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.

Wesley Robinson of Oak Ridge Wildcats at McCallie Invitational

Senior Wesley Robinson of Oak Ridge, left, finished third in the varsity boys 5k at the McCallie Invitational in Chattanooga on Saturday.


The top runner for Oak Ridge in the varsity boys race was senior Wesley Robinson, who finished third with a time of 15:51.90. Junior Thomas Colburn also finished in the Top 10, with a time of 16:17.02.

The top runner in the varsity girls race was freshman Katharina Gallmeier, who finished 13th with a time of 20:02.23.

Top 10 finishers for Oak Ridge in the JV boys race were freshman Jose Villegas, who finished sixth with a time of 17:26.35, and freshman Will Jeter, who finished eighth at 17:28.88. The JV boys team also had a trio of runners who finished 11th, 12th, and 13th.

The top runner for the Oak Ridge JV girls was junior Elisabeth Martin, who finished third with a time of 21:29.29.

Etheridge said the Wildcats waited a long time to race this year.

“Starting on September 27 is really kind of unheard of,” he said. “But new TSSAA rules enable us to compete into November, and I wanted them to still be fresh and ready to race then, too, so we waited. The plus, too, is that by waiting until now to compete the kids really got to focus on school and their grades, which are excellent. First race out, we really don’t have a lot of racing sense yet, really don’t have a feel for how we will respond at various points, so given that I thought we ran an A race on Saturday in every event.”

Oak Ridge Girls Varsity Team McCallie Invitational

The Oak Ridge girls cross country team at the McCallie Invitational.


Here are notes from Etheridge on Saturday’s races:

Girls varsity

Katharina Gallmeier led the way. Strong race from her and from her sister, Esther. They’re not afraid to stick their noses in it and race, and boy did they race. And that attitude of just getting after it an trying to run fast is infectious—everybody gets involved in that.

I thought that Aislyn Peacock and Megan Peters were strong again, and I like them running together. I think their times were personal records for both of them. Megan’s breathing issues are finally at bay, and she’s running well. Great leadership on Saturday in keeping the girls loose.


Maddie Zawiswa has had a hip issue, so I was a little concerned about how she’d run, but she was terrific. Gave a ton at the end to pass her buddy Lauren Blade, who now runs at independence. As she heals, she should get faster.

Robyn Wood was there for two miles and then the wheels fell off a little. I’d like to see her with Megan and Aislyn, since she can run with them in workouts. Again, that should come with some racing experience.

I thought that Elisabeth Martin in the JV race ran super also.

We held Abbey Greenhalgh out because of what seems to be a minor quad strain. She’s a big help to us, so obviously we want to heal that and get her back out there as soon as possible.

Team-wise, we got third on a tie-breaker to Harpeth Hall out of Nashville.

South Forsyth, Georgia, won the meet.

Strong team performance for us. I want to keep building on that, keep getting better and better.

Boys varsity

This guys’ group has some big goals and needed to come out of the gate gunning in order to get on track to hit those goals, and I think we did that. We have been a dominant program in Tennessee over the past several decades, but the last few years we were kind of outside the top tier of teams in the state, and I hate that. The boys decided they hated that and have worked their butts off to get back to the top. I have a lot of respect for Hardin Valley Academy, Brentwood, and Daniel Boone, who have been at the top for the past few years—but I want to tear them up. I think we have a shot at it.

Wes was terrific—but we knew he would be. Not much strategy there: get on the front, see how you feel, and run to win. He drove the first 3.05 miles and just missed the win. Nice way to start. He’s got a full year of training under him now, has done all the mileage he can do at this point to become one of the best runners in the state, and clearly he’s there. He gets better as he races, and he really is a newcomer to 5K, so I’m expecting a lot more. A good start, though.


Best race ever from Thomas Colburn—he really came on strong. PR (personal record) by about 45 seconds, I think. He’s such a smart racer—knows how his body is going to respond at different points in the race. Top 10 at a meet like this one is really, really impressive.

If I hadn’t been such an idiot I would have had Gashaw Duhamel go out with Thomas for the first two miles—had he done that, I think that Gashaw would have had a much stronger race. He was in fourth at the two-mile mark, and then the wheels just fell off. That’s just a coaching mistake—sending him out to do something he wasn’t prepared to do. We’ll help him get it right next week.

The trio of Tyler Boullie, Jacob Etheridge, and Daniel Beckett ran super also. Those guys gunned so hard down the finish straight to take the last points over trinity. It makes a difference when you’re running for something rather than just running—trying to win rather than just getting through it. When they saw Gashaw struggling they got after it for the other guys—you can’t coach that. That’s the guys doing it for themselves and the team. Jacob said that Beckett really made a lot of that happen by surging past him a couple of times, and Jake went with him. That was a 36-second PR for Jacob—I thought he was tough.

Solid runs from Dakota Curran, who got a 40-second PR, and from the boys’ JV group, the Top 5 of whom are really fighting for the seventh spot on the varsity, which is just right in front of them. In particular, Jose Villegas, Christian Borden, Peyton Gupton, Will Jeter, and Grayson Aldridge are right there on that cusp of making it. Killer race from Will for sure.


ORHS Lady Wildcats undefeated in district play

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Seniors Volleyball

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats seniors are, from front to back, Rachel Loeffler, Sami Viau, Mattie Livengood, Rachel Card, and Emily Campbell. (Pictures by Loren Bonds)


District JV Tournament this afternoon (Oct. 1)

By Head Coach Carmen Foster

The Oak Ridge High School Lady Wildcats (and Baby Cats) played their last district match this past Thursday versus Gibbs High School.

Leading into this match, both the junior varsity and varsity teams were undefeated in district play. A win this past Thursday would cinch the No. 1 seed in the upcoming district tournaments. Both teams won! The Baby Cats won in straight sets and secured the No 1 spot in the JV District Tournament, which will occur this Wednesday, October 1. ORHS is hosting the District JV Tournament starting at 4:30 p.m.

In the follow-up match, the varsity Lady Wildcats won in straight sets against Gibbs: 25-9, 25-12, and 25-8. Gibbs was led by players Morgan Worley with three kills and four digs, and Michaela Wilson with two kills and two digs. [Read more...]

ORHS Homecoming Parade is Friday

David Bryant

David Bryant

The Oak Ridge High School’s annual Homecoming Parade is Friday, and ORHS Principal David Bryant is inviting the community to attend.

The parade starts at 6:15 p.m. Friday, October 3.

There is a new route for the parade this year. It will follow Central Avenue to Tennessee to Towne Road to Broadway and then to Blankenship, Bryant said. [Read more...]

Wildcats win, but game closer than score suggests

Oak Ridge Wildcats Malik Hardy at Gibbs

Senior Malik Hardy of the Oak Ridge Wildcats (15) ran for 47 yards on five carries at Gibbs on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 9 a.m.

By Alex Myers/Oak Ridge Today

CORRYTON—The Wildcats visited Gibbs High School on Friday night and left with a hard-earned win.

The final score showed the Wildcats beating the Eagles 38-21, but that didn’t tell the entire story. Penalties hurt the Wildcats all night long and often helped to extend drives for Gibbs. The Wildcats were penalized 16 times for 133 yards, while Gibbs was penalized five times for 38 yards. Gibbs ran an options offense, which at times proved to be tough to stop. However, in the long run, the Wildcats were just too much for Gibbs.

Oak Ridge trailed the Eagles early on but tied the game up with a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Logan Fadnek to receiver Tee Higgins, who made a jump ball catch, with 7:50 left in the second quarter. Kicker Brandon Nickle put Oak Ridge in front at halftime as his 42-yard field goal gave the Wildcats a 10-7 advantage.

Running back T.J. Allison was the workhorse in the second half for Oak Ridge. He got into the end zone with a nine-yard run that gave the Wildcats a 17-7 lead early in the third quarter. [Read more...]

Lady Wildcats roll over Central in district volleyball match; Senior Night tonight

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Volleyball Timeout

The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Volleyball team during a timeout last week against Central. (Submitted photo)


By Head Coach Carmen Foster and Assistant Coach Greg Livengood

Last Thursday, the Oak Ridge High School Lady Wildcats and Baby Cats (as we fondly refer to our junior varsity team) took on district rival Central High School. The Lady Cats (both JV and varsity) won in straight sets.

That left both teams undefeated in the district at 6-0.

The Baby Cats came out strong and won in two straight sets: 25-7 and 25-20. [Read more...]

Wildcats defense shines in third shutout of season

Oak Ridge Wildcats Jaylen Nickerson and McMinn County

Junior running back Jaylen Nickerson (29) ran for two touchdowns for the Oak Ridge Wildcats at McMinn County on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


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

By Alex Myers

ATHENS, Tennessee—It was a beautiful night for a high school football game in McMinn County on Friday night.

Oak Ridge traveled down Interstate 75 Friday evening to face the Cherokees of McMinn County High School in Athens. Oak Ridge (4-0, 2-0 District 3-AAA) was coming off of a 42-0 win against Halls, while McMinn County (0-5, 0-1 District 5-AAA) was looking to rebound after a 32-point loss to Alcoa last week.

The Wildcats got things started quickly in the first quarter after getting on the board with a five-yard touchdown run from Jaylen Nickerson. Just minutes later shortly after a Cherokee turnover, Nickerson carried the ball in from 22 yards out for his second touchdown of the game.

With 1:39 left in the first quarter, junior quarterback Logan Fadnek connected with Jordan Dunbar to once again get the Wildcats into the end zone. At the end of the first quarter, Oak Ridge had jumped out to a 21-point lead. [Read more...]

Volley ‘Cats sweep Dragons, 5-0 in district play

Lady Wildcats Volleyball, Clinton, and Emma and Olivia Milloway

Sisters Emma and Olivia Milloway get a block for the Lady Wildcats against the Clinton Lady Dragons on Thursday. (Photos by Loren Bonds)


By Carmen Foster, Head Coach

The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcat volleyball team took on district rival Clinton High School on Thursday night.

The Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Dragons in straight sets: 25-10, 25-22, and 25-15. They were led by seniors Rachel Card (#27), Mattie Livengood (#12), Sami Viau (#3), Emily Campbell (#30), and Rachel Loeffler (#21).

It was a well-played match, with contributions coming from all of the varsity players.

Standouts included seniors: [Read more...]

After sluggish start, Wildcats double scoring output in second half

Oak Ridge Wildcats Malik Hardy and Halls Red Devils

Senior wide receiver Malik Hardy (15) runs for a 16-yard touchdown in the third quarter as the Wildcats beat the Halls Red Devils 42-0 in Oak Ridge on Friday. (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 11:35 a.m. Sept. 13.

The Oak Ridge Wildcats got off to a sluggish start in the first half on Friday, but doubled their scoring output in the second.

All of the second-half points—four touchdowns—came in the third quarter of the 42-0 win over the Halls Red Devils, the second shutout of the season for the Wildcats.

Junior running back T.J. Allison (six carries, 53 yards) rushed for three touchdowns for the Wildcats, one in the first half and two in the second.

Red Devils coach J.D. Overton said Halls is a young, inexperienced team that was playing without a half-dozen starters on Friday night at Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge. He declined to say why the players were sitting out the game. Two of those starters play offense and defense.

“They didn’t play tonight,” Overton said. “That’s all I’m going to say.” [Read more...]

Pancake breakfast on Sept. 20 to help ORHS Cross Country Boosters

Oak Ridge Cross Country 2014

The Oak Ridge Cross Country team is pictured above. (Submitted photo)


A pancake breakfast at Applebee’s restaurant on Saturday, September 20, will help the Oak Ridge High School cross country team.

Tickets for the pancake breakfast are $5 per person. The breakfast is scheduled from 8-10 a.m. September 20. All proceeds go to the ORHS Cross Country Boosters, organizers said.

VolleyCats sweep Halls, 3-0 in district; play Powell, Clinton this week

Oak Ridge High School 2014 Volleyball Closeup

The 2014-2015 Oak Ridge Wildcats Volleyball Team—front row (left to right): Samantha Mabry, Rachel Loeffler, Emily Lawless, J-J Valencia, Allison Jones; middle row (left to right): Beth Wyatt, Olivia Milloway, Reagan Dickens, Sami Viau, Mattie Livengood, Rachel Clement, Sarah Roth, Carolyn Pelfrey, and Devyn Bonds; back row (left to right): Greg Livengood (assistant coach), Emily Campbell, Rachel Card, Alex Sherles, Emma Milloway, Molly McDonough, Stella Powell, Mollie Turner, Kasey Smith, and Carmen Foster (head coach).



On Tuesday, in the first district match of the season, the Oak Ridge VolleyCats clawed their way to a huge district win over Anderson County after five sets: 25-12, 18-25, 25-21, 24-26, and 15-10.

On Thursday, Oak Ridge defeated Karns in four sets: 25-20, 25-21, 21-25, and 25-16.

Then, on Monday, September 8, Oak Ridge swept Halls 25-15, 25-23, and 25-12.

The volleyball team’s district record is now 3-0, and its overall record is 14-6. [Read more...]

Updated: Oak Ridge scores six TDs in first start for Fadnek

Oak Ridge Wildcats Shawmain Fleming and Clinton Dragons Zack Jones

Oak Ridge defenders, including nose guard Shawmain Fleming (#78), wrap up an elusive Clinton running back, junior Zack Jones (#10). (Photos by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was last updated at 10 p.m. Sept. 7.

CLINTON—Clinton struck first, scoring on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the opening play of the game.

But Oak Ridge answered with two touchdowns of its own. The second score, a five-yard run by junior T.J. Allison, put Oak Ridge on top 14-7 at 5:38 in the first quarter. The Wildcats never trailed again.

Four other Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 District 3-AAA) also scored touchdowns in the 44-21 win over the Dragons (1-2, 0-2), the first district game of the season for Oak Ridge, and junior Brandon Nickle added a field goal.

It was the first start for junior Wildcats quarterback Logan Fadnek. Fadnek also played last week against the Farragut Admirals, but junior Gavin Warrington started at quarterback in that game. On Friday, Fadnek completed 11 of 21 passes (52.4 percent) for 196 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.

Sophomore wide receiver Tee Higgins had a team-high 117 yards on five catches, including a 35-yard touchdown pass lofted high in the air near the right pylon with 32 seconds left in the first quarter. Higgins, who is 6’3” and 175 pounds and also plays basketball, was second in rushing yards, picking up 33 yards on one carry. [Read more...]

Updated: Wildcats shut out Farragut on long kicks, interception

Gavin Warrington of Oak Ridge Wildcats

Oak Ridge used two quarterbacks on Friday, junior Gavin Warrington, #11 above, and junior Logan Fadnek. Also pictured above is junior running back Isiah Jones, #20. (Photos by Julio Culiat.)


Note: This story was last updated with new photos at 11:30 p.m. August 30.

Oak Ridge coach Joe Gaddis savored the 13-0 shutout during the season opener against the Farragut Admirals on Friday night.

“Anytime you get out a shutout against anyone, it’s sweet,” Gaddis told the team during a post-game huddle. “Against these guys, it’s even sweeter.”

Neither offense was able to score a touchdown at Blankenship Field. The Wildcats scored twice on long kicks by junior Brandon Nickle—the first was 44 yards and the second was 46—and an interception returned up the left sideline for a 76-yard touchdown by cornerback Jemiah Hall.

Senior cornerback and wide receiver Ted Mitchell had a momentum-stopping interception near the goal line with about a minute-and-a-half to play, ending Farragut’s final drive deep in Wildcats territory.

“They were moving the ball, and I knew we had to come up with a big play,” Mitchell said of his first-ever goal-line pick. “I didn’t care who it was. Luckily, it was me.” [Read more...]