New faces will be roaming Blaze sidelines next season

Lauren Murphy, left, and Christin Webb
The Clinton Lady Blaze Basketball team recently completed its second season and had a breakthrough year.

Clinton went 17-4 in 2018 and the future looks bright. The Lady Blaze played at home in front of standing room only crowds and the community came out in droves when both the Blaze and Lady Blaze hit the road.

The excitement was palpable as the community got behind its elementary school basketball teams.

The Lady Blaze will have new coaches in 2019 as Christin Webb was named head coach and Lauren Murphy was tapped to be her assistant.

Webb, a former standout player at Powell High School, who later coached at her alma mater, returns to the sideline after a hiatus from coaching. Webb left the game due to family concerns but is eager to begin coaching again.

Basketball has always been part of Webb’s life. Her husband, Kyle, also played at Powell and the couple’s son, Owen, has also developed a passion for the game.

“I missed the game and I really missed coaching at Powell High School but this is a great fit for me,” said Christin, who was Powell High’s head coach for three seasons after serving as an assistant to her former teammate Caitlin Hollifield, who left for Christian Academy of Knoxville and is now at West High in Knoxville. “It’s a great fit for me both personally and professionally.

“It’s the best thing for my family and me. Owen loves basketball and he’s excited to be around the team.”

Webb, who teaches fifth-grade math and science at Clinton Elementary School, also previously served as an assistant coach at Powell Middle School before moving on to one of Knox County’s most tradition-rich high school programs.

She relishes the community support in Clinton.

“I only got to go to one game last year but I know that the atmosphere is really exciting,” Webb said. “This will be fun as I build up the younger girls. I’m really excited and this is a perfect fit for both me and my family.”

Murphy also makes a return to the hardwood. Her father, Mike, is a longtime coach at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge.

“I played basketball until I was in the eighth grade,” said Murphy, who teaches sixth grade at Clinton. “But I chose [to play] softball [after middle school]. But I really love basketball. I’ve grown up around the game.”

Murphy also serves as an assistant coach to Lindsay Rakes at Knoxville Catholic High School.

She’s previously coached high school softball at Oak Ridge and Karns.

She’s also excited to coach at Arowood Arena.

“This will be exciting,” Murphy said. “I went to the home games last year and the atmosphere was great.

“I teach sixth grade so I also got to go to a few of the road games and our fans travel.”


Stamey said that the district is seeking students from its three schools to compete in the sport and noted that those interested in filling one of the few remaining spots on the team could contact him via e-mail at

Stamey said he’s pleased with the interest in the first-year program.

Soccer Clinic: The Clinton City Schools Soccer Clinic is back for the spring semester.

After a successful fall clinic, Knoxville soccer pro Chris Carroll decided to come back for the spring.

The clinic has sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Clinton City Schools high school football stadium.

Players in grades 1-3 meet on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. The clinic for players in grades 4-6 is on Fridays at 3:30 p.m.

Players should wear athletic clothing with tennis shoes or soccer cleats and balls will be provided for players during the clinic sessions.

Sessions began earlier this month but new players, both boys and girls are still welcome to sign up.

The clinic will emphasize all areas of the game including rules, speed, agility, soccer skills and techniques, coordination, teamwork and sportsmanship.

The clinic provides players with the opportunity to improve upon their game and also serves as another way for young players to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

For more information about the clinic, contact Carroll at

Cross Country Tryouts: Stamey said that the Blaze will conduct cross country tryouts sometime in March.

Track clinic and meet set for April: Clinton High School will host a track clinic for the Blaze on April 18 at the Clinton High School track. The camp will be run and instructed by the Dragons track coaching staff and athletes and Stamey noted that the elementary school athletes would compete in a meet following the clinic.

The Blaze’s inaugural track season will begin in March. Teri Kerley will coach the team this spring.

Blaze Basketball Camps: Stamey recently announced that the Blaze and Lady Blaze will host basketball camps in May at Arowood Arena.

The boys camp will be held May 6-8 and the girls camp will be May 20-22.

Stamey said that he will have the cost and the grades involved soon.