State title among top highlights of year

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By Dwane Wilder

Kristin Chapman’s state high jump championship may top the list, but there were plenty of other sports highlights for Campbell County athletes during the year 2010.
From a runner-up district finish by the Lady Cougars’ basketball team to the CCHS baseball team’s historic sweep of longtime Knoxville power Central, the first half of the year provided lots for local sports fans to cheer about.
The following is a monthly review of the top sports happenings in Campbell County over the past year. This “Sports Year in Review” will be published in two installments. The first six months will run this week, with the final six months to be included in next week’s edition.
January: Campbell County High School’s girls lost 60-46 in the championship game of Kesslers Lady Spartans’ Classic to a McMinn Central basketball team that had destroyed York Institute and host Webb by 41 points each in the first two rounds.
LaFollette Middle School’s varsity basketball teams opened the New Year with a bang by sweeping Livesay at Harrogate.
Jacksboro Middle School’s varsity basketball teams made a varsity sweep of visiting Soldiers Memorial.
Campbell County High School’s girls avenged an earlier loss to district basketball rival Clinton with a 58-34 triumph on Jan. 5 at Clinton. The Cougars lost to Clinton, 66-51, which was their second setback this season to the Dragons.
Thomas Ridenour powered in a game-high 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds while leading the Jellico Blue Devils to a 55-53 victory at Grace Christian Academy.
Freshman guard Ethan Simpson made a free throw with 1.2 seconds left to help the Campbell County High School boy’s varsity basketball team pin an 82-81 defeat on host Morristown West.
Jellico High School linebacker Freedom Scott joined an elite group when he got a chance to suit up for Tennessee during the 3rd annual National Guard Border Bowl at the University of the Cumberlands.
Cumberland Gap High School’s boys turned the tables on host Campbell County. The Panthers rode the shooting of sophomore guard Ben Arnold and the all-around play of senior center Timmy Ayers to a 68-54 win, which avenged a 15-point loss earlier this season on their home court.
LaFollette Middle School’s boys picked up a big district basketball win at Norris.
District 4-A boy’s basketball heavyweights Jellico and Oliver Springs went head-to-head to try and keep pace with Sunbright in the regular season championship race. The Bobcats avenged their earlier two-point loss with a 67-58 win on Jellico’s home court.
The Cougars managed to win back-to-back games with their 6-foot-8 senior forward, Sean Chapman, in foul trouble. Chapman scored 20 points and raked down 17 rebounds to lead a 64-62 win over league foe Karns. The previous night, Campbell County beat Hardin Valley, 80-74, with Chapman scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
The Lady Cougars dismantled Karns, 67-39, for their fourth win in the last five games.
Jacksboro’s girls moved a step closer to their ultimate objective with a 46-17 victory over Horace Maynard in the quarterfinals of the Tennessee Middle School Area 2 North Basketball Tournament at Anderson County. Clinton eliminated LaFollette’s girls. Amber Guy led the Lady Owls (9-9 overall) with 8 points. In opening-round boy’s action, Jacksboro defeated H.Y. Livesay, 45-28, as Darin Gillenwater scored 15 points and Jacob Clowers had 9.
LaFollette’s boys crushed Soldiers Memorial, 58-19, in first-round action on Saturday. Austin North and Jeffrey Herrell led the Owls with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
February: Post players Hannah Owens and Jamie Mynatt had big games for Jacksboro during a 45-22 rout of Clinton during the semifinal round of the TMSAA Area 2 North Basketball Tournament. Owens led with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Mynatt had 12 points and 10 boards.
Jacksboro’s boys fell, 39-27, to Oak Ridge-Robertsville in the Area 2 North quarterfinals. Darin Gillenwater and Nick Bailey carried the Eagles with 10 points each. LaFollette’s boys were also eliminated in the quarterfinals, 40-34, by Horace Maynard. Roston Letner paced LaFollette with 11 points.
Campbell County High School’s girls picked up a bittersweet victory at Knox Halls. The Lady Cougars won the game, 57-55, on Jessica Moore’s free throws with 8.2 seconds left, however the triumph was overshadowed by an injury to sophomore point guard Courtney Morris, who was hurt halfway through the second quarter.
The biggest winter storm in at least a decade dumped several inches of snow on East Tennessee, which forced postponement of the Campbell County vs. Anderson County basketball series. It was the second time this season that the same game has been canceled because of bad weather.
After splitting a pair of regular season games, Jacksboro and Norris battled for supremacy in the girl’s championship game of the Area 2 North Basketball Tournament at Anderson County High School. Norris captured the title with a 36-30 win.
Nick Litton, Campbell County High School’s 6-foot-3 sophomore, held Anderson County star Tyler Smith to only four points in the second half of the Cougars’ 61-59 victory.
The Lady Cougars were able to sweep rival Anderson County after getting point guard Courtney Morris back off the disabled list.
Senior forward Thomas Ridenour scored 17 of his game-high 25 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, in the second half to lead the Jellico High School boy’s basketball team to a 68-55 win over visiting District 4-A rival Oneida.
During a 65-61 victory over Sunbright at Jellico, senior forward Jesse Chambers led all scorers with 23 points for the Blue Devils. He and frontcourt mate Thomas Ridenour were named to the all-district team for their efforts this season. Jellico forward Dustin Smiddy was an honorable mention candidate for all-district honors.
Campbell County’s boys finished regular season play with a 76-51 win over visiting Scott County. Senior forward Sean Chapman had a big game with a team-leading 33 points, 10 rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals.
CCHS seniors Jessica Moore and Candice Seiber were chosen to the Girl’s All-District 3-AAA Basketball Team after leading the Lady Cougars to a third place regular season finish. Moore, a 5-foot-8 guard who signed to play college basketball next year for Campbell University, passed the 1,000-point mark earlier this season. Seiber, a 5-foot-8 post player, reached the milestone a week earlier.
The Lady Cougars went 4-0 during the last couple of weeks of the regular season. After beating rival AC by 11 points, Campbell County crushed Karns, 70-40; and Knoxville Central, 63-38; before finishing with a 61-50 home victory over Scott County.
Facing archrival Anderson County for the third time in two weeks, the Campbell County High School boy’s basketball team could not answer the latest challenge during the District 3-AAA Tournament opener. The Cougars (11-16 overall), who split the regular season series with the Mavericks, were never able to get into a rhythm during a 52-37 elimination-round loss at Clinton.
The Lady Cougars celebrated their 67-55 triumph over No. 2 seed Powell in the semifinals of the District 3-AAA Basketball Tournament. Star guard Jessica Moore polished off the victory by scoring 11 of her team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter.
During the girl’s championship of the District 3-AAA Basketball Tournament, Oak Ridge High School added a tournament championship to its regular season title with a 75-68 victory over No. 3 seed Campbell County, which ended a seven-game winning streak for the Lady Cougars.
Campbell County’s dynamic duo of Sean Chapman and Cody Malicoat were named to the Boy’s All-District 3-AAA Basketball Team.
Jellico High School’s boys routed Oakdale, 78-43, in first-round District 4-A Basketball Tournament action.
The Wartburg High School Lady Bulldogs punched their ticket to the regionals with a 69-47 victory over No. 7 seed Jellico in the opening round of the District 4-A Girl’s Basketball Tournament.
Jacksboro Middle School’s girls ended a spectacular season with an appearance in the East Tennessee Sectional Basketball Tournament at Sevierville, where the Lady Eagles (19-3 overall) were eliminated 48-31 by Johnson City Science Hill in the quarterfinals. Jamie Mynatt led Jacksboro with 18 points and was selected to the All-East Tennessee Team for her efforts.
March: Jellico found out just how good the Oliver Springs boys can be when they’re clicking on all cylinders, as the Bobcats bombed the Blue Devils, 72-48, to capture the District 4-A Tournament championship.
The Blue Devils (18-11 overall) could not find their shooting touch from long range during a 77-59 loss to Grace Christian Academy in a Region 2-A quarterfinal game, which eliminated Jellico from the tournament.
During a Region 2-AAA girl’s quarterfinal basketball game at CCHS, William Blount used a suffocating and opportunistic defense to rally for a 49-45 victory that knocked the higher-seeded Lady Cougars (19-12 overall) out of the tournament.
Campbell County High School’s varsity baseball team got a thumbs-up from coach Brad Collette during three pre-season scrimmage games against Knoxville West, Sevier County and Fulton. After opening with a 4-1 loss to West, the Cougars defeated Sevier County, 2-1, and Fulton, 11-5.
Dewayne Wilson of LaFollette finished third in the FLW Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Tournament on Cherokee Lake.
Campbell County High School’s varsity baseball opener at Clinton looked more like two different games. With three errors against them and faced with the grim prospect of being run-ruled, the Cougars rallied from a 12-0 deficit by scoring half a dozen runs in the top of the fifth inning to stay alive. Clinton eventually won, 14-8.
Jared Laverdiere — a senior from Jacksboro — wrapped up a stellar career at Maryville College, where he led the Scots to four conference championships, four 20-win seasons and four appearances in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Campbell County High School’s tennis teams made a successful debut at West Hills against District 3-AAA rival Karns. Only one match got away from CCHS, as the girls won 9-0 and the boys prevailed 8-1.
Opening day of the high school track and field season was almost perfect for Campbell County. The Lady Cougars outscored host Knox Halls, Claiborne County and Anderson County to take a well-earned victory. Meanwhile, the Campbell County boys missed out on first place by one point.
Chris Hutson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with an inside-the-park home run to lead the homestanding Cougars to their first victory of the season, a 4-3 decision over the Carter Green Hornets.
The Jacksboro Middle School girl’s track and field team opened its season by taking first place in a seven-team meet at Clinton.
Held scoreless through the first four games of the season, the Campbell County High School softball team broke out of its slump against visiting Claiborne County. Though the Lady Cougars did not win the game, they proved that they could hit the ball and score. Campbell County actually had a one-run lead going to the seventh inning before giving up five runs during an eventual 18-14 loss to the Lady Bulldogs.
The LaFollette Elementary Lady Owls claimed their second championship of the year by winning the CCYBA tournament.
April: Justin Willoughby threw a one-hitter against visiting Williamsburg (Ky.) to lead Campbell County High School’s baseball team to a 12-1 victory.
Jellico High School’s baseball team was on its way to a doubleheader sweep of Sunbright when the Blue Devils ran out of daylight. The Blue Devils crushed the Tigers, 12-4, in the first game and were winning the nightcap, 6-5, when the umpire suspended play because of a problem with the stadium lights at Carroll-Wilson Field.
Jellico reeled off three consecutive victories, including a doubleheader sweep of Sunbright, to stay afloat in the District 4-A softball race.
Campbell County’s girls made a good showing at the 2nd annual Y-12 Track and Field Invitational hosted by the Hardin Valley Academy. Sophomore Kristin Chapman turned in the top finish for Campbell County with a 5-5 high jump, which set both stadium and meet records.
The Campbell County High School varsity cheerleading squad competed at the Mardi Gras Nationals Cheer Competition in Nashville and placed 1st in the Level 5 High School Cheer Division and 2nd among all high school cheer divisions.
The Lady Cougars’ track and field squad cleaned up in a home meet and finished second at the William Blount Invitational. Sophomore sensation Kristin Chapman had the top high jump (5-6) at the William Blount Invitational. On the boy’s side of the meet, Campbell County won convincingly with 218.5 points.
Cougar sophomore Andy Hickman pitched another gem at Knoxville against District 3-AAA foe Central, and Campbell County batters did their part to back him up. The result was a 12-8 upset of the Bobcats in a game that took three hours to decide. It was the first district win this season for the Cougars.
Field events phenom Rusty Provins shattered LaFollette Middle School records in shot put (46-0) and discus (171-3).
The Jacksboro Eagles and Lady Eagles track teams both claimed runner-up finishes during a six-team meet at Lenoir City.
A handful of Campbell County High School athletes set new personal records and met sectional qualifying standards while competing in the Big East Invitational last week at Jefferson County. Keenan Evans turned in perhaps the most outstanding performance of the day for the Cougars by winning the shot put (46-11 1/2) and placing third in discus.
The CCHS baseball team celebrated a historic regular season sweep of District 3-AAA rival Knoxville Central after crushing the Bobcats, 19-4.
Eighth grader Hannah Owens broke a 6-year-old school record to win the high jump and highlight an impressive evening for the Jacksboro Middle School girl’s track and field team.
The LaFollette and Jacksboro middle school golf teams met at Deerfield, with the Owls winning both the girl’s and boy’s matches.
The East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced that Gen. Carl W. Stiner had been selected to receive the chapter’s Distinguished American honor.
The inaugural Campbell County Middle School baseball team began its season.
Jacksboro’s girls outscored seven other teams to win a middle school track and field meet at CCHS.
Jellico High School senior Noel Tiller struck out 10 batters and scattered three hits during a 17-6 victory over rival Campbell County at Arlis Chapman Field. The victory gave the Lady Blue Devils a season sweep of the Lady Cougars, whom they defeated, 15-0, three weeks earlier at Jellico.
T-Rac, the Tennessee Titans’ popular raccoon mascot, and linebacker Gerald McRath visited LaFollette Elementary School as part of the Tennessee Titans Caravan.
CCHS freshman tennis player Dylan Braden improved his singles record to a perfect 7-0 with wins against District 3-AAA frontrunner Knox Halls and Powell.
Sophomore Kristin Chapman and junior Keenan Evans turned in the top finishes for CCHS at the Vol Classic Track and Field Invitational at the University of Tennessee. Chapman was runner-up in girl’s high jump, while Evans took 7th place in boy’s shot put.
Clarissa Medley, a J. Frank White Academy senior from LaFollette, committed to play basketball next season at NCAA Division III Sewanee, the University of the South.
Campbell County High School’s baseball team broke a long dry spell with a 9-7 victory over visiting Claiborne County.
Consistent play allowed LaFollette Middle School’s golf teams to sweep the district golf tournament at The Greens at Deerfield. Lindsay Taylor was tournament champion for the Lady Owls. Jacksboro’s Julie Davis won a playoff for 2nd place, individually, and led the Lady Eagles to a runner-up finish. In boy’s competition, LaFollette’s Trevor Huckaby was individual champion.
The Jacksboro Middle School girls ran away with an 81-point victory during a 5-team track and field meet at Campbell County’s L. Hope Dossett Stadium. Meanwhile, the JMS boys edged out Lake City and LaFollette for first place at the same meet.
May: Playing their regular season finale, the Lady Cougars swept a softball doubleheader from visiting Cumberland Gap High School to post their first two wins this season.
A doubleheader sweep of Scott County allowed the Campbell County Middle School baseball team to feel as though the cold drizzle had washed away some of the stains of a 1-9 start. The CCMS team won 3 of its last 5 games.
A week after sweeping the district tournament, LaFollette Middle School’s golf teams did the same thing at regionals.
The Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation Wheelin’ Sportsmen held their 6th annual Handicap and Wounded Warrior Turkey Hunt.
Campbell County High School’s track and field teams swept a meet at William Blount.
Three of Campbell County’s eight baseball victories this year came against defending District 3-AAA champion Knoxville Central. The Cougars’ most recent triumph over the Bobcats came in a district tournament play-in game that Campbell County won, 12-5.
The Owls and Lady Owls completed a 3-tournament sweep by winning Tennessee Middle School Golf Association championships at The Greens at Deerfield.
Jacob Clowers of Jacksboro finished the state tournament in 3rd place overall and was regional runner-up. Dating back to 5th grade, this was the fourth consecutive year that Clowers has played in the state tournament.
During a scrimmage at L. Hope Dossett Stadium, the Bearden Bulldogs, who were playing without star running back Devrin Young, flexed their muscle while outscoring the host Cougars 6 touchdowns to 1.
Jellico High School seniors Brittany Hughes and Noel Tiller were their school’s first team selections on the All-District 4-A Softball Team. Lady Blue Devil teammates Zoe Wynkott and Ashley Ouimette were second team picks.
High jumper Kristin Chapman returned to the Class AAA state track meet with a Section 1 championship on her resume. Chapman, a CCHS sophomore, out-jumped Shelbie Burchfield of Morristown West for 1st place during the sectional meet at Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett. Nick Litton was the only other Campbell County athlete that qualified for state. In his first year of competition at sectionals, the CCHS sophomore finished fourth in boy’s high jump with a personal best leap of 6-2.
Caryville’s own Colin Vican, a senior player for the Anderson County Mavericks Golf Team, selected to play his college golf at the University of the Cumberlands.
Jake Heatherly, a senior from Jacksboro, was Tennessee Tech’s most consistent golfer and the best in the field on the short holes. That helped him tie for fifth place and earn all-tournament honors as the Golden Eagles finished in sixth place at the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference men’s golf championships.
Courtney Ward of Jacksboro was one of 11 University of the Cumberlands track and field athletes that competed at the NAIA National Championships.
Seth Sharp, a Cumberland Gap High School senior from LaFollette, committed to play baseball for Lincoln Memorial University.
Jellico High School senior Noel Tiller decided to continue her softball career and education at Union College, Ky.
Jacksboro Middle School’s girls finished up well in postseason track and field meets, with 2nd place in the Area 2 North championships and 3rd place at Sectionals.
June: CCHS sophomore Kristin Chapman jumped a personal best 5-7 and came within one inch of tying Amanda Forrester’s school record while winning the girl’s state Class AAA high jump
Five Campbell County girls were chosen to the Lincoln Memorial University cheerleading squad following a tryout. Lori Adkins of Caryville, Erica Ayers of Jacksboro, Cheyenne Baker of LaFollette, Hannah Byrge of LaFollette and Shannon Wilder of Jacksboro. Another Campbell County girl, Amy Orick of LaFollette, was selected to the LMU dance team.
Over 60 young people attended basketball camp at Campbell County High School, where they honed their skills and learned how to apply them to game situations.
Brian Miracle, a baseball player from LaFollette, received a prestigious NAIA Champions of Characters award during the Tennessee Wesleyan College Athletic Banquet. Miracle is very active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has been involved with missions work in several foreign countries.
With four starting positions to fill, Mike Reynolds, the boy’s basketball coach at Jellico High School, got a chance to evaluate talent during three summer camps at Fulton, the University of the Cumberlands and Georgetown University. Jellico finished its summer schedule with a respectable 15-10 overall record.
The Clinch River tailwater was teeming with trout and tweens during the Kids Fish Free Day event hosted by the local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
After a year off from basketball, senior guard Lucas Nelson returned to the court for Campbell County High School.
The Campbell County High School volleyball team, along with a host of other students, invited everyone to attend a political rally at L. Hope Dossett Stadium.
The Braves went unbeaten in the LaFollette Little League Baseball Coach-pitch Tournament and lost only one game during the regular season.
The Academy of Martial Arts hosted a tournament competition at LaFollette Fitness Center.
The Campbell County Lady Cougars won 7 of the 9 games they played during summer camps at Lenoir City, Fulton and Anderson County.
The Knoxville Track Club’s Summer Youth Track Program has grown by leaps and bounds at the site hosted by Campbell County High School. This is the fifth year that CCHS hosted biweekly practice sessions, and participation numbers keep climbing, from half a dozen participants in 2006 to over 50 this year.