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…]

CHS offensive coordinator to take over Powell football program

Information from WYSH Radio

Clinton High School football offensive coordinator Rodney Ellison has been named the new coach at Powell High School in Knoxville.

He previously was head coach at Wartburg for one season in 2011 before coming to Clinton, where he helped revitalize the Dragon program with an up-tempo, spread-style offense.

Football players add depth as Wildcats basketball improves to 8-0

Darel Middleton

Darel Middleton

On Monday, Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said the football players who have started playing basketball showed a “little bit of rust” in a 75-36 drubbing of Clinton. By Tuesday, it appeared that those players had shaken off some of that rust in a more competitive 77-65 win over Powell.

The biggest improvement, at least in terms of scoring, came from 6-foot-6 junior center Darel Middleton, who was playing against his former team on Tuesday. On Monday at Clinton, Middleton had six points total, or less than one basket per quarter. On Tuesday at home against the Panthers, he had 18 points, a team high.

Middleton, who missed the opening games this season because of the football playoffs, also picked up six rebounds on Tuesday. Green said Middleton, who plays defensive end and wide receiver in football, is very athletic, can score inside, and is a great passer.

“His presence in there is a factor,” Green said. [Read more…]

All-District football accolades announced: Gaddis is Coach of the Year

Oak Ridge Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis and Team

Oak Ridge Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis and his football team celebrate an October win in a post-game huddle. (Photo by Julio Culiat)


Information from WYSH Radio

The All-District 3AAA football team for 2014 was announced last week as were individual postseason honors.

The Coach of the Year is Oak Ridge’s Joe Gaddis.

Anderson County’s Matt Fox was named Player of the Year, while Campbell County’s Ethan Jeffers was named Offensive Player of the Year and Gibbs’ Hunter Lane was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Lineman of the Year honors went to Oak Ridge’s Alex Alcorn, the D3AAA Newcomer of the Year was Oak Ridge’s Tee Higgins, and the Specialist of the Year was Oak Ridge’s Brandon Nickle. [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…]

First Atomic City Bowl at Boys and Girls Club on Saturday

The first Atomic City Bowl will feature football games at the Boys and Girls Club on Saturday, November 8. The games will be played on the football field at 102 South Jefferson Circle.

“We would like to invite the community to come out and watch the future of Oak Ridge football,” a press release said.

Here is the schedule:

  • Oak Ridge U10 versus Farragut—3:15 p.m.
  • Oak Ridge U7 versus Fulton—4:45 p.m.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 students.

Despite championship loss, coaches tell Rams to ‘hold your head high’

Chris Jackson of Robertsville Rams Makes CAK Tackle

Chris Jackson (7) of the Robertsville Middle School Rams tackles Brandon Spencer (4) of the CAK Middle School Warriors during a TVAC Championship game at Blankenship Field on Thursday. (Photos by Luther Simmons)


RMS Ram Football Coach James Branson

Robertsville Middle School Rams head coach James Branson with the TVAC Middle School Runner Up trophy.

It was a painful loss, a tearful way to end the season.

But the Robertsville Middle School Rams coaching staff tried to console their football team after a 20-16 championship loss to the CAK Warriors at Blankenship Field on Thursday night.

If you put everything you had into the game, the coaches said, then “hold your head high.”

The Rams finished the year with a 6-2 record. They lost one game in the regular season to Rhea County, and they beat CAK 14-8 during the regular season, said first-year head coach James Branson.

“This whole season, I don’t think there was a lot expected of them,” Branson said. “They compete. They came ready to play. [Read more…]