CLINTON—The Oak Ridge Wildcats opened the regular football season with a 56-21 rout at Clinton on Thursday. Here is the second of two sets of photos by John Huotari.
Growing up in Oak Ridge, I learned quickly that the folks here love their high school athletics. All it takes is one trip to historic Blankenship Field on a fall Friday night to get a sense of how this town feels about sports.
However, recently it’s occurred to me that there has been a terrible injustice to one of our own. One of Oak Ridge’s most decorated athletes has gone relatively unrecognized to my generation.
Jennifer Azzi is the athlete I’m talking about. From right here in Oak Ridge, Azzi graduated and went on to play Division One basketball at Stanford. While at Stanford, she compiled a list of accomplishments that would impress any sports junkie. Helping Stanford to win their program’s first women’s basketball national championship, Azzi was also named Final Four MVP. While this alone should be enough for her to be celebrated around town, Azzi didn’t stop there. She was named the 1990 Naismith National Player of the Year, and for those who are unaware, that’s essentially college basketball’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. Azzi was also named Pac 10 player of the year for the 1989-90 season. She was a two time Kodak All-American for her play during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons.
Azzi went on to be an eventual first-round draft pick in the WNBA draft.
And if that didn’t make your jaw drop, here’s the icing on the cake. In 1996, Azzi helped make not only East Tennessee proud, but her country proud as well when she and her teammates on the USA Women’s National Basketball Team won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. Let’s face it, she wasn’t good; Jennifer Azzi was simply amazing. [Read more…]
Note: This story was last updated at 1:05 p.m. May 16.
Hardin Valley Academy’s soccer team made the short trip to Oak Ridge on Thursday evening for a matchup against the Wildcats in the Region 2-AAA championship.
The Hawks, now 17-0-2, looked to not only earn a win, but also the chance to host their next game. The Wildcats, now 15-4-2, were looking to do the same.
There was a packed house and a full student section on hand as the match kicked off underneath an overcast sky. Hardin Valley opened up the game up with a couple of good looks before Oak Ridge narrowly missed on an opportunity less than six minutes into the first half.
Senior goalie Jake Livengood had a very nice performance for the Wildcats in the first half, and after 40 minutes of action, the two teams went to the half scoreless. [Read more…]
Note: This story was last updated at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21.
The Oak Ridge Wildcats boys’ basketball team started the season 14-0 for the first time after a one-point overtime win over the Dobyns-Bennett Indians in Kingsport on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore guard E.J. Bush had a game-winning layup with about three seconds left in the four-minute overtime period, giving the Wildcats a 68-67 win. Bush, who ended the night with 13 points, scored all seven of the Wildcats’ points in overtime, after starters Geevantay Gee and Tee Higgins and junior center Darel Middleton had fouled out.
Oak Ridge was led by Gee, a junior point guard who scored 20 points, and Higgins, a sophomore shooting guard and small forward who had 14. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]