Sports

Anderson County takes first round of rivalry

Howser scores career high; Dragons couldn’t find charity stripe


Clinton’s Abbie Stinnett and Anderson County’s Jayce Braden battle for a rebound Friday night. - David Woods
Regardless of which side of “the bridge” your loyalty lies, there is one inevitable truth: Both Clinton and Anderson County High Schools have talented, exciting basketball teams.

This past Friday, Anderson County hosted cross-town rival Clinton. Before the 6 p.m. tipoff of the ladies’ matchup, the bleachers on both sides of Anderson County’s hardwood were packed.

The host Lady Mavs would win 69-57, while the Mavs took a hard-fought 58-57 victory.

Supporters who witnessed both games were treated with up-tempo, intense contests. Both boys and girls teams from the two respective schools have different styles of play, are good at what they do, and are filled with athleticism.

The Anderson County Lady Mavs (6-0, 2-0) quickly realized that their rivals would be a challenging test. The Clinton Lady Dragons (3-3, 1-1) battled, and kept the Lady Mavs within reach.

However, Anderson County would pull away in the second half behind the career high of sharp shooting senior guard, Maci Howser. Howser’s 27 points would lead the Lady Mavs to the win over Clinton — Anderson County’s second District 3-3A win.

“Having a game like that is more than special, because the whole team has worked so hard to get where we are at,” said Howser.

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Catholic tourney ushers in wrestling

Clinton’s Trevor Linderman wins 285-lb. class


Anderson County’s Isaiah Lane wrestled Carter’s Kobe Jenkins in the first round of the 2018 Catholic Invitational on Friday night. the meet was held at Knoxville Catholic High School in Knoxville. - Tony Cox
The 2018-2019 wrestling season hit the mat full force this past weekend. The 2018 Catholic Invitational featured 25 different high schools from around the state, and Coahulla Creek High School (Ga).

Both Clinton High School and Anderson County High School wrestling programs competed in the tournament at Knoxville Catholic High School. In all, 277 wrestlers represented their respective schools within their one of the 14 weight classes.

In a massive tournament format such as this, each wrestler looks to not only win their weight class through a win-and-advance process, but also looks to collect team points for their respective school. In a double-elimination format such as this, there is a Championship bracket as well as a Consolation bracket — which is entered after loss number one.

Each athlete is guaranteed a minimum of only two matches, thus increasing the desire to advance.

The Clinton Dragons consisted of six wrestlers. The biggest one — Trevor Linderman, who competed in the heaviest 285-lb. class.

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Hawks clash with Norris Middle at ‘The Joe’ and get split

The Clinton Middle School Hawks and Lady Hawks hosted the Norris Middle School Senators and Lady Senators, last Monday. The blue court of Clinton Middle School will always be an appropriate place for a cross-town showdown. The Lady Hawks and the Lady Senators were the first to take the hardwood. Norris would take an early advantage and never look back. The Lady Senators gained momentum after a Emily Mustard triple from downtown, and took a 9-6 lead into the second quarter. Norris was excellent on both ends of the floor, in the second quarter. Four different Lady Senators put points on the board, but the Lady Senators’ defense was more impressive. Norris held the Lady Hawks scoreless, and went into the half with a 16-7 advantage.

Clinton needed a good start to the second half, but Norris was too much for the Lady Hawks defensively. While Clinton struggled to find offense, Mustard put up four more points in the third quarter. She matched the output of the rest of her team, and Norris took a 24-9 lead into the fourth quarter. Carly Kitts added six points for Norris in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Senators cruised to a 34-13 win over Clinton. Yet, script flipped in the boys matchup.

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Percival has bittersweet day

Blaze Kraze


Clinton Blaze recognized their sixth-graders Saturday when the Lady Blaze took on the Rocky Top Shock and the Blaze took on the Tennessee Outlaws. Between games girls and boys basketball players and dance team members were recognized for their contribution to Blaze athletics. - Ken Leinart
It was a bitter-sweet day for Clinton Elementary fourth grader Laci Percival on Saturday.

Percival competed in the Elementary and Middle School National Championship Meet and she made history as she became the first Clinton Blaze runner to participate in the meet, which was held at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on a rainy afternoon.

Percival was injured when she fell on the hairpin turn of the one-mile course. She was subsequently kicked in the back.

But she withstood the pain long enough to finish the race and that left Clinton City Schools athletic director E.T. Stamey ecstatic.

“A very wet track took a nasty turn when Laci tripped in the hairpin turn and was kicked in the back,” Stamey said. “Showing the Blaze effort, she finished the mile run competing against the nation’s best.”

The Clinton cross country teams finished their first season recently. Percival was one of 176 runners from across the country who ran Saturday and she’ll begin preparing for next season soon, Stamey said via text message over the weekend.

Lady Blaze Post Three Victories: The Lady Blaze won three games last week. Clinton closed out the home portion of its schedule with a 27-13 victory over the Rocky Top Travel Team from Maryville on sixth grade day.

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‘Bubble Gum’ Smith will be inducted in OSHS Hall of Fame


Franklin Smith as a football player at OSHS
Franklin “Bubble Gum” Smith will be inducted into the Oliver Springs High School football “Hall of Fame,” Friday Dec. 7 in the Oliver Spring High School gym.

The induction will be in between basketball games of the girls and the boys.

Franklin played football all four years but, his senior year he was the captain of his team, most valuable player, most tackles in a game, and 1958 all conference game.

He went on to higher education with three associate degrees.

He served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, 18 years with the South Carolina Department of Corrections, was a sales associate with Carper Real Estate in South Carolina, spent 30 years as a South Carolina Sports Official, and an Investigator for Attorney Bryan “Double Ought” Ramey.

He was a Deacon, Sunday school teacher, and the Senior Saints Director at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C.

Franklin is the son of Fred and Kathleen Smith, has two brothers George and Rick, two sisters Marybeth and Peggy, and Grandson of Historian John T. Smith.

Franklin was married 46 years to Brenda Bunch Smith of Clinton.

They have two sons, Alan Breck of Dallas, Texas, and Darren Lee of Greenville, S.C.; six grandchildren, Cory of Clinton, Sara of Dallas, Texas, Connor, Christa, Cameron and Chloe of Greenville, S.C. and one great granddaughter, Brylee Smith of Easley, S.C.

Franklin Washington Smith passed away in 2008.