Making it to the podium

Ava Moody, Luke Dark medal at TSSAA State Track Meet

Ava Moody finished second in the 3,200-meter run as she crossed the finish line in 11 minutes, 28.53 seconds, and sixth in the 1,600-meter run as she posted a time of 5:34.30. - Ricky Williams
Three area high school track and field athletes posted scoring marks at the 2023 track and field championships last week at Middle Tennessee State University’s Dean Hayes Stadium in Murfreesboro.

At the Class AA state meet, Anderson County Lady Mavericks distance specialist Ava Moody picked up all 11 of her team’s points as she finished second in the 3,200-meter run as she crossed the finish line in 11 minutes, 28.53 seconds.

Moody also came in sixth in the 1,600-meter run as she posted a time of 5:34.30.

For the Mavericks, Luke Dark finished fifth in shot put as he posted an effort of 45 feet, 7.25 inches.

In Class AAA: Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats junior sprinter Mikyra Pettus came in seventh in the 100-meter dash, finishing the event in 12.17 seconds.

The ‘second season’ is here

Coal Creek Bulls open play on the diamond for summer sessions

After a shaky first inning, Coal Creek’s Luke Lankford settled in for a solid outing in the season opener for the Bulls. Lankford also notched an RBI in the 9-5 Coal Creek win. - Ken Leinart
The Coal Creek Bulls opened their 2023 baseball season with a pair of wins at home late last week.

The Bulls swept the NABF FreeBirds in a doubleheader at Anderson County High School Thursday night.

Coal Creek (2-0) had to come from behind to notch the two victories over the FreeBirds, who hail from Corryton in northeast Knox County.

The Bulls won the opener 9-5 and took the nightcap 4-3 on a walk-off single by Easton Beaty.

In the opening game, Coal Creek spotted NABF (0-2) three runs in the top of the first inning as starting pitcher Luke Lankford walked two batters, including leadoff hitter Mason Melton, who would score when Jay Rutherford followed with an RBI triple.

Will Sharp had a scoring single before Lankford struck out the final three NABF hitters of the inning.

Coal Creek got on the scoreboard as it pulled to within 3-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Beaty came up with a two-run single.

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Dragons and Mavs earn postseason baseball honors

Clinton and Anderson County both enjoyed success on the baseball diamond in 2023.

The Dragons finished 19-17 and made a deep run in the District 4-AAA postseason tournament as the No. 1 seed.

The Mavericks went 22-16 and reached the Region 2-AAA tournament for the second consecutive season.

Clinton, Anderson County and Halls all shared the regular-season title with each school going 6-3 in league play.

The Dragons and the Mavericks were both highly represented when the coaches handed out the district’s postseason awards recently.

Clinton’s HarrisonShelton was named Pitcher of the Year and slugger Isaiah Slaven received Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Anderson County’s Ty Wilson was named Defensive Player of the Year.

The Dragons had six players named to the all-district team: Nik Kidd, Garrett Lee, Sam Raley, Slaven, Jackson Stiltner, and Shelton.

The Mavericks were represented on the all-district team by Aydin Bond, Alex Bond, Reece Wilkerson, Trent Strickland, and Lane Fletcher.

Rang finishes first spring practices as Wildcat coach

Derek Rang recently completed his first spring practice as Oak Ridge High School’s football coach.

The Wildcats wrapped up their 2023 spring season with a joint practice with Halls on Wednesday, May 17.

The Wildcats, who had a spring game with Rhea County canceled, didn’t play a traditional game to end the spring.

Instead, Rang and Red Devils Head Coach Brent Hughes borrowed a page from the NFL playbook and had a joint practice session, giving Halls and Oak Ridge the opportunity to emphasize football fundamentals. The day culminated with an 11-on-11 scrimmage.

“It wasn’t quite a scrimmage; it was more like a joint practice,” said Rang, who was hired as the Wildcats’ head coach in January. “We did some individual and group work and then we finished with some 11-on-11. It was a good work day.”

Spring practice traditionally signals the beginning of a new season.

It begins a long stretch of preparation that last through the long hot days of summer with players spending the bulk of their time running and in the weight room working on strength and conditioning.

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Future stars take the field

Coraleigh Durham wasted no time stopping the running in the Clinton Girls Softball, Inc., matchup against team Yellow. - Tony Cox

More ’Cats compete at state meet

Bobby Teixeira competed in the 110-meter hurdles in the Division 1 AAA state champi- onship meet. Teixeira finished in ninth place with a time of 15.32.

Pettus brings home a medal

Seven Pettus received a medal for a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter dash. Pettus completed the event with a time of 12.17. She also finished 11th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.47.

Oak Ridge Boys and Girls Club

Cedar Jarnigan, playing for the Oak Ridge Boys and Girls Club, makes contact during last week’s coach pitch play at Jaycee Park in Clinton. - Tony Cox