Photos: Oak Ridge and Dobyns-Bennett

Oak Ridge Wildcats Defense at Dobyns-Bennet Indians

The Oak Ridge defense stops Dobyns-Bennett quarterback Cole Maupin (6) during a 17-14 win for the Wildcats in Kingsport on Friday. Wildcats making the stop are Gavin Warrington (11), Jamalcolm Henderson (53), Kyndall Clark (54), and Adam Manookian (35). (Photo by Julio Culiat)


KINGSPORT—A tipped pass intercepted by the Oak Ridge defense at their own 11-yard line with less than three minutes to play saved a 17-14 win for the Wildcats at Dobyns-Bennett on Friday. See the story here.

Here are pictures by Julio Culiat and John Huotari.

Oak Ridge Wildcats Tee Higgins and Dobyns-Bennett

Oak Ridge junior receiver Tee Higgins (5) led all Wildcats in receiving with 136 yards on seven carries, four first downs, and one touchdown at Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

[Read more…]

Higgins, Wildcats receiver, commits to play football at UT

Oak Ridge Wildcats Tee Higgins Clinton Dragons

Junior receiver Tee Higgins (5) celebrates his first touchdown catch for the Oak Ridge Wildcats against the Clinton Dragons on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. Higgins had three catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Higgins announced on Monday that he has committed to play football for the University of Tennessee. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Oak Ridge junior wide receiver Tee Higgins announced on Twitter on Monday that he has officially committed to play football at the University of Tennessee.

Higgins, who is a 6’4″ and 185 pounds, is the No. 1 Class of 2017 prospect in the state, according to 247Sports.

Higgins chose the Volunteers over scholarship offers from more than a dozen other teams, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss. [Read more…]

Photos: Oak Ridge Wildcats and Clinton Dragons

Oak Ridge Wildcats Chase Kimbro and Clinton Dragons

Oak Ridge junior linebacker Chase Kimbro (10), who had four tackles, one assist, and a sack, tackles Clinton senior quarterback Tyler Thackerson (8). (Photo by Julio Culiat)


The Friday night football game between the Oak Ridge Wildcats and Clinton Dragons at Blankenship Field was very well-attended, with the ticket line snaking around the lower parking lot at Blankenship Field and down Broadway. The Wildcats won 24-13 in the season opener. Here are pictures by Julio Culiat and John Huotari.

Oak Ridge Wildcats Adarius Simpson and Clinton Dragons

Oak Ridge sophomore Adarius Simpson (24) returns the football to the Clinton 45 after a Dragons field goal attempt was blocked by junior Wildcat Jaret Miner. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

[Read more…]

Wildcats: ‘Coaches Corner with Joe Gaddis’ starts Wednesday

Joe Gaddis

Joe Gaddis

The live broadcast “Coaches Corner with Joe Gaddis” starts this Wednesday, August 19.

The show, which starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, usually features a review of the previous week’s performance by the Oak Ridge Wildcats football team as well as a preview of the upcoming game.

The live broadcast is every Wednesday at Pizza Inn in Oak Ridge. If you can’t make it, you can watch it on Channel 12, BBB-TV.

The regular season starts Friday, August 21, at home on Blankenship Field. The Wildcats will play the Clinton Dragons, and kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. [Read more…]

ORPD officer, a former Vandy standout, terminated as statutory rape allegation investigated

ORPD Cassen Garrison

Witnesses said ORPD Officer Cassen Garrison used his hands to break out a back window of an Emory Valley Center van and rescue a client from the back of it after a May 12, 2015, crash at Northwestern and North Purdue avenues. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Note: This story was last updated at 9:25 a.m. Aug. 18.

A probationary Oak Ridge police officer who once played football for Vanderbilt University and the Kansas City Chiefs has been investigated, terminated, and will be prosecuted for allegations of statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl and other charges, authorities said Monday.

The victim’s stepfather, who was in custody at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton, made an allegation that the officer, Cassen Jackson-Garrison, 30, had engaged in inappropriate contact with his stepdaughter, Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said in a press release. The allegation was made to an Anderson County Sheriff’s Department deputy investigator at the jail.

Clark said Garrison was one of two officers who met the victim when he responded to the victim’s home in connection with a domestic violence complaint. The victim’s stepfather was arrested because of that complaint and remains jailed at the ACDF, Clark said. [Read more…]

ORHS Football Boosters have auction today to support team

The Oak Ridge High School Football Boosters is having a live auction on Friday, August 14, from 7-10 p.m. The auction will be broadcast on BBB Communications Channel 12.

Auction items—including new merchandise, gift cards, and amusement park passes—have been donated by local and surrounding area businesses.

“Fantastic items such as Dollywood tickets, fine jewelry, spa items, golfing gear, autographed collectables, and much, much, more will be available,” a press release said.

Items being auctioned may be viewed on Facebook by searching for the “Wildcat Football Auction” page.

“Please participate and support the 2015 Oak Ridge High School football team…’Roll Cats, Roll!'” the release said.

Wildcats scrimmage changed, will play Morristown West at home tonight

Oak Ridge Wildcats Logo

Oak Ridge’s scrimmage against South-Doyle at South-Doyle tonight has been canceled, and the Wildcats will instead scrimmage against Morristown West at home.

South-Doyle has apparently had some injuries, and another team canceled on Morristown West, Oak Ridge Coach Joe Gaddis said Friday morning.

So, Oak Ridge and Morristown West will scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. today (Friday, August 7) at the practice field, Ben Martin Track at Oak Ridge High School. There will be no admission and no concessions.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clinton alumni propose multi-sport facility

Clinton High School Multi-sports Complex

A group of Clinton Senior High School alumni have proposed a better facility for current and future student athletes. Pictured above is a proposed 12,000-square-foot modern sports facility. It would include universal access for all student athletes, with enough room for multiple teams to practice at the same time. (Image courtesy CSHS Legacy)


Alumni from Clinton High School have proposed a better facility for current and future student athletes. They have plans for a 12,000-square-foot multi-sport complex that could be used as a practice facility for several sports and host volleyball matches and wrestling meets.

The facility would include a weight training area, and artificial surface practice field for football, band, cheerleaders, and dance teams. A second story would have office space for coaches and a film room, according to plans posted on the website CSHS Legacy.

WYSH Radio in Clinton reported that the Anderson County Board of Education has given officials at Clinton High School the go-ahead to start exploring the possibility of constructing the new multi-sport facility at no cost to taxpayers.

WYSH said the proposed project would also renovate the existing, but aging, football field house. A second and separate part of the proposed project would also renovate the Don Lockard Gymnasium. [Read more…]

Three ORHS football players taken to hospital after Tuesday afternoon crash

Three Oak Ridge High School football players were taken to two hospitals after a crash in Blount County on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The three were reportedly leaving Maryville to come to practice in Oak Ridge at the time of the crash, Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis said.

He said two players were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and the third was taken to Blount Memorial.

Gaddis said the three had apparently spent the night with a friend. [Read more…]

ORHS TE commits to Sun Devils

Oak Ridge Wildcats Darel Middleton and Cleveland Blue Raiders

A pass to Darel Middleton (99) in the end zone in double coverage in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Blue Raiders on Nov. 14, 2014, falls incomplete. (File photo by Julio Culiat)


Information from WYSH Radio

Oak Ridge High School tight end Darel Middleton, a highly sought-after recruit, announced on Twitter on Monday that he has committed to play college football at Arizona State University, choosing the Sun Devils over Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Oregon.

Middleton, who also plays defensive end, will be a senior this season and will begin his senior campaign at home against Clinton on August 21. [Read more…]

Community honors, pays tribute to Kocak in candlelight vigil at ORHS

Joey Kocak Candelight Vigil Balloons

Sophomores release balloons as other football players watch during a community candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday for student-athlete Joey Kocak, who died at home on Wednesday. (Photo by Julio Culiat)


Note: This story was updated at 4:32 p.m.

The Oak Ridge community honored sophomore James Joseph “Joey” Kocak during a candlelight vigil at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday.

Friends and coaches shared their memories of Kocak, who had played on the football and basketball teams this year, during the candlelight vigil at Ben Martin Track at ORHS.

They encouraged the large crowd that attended to preserve their precious memories of Kocak, a 16-year-old sophomore who passed away at his home on Wednesday, March 4.

“I really hope that this isn’t the last time we’ll honor him,” said Mollie Turner.

Friends and coaches recalled Kocak’s memorable smirk, his playful moments, and his high-pitched singing on the back of the bus, belting out tunes like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” [Read more…]

Fans ask for dunks, Mitchell gives them two

Ted Mitchell of the Oak Ridge Wildcats Dunks Against Gibbs

All year, fans had been asking senior guard Ted Mitchell (4) of the Oak Ridge Wildcats to dunk the ball, and Tuesday night, he obliged. Mitchell dunked twice in his last regular-season home game at Wildcat Arena. (Photo by Melissa Livesey)


All year, fans have been asking Ted Mitchell to dunk it. On Tuesday, the senior gave the fans what they wanted—and more. He dunked the ball twice in his last regular-season home game at Wildcat Arena.

It was a dramatic finish in a high school career that included trips last year to the state championship game in basketball and the state quarterfinal game in football. The Wildcats’ basketball team finished first in District 3-AAA this year and will advance to the playoffs.

Mitchell, who has plans to play football in college, was the only senior to play for the Wildcats on either the boys’ or girls’ team at home on Senior Night against the Gibbs Eagles on Tuesday.

Here’s more on those games from freelance contributor Trenton Duffer:

Oak Ridge celebrates Senior Night with two victories over Gibbs

Tuesday night, the Oak Ridge Wildcats and Lady Wildcats celebrated Senior Night in the home finale at Wildcat Arena. However, only one senior would be playing his last game in the arena: Ted Mitchell. In some ways, it seemed like “Ted Mitchell Night,” as both sets of Wildcats rolled to easy victories over the Gibbs Eagles and Lady Eagles. Neither set of Eagles had the lead the entire night.

Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats Mykia Dowdell against Gibbs Eagles

Freshman Mykia Dowdell (34) had 15 points against the Gibbs Eagles on Tuesday at Wildcat Arena. (Photo by Luther Simmons)


Lady Wildcats Stomp Lady Eagles

The Lady Wildcats (17-9, 12-3 District 3-AAA) were the first up to play, and they did not disappoint. The Lady Wildcats would go on to crush the Gibbs Lady Eagles (6-18, 5-10) by a score of 65-29. A one-two punch of offense and defense helped the Lady Wildcats walk away with this victory unscathed.

The first quarter was actually very close. Within the first 1:30, Oak Ridge jumped out to an 11-2 lead before the Lady Eagles came storming back, making it 18-14 after one quarter. [Read more…]