Memories of 2009: Looking back at the year in Campbell Co. sports

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By Dwane Wilder

From team championships to outstanding individual performances, Campbell County athletes had another memorable run in 2009.

The year began with the CCHS boy’s basketball team advancing to play in the district tournament championship game for the first time since 1996 and ended with a returning player on the same team breaking a school scoring record that had stood for nearly 30 years.

In-between there was lots and lots of action and drama. The following is a monthly review of the top sports happenings in Campbell County over the past year.

January: Three Campbell County High School senior football players — Phillip Wells, Stephen Wells and Tyler Albright — were invited to play in the 2nd annual Kentucky-Tennessee Border Bowl, a postseason game hosted by the University of the Cumberlands to showcase the athletic skills of graduating seniors. Albright was nominated as an Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year.

Campbell County High School’s varsity basketball teams began the New Year on opposite ends of the spectrum; the boy’s team won two consecutive games while the girls lost two in a row.

The CCHS freshman boy’s basketball team set a high benchmark for success by winning the 6th annual Anderson County Freshman Tournament.

Noel Tiller scored 17 points as the Jellico High School’s varsity girls picked up their first win of the season with a 32-30 decision over the J. Frank White Academy.

The LaFollette Owls posted a 43-21 homecoming victory over Soldiers Memorial; Bailey Doepel was crowned homecoming queen.

Megan Mikesell was crowned homecoming queen as CCHS swept district rival Knox Halls on homecoming night.

Clarissa Medley, a junior from LaFollette, scored 27 points to lead the J. Frank White Academy girls to a 55-39 upset of Jellico, a feat the Lady Knights had not been able to accomplish since 1994.

The CCHS varsity basketball teams swept Powell.

An overflow crowd cheered on wildly as the host Jellico High School boys trounced defending champion Hancock County, 73-54, to take sole possession of first place in the District 2-A basketball race.

Jacksboro Middle School’s boys finished third at the Area 2 North Basketball Tournament and qualified for sub-sectional play.

Approximately 200 people attended the CCHS Football Banquet at Cedar Hill Baptist Church. Although the varsity basketball teams were swept by Oak Ridge, the CCHS jayvee girls and freshman boys won their games against the Wildcats.

February: Jellico High School’s boys won a regular season district basketball championship for the first time since 1951. Campbell County native Jamey Chadwell was named head football coach at North Greenville University, an NCAA Division II school in Tigerville, S.C.

The CCHS varsity boy’s basketball team upset regular season District 3-AAA champion Central, 78-52, at Knoxville. A week later, the Cougars knocked off Central again, as well as Knoxville West, to advance to the district tournament championship game for the first time since 1996. The Cougars lost to old nemesis Oak Ridge in the finals.

Three CCHS basketball players — Jessica Moore, Zach Norman and Chris Poteet — were selected to their respective all-district teams.

Jellico High School’s boys edged Cosby, 56-54, to claim the District 2-A Basketball Tournament championship.

Both the CCHS and Jellico High School girls placed fourth in their respective district tournaments.

The CCHS girls and boys and Jellico girls lost their first-round regional tournament basketball games, while the Blue Devils marched on to the Region 1-A boy’s semifinals before being eliminated by Cloudland.

March: The first-ever Jacksboro Middle School boy’s soccer team began preparations for its season opener in April. Jellico High School senior Brent Johnson accepted a scholarship offer to play football for the University of the Cumberlands.

Jerry Stout of LaFollette was one of four conservationists to receive a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chairman’s Award.

Jared Laverdiere, a junior point guard from Jacksboro, led Maryville College to a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Two young women from Campbell County — Courtney Robbins and Miranda Ward — were cheerleaders for the Lincoln Memorial University basketball teams.

The CCHS girl’s tennis team swept District 3-AAA newcomer Hardin Valley, 9-0, at Cove Lake State Park for the Lady Cougars’ first team victory since March 2005.

CCHS senior Justin Young won the Y-12 Invitational Decathlon at the Hardin Valley Academy.

April: Two local gymnasts — Kaitlin Robins and Jordan Comer — participated in regional competitions. The CCHS baseball team dropped an 8-1 decision to Sevier County while playing at Tennessee Smokies Ballpark.

Sophomore Donnie Huddleston belted his first career home run to lead the CCHS baseball team to its first win of the season, 10-2 over the Hardin Valley Academy, and end the Cougars’ 16-game losing streak.

The Jellico High School Lady Blue Devils dedicated their 6-2 softball win over rival Campbell County to the memory of former teammate Ashley Bruce, who was killed in a tragic car accident the night before while returning home from work.

The Jellico High baseball team routed district foe J. Frank White, 20-2.

Campbell County’s boys piled up 172 points to win a home track meet against seven other area high schools.

Both Jacksboro Middle School teams placed second in a track meet at Anderson County.

The Lady Cougar softball team avenged an earlier loss to Cumberland Gap, 11-10.

Campbell County’s baseball team defeated Claiborne County and Cumberland Gap while playing in a tournament at Bell County, Ky.

LaFollette’s girls and Jacksboro’s boys won a middle school track and field meet at CCHS.

Seven CCHS football players accepted offers to play in college: twins Phillip and Stephen Wells, Troy Arnold, Britt Teague and Tyler Albright at the University of the Cumberlands; and Tyler Doney and Zach Allen at Campbellsville University.

The CCHS baseball team completed a season sweep of Scott County.

Brothers Preston and Justin Young put on quite a show for Campbell County during the Dale Legg Track and Field Invitational at AC. Preston set meet records in shot put and discus, while winning both events handily, and was named MVP in field events. Justin took first place in high jump and was runner-up in triple jump and the half-mile run. The following week, Justin Young punched his ticket to the state championships by winning the Section 1-AAA Decathlon.

The Jacksboro Middle School soccer team made Campbell County sports history during its debut with an 8-2 victory over the West Valley Timber Wolves.

Campbell County’s baseball team clinched home field advantage for the opening round of the district tournament with an 8-7 victory over the Hardin Valley Academy.

LaFollette Middle School’s boys finished first while the girl’s took second place at the district golf tournament.

Beverly Wilson, a 2008 graduate of CCHS, enjoyed cheering for Middle Tennessee State University sports teams.

Former CCHS golfer Chelsea Boshears received possibly the highest honor given to a member of the LMU women’s team when she was named player of the year.

The annual Cougar Basketball Banquet was held in the CCHS Commons.

May: CCHS senior Sydney Sexton accepted a scholarship to play for the University of the Cumberlands.

CCHS athletes Justin and Preston Young and Kristin Chapman qualified for the state meet with standout performances at sectionals. Preston Young was sectional champion in shot put and went on to win state in the event, as well.

The CCHS football team scrimmaged defending Class 3A state champ Knoxville Catholic.

Jacksboro Middle School had two event winners — Ethan Simpson in boy’s long jump and Michaela Smith in girl’s discus — at the middle school sectionals. Rusty Provins was crowned sectional champ for LaFollette Middle School’s boys after setting a school record with a throw of 142 feet.

CCHS freshman Kristin Young finished third in the girl’s Class AAA state high jump competition.

AC basketball player Tyler Cross, a senior from Caryville, signed a basketball scholarship with Carson-Newman College.

Campbell County High School’s varsity baseball team improved to 2-1 in summer league play with a doubleheader sweep of Clinton.

Andrew Blake Evans pitched the Legals to a 7-1 win over Lake City in Dixie Youth 11-12 year old baseball action at Asbury Park.

Golfers representing Campbell County at the state middle school tournament included Jake Clowers and Ashlyn Ray from Jacksboro and Marie Roach, Lyndsay Taylor and Caleb Baird from LaFollette.

Nancy Coker, a freshman from LaFollette, was selected to represent the University of Georgia as a member of the Red Hots dance team.

June: The CCHS Basketball Camp attracted a record crowd of 83 participants in grades K-8.

Summer camps at Maryville, Tennessee Tech and CAK kept the CCHS Lady Cougars busy.

Campbell County High School hosted its annual football camp.

LaFollette native Aaron Ausmus joined football coach Lane Kiffin’s staff at the University of Tennessee as director of strength and conditioning for men’s intercollegiate athletics.

Star running back Chris Johnson was one of five former CCHS football standouts (also Travis Leach, Zack Byrge, Mitchell Tipton and Josh Howard) playing for the Knoxville Knights, a minor league team that won the Alliance League championship.

The Legals repeated as Caryville 11-12 baseball champions.

The baseball team sponsored by First National Bank of LaFollette and Community Health of East Tennessee completed a perfect 11-0 season to win the Caryville 9-10 year old division.

Campbell County High School’s boys held their own at the Belmont University Team Camp, where they played a combined 46 games in five days in three separate divisions: varsity, B-team and freshman.

There was a record field but no record times at the 10th annual Cove Lake 5K. Jeff Day edged Patrick Gildea at the tape to win the race.

CCHS hosted the summer youth track program for a fourth year.

Johnny Baird, Jeremy Cox and John Fox were members of the championship flight during the LaFollette Country Club Invitational.

LaFollette’s 11-12 Little League All-Stars beat the McMinn County Nationals, 7-3, in eight innings to win their first game in District 6 pool play.



From team championships to outstanding individual performances, Campbell County athletes had another memorable run in 2009.

The year began with the CCHS boy’s basketball team advancing to play in the district tournament championship game for the first time since 1996 and ended with a returning player on the same team breaking a school scoring record that had stood for nearly 30 years.

In-between there was lots and lots of action and drama. The following is the second segment of a two-part series that chronicles the top sports happenings in Campbell County over the past year.

July: LaFollette native Todd Burgan claimed his first individual state championship by defeating Danny Green in 19 holes to capture the 2009 Tennessee Golf Association Match Play title at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin.

Perspiration wasn’t the only thing flowing on the Fourth of July at Deerfield. Money poured in at a record pace — $7,700 total — during the 3rd annual Firecracker 5K to Benefit Campbell County Public Schools. Three former University of Dayton distance runners — Zack Lewis, Brett Fisher and Matt Manning — finished first, second and third, respectively.

Two local track and field athletes, Tyler Greene and Rusty Provins, qualified to compete on the national level. Greene was runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 200 hurdles during a Junior Olympics qualifier in Knoxville. He advanced to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Provins took second place in discus and third place in shot put during a United States Amateur Track Federation regional qualifier at Murfreesboro.

Nearly 70 kids attended a soccer camp conducted at LaFollette Elementary School by Lincoln Memorial University Soccer Coach Helio D’Anna and a few of his players.

Caryville’s 9-10 year old Dixie Youth Baseball All-Stars took third place at the sub-district tournament in Kingston. Caryville’s 11-12 year old baseball team finished third at the District 8 Tournament.

Campbell County High School’s baseball team wrapped up summer league play with an 11-5 loss to Clinton in the district tournament at Oak Ridge.

Ethan Comer was awarded his 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo.

Summer sports camps were held at JMS (football) and CCHS (baseball).

Fall pre-season football practice kicked off with cool temperatures for high school and middle school players.

New CCHS volleyball coach David Seals presided over his team’s first official pre-season practice.

The Jacksboro girl’s AAU basketball team completed an amazing four-year run that included an 80-17 record, 17 tournament championships and nine runner-up finishes.

Jacksboro Middle School’s cheerleaders won a first place award and had a pair of second place finishes at the UCA Cheer Camp in Gatlinburg.

August: CCHS graduate and current Tennessee Wesleyan College student Brian Miracle returned home after spending two months in Italy, Hungary and the Ukraine as an intern with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Impact International Sports Ministry.

Rusty Provins, an eighth grader at the Christian Academy of Campbell County, took fifth place nationally in discus at the United States Amateur Track Federation Championships in Greensboro, N.C.

A local girl’s basketball team, the Tennessee Storm, placed 11th at the AAU D-II National Tournament in Orlando.

Campbell County High School’s football team lost 34-0 to preseason favorite District 3-AAA Clinton at the Orthopaedic Surgeons of Oak Ridge Jamboree.

Jellico High School’s football team lost 21-7 to Cumberland Gap in a very competitive jamboree scrimmage.

Blake Potter, a recent graduate of CCHS, announced his decision to continue his baseball career as a student/athlete at the University of the Cumberlands.

Campbell County hunters gathered at nearby Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area for their annual opening-day ritual known as Squirrel Fest.

A week after losing their respective season openers, the Campbell County and Jellico high school football teams found themselves on the winning side of the scoreboard: The Cougars blasted White County, 42-12; while the Blue Devils edged North Greene, 14-8.

Jacksboro Middle School’s football team rallied for a 22-16 victory over Grace Christian.

The CCHS girl’s cross-country team took second place at Panther Creek.

September: Lady Cougar cross-country runners posted their best finish ever — sixth out of 22 complete and 12 incomplete teams — at the Cherokee Boulevard course in Knoxville.

After a 15-year hiatus, Campbell County resumed its high school football series with Anderson County after the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association put both teams in District 3-AAA as a result of reclassification. Anderson County won the game, 46-13, to launch a successful run that eventually ended in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs.

The CCHS boy’s golf team tied for third place out of nine teams in the District 3-AAA Shoot-out at Beaver Brook.

Campbell County’s girls won their first Panther Creek Cross-Country Invitational championship.

Chris Stone scored five touchdowns during LaFollette Middle School’s 42-20 football homecoming victory over Jellico Elementary; Kassie Kibler was crowned homecoming queen.

CCHS golfers Tiffany Roach and Cheyenne Baker qualified for the girl’s regional tournament. The Cougars finished six strokes short of a playoff for the third and final berth at the boy’s regionals.

Campbell County’s Blake Kibler (fourth overall boy) and Gracie Faulkner (fifth overall girl) finished among the top five runners in their respective divisions during an elementary and middle school cross-country race at Cove Lake State Park.

The CCHS football team picked up its first district win of the season with a 13-7 decision over Hardin Valley.

After playing second fiddle to the girl’s team all season, the CCHS boy’s cross-country team picked up its first meet victory of the season at Melton Hill Park.

CCHS runners competed in the 44th annual A.F. Bridges Cross-Country Invitational at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase Course.

October: The Jacksboro Middle School Eagles flexed their muscles in a 36-8 rout of rival LaFollette.

Christa Lay was crowned queen and Kaylee Hoes as princess during halftime of the Jellico Elementary Football Homecoming Game.

Campbell County High School’s football team climbed back into the playoff race with a 12-7 homecoming victory over Knoxville Central; it was the first time in school history that the Cougars had beaten the Bobcats. Hannah Byrge was crowned homecoming queen.

The JMS football team wrapped up regular season play with a 38-16 homecoming win over H.Y. Livesay; Sarah McGuire was crowned homecoming queen.

Campbell County High School’s volleyball team ended its season with a first-round loss to Knoxville Central in the district tournament.

CCHS senior Carlie Childress won her third consecutive Cove Lake Cross-Country Invitational championship as Campbell County swept the team titles.

Four of the five hunters drawn for Tennessee’s first modern-day elk hunt were successful on opening day.

Jacksboro upset Clinton, 20-8, in the first round of the middle school football playoffs.

Gracie Faulkner (9th) and Blake Kibler (15th) led Campbell County elementary runners at the Knoxville-area cross-country championships.

Jellico High School’s football team outscored Oakdale, 46-28, on homecoming night to snap a six-game losing streak. Andelyn Barclay was crowned homecoming queen.

Marie Roach was named MVP after leading the LaFollette Middle School girl’s basketball team to the championship of the Claiborne County Middle School Tip-off Classic. The Owls won the boy’s bracket with tournament MVP Austin North leading the charge.

History kept rewriting itself this year whenever the Jellico High School volleyball team took the court. The Lady Blue Devils won their district, finished the Region 2-A Tournament as runners-up, qualified for their first-ever sub-state appearance, and set a school record for wins (16-7 overall).

Local ultra marathon runner Tony Branam finished fourth in the Cumberland Trail 50K.

Former Jacksboro Middle School golfer Amber Shepherd was named all-state at Anderson County.

For the first time ever, Jellico High School had a runner qualify for the state cross-country meet. Jasper Budd punched his ticket to the state meet with a runner-up finish in the Class A regional race.

Layken Smith was crowned homecoming queen at LaFollette Middle School’s Basketball Homecoming.

November: CCHS boy’s basketball alumni gathered for a two-day tournament. Jacksboro’s girls and LaFollette’s boys won games against their chief rivals during games played at Agee Gymnasium.

CCHS grad Bethany Wells was crowned homecoming queen at Carson-Newman College.

Lady Cougars’ senior Jessica Moore became the third girl in school history to sign a basketball scholarship with an NCAA Division I university.

The CCHS girls picked up their first win, a 53-50 decision at Sevier County.

Former Jellico High School volleyball standout Tommie Thompson was named to the academic all-conference team at the University of the Cumberlands.

The CCHS boys defeated Oneida, 87-74, to pick up their first basketball win of the season.

LaFollette native and LMU Hall of Famer Darrell Cox began his first year as head boy’s basketball coach at Houston County.

The Cougars played four Thanksgiving tournament games without their head coach, Barry Jones, whose youngest son underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor.

The Jellico High School boys defeated Oakdale, 80-60, for their first win on the basketball court this season.

December: Campbell County’s Keenan Evans was named lineman of the year in District 3-AAA. Three of his teammates — Tyler Amburgey, Trevor Nolan and Bradley Hicks — also made first-team while Arnie Meredith was named academic all-district.

The CCHS boy’s basketball team went on the road to defeat Cumberland Gap, 91-76. CCHS swept Powell in a district basketball doubleheader.

Class A Jellico proved it could play with the big boys by going toe-to-toe with Class AAA teams Knox Halls and Clinton.

Sisters Lindsay and Lauren Evans took first place in their respective age groups at the Reindeer Run 5K.

CCHS sophomore forward Cody Malicoat broke the school scoring record with 58 points during a 97-91 double-overtime district loss at Oak Ridge.

Elk Valley won three of the eight championships up for grabs during the county elementary and middle school tournament at Wynn. Other winning teams were from Valley View, the Christian Academy of Campbell County, LaFollette Elementary and LaFollette Middle.

Jacksboro Middle swept a pair of varsity basketball games from LaFollette after splitting with the Owls earlier in the season.

The JMS girls climbed to 11-0 with their second victory of the season over Lake City.

Five Jellico High football players were named all-district: Freedom Scott, Ryan Morris, Nathan Overton, Devin Oakes and Michael Douglas. Campbell County teen Kayla Henegar coached Oneida’s cheerleaders to a second place finish at the fall regionals.