Lady Wildcats host summer soccer minicamp for children tonight, Aug. 1

The 2014 Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats varsity soccer team is hosting a summer minicamp for children 4-13 years old on Friday, July 11, and Friday, August 1, from 6-8 p.m. at Pro2Serve field at Oak Ridge High School.

In the camp, campers will receive one-to-one instruction from the players and coaches. Stations will cover fundamentals, shooting drills, and scrimmaging, all on the high school field. The high school is  at 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike, and the soccer field is located on the Oak Ridge Turnpike side of the high school campus.

The cost for the summer minicamp is $20 per child, $35 for two children, and $45 for three children. All checks should be made out to ORHS Lady Wildcats Soccer Booster Club.

For more information, contact Alison Kuipers at [email protected] or Melinda Buck Brown at (865) 804-2251 or [email protected].

Red Sox sign Steen, a right-handed pitcher from Oak Ridge

BOSTON, Mass.—The Boston Red Sox have signed ninth-round selection Kevin Steen, a right-handed pitcher from Oak Ridge High School.

The Red Sox drafted Steen in June. He had committed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee, and he was the 284th pick in the three-day, 40-round MLB First-Year Player Draft in June.

Steen, who was a senior at ORHS this past year, also played basketball for the Oak Ridge Wildcats and helped lead the team to a state championship game in March for the first time since 1963. Oak Ridge finished as state Class AAA runner-up. [Read more...]

Honors: Gipson selected to Capital One Academic All-America third team

Autumn Gipson Christmas Invitational

Oak Ridge High School graduate and Middle Tennessee State University student Autumn Gipson, right, running next to teammate Jackline Kiprono, left, in the mile at the Christmas Invitational in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MT Athletic Communications)


First Blue Raider in track and field and cross country

AUSTIN, Texas—Autumn Gipson, a senior runner at Middle Tennessee State University and former all-star athlete at Oak Ridge High School, was selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country third team. The College Sport Information Directors of America announced the selection in late June.

Gipson, a key contributor for MTSU in cross country and track and field, is an exercise science major that has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, the university said in a story posted on its website. She was also selected to the Conference USA Women’s Track and Field All-Academic team on May 28 and the C-USA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic team in November 2013.

“Gipson is the perfect combination of putting academics and athletics together,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Dean Hayes. “She is a good student and has done good things athletically, while making the most of her opportunity at Middle Tennessee. What she has done in the classroom and on the track will help her find success in the future.”

The Knoxville native notched two top-10 finishes in cross country, placing as high as eighth on the two-mile course at the Front Runner Invitational, the MTSU story said. During the indoor season, she tallied three individual top-15 finishes and was a member of the distance medley relay, which placed in the top seven in the five meets they competed in. The relay team captured first at the Edward S. Temple Classic and seventh at the C-USA Indoor Championships. [Read more...]

Honors: Tri County Comets softball team wins championship in Chattanooga

Tri County Comets 6u

Front row from left to right are Addison Griffith, Lexi Hammock, Kyleigh Cawood, Braylen Melton, and Kenzie Hardie. Second row from left to right are Emory Thompson, Madison Starkey, Kaylee Hickman, Ryleigh Hargis, Sailor Presley, Hannah McKinney, and Lilly Denham. Pictured in the back row are coaches Amy Cawood, Matt Griffith, Head Coach Kelley Griffith, Chris McKinney, and Joe Presley. (Submitted photo)


The Tri County Comets 6u softball team won the 2014 SEAA Recreational World Series at Warner Park in Chattanooga from June 20-22.

Six teams competed: Tri County Comets, Cleveland Express, Meigs County Heat, Cleveland Heat, Middle Valley Aftershock, and East Brainerd Breeze.

This was a two pool double elimination tournament. On Saturday, the team lost the first pool game but bounced back and won the second. Rain delayed the games until Sunday. Then, the Tri County Comets came out and played five games in the blazing heat and won the championship.

The Comets played a total of seven games with a record of 5-2.

Family, friends remember Brayden Pearson, seek to honor his ‘zest for life’

Bubbles for Brayden Pearson

Family and friends blow bubbles for Brayden Pearson during a Friday night vigil at the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge.


He wore No. 14 when he played baseball and basketball for the Boys and Girls Club. Only eight years old and going into fourth grade, he hadn’t really decided on a profession yet, but he thought playing major league baseball “would be awesome,” a family friend said.

So it was fitting that family and friends gathered in the outfield of a baseball field at the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge to remember Brayden Pearson on Friday. They described Brayden as a lively boy with thick, curly hair, and a contagious laugh—”the best laugh ever,” said Tracy Stewart, a member of the close-knit sports family at the club. Brayden loved school, family friend Sara VanLandingham said.

Brayden died Monday, two days after he had trouble while snorkeling near a swimming area at Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge. He had to be pulled from the lake that Saturday afternoon. Family and friends performed CPR, and 911 was called. The Oak Ridge police and fire departments responded and continued CPR, and Brayden was flown by a Lifestar medical helicopter to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

The family said they wanted to continue Brayden’s zest for life by donating his organs to other children who need them. On Friday, VanLandingham, who has been speaking on behalf of the family, said four organs had been successfully removed for donation. [Read more...]

Fall soccer registration for Anderson, Roane counties starts July 24

AYSO Soccer

The American Youth Soccer Organization will hold signups for the 2014 fall season beginning Thursday, July 24. 
Registration will be held at the Oak Ridge AYSO Office, located at 1998 Oak Ridge Turnpike beside the UGO Grocery Outlet.

Registration dates are:

  • Thursday, July 24, from 5-7 p.m.,
  • Saturday, July 26, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.,
  • Thursday, July 31, from 5-8 p.m., and
  • late registration on Saturday, August 2, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (Add a $10 late fee to this registration day).

Anyone from age 4 to 19 who is interested in playing soccer is encouraged to register. AYSO was founded on the principle that everyone plays. The league is committed to safe, fun, fair competition, a press release said. You do not need soccer experience—just a desire to be part of this sport.

Both returning and new players can speed up registration by going online at, printing two copies of the form, and bringing them with the registration fee to signups at the times listed. Cash or checks only will be accepted. [Read more...]

Volunteers, launch drivers needed for USRowing National Championship

USRowing Youth National Championships Finals

The USRowing Youth National Championships Finals are pictured above in Oak Ridge in June 2013. (File photo)

USRowing is having its 2014 National Club Championship regatta in Oak Ridge from Wednesday, July 16, through Sunday, July 20.

The regatta is on Melton Hill Lake at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association is seeking volunteers for this event, a press release said. No experience is necessary.

“This is a great way to get up close to some of the best racing in the country,” said Terry Holley, president of the Oak Ridge Rowing Association. “We are pleased that USRowing has chosen Melton Hill Lake once again as the venue for this prestigious event.” [Read more...]

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon announces grant program for healthy living

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

Proposals for funding up to $10,000 due by July 31

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon announced on Thursday that it will offer a new grant program targeted at promoting healthy living in East Tennessee.

For a decade, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has been the premier event of the Knoxville Track Club, a press release said. Each year, funds have been set aside for the community contribution program.

In an effort to encourage healthy living beyond race day, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has issued a request for proposals now through the end of July for organizations seeking funding from the program.

“For 10 years, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has served as East Tennessee’s premier event for runners, as well as a healthy and inspiring opportunity for individuals and families of all fitness levels,” said race director Jason Altman. “We are proud that what happens during marathon weekend will be able to further impact our community throughout the year, and we’re excited to expand that to the public in a more formal way through this grant program.” [Read more...]

TORCH’s kickball fundraiser to kick off in Oak Ridge

Torch Logo

TORCH’s “Kickin It for Homes” kickball fundraiser is an opportunity for the community to relive the fun of a favorite childhood sports. At the same time, every game played is a “hand-up” for the homeless, a press release said.

Participants are needed to play in the tournament, which is set for June 28 at Carl Yearwood Park located on Laboratory Road in Oak Ridge. The event will start at 9 a.m., and end when a winner emerges. The cost per eight-person team is $160. There is no cost to come out and cheer on the teams.

Teams can register by printing out a form from the website and send or drop the form at the office. There is a box at the door if the office is closed. Teams can also register and pay directly online.

Trinity Outreach Center of Hope (TORCH) is located at 320 Robertsville Road in Oak Ridge. Families, church groups, work mates, and friends are encouraged to join in the fun, the press release said. [Read more...]

CHS soccer appeals TSSAA penalties after May fight

Information from WYSH Radio

Clinton High School athletic director Dan Jenkins was in Murfreesboro on Wednesday to appeal the penalties handed down against the Dragons soccer team after a brawl during the closing minutes of a district tournament quarterfinal game at Central last month.

The appeal was made to the TSSAA Board of Control, and a decision is expected to be handed down by the end of the week.

The school was fined $3,250, and the soccer team was placed on two years of regular probation and two years of restrictive probation, which will keep them out of the postseason for the next two seasons. [Read more...]

Drug Awareness Day at Oak Ridge Pool on Saturday, June 21

Drug Awareness Day at Oak Ridge Municipal Pool


The Oak Ridge Chapter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks will be hosting the second annual Drug Awareness Day at the Oak Ridge Municipal Pool located at 172 Providence Road on Saturday, June 21.

Drug awareness demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. inside the pool area. A few of the planned activities include the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Jet Ski simulator and fatal vision goggle demonstrations. “Elroy the Elk” the national mascot for the Elks Drug Awareness Program, will be in attendance to remind kids that hugs are better than drugs. Hundreds of prizes will be given away to those participating in a drug awareness activity. Some of the prizes include T-Shirts, coloring books, Frisbees, and free pool passes that can be used anytime during the summer. [Read more...]

Red Sox draft Oak Ridge pitcher Kevin Steen

Oak Ridge Wildcats and Dobyns-Bennett

Kevin Steen, right, played for the Oak Ridge Wildcats basketball and baseball teams, and the right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Boston Red Sox on Friday. He is pictured above with Jaylin Henderson, left, during a March basketball game in Kingsport defending Tyleke Love of Dobyns-Bennett. (Photo by Ned Jilton II/Kingsport Times News)

The Boston Red Sox picked Kevin Steen, a right-handed pitcher from Oak Ridge High School, in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball draft on Friday.

Steen, who has committed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee, was the 284th pick in the three-day, 40-round First-Year Player Draft, which had more than 1,200 selections.

He was one of of four right-handers picked by the Red Sox on Day 2 of the draft, with only one selection coming straight from high school, the team said in a press release.

Steen also played basketball for the Oak Ridge Wildcats and helped lead the team to a state championship game in March for the first time since 1963. Oak Ridge finished as state Class AAA runner-up. [Read more...]