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Lady Mavs hot in district play

Anderson County kept its perfect District 3-AA volleyball record intact with a pair of sweeps last week.

The Lady Mavericks defeated Kingston 25-6, 25-6, 25-16 on Thursday night and cruised past Loudon 25-9, 25-10, 25-18 on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

ACHS (19-8 overall, 7-0 in the district) played the first of its three remaining league matches Tuesday against Alcoa, but results were not available at press time.

The Lady Mavericks travel to South-Doyle Thursday with first serve slated for 6 p.m. in South Knoxville. They’ll complete their district schedule Tuesday when they host Loudon.

Anderson County Coach Jayme Smith is looking for big things as her team enters the home stretch of the 2023 campaign.

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Mavs perfect streak continues

51-7 win over Eagles, now 2-0 in Region 2-4A

Mavericks quarterback Zae Hall had 269 yards passing and a touchdown against Seymour last Friday night. - Zack Williams
Anderson County High School saw its streaky football season continue with a victory Friday night.

The Mavericks won their second-consecutive game after opening the campaign with three straight losses.

ACHS (2-3 overall, 2-0 in Region 2-4A) kept its perfect league record intact with a 51-7 victory at home over Seymour.

With the loss, the Eagles dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the region.

Senior running back Nick Moog had 104 yards and three touchdowns since returning from injury against Fulton. He carried the ball 11 times and received plenty of help from his supporting cast.

Quarterback Zae Hall was 13-for-16, finishing with 269 passing yards and a touchdown pass.

Xavian James was ACHS’s top receiver as he hauled in four receptions and amassed 104 yards.

Trent Strickland also had four receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns for the Mavericks, who took a 37-7 lead on a field goal by Josh Valero late in the first half.

Waylon LaRue and Talan Brandenburg also scored rushing touchdowns for the Mavs.

ACHS will travel to Strawberry Plains to face Carter in a third-consecutive region game Friday.

The Hornets enter the contest at 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the region. They are coming off a 42-7 loss in a non-region tilt against Knoxville Halls, which boasts a perfect 5-0 record this season.

Leander scores hat trick in 4-1 win over Union County

Clinton High School’s girls soccer team moved into third place in the District 4-AA standings with a 4-1 victory over Union County Monday night in Maynardville.

Elly Leander scored a hat trick and dished out an assist on a marker by Addie Haney, who also assisted on one of Leander’s goals.

Leander had two of her goals before halftime.

Haney also tallied in the first half against the Lady Patriots. Haney’s goal came late in half.

The victory against Union County likely clinched the third spot and the No. 3 seed for the Lady Dragons (6-3 overall, 2-2 in the district).

“We finished third in the district,” Clinton Coach Suzanne Stout said.

Leander completed her hat trick late in the match after Union County scored. Stout said that her star player made her most-dazzling play to finish off her hat trick.

“With less than 10 minutes to play, Elly took it 50 yards and scored to make it 4-1,” Stout said. “She dribbled past four or five defenders and scored.”

Lezly Hernandez also had an assist for the Lady Dragons.

Stout also had high praise for goalkeeper Abby Hutchens and her back line.

“Abby Hutchens played a great game in goal and so did the entire defense, Shae York, Grace Allen, Ashley Gaetz, Maddy Lindsay and Riley Sharp,” Stout said.

Clinton also picked up a league win Thursday night as it went on the road and was able to claim a 2-1 victory against Scott.

Leander scored twice, and Haney and Hernandez were each credited with an assist.

The win helped the Lady Dragons bounce back from a 7-0 loss to Anderson County on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

“That was a big win for us,” Stout said.

“Elly is such a great player.”

Clinton takes on Oak Ridge Thursday night in district battle

Clinton senior Zavie Ford serves during last Thursday’s 3-0 sweep of Central. The Lady Dragons are 20-8 overall and 9-0 in district play. - Ken Leinart
The battle for the District 3-AAA volleyball championship will take center stage Thursday night as Oak Ridge pays its annual regular-season visit to the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium to take on Clinton.

First serve is slated for 6 p.m.

The Lady Dragons (20-8 overall, 10-0 in district play) have yet to drop a set in a league match. They swept the Lady Wildcats at Wildcat Arena in Oak Ridge earlier this season.

The Lady Wildcats (8-11, 7-1) have struggled outside the league this year, but entered the 2023 season as the defending district tournament champion.

Last time out, Oak Ridge was swept 25-15, 25-17, 25-14 on Wednesday, Sept. 13, by Bearden in West Knoxville.

ORHS got 10 kills from Maggie Williams and 15 digs from Marissa Kenworthy against the Lady Bulldogs.

In that match, the Lady Wildcats enjoyed sporadic pockets of success, giving third-year Coach Audrey Sherles reason for optimism.

“We’re getting better and we’re working on playing a higher IQ game and not just an athletic game,” Sherles said.

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Panthers too much for Dragons in Thursday night game

Chauncey Felts’ 82-yard TD kickoff return is Clinton’s third in September

Dragons senior quarterback Joshuah Keith was 18-for-23 for 181 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers last Thursday night. - Shari Wandell-Bryant
The Clinton Dragons let homestanding Powell bolt out to a 28-7 halftime lead Thursday as the Panthers went on to win 45-27 at Scarbro Stadium.

The non-region game was the Rivalry Thursday TV contest for the week. It left the Dragons with a 2-3 overall record. Powell improved to 3-2.

The Panthers won their fifth-straight game on the field in the series with Clinton dating to the Dragons’ last win in 2014. A 2018 Powell win was later forfeited to Clinton.

The Panthers dominated time of possession against Clinton in the latest matchup, holding the ball 32 minutes, 36 seconds, to the Dragons’ 15:24. Powell ran 62 plays on offense to Clinton’s 37, and outgained the Dragons 391 yards to 263. A 20-point fourth quarter by Clinton made the game a little closer.

Clinton quarterback Joshuah Keith was 18-for-23 passing for 181 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also led the Dragons in rushing with seven carries for 59 yards and a TD.

Chauncey Felts returned a kickoff 82 yards for a Dragon touchdown, the third straight game in which Clinton returned a kick for a score.

Running back Jawan Goins, with Clinton passing more to try and catch up, ran the ball only six times, for 21 yards, but caught five passes for 33 yards and a TD. Jeremiah Lee reeled in a team-best six catches for the Dragons for 68 yards and a score. Deameion Leavell added three catches for 59 yards, including the team’s longest pass play of 34 yards. Bryson Maddox caught three passes for 21 yards.

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Wildcats have tough night against Cherokees

Eli Pearson kicked a field goal for the Wildcats on the opening drive of last Friday night’s matchup against Mc- Minn County. - Ken Leinart
Oak Ridge had an eventful but rough night at McMinn County. The Wildcats could never get their offense in gear.

And worse, Coach Derek Rang was ejected midway through the third quarter after the Wildcats picked up three sideline warning penalties in their 14-3 loss to McMinn County Friday night in Athens

It was Oak Ridge’s first loss of the 2023 season, while the Cherokees won their third-consecutive game after opening the campaign with back-to-back losses against Cleveland and Bradley Central.

The Cherokees (3-2), who run a Wing-T offense, threw just two passes all night as quarterback Brady Mullins was 1-for-2 for five yards. McMinn County, however, set the tone early as it took the opening kickoff and marched 76 yards on 16 plays, capping the drive with a 2-yard touchdown dash by Mullins with 2 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Spencer Sullins added the extra point to make it 7-0.

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’Cats XC teams take top spots at Johnson

ORHS Emily Edwards
Oak Ridge High School cross country Coach Ed Wright issued a challenge to both the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats before they ran the 5,000-meter course at Johnson University Saturday.

And both teams responded.

“I told the kids that we should win these races pretty easily, and I told them that I wanted to get between five and seven runners in the Top 15 and win all the plaques and go home happy,” Wright said. “We challenged them and they were up to the challenge.”

The Lady Wildcats had three runners finish inside the Top 10, two more were in the Top 15, and two more cracked the Top 20.

Dylan Job led the way as she finished third, crossing the line in 20 minutes, 48.49 seconds. Emily Edwards came in fifth with a time of 23:40.53. Katherine Laffoon was sixth, with a time of 23:47.48.

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Robertsville beats Fort Loudon 34-14

Robertsville Middle School found its way back into the win column Thursday night.

The Rams notched a 34-14 victory over Fort Loudon.

Quarterback Kipton Feagen had a pair of touchdown runs and threw a scoring strike to Josiah McClure.

Trace Jackson shined on both offense and defense as he rushed for a pair of touchdowns and pulled in an interception on defense. Ezra Mahoney also had an interception.

The win sets up Thursday’s regular-season finale against crosstown rival Jefferson in the regular-finale for both teams. Rams Coach Tyler Carr said his team has plenty to play for.

“We’ll play Jefferson for the city championship. and hopefully we’ll go into the game with some momentum and make a push for the playoffs,” Carr said.

Kickoff for Thursday’s game in slated for 6:30 p.m. at Blankenship Field.

Thursday’s victory against Fort Loudon represented a step forward for the Rams.

“I think our kids really answered the call,” Carr said. “Our kids went out there and made plays.

“It’s nice to get back to winning. It was a nice moment, and they’ve got their confidence back.”

Lady Wildcats drop one to Powell, but still in the hunt for title

Oak Ridge High School girls soccer Coach Donnie Green couldn’t hide his frustration after the Lady Wildcats dropped a 2-1 District 3-AAA match at Powell Friday night.

The loss to the Lady Panthers snapped a seven-match winning streak, and also marked the end of a string of seven consecutive shutouts for the Lady Wildcats.

A win over Powell combined with a win over Knoxville Central later this week would’ve clinched a regular-season district title for the Lady Wildcats.

The Lady Wildcats host the unbeaten Lady Bobcats Thursday at 7 p.m. Oak Ridge must defeat Central by two goals to win the championship.

“I know that we were the better team than Powell, but I give Powell credit because that is their place and they don’t want to lose there,” Green said. “Last year, we beat them at our place and they were the better team.

“We really struggle on their field. It’s grass, but it plays like a turf field. We have problems on turf, and that one plays like turf because the grass is cut so short.”

Further complicating things for Oak Ridge (8-1-1 overall, 2-1 in the district) was that it failed to find an accurate shooting touch.

“We were all over the goal,” Green said. “We did everything but put the ball in the back of the net.

“Our kids played hard, but we hit the crossbar three times and hit the post twice.”

Oak Ridge’s lone marker of the night came from Lilah Kim. It was assisted by Hayven Laurendine.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Lady Wildcats notched a 5-0 victory over Karns.

Kim scored twice and Brooklyn Henderson chipped in with a goal and two assists. Laurendine and Aniya Fisher also scored against the Lady Beavers.

Hollifield medals at Johnson University XC meet

Clinton’s Summer Wilson finished the Johnson University Invitational with a time of 29:49.99 and was 36th overall. - Tony Cox
As the 2023 high school cross country season kicks into high gear, Clinton High School Coach Tim Kumes is finding plenty of reasons to get excited.

Both the Dragons and Lady Dragons competed in the Johnson University Invitational in East Knox County Saturday.

Clinton’s boys had eight entrants on a hilly course, and all the Dragon athletes finished in the Top 100,

Cooper Bostrom, a freshman, was the top Clinton finisher as he earned 54th place, crossing the finish line in 22 minutes, 10.20 seconds.

Lucas Gates finished 60th (22:39.48). Caleb Holt was 61st (22:42.71). Ryley Brewer posted a time of 22:51.79 and crossed the finish line in 67th place.

Xander Porter was 91st (26:17.13). Max Bostrom came in 97th (27:00.02), while Gideon Follett was 98th (27:06.78). Nathan Angel posted 27:14.44.

Kumes was pleased with his squad’s efforts.

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CMS bounces back, beats Jefferson 26-6

After a heartbreaking loss to Lenoir City, Clinton Middle School’s football team bounced back Thursday night, as the Hawks routed Jefferson 26-6.

Clinton quarterback Brenden Hayden threw three touchdown passes and ran for a two-point conversion to lead the Hawks to victory.

Hayden threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Turbyville to open the scoring for Clinton. Hayden also made the ensuing two-point conversion.

Hayden also had a 22-yard scoring strike to Austin Phillips. The quarterback had a 29-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Gallaher, as well.

Running back Camryn McCaffrey had a 33-yard scoring scamper.

He also made an impact on defense as he had one of Clinton’s four interceptions on the night.

Hayden Ferguson had a stellar night on defense as he hauled in three interceptions for the Hawks.

Clinton Coach Eric Woodard was pleased with the way the team rebounded after the loss to Lenoir City.

“We just played really well,” he said. “The kids responded and executed a lot better than they did (against Lenoir City.”

The Hawks will close out the regular season Thursday when they host Norris. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Clinton will honor eighth graders.

The Senators are unbeaten this season, making this a big game.

“This is a big one,” Woodard said. “It’s eighth-grade night and it’s Norris.

“They’re 7-0 and I don’t think anybody has really tested them.”

Lakers lose to high-flying Jacksboro

Lake City Middle School had a tough night on the football field Thursday.

The Lakers came up on the short end of a 44-0 decision against Jacksboro.

Lake City Coach Brandon Duncan said that he knew that his team was up for a tough test, but noted that he was hoping for better results.

“We took a step back,” Duncan said. “We knew that it was going to be tough, because they’re a high-flying team.

“I was hoping for a little more intensity, but it just wasn’t our day.”

The Lakers return to action Thursday when they play Cumberland Gap in another game that will present a stiff challenge.

“It’ll be another tough one,” Duncan said.

Lake City will also play Tuesday against Huntsville before closing out the regular season against Jellico in a game on Oct. 3. That game was rescheduled after being postponed in August.

Lady Mavericks are tops on the pitch in District 4-AA

Anderson County’s Zoey Rose scored a goal in the Lady Mavericks’ 4-1 win over Gibbs on Thursday night. Earlier in the week, Rose scored twice during the in-school match- up against Clinton. - Tony Cox
Anderson County High School now has the upper hand in the District 4-AA standings as they picked up a pair of key league victories last week.

The Lady Mavericks (8-3-1 overall, 3-0 in district play) edged Gibbs 3-2 Thursday night at Ernest Whited Stadium in Corryton.

The Lady Eagles have been a competitive force on the Class AA soccer scene, and ACHS Coach Chris Curtin knew that Gibbs would be the toughest challenge this year since joining the league this season. The Lady Mavericks and Lady Eagles have a longstanding rivalry.

“Gibbs will be our toughest competition in the district,” Curtin said earlier this season.

And this was the case. The Lady Mavericks have one more district match (against Union County) later this season and the Lady Patriots lost, 4-1, to Clinton at home Monday.

Emma Leander scored twice Thursday night and Zoey Rose added a goal. Gracie Underwood kept things close for the Lady Eagles, who entered the game on a long winning streak, as she found the back of the net twice.

Curtin said he was pleased with his side’s effort at Gibbs, which avenged a 5-1 loss to the Lady Eagles at Tommy Schumpert Park in Halls last season.

“I was pretty pleased,” he said. “Gibbs is a tough team. They play hard and they fought us until the final whistle.

“The Gibbs game was closer than I would’ve liked. They took advantage of our mistakes and scored.”

ACHS opened the week with a 7-0 victory in an in-school match against crosstown rival Clinton on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Leander had a trick against the Lady Dragons.

Rose scored twice, while Bralee Hall and Gracie Harris also scored for Anderson County.

Football season at halfway mark

Week 5 of the 2023 high school football season has concluded, and many teams will begin the second half of their respective seasons this week.

Anderson County extended its winning streak to two games as it knocked off winless Seymour 51-7 in Clinton.

The Mavericks (2-3 overall, 2-0 in Region 2-4A), dominated the Eagles (0-5, 0-2) from the outset as they opened a 37-7 halftime lead on a field goal by Josh Valero.

Nick Moog had another solid performance for Anderson County as he had 11 carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Zae Hall was 13-for-16 through the air as he amassed 269 yards and threw a touchdown pass.

Xavian James and Trent Strickland were the top receivers for the Mavs. James had four receptions for 101 yards, while Strickland hauled in four receptions (including two scores), amassing 77 yards.

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Honoring Elijah

Anderson County football recognized Elijah Alley (seated) before Friday night’s game against Seymour. Elijah’s son, Slade (seen here hugging his father), wears No. 58 in honor of his father. - Ricky Williams