in 66-0 rout of Powell

Oak Ridge Wildcats T.J. Allison against Powell

Junior running back T.J. Allison (6) of the Oak Ridge Wildcats scored two touchdowns on the ground against the Powell Panthers on Friday night and ran for 46 yards on seven carries. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was updated at 2:05 a.m.

Undefeated Wildcats pick up eighth win, fourth shutout

All week long, Oak Ridge simply wanted to beat Powell and stay undefeated on the season. With students on fall break this week, players were able to focus solely on football, and it showed on Friday night.

Things weren’t so simple for Powell however. On Friday afternoon, it was announced that John Allen, their head coach, had been placed on administrative suspension.

There was obviously a lot to talk about going into the game on Friday, but when things finally got going on the field, it was all Oak Ridge. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge cross country competes in Cherokee Invitational

Cherokee Invitational Cross Country

Cross country runners pictured above are, starting at left, Megan Peters of Oak Ridge, 10th place; Esther Gallmeier of Oak Ridge, 9th; Maddie Zawisza of Oak Ridge, 8th; Selena Robinson of William Blount, 7th; Lauren Cole of Maryville, 6th; Aislyn Peacock of Oak Ridge, 5th; Sara Bowden of Maryville, 4th; and Katharina Gallmeier of Oak Ridge, 3rd. (Photos by Nicole Zawisza)


KNOXVILLE—The Oak Ridge High School cross country teams competed in the Cherokee Invitational in Knoxville on Saturday.

Here is an edited version of notes from the meet by Coach Allen Etheridge:

Cherokee Invitational is a small meet that follows up the Knoxville schools’ KIL meet, which was held on Thursday, October 9.

We generally run well at this meet because it’s not as crowded or as intense as the big meets we attend, like the Great American Cross Country Festival earlier this month. [Read more...]

Updated: Oak Ridge sunk by Admirals; Farragut wins Region 2 tournament

Mattie Livengood of Oak Ridge, and Anne Abernathy and Alexis Parker of Farragut

At left, Mattie Livengood of Oak Ridge, the District 3 champions, goes up against defenders Anne Abernathy (11) and Alexis Parker (6) of Farragut, the Region 4 runner-up, during semifinals at the Region 2-AAA championship at Bearden High School on Tuesday. Farragut beat Oak Ridge and went on to win the regional championship in the finals match against Bearden. (Photos by Nicholas Rhodes)


Note: This story was updated with stats at 10:10 a.m. Oct. 16.

BEARDEN—The first matchup of the night featured the Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats battling the Farragut Lady Admirals. Oak Ridge fought hard against Farragut, but was eventually beaten in straight sets: 25-8, 25-10, and 25-11.

The first set was all Farragut. After putting up the first six points of the set, the Lady Admirals kept piling on the score. At one point of the set, they commanded a 15-3 lead on the Lady Wildcats. Before the Wildcats knew what happened, Farragut had won the set 25-8.

The second set was closer at first, but Farragut seemed to overpower Oak Ridge with every serve, kill, or block. The Lady Wildcats brought it to 4-3 before the Lady Admirals went on a 10-3 scoring run to pull the lead to 14-6. After that, Farragut didn’t look back.

After the second set, Coach Carmen Foster huddled her girls up and she told them to calm their nerves.

“Stay together,” Foster encouraged. “Concentrate on the pass, talk to each other out there, and stay positive.” [Read more...]

Lady Wildcats win District 3 Championship, play for regional title Tuesday

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Volleyball District Champions

The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats volleyball team won the District 3-AAA championship on Wednesday night at Central High School and will play for a regional title at Bearden High School on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)


Submitted by Coach Carmen Foster

The Oak Ridge High School Lady Wildcats volleyball team went into the District 3-AAA volleyball tournament undefeated.

The Lady Wildcats faced the winner of Powell and Central for their first match last week. Powell overcame a scrappy Central team to advance into the District Round.

The Lady Wildcats beat Powell in straight sets: 25-9, 25-15, and 25-13. They were led by a wonderful serving game led by senior captain Rachel Card and freshmen Reagan Dickens with nine and 10 service aces, respectively. Sophomore Alex Sherles had the most kills of the evening with 10. Sophomore Beth Wyatt, who is currently replacing the injured Emily Lawless in the setter position, added 32 assists. [Read more...]

Wildcats cross country: Great result in only second race

Oak Ridge Wildcats Boys Varsity at McCallie Invitational

The Oak Ridge Wildcats boys varsity team is pictured above in September at the McCallie Invitational in Chattanooga. (File photos/Photos by Nichole Zawiswa)


CARY, N.C.—The Great American Cross Country Festival is the largest and most competitive cross country meet in the Southeast. This year’s event included US #2 LaSalle, Rhode Island, as well as most of the top 15 teams in the Southeastern United States. The top event is the Race of Champions, and the meet includes several other varsity and junior varsity events.

The Oak Ridge girls were in the Seeded Invitational, while the boys got a last-minute invitation to the top-level Race of Champions. The Cross Country festival was in Cary, North Carolina, this past weekend.

The Wildcats’ best result of the day came in the ROC, where the boys finished 11th of 21 really competitive teams. LaSalle won with 132 points. Daniel Boone (Tennessee) was third with 144 and Brentwood (Tennessee) fifth with 216. Oak Ridge scored 291. The Wildcats set a school record for fastest team average on a 5K course at 16:18.

“Great result for us in only our second race of the season,” Oak Ridge cross country coach Allen Etheridge said. “Most of these teams have run between five to eight races this season and are race sharp already. That’s going to take us a few more races, which is fine. We ran well today and lined up well with our Tennessee competition.” [Read more...]

Wildcats defense sets tone early in 62-7 win over Karns

Oak Ridge Wildcats Football Helmet

Note: This story was last updated at 3 a.m. Oct. 11.

KARNS—The Wildcats defense set the tone early in the 62-7 win at Karns on Friday night.

Less than one minute into the game, senior linebacker Ricky Chitwood picked off a Beavers pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. The Oak Ridge defense went on to score twice more in the first half, once on an interception by senior Ted Mitchell early in the second quarter and the other on a fumble recovery by senior Tommy Kaczocha as time expired at halftime. Both plays covered about 25 yards.

The offense added five touchdowns of its own in a flurry of scores—including two touchdown catches by sophomore Tee Higgins in the second quarter—and the score at halftime was 56-0. That’s the most ever for an Oak Ridge football team in the first half, according to David Clary of PrepRadio.com.

The six-yard and 38-yard touchdown passes to Higgins came from junior quarterbacks Logan Fadnek (8-for-11, 85 yards) and Gavin Warrington (2-for-3, 48 yards). Warrington also scored on a 23-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, while junior running back T.J. Allison scored on a two-yard run near the end of the first. Later, Fadnek connected with sophomore Caleb Jackson on a five-yard pass play to make it 42-0 at 2:16 in the first half. [Read more...]

AP prep football poll: Anderson County still No. 3, Oak Ridge moves into Top 10

Note: This story has been updated to correct the date of the Oak Ridge-Anderson County football game.

Information from WYSH Radio

The Associated Press high school football polls for this week were unveiled Monday.

Here is a look at the teams from East Tennessee who are ranked this week.

In Class 6A, Maryville remains #1, with Science Hill at #6 and Dobyns-Bennett #9.

In Class 5A, Knoxville West (5-1) stays in first place, while the Anderson County Mavericks (7-0) remain at #3. South Doyle (6-0) is #7 in Class 5A, and Oak Ridge (6-0) made its debut in the poll this week at #10. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge relies on two running backs in near-shutout over Campbell County

Oak Ridge Wildcats T.J. Allison and Campbell County Joseph Elkins

Junior running back T.J. Allison (#6) of the Wildcats runs behind the blocking of senior tight end Ryan Waddell (#86) as senior Joseph Elkins (#5) of Campbell County tries to strip the ball away. Allison ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 2:15 p.m.

Wildcats shut down big passing gains for Cougars

The running game was working well and burning up the clock, so Oak Ridge coach Joe Gaddis stuck with it.

Two running backs, juniors T.J. Allison and Jaylen Nickerson, racked up more than 100 yards each and led the Wildcats to three touchdowns in the first, second, and third quarters. Kicker Brandon Nickle added a field goal in the fourth.

The 24-8 victory was an important district win for the Wildcats, who are now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in District 3-AAA. The only other undefeated team in the district is Anderson County (7-0, 6-0). The two teams will face off in the season finale on Thursday, October 30.

Oak Ridge came close to picking up its fourth shutout of the season on Friday night at Blankenship Field, preventing the Cougars, who had averaged 42 points per game, from scoring until late in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense played really well,” Gaddis said.

[Read more...]

Wildcats cross country teams finish in Top 3 in Chattanooga

Oak Ridge Wildcats Boys Varsity at McCallie Invitational

The Oak Ridge Wildcats boys varsity team finished first at the McCallie Invitational in Chattanooga on Saturday. (Photos by Nichole Zawiswa)


Four Oak Ridge Wildcats cross country teams finished in the Top 3 in 5k races in Chattanooga on Saturday.

The varsity boys team finished first in the McCallie Invitational, the varsity girls finished third on a tie-breaker, the junior varsity boys team finished second, and the junior varsity girls finished third.

It was the full team debut for the cross country teams, coach Allen Etheridge said. He said the McCallie Invitational selects the most elite teams they can get for a small field of 10-15 teams.

The Wildcats teams travel this weekend to Cary, North Carolina, for the Great American Cross Country Festival, which is one of the most competitive meets in the nation.

Results from Saturday’s races are available here. [Read more...]