Making do

Senior baseballer is hoping his last season will be a reality

Anderson County senior Maverick baseballer Tyler Phillips at the plate in one of the few at-bats he had before the 2020 diamond season was put on hold.
Everyone is stuck inside and in the era of social distancing, sports are a no-go. It’s hard to stay six feet apart when you’re fighting for control of the same ball.

For younger students, it’s frustrating, but understandable. After all, there’s always next year, right? If one only plays recreationally, then – again – it’s frustrating but the sport will always be there after all of this is over.

There’s a specific group of people, though, who have been hit particularly hard by the shutdown affecting all sports currently: seniors. With it looking less and less likely that there will be any more games played this school season, their last year of playing has evaporated in front of them.

One of those is Tyler Phillips, a senior baseball player from Anderson County High School. This would have been Phillips’ fourth year playing for the Mavericks, and it’s been a frustrating experience. Still, he’s holding out hope that he’ll still get to play.

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Wandell inks with the Scots

Tarce Wandell (center) with his parents Tracy L. Wandell and Shannon Kelley Wandell made the best of his signing a basketball scholarship with the Maryville Scots at home — complete with a Scots-themed backdrop.
There should have been a party.

But in the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, a Facebook post will have to suffice.

Clinton High School’s Trace Wandell has signed scholarship papers with Maryville College.

His sister, Kelley, graduated from Maryville College this year.

His father, Tracy L. Wandell, posted on Facebook: “Of course we would have loved for this to have been announced at Clinton High School; we would have had a special signing with his coaches and friends. But we made the best of it here at home.

“We are so appreciative of so many who have supported Trace, fans who cheered for Trace, and those who gave Trace a chance to play the game he loves along the way. Thanks to all his coaches, from Claxton Optimist, Clinton Middle, then on to Clinton High.

“Coach James Jones Coach Chris Lockard, Coach Housley, Coach Thack, Coach Casey Daugherty, Coach Tyler Drummer, Coach Vaughn Harrison and Clinton High School AD Brad Collette

“Thanks to Maryville Scots Coach Raul Placeres and staff.”

Blaze raised money for Community Games

The Clinton Blaze held a pancake breakfast at the Apple Blossom Cafe on Saturday, March 14.

The proceeds benefitted the Clinton City Schools Special Olympics Team, which was scheduled to compete at the annual spring track meet at Knoxville’s Hardin Valley Academy in April.

CCS athletics director E.T. Stamey said that the breakfast raised $1,400 to buy uniforms and bus transportation for the team for the coming event.

“It was a great day for Special Olympics,” Stamey said.

Basketball Record Book:

The Clinton Blaze and Lady Blaze basketball teams both concluded stellar seasons in 2019 and Stamey has begun to compile a record book that chronicles milestones in both Blaze and Lady Blaze hoops history.

The Blaze and Lady Blaze combined to make 55 three-point shots last season. The single-game record for three-pointers for the Clinton boys is eight.

That mark was set against Norwood Middle School in 2019.

Individual three-point records: Kaden Webber made five for Clinton’s boys against Episcopal School of Knoxville in 2019.

For the Lady Blaze, Lanee Carmichael made two against Caryville in 2019.