Sports

Coffee County Basketball Splits with Shelbyville on Monday Night

A.J. Rollman of CHS basketball

The Coffee County CHS basketball teams hit the road on Monday night to Shelbyville, moving up Tuesday’s scheduled game to try to avoid bad weather.  Playing before a sparse crowd at Shelbyville, the Raiders and Lady Raiders earned a split against their district rivals.  The Lady Raiders fell on a last second 3 point shot 53 to 50 while the Red Raiders struggled with consistency but slugged out a 47 to 34 win.

Eleven turnovers in the first half put the Lady Raiders down 10 points at the half.  Coffee County made the necessary adjustments at the half to erase the deficit and take a 3 point lead into the 4th quarter and set up a furious finish.

With the game tied with 28 seconds remaining, Shelbyville hit a basket to take a 49 to 47 lead.  Jacey Vaughn drained a huge First National Bank 3 point basket with 6 seconds left to put Coffee County on top 50 to 49.  But a foul on Coffee County allowed Shelbyville to tie the game with 1.6 seconds remaining in the game.  Coffee County turned the ball over on the inbounds play and Shelbyville had one final chance with 4 tenths of a second remaining.  Shelbyville’s Jenna Holt hit a huge 3 pointer as the horn sounded to give the Eaglettes the stunning win.

Bella Vinson led Coffee County in scoring with 18 points.  Abby Morgan added 12 points as she was named the Crazy Daisies player of the game.  Vaughn finished with 11 points.  The loss drops the Lady Raiders to 16 and 2 on the season and 4 and 1 in district play.

The Red Raiders struggled with consistency in the boys’ game in the district win.  Coffee County went on a 6 to 0 run late in the 1st period to build a 5 point lead over Shelbyville and never trailed again.  Poor shooting and sloppy play prevented the Red Raiders from putting the scrappy Eagles away until late in the 4th quarter.

Darius Rozier led Coffee County in scoring with 14 points while De’Aaron Rozier added 10 points.  Garrett Booth and A.J. Rollman each added 5 points as Rollman chipped in 8 rebounds to be named the Crazy Daisies player of the game.   The win improves the Raiders record to 12 and 4 overall and 5 and 0 in district play.

Coffee County will hit the road on Friday when they travel to Lawrenceburg.  The girls’ game against Lawrence County will tip off at 6 PM.  Thunder Radio begins live coverage at 5:50 PM with the Powers Storage Pregame Show.

Download the game broadcasts at: http://www.thunder1320.com/downloads/

Titans Part Ways with Head Coach Mike Mularkey

The Titans have parted ways with head coach Mike Mularkey after the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement over the future.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk released a statement on Monday morning:

“I want to thank Mike Mularkey for his contributions to our franchise over his tenure with our organization. He took over our team during a low moment and together with Jon built a solid foundation for our franchise. I appreciated that Mike devoted himself to this team and the community.

In fact, we did discuss extending his future with our team over the past week, but in those discussions about the direction of the team, it became evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success.

It is certainly unfortunate that we couldn’t find enough common ground. I generally believe that continuity is the best path for success, but I also
view this as an important moment for our football team as we try to make that next step to sustained success on the field. Jon will begin the search immediately to identify that person.”

Mularkey was named head coach of the Titans on January 16, 2016. He served as interim coach for the final five games of the 2015 season.

The Titans went 9-7 in back-to-back seasons, and made it to the playoffs in 2017. The Titans lost in the AFC divisional playoffs on Saturday to the Patriots.

Questions about the development of quarterback Marcus Mariota and the team’s inconsistent offense were persistent throughout the course of the season, however.

The Titans finished second in the AFC South in 2017, behind the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Preds Return from Break Poised to ‘Make Some Noise’ in Second Half

Monday’s practice at Centennial Sportsplex didn’t quite feature the same level of excitement as one might observe on the first day of, say, training camp, but it was close.

Rested and recharged coming off of their League-mandated, five-day break, the Nashville Predators got back to work in preparation for the unofficial start of the second half of the season, which comes Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena with the Vegas Golden Knights in town.

It’ll be quite a test for the Preds against the expansion team in the third and final meeting of the regular season – Nashville is 0-1-1 against Vegas thus far – and will give them an opportunity to pick up where they left off before the respite, two wins in a row and points in three straight.

And, aside from the contest on Tuesday, the next few months as a whole will show just how high the Predators can reach before mid-April rolls around. Yes, they currently sit second in their own division with 56 points and four games in hand, but the Preds say they still have plenty of improvements to make in their game in the coming weeks.

If that is indeed the case, look out.

“There’s been times where we’ve played really well, went on a stretch where we won a lot of games, and there’s been some inconsistencies inside the game,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “What we did in the first half, we set ourselves up to be in a good spot to this point in the year, and now it’s about taking on the second half and trying to build off of that. I do agree that there’s room to move forward and improve from the work that we did from the first half, but we put ourselves in a good position.”

“I’m really excited, and it’s definitely been a good first half for us, but there’s still a lot to improve,” Predators Captain Roman Josi said. “We try to work on that every day and hopefully get better and better and peak at the end of the season.”

A few items come to mind when looking to pinpoint what needs correcting – better starts to games and spending less time in the penalty box, for instance, and those have both seen improvement as of late.

Josi also named shot totals as something he’d like to see increase, with a greater emphasis placed on Laviolette’s belief that more pucks to the net will simply equate to more goals scored.

“I think we can get more shots to the net,” Josi said. “A lot of games we’ve won, but we got outshot and our goalie stood on his head or we played really well defensively. I think one thing we take a lot of pride in as a team is to get a lot of shots to try to get a lot of time in the O-zone. That’s something we can work on.”

The work that vamped up once more on Monday will continue in the days, weeks and months to come, and although the focus is on Vegas for now, the Preds know in the back of their minds as the springtime slowly inches closer and closer.

“It’s going to be a fun time for our group to grow and take that next step,” Nashville center Ryan Johansen said. “We want to prove to ourselves again that we can get to the playoffs and hopefully play for the Cup again. We have a lot to prove here in this second half, and we’re going to be making some noise.”

Notes:

Forward Viktor Arvidsson left the ice and needed assistance to the locker room during Monday’s practice after suffering what looked to be a lower-body injury; there was no update on Arvidsson’s status immediately following the session.

However, winger Filip Forsberg, who remains on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury, stepped onto the ice near the end of the session and did some stickhandling by himself. There is no change to Forsberg’s original timetable of a 4-6 week recovery, which would point to a return sometime in February.

CHS Wrestlers Capture 6 Medals at Saturday Tournament

Coffee County wrestlers with their medals after Saturday’s tournament[Photo provided]

The Coffee County CHS wrestling team captured 6 medals on Saturday in Sewanee at the Mountaintop Invitational Tournament.  Nine Raider grapplers were in action in the individual tournament as they accumulated 81 points which was good enough for 6th place in the team standings.  Evan Jaynes, wrestling at 145 pounds, was the top finisher for the Raiders as he captured the championship with a 3 and 0 record on the day.

Jaynes captured the title with a 9 to 5 decision over Trevor Scott of Chattanooga Christian School in the finals.  Jaynes advanced to the finals with a major decision(15 to 2) over Lucas Farr of Knoxville Webb.

Coffee County’s Mary Anne Walker captured 2nd place in the 120 pound class.  Walker was 2 and 1 on the day as she fell to Zach Derrick of Fairview in the finals via a pinfall.  Walker captured a thrilling 14 to 13 decision over Michael Vaughan of St. Andrew`s-Sewanee in the semifinals.

Hunter Massey captured 4th place at 106 pounds going 2 and 2 on the day. Both of Massey’s losses came at the hand of Matthew Tieng of Knoxville Webb via pins.  Massey captured a win in the consolation bracket semifinals with a pin against Jordan Lems of Franklin County.

Mary Wolfram was 2 and 2 on the day to finish in 4th place of the 113 pound class.  Wolfrum fell to Jacob Derrick of Fairview in the 3rd place match via a pin.

Andrew Lawson was 2 and 2 on the day as he captured 4th place in the 170 pound class.  Lawson advanced to 3rd place match with a pinfall win in the consolation semifinals over Jake Fuller of Knoxville Webb.  Lawson fell in the 3rd place match to Chris Moreland of Franklin County.

Reynaldo Reyes captured a 4th place medal with a record of 2 and 2 in the 182 pound weight class.  Reyes fell in the 3rd place match to Cody DeLano of Fairview.  Reyes advanced to the semifinals with a pinfall win over Nicholas Johnson of Shelbyville.

Other Coffee County wrestlers were Tyler Loren(Heavyweight class) who finished with a record of 1 and 2.  Nicolas Martinez(195 pound class) who was 1 and 2.  And Noah O’Shields(160 pounds) who was 1 and 2.

The CHS grapplers will be back in action on Monday when they compete in the 4 team Border Battle Duals tournament at Tullahoma.  First match is set for 5 PM.

CHS/CCMS Swim Team Results from Thursday

The Coffee County CHS and CCMS swim teams traveled to LaVergne on Thursday night to take on Siegel.  In team scoring, the Red Raiders fell to Siegel 84 to 61 while the Lady Raiders lost 134 to 89.  Individually, Coffee County had several strong performances.

For the Lady Raider relay teams,

  • The 400M freestyle team of Lindsey Cauble, Kaylee Williams, Anna O’Connor and Andi Mae Clutter finished in 1st place with a time of 5:05.97
  • The 200M medley team of Lindsey Cauble, Kaylee Williams, Anna O’Connor and Alessandra Marlow finished in 3rd place with a time of 2:33.62
  • The 200M freestyle team of Alessandra Marlow, Lacey West, Andi Mae Clutter and Therese Roecken finished in 6th place with a time of 2:33.62

Top individual finishers for the Lady Raiders were:

  • Kaylee Williams – 1st place, 100M breaststroke; 2nd place, 200M freestyle;
  • Anna O’Connor – 2nd place, 400M freestyle; 3rd place, 200M freestyle;
  • Lindsey Cauble – 3rd place, 400M freestyle; 5th place, 50M freestyle;

For the Red Raider relay teams,

  • The 200M freestyle team of Jack Beachboard, Jase Rice, John Michal and Luke Irwin finished in 5th place with a time of 2:13.70
  • The 400M freestyle team of Jack Beachboard, Jase Rice, John Michal and Luke Irwin finished in 5th place with a time of 5:10.65

Top individual finishers for the Red Raiders were:

  • Jack Beachboard – 1st place, 200M IM; 1st place, 100M breaststroke;
  • Jase Rice – 2nd place, 100M freestyle;

For the Coffee County middle school swimmers:

  • Kennedy Young swam the 50M freestyle in 31.57 and the 100M breaststroke in 1:40.02
  • Emily Williams swam the 200M IM in 3:10.33
  • Patience Drigger swam the 50M freestyle in 50.51
  • William Tobitt swam the 50M freestyle in 29.92 and the 100M freestyle in 1:09.12
  • Riley Bellamy swam the 50M freestyle in 44.41
  • Tristan Sons swam the 50M freestyle in 53.46
  • Taylor Wall swam the 100M breaststroke in 1:58.88
  • Aly Hutchins swam the 100M breaststroke in 2:05.30

Additionally, the Lady Raider middle school team of Aly Hutchins, Emily Williams, Taylor Wall and Kennedy Young finished the 200M freestyle relay finished with a time of 2:26.49 and the 400M freestyle with a time of 5:51.01.  Both performances would have been good enough for 4th place in the high school varsity race.

The swim teams will is back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Sewanee for a meet at the University of the South.  The first race is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Titans Fall 35-14 to Patriots as 2017 Season Comes to an End

The Titans made positive steps in 2017, earning a postseason berth for the first time since 2008, and winning a playoff game for the first time in 14 years.

But here at Gillette Stadium, that was little consolation for the Titans on a night when their season came to an end.

While players found reasons to be optimistic moving forward, their current mood was draped in disappointment.

“You don’t play to come and lose in the divisional playoffs,’’ Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said. “You play to go win the whole thing. … Yeah, it is nice to get in the playoffs, but you don’t play to just get in, especially to lose the way that we did.”

After jumping out to an early lead, the Titans couldn’t keep up with the Patriots the rest of the way. The team’s offense struggled to get anything going after a nice start, and the defense couldn’t slow down the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady.

The end result was a 35-14 season-ending loss.

Still, players saw reasons to be encouraged. The Titans posted back-to-back 9-7 seasons after going just 5-27 the previous two years.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” linebacker Brian Orakpo said. “We checked off a lot of things on our checklist. I am definitely disappointed in this game, but I am proud of how far we’ve come. We used to be the armpit of the NFL, but we’ve come a long way. I am proud of this team and this is definitely something to build on moving forward.”

Titans coach Mike Mularkey called the season, and the challenge against the Patriots, “a really good experience.”

“They get a little taste of what it is to be in big games against really good football teams,” Mularkey said. “And you know, I have said it before, I have said it all week—you can’t make mistakes against a really good football team. They are waiting on you to do it and we accommodated them with a lot of mistakes offensively and then we couldn’t get off the field defensively. But it was a good experience, we had a lot of young guys playing in a really big game and it will go a long way for them.

“I am just very proud of them,” Mularkey continued. “Very proud, there were a lot of good things we did this year. Probably won’t hear about it, but they did. They did a lot of good things and I hate for it to come to an end. I did say that. It was a good story being written and I’m sorry that it had to end like it did.”

Mariota completed 22-of-37 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but he was sacked eight times in the contest. Mularkey said after the contest that Mariota suffered a strained quad in the first quarter, but Mariota wasn’t using it as an excuse.

Running back Derrick Henrymanaged just 28 yards on 12 carries for the Titans.

Rookie receiver Corey Davis finished with five catches for 63 yards, and two touchdowns.

Brady, meanwhile, completed 35-of-53 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns in the contest.

The Titans took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Davis, who made a one-handed catch in the end zone. It capped an 11-play, 95-yard drive that started on Tennessee’s five-yard line.

It was the first career touchdown catch for Davis, who beat Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler on the play. Davis later scored again.

The Patriots answered back on their next possession, however, scoring on a five-yard touchdown pass from Brady to running back James White to make it 7-7 with 13:18 left in the second quarter.

The Patriots then took a 14-7 lead on a six-yard touchdown run by White, which capped off a six-play, 48-yard drive in 1:56.

Then came the really big momentum – and officiating — switch, which enabled the Patriots to extend their lead to 21-7 late in the second quarter on a four-yard touchdown pass from Brady to receiver Chris Hogan.

Early on that drive, after the Titans had stopped the Patriots on three downs at their own 14, New England was called for a false start while lining up to punt on fourth-and-five. But officials later changed the call to a neutral zone infraction on Titans safety Brynden Trawick. The Patriots kept the ball, and put together a 16-play, 91-yard drive that ended with a touchdown.

“The side judge called (a false start), and then the back judge calls a neutral zone infraction. How is the back judge going to call that?,” Trawick said. “It is what it is, but that was a big play.”

In a pool report, referee Ron Torbert provided this explanation:

“The line judge saw a defensive lineman jump into the neutral zone, did not see the guard across from him move,” Torbert said. “The umpire saw the guard move and threw his flag for a false start, which is what we initially announced. When we got together and discussed it and pieced together that the defensive lineman across from the guard jumped in the neutral zone and caused the false start, that’s when we changed the ruling from a false start to a neutral zone infraction.”

The Titans, who advanced to the AFC divisional round with a come-from-behind win at Kansas City last weekend, never really threatened the rest of the way.

The Patriots stretched the lead to 28-7 on a two-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden with 4:02 left in the clock. The Patriots added another score on a four-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski with 10:22 left.

Davis scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Mariota with 1:55 left, which made it 35-14.

The Titans were scheduled to fly back to Nashville after the game.

Before walking out of the locker room, Henry yelled “The Titans will be back. We will be back.”

But it will be a different team in 2018, with plenty of new faces.

That’s life in the NFL.

“Most definitely this season was a success,” tight end Delanie Walker said. “Nobody thought we would be this far, playing in the divisional playoffs. I am pleased to be in this locker room, playing with these guys, who fought very hard.

“It is really sad it ended. We had 18 games together, a lot of hard work, and it ended this way. It is sad. But I am going to stay in touch with these guys and I know we are going to bring in some new pieces — that is like any year. Anyone who can help this team out I am looking forward to seeing who we get.”

CHS Wrestling Goes 2 and 1 on Thursday

The CHS wrestling team traveled to Cookeville on Thursday for a 4 team duals match.   Facing off against Upperman, Livingston Academy and the home standing Cavaliers, Coffee County got a pair of wins and a loss on the evening.  The Raider grapplers fell to state power Cookeville but captured wins over Livingston Academy and Upperman.

Coffee County fell to Cookeville 75 to 6.  Coffee County got their lone win of the match when Christopher Speegle got a win at 220 pounds.  Evan Jaynes(at 145 pounds) took his match to the completion before losing in a decision.

Jaynes(145) came back against Livingston Academy to capture a pin to help lead the Raiders to a 48 to 24 win.  Coffee County also got a pinfall win from Andrew Lawson(170).  Coffee County got forfeit wins from Hunter Massey(106), Mary Wolfrun(113), Mary Anne Walker(120), Dakota Chalker(160), Reynaldo Reyes(182) and Nicolas Martinez(195).

Coffee County defeated Upperman 54 to 18.  The Raiders got pinfall wins from Evan Jaynes(145), Dakota Chalker(160), Andrew Lawson(170) and Christopher Speegle(220).  Coffee County got forfeit wins from Reynaldo Reyes(182),  Nicolas Martinez(195), Tyler Loren(285), Mary Wolfrum(113) and Mary Anne Walker(120).

The CHS wrestlers are back in action on Saturday when they travel to St-Andrews-Sewanee to compete in the Mountain Top Individual tournament.  Wrestling gets underway at 9 AM.  The Raider team will compete in the Border Battle Duals tournament at Tullahoma on Tuesday.  First match is set for 5 PM.

Coffee Middle Basketball Splits with East on Thursday Night

Kiya Ferrell of CCMS basketball

The Coffee County Middle School Raider and Lady Raider basketball teams traveled to Tullahoma on Thursday night to take on conference rival East Middle.  The Lady Raiders shook off a cold start to get a 43 to 27 win.  The Red Raiders could not get the season sweep over East as they lost 42 to 29.

Despite being held to 14 points in the first half, the Lady Raider defense held the Lady Panthers to 2 field goals in the 1st half as they led 14 to 7 at intermission.  Coffee County exploded for 16 points in the 3rd quarter to seal the victory.  The Lady Raiders were led in scoring by Kiya Ferrell who finished with 23 points, including 16 in the second half.  Marley Perry added 9 points and Alyssa McClanahan finished with 7.

Twenty five turnovers by the Red Raiders allowed East to rally from behind after the first quarter and earn a season split with Coffee County.  Coffee County was held to 4 points in the 2nd quarter and 5 points in the 4th quarter in the loss.  Phinehas Rollman led the Raiders in scoring with 9 points.  Connor Shemwell and Aiden Abellana each added 5 points.

Coffee Middle is back at home on Tuesday when they play host to Harris.  The girls’ game will get underway at 6 PM.  The final home game of the year will be held on Thursday night as North Franklin visits CCMS for 8th Grade Night.  Thunder Radio will be on hand to bring you the broadcast of the contest as part of the First National Bank Hometown Sports Series.

Coffee County Freshmen Basketball Drop Tullahoma

Kyle Farless of CHS basketball

The Coffee County CHS freshmen Red Raider basketball team welcomed Tullahoma to the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym on Thursday night.  Just as their varsity brothers did on Tuesday night, the freshmen cagers sent their rivals back to West Coffee with a loss.  Coffee County captured a 66 to 54 win to move to 5 and 0 on the season.

After a tight first quarter, the Red Raiders built a 32 to 19 halftime lead by holding the Cats to 5 points in the 2nd period.  Despite missing 5 of their 6 free throws in the 4th quarter, Coffee County was able to hold off Tullahoma.

Coffee County was led in scoring by Jaxon Vaughn who had 17 points.  Kyle Farless added 11 points while Hayden Hullett and Alex Esquivel each netted 9.

The freshmen Raiders travel to Coalmont on Monday night to take on the Yellow Jackets of Grundy County.  This will be a boys’ only contest as well and will tip off at 6 PM.

Temple Baptist Christian School Drops Basketball Games to Dogwood

Jeff Stewart, head coach for Temple Baptist

The Temple Baptist Christian School basketball teams welcomed Dogwood Christian Academy to the E.C. Bailey Gym on Thursday night.  Playing their first game since December 5th due to the Christmas holidays, the Eagles did not show any signs of rust going against the Bulldogs of Tunnel Hill, Georgia.  Despite a strong effort on both games, Temple fell in the JV game 36 to 30 before dropping the varsity contest 62 to 44.

Falling behind early, the varsity Eagles got a strong finish to the 1st quarter to tie the game at 14 after the first 8 minute period.  Unfortunately, the visiting Bulldogs held Temple scoreless for the first 4 and a half minutes of the second quarter to fall into a 22 to 14 hole.  Temple trailed by 8 at the half, but ran out of steam in the fourth quarter in the loss.  Temple was led in scoring by Cody Swayze who had 31 points.  Colton Summers added 7 points.

In a hotly contested JV game, the Eagles used a 2nd half rally to trim a 9 point 4th quarter deficit to 3 points with less than 30 seconds remaining.  Despite 2 good opportunities, Temple could not get a game tying shot.  Dogwood salted the game away late with a free throw and a layup to get the win.  Temple was led in scoring by Alex Gloden who had 11 points.  Mich Gloden chipped in 10 points and Colton Summers finished with 9 points.

Temple travels to Calhoun, Georgia on Tuesday night to take on Philadelphia Christian School.  The JV/varsity doubleheader is scheduled to tip off at 4 PM EST.

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