TSSAA Board of Control Votes Changes in Classification

TSSAAThe much anticipated public/private split in Tennessee for high school athletics never materialized on Wednesday in a special called Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Board of Control meeting. Members of the board of control met at the Hermitage offices of the TSSAA to consider classification for all sports. The Board of Control voted for several new guidelines for the classification period that will begin with the 2017-2018 school year and run through 2020-2

Division I schools (public schools and no financial aid allowed private schools) and Division II schools (schools that offer financial aid) will remain unchanged for classification purposes. Private schools that do not offer financial aid will be classified in Division I using a 1.8 multiplier on enrollment for classification purposes. The Board voted for the state office staff to set District/Regional Alignments and publish them when they are finalized. This will be done prior to the November Board of Control meeting, giving schools an opportunity to appeal if they feel they have a legitimate reason.

In Division I, the classification for each sport will be determined as such:
> Board voted to have six classes in Division I football, split evenly.
> Board voted to have three classes in basketball, baseball, and softball in Division I which is unchanged from the previous system.
> Board voted to have three classes in volleyball, split by participating schools in Division I.
> Board voted to have three classes in soccer, split by participating schools in Division I.
> Board voted to have two classes, split by participating schools (small/large) in cross country, track and field, golf, and tennis in Division I.
> Board voted to have two classes in wrestling, which is unchanged from the previous system.
> Board voted to have one class in bowling in Division I.

Additionally, the TSSAA Board voted to rotate which football championship games are played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – three games each day – each year. Currently, Division II games are held on Thursday with Classes 1A,3A and 5A held on Friday and classes 2A, 4A and 6A on Saturday. Under the Board’s ruling, Division II will be on Thursday in 2016, Friday in 2017, etc.

Division II football will be divided into three classes. Schools with enrollments up to 265 will be in Class A. Schools with enrollments 266-530 will be in Class AA. Schools with enrollments 531 and above will be in AAA. The sports of wrestling and bowling in Division II will be one class. Classification in Division II for all sports other than football, wrestling, and bowling will be divided into two classes. Schools with enrollments of 450 and below will be in Class A. Schools with enrollments above 450 will be in Class AA.

Thunder Radio spoke to CHS head football coach and athletic director Ryan Sulkowski following the TSSAA meeting. “We will see where our numbers fall (after the fall enrollment) and deal with it at that point” said Sulkowski. “We anticipate that we will remain in the top classification for each sport” added Sulkowski “but it is a strong possibility that some sports will have changes in their district alignments(in the new system).”

The Board voted that the state office to continue to reevaluate every member school’s enrollment figures after two years during the four year classification cycle. Schools that have a 20% decrease/increase in enrollment which causes them to move to another class are moved at that time. The Board also voted to allow school to request to move up in classification on a sport-by-sport basis.

Lady Raiders Perform Well at Home Play Day Tournament

Senior Aerial Williams goes up for a spike on Tuesday for the Lady Raider volleyball team.

Senior Aerial Williams goes up for a spike on Tuesday for the Lady Raider volleyball team.

A late cancellation from Warren County forced the Lady Raider volleyball team to split into 3 teams to compete in Tuesday’s high school volleyball play day tournament at Central High School. The varsity Lady Raiders finished the day with a record of 2 and 1 as all 3 teams played at least 3 matches in the tournament. Coffee County got wins over Shelbyville and Fayetteville after losing the opening match in straight sets to White County.
In the opener, the Lady Raiders had leads in both games before dropping decisions of 24-26 and 23-25 to the Warriorettes. Hitting errors led to the Lady Raiders surrendering leads of 14 to 10 in the first set and 12 to 8 in the second set. Coach Taylor called out Aerial Williams for her strong net play in the first match as she led the team in kills.
In the second match, Bailey Morgan led a strong Lady Raider service game as Coffee County beat Shelbyville 25 – 2 and 25-17. Defensively, the Lady Raiders played better against the Eaglettes and also passed the ball well against the second year program.

Senior Rachel Henley prepares to serve on Tuesday for the Lady Raider volleyball team.

Senior Rachel Henley prepares to serve on Tuesday for the Lady Raider volleyball team.

In the final match of the night, Coffee County broke open a tight opening set as Rachel Henley served 16 straight points to close out a 25 to 5 win over Fayetteville. Coach Taylor substituted heavily in the 2nd set as Coffee County closed out the straight set win with a 25 to 15 decision in the 2nd set.
After the matches, Coach Taylor was pleased that he got a lot of playing time for all of his players on the day. The Lady Raiders will go back to work on Wednesday as Coach Taylor completes his final cuts. The Lady Raiders will also work on some defensive adjustments this week as they prepare for their opening matches on August 15th. Thunder Radio is your exclusive source to hear broadcasts of selected Lady Raider volleyball games this fall as part of the First National Bank Hometown Tuesday series.

Harrell, Braves Blank Twins; Garcia Goes Yard

BravesIt was the kind of outing by Ervin Santana that showcased why the Twins have been hesitant to trade the 12-year veteran, as he recorded his second complete game of the year. But the Braves pitched out of several jams and did just enough offensively, led by a solo homer from Adonis Garcia, in a 2-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Braves right-hander Lucas Harrell, who like Santana has also found himself subject to trade rumors, limited the Twins to four hits and three walks over six scoreless frames to get his second win. Relievers Mauricio Cabrera, Hunter Cervenka, Chris Withrow and closer Jim Johnson combined to throw three scoreless innings to preserve Atlanta’s seventh shutout of the year.
Santana outlasted Harrell and only needed 97 pitches to throw his second complete game this month after throwing a shutout on July 6. But he gave up two runs on seven hits to take the hard-luck loss. Santana wasn’t helped by his offense, as the Twins went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.
Some of those teams that have inquired about acquiring Harrell before Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline may have gained more interest in the veteran right-hander, who had been in Triple-A until he was an emergency addition to the rotation in early July. His effort was aided in the third inning when Pierzynski caught Byron Buxton attempting to steal third base, ending a Twins rally that saw two runners on base with one out.
Santana was helped by a couple of solid defensive plays a in 1-2-3 fifth inning. Second baseman Brian Dozier moved to his right to make a nice stop and throw to rob Ender Inciarte of a hit. It was a nearly identical play to the one he made to take away a hit from Nick Markakis an inning earlier. Right fielder Max Kepler got in on the action with a diving catch in right to end the fifth.
Garcia seems to have regained that same unexpected power he produced last year, when he tallied 10 homers in 191 at-bats. His second-inning solo shot was his eighth homer of this season and seventh in a span of 139 at-bats dating back to June 10. .
Santana has been on a roll recently, and he kept it going against his former team. The right-hander has a 2.02 ERA over his last seven starts, lowering his season ERA from 5.10 to 3.78, but he is just 2-2 over that span because of a lack of run support. Twins interim general manager Rob Antony publicly stated again before the game that he believes Santana is the team’s best starting pitcher, and with two years remaining on his contract, plus a team option, he views the veteran right-hander as part of the franchise’s future.
Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound when Atlanta and Minnesota conclude this two-game series on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. cT. Foltynewicz has allowed runs in just two of the 21 innings he has completed over his past three starts. Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast as we join the Atlanta Braves Radio Network at 6 PM for the pregame show.

Big Second Inning Pushes Sky Sox Past Sounds

Sounds4The Colorado Springs Sky Sox used a four-run second inning to help them to a series-opening 5-2 win over the Nashville Sounds in front of 6,177 fans Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park.

Former Sounds pitcher Wily Peralta went five strong innings against his former team and earned the win. He allowed one run on five hits to go along with four strikeouts.

Nashville starter Chris Jensen wasn’t as sharp as his counterpart. After a 1-2-3 first, Jensen allowed back-to-back singles to Manny Pina and Garrett Cooper to start the second inning.

Jensen came back to retire the next two batters, but a walk and two extra-base hits helped the Sky Sox open a 4-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Yadiel Rivera brought in a pair of runs with a ground-rule double. Kyle Wren immediately followed with a two-run triple to break it open.

The Sounds finally got to Peralta in the fifth when Joey Wendle started a rally with a double to right-center. A fly ball moved Wendle to third, and a groundout by Ladendorf pushed across the first run of the night for Nashville.

Colorado Springs reliever Sam Freeman came on for Peralta in the sixth and kept the Sounds off the board for the next three innings. He allowed only one base runner in the three frames – a two-out single by Rangel Ravelo in the seventh.

Aaron Kurcz did his best to keep the Sounds in the game with three scoreless relief innings of his own.

The ninth came with the Sounds trailing 5-1 but Matt Olson cut into the deficit when he launched his 12th home run of the season – a solo shot to right-center to cut the deficit to 5-2.

Colin Walsh followed with a double down the right field line, but David Goforth retired the next two batters in order to close out the Sky Sox win.

Jensen fell to 1-4 with the loss and Peralta earned his first win to improve to 1-3. Olson was the lone Sounds player with a multi-hit night with a 2-for-4 game.

Game two of the four-game series is set for Wednesday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Raul Alcantara (0-0, 0.00) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Aaron Wilkerson (0-2, 8.03) for the Sky Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting

CHS Volleyball to Host Play Day on Tuesday

(Click to enlarge)

2016 Volleyball Play Day Schedule(Click to enlarge)

A pair of disappointing losses by the Lady Raider volleyball team of Coffee County Central High School ended the Eagleville playday on Friday. Coach Andrew Taylor’s squad came out flat in their 9 AM game as they were dispatched in straight sets by Lincoln County. The Lady Falcons dumped Coffee County 21 to 25 and 18 to 25 as the Lady Raiders could not get any aspect of their game on track.
In the second match of the day, the Lady Raiders were eliminated by Central Magnet 22 to 25 and 21 to 25. A lot of the problems from the 9 AM game were corrected, but Coffee County could not get past the talented Lady Tigers.
Following the match, Coach Taylor stressed that his team must get better in the passing game, specifically on the first pass of each possession. The Lady Raiders will also need to make improvements in their service game as they continue their preseason preparations.
As part of those preparations, the Lady Raiders will host a playday on Tuesday as they welcome 5 of the other 6 District 8AAA teams to the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym. Coffee County will have 2 teams playing with games all day long. See the schedule for times and opponents.

CCMS Football Finalizes Fall Schedule

CCMS Football helmetThe Coffee County Middle School football team has finalized their season schedule by adding a game with Tullahoma. The Red Raiders will now open the season on August 9th at home as they host Tullahoma in the Coffee Cup game. The CCMS home football game with Tullahoma scheduled for August 23rd has now been moved to Tullahoma. Thunder Radio will now be able to bring you the Coffee Cup game as part of the First National Bank Hometown Tuesday series. We will have an updated Hometown Tuesday schedule posted soon on our website, so check back often.

Sounds Slug Way to Series Win over Omaha

Sounds2The Nashville Sounds slugged three homers and ran away with a 12-5 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers in front of 5,204 fans Monday night at First Tennessee Park.

Backed by two five-run innings, the Sounds (57-46) used the win in the finale to grab the series by taking three of four from Omaha (44-57). Coupled with Memphis’ loss, the Sounds lead the American Southern Division by seven games with 41 to play in the regular season.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Rangel Ravelo started the hit barrage when he launched his sixth home run of the season out to left field.

Omaha’s Hunter Dozier drilled his second home run in as many at bats to give the Storm Chasers the lead in the fourth. His second solo shot of the night made it a 2-1 game.

That’s when the floodgates opened thanks to the Nashville offense. In the fourth and fifth innings, they combined to score 10 runs on 11 hits to open an 11-4 lead.

Four straight singles from Chad Pinder, Matt Olson, Renato Nunez and Joey Wendle started the big fourth inning. Bryan Anderson added the fifth single of the inning and Arismendy Alcantara knocked in a pair of runs with the sixth base hit in the frame.

After Omaha came back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 6-4 game, the Sounds’ offense went back to work.

With one out in the bottom half of the inning, Renato Nunez launched a booming solo homer – his 15th of the season to extend the lead to 7-4.

Wendle and Anderson each contributed their second hit of the night before Alcantara smashed a run-scoring double and Jaycob Brugman brought in a pair with a line drive triple to the gap in right-center.

Alcantara’s huge night continued in the seventh when he clubbed a solo homer to give the Sounds a 12-4 lead. He finished the night 4-for-5 with 4 RBI, 2 runs scored, a homer and a double. His third inning single extended his Nashville hitting streak to 10 games.

Starter Ross Detwiler matched a career-high with nine strikeouts in his six innings of work. The lefty allowed four runs in the win before handing over to the bullpen.

The Sounds continue the homestand when they welcome the Colorado Springs Sky Sox for a four-game series set to begin Tuesday night. Right-hander Chris Jensen (1-3, 3.64) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Wily Peralta (0-3, 7.16) for the Sky Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting

CCMS Baseball Gets a Summer Scrimmage Win

Braden Brown delivers a pitch on Friday in a scrimmage with Harris

Braden Brown delivers a pitch on Friday in a scrimmage with Harris

The baseball team of Coffee County Middle School welcomed Harris Middle School to CCMS on Friday night for a summer scrimmage game. The Raiders used a pair of huge innings to destroy the visiting Eagles 18 to 0 as Coach Brock Freeze was able to get all of his kids into the contest. Additionally, the Raiders got excellent pitching performances from Griffin Meeker, Nick Watkins, Braden Brown, Kyle Farless and Tanner Kistler.

Griffin Meeker gets a lead at 1st base on Friday in a scrimmage with Harris

Griffin Meeker gets a lead at 1st base on Friday in a scrimmage with Harris

Offensively, the Raiders had several strong performances. Trey Rogers scored 4 runs on the game, including twice in an 11 run 2nd inning for Coffee County. Rogers reached on a error, walked and had a pair of singles. Cooper Gastineau was 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI. Kyle Farless was 1 for 3 with an RBI triple and Nick Watkins added an RBI double. Coach Brock Freeze is attempting to get in one more summer scrimmage for the Red Raiders before school starts.

Braves Buried Early in Loss to Rockies

Braves4The Rockies chased Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins before he could finish the fourth inning with three home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Braves on Sunday at Coors Field to complete their first four-game sweep since July 9-12, 2015, which was also against the Braves.

Colorado wasted no time scoring, hitting around in the first inning and plating four runs on Nolan Arenado’s three-run homer and Nick Hundley’s RBI single. The Rockies ended his night two innings later when DJ LeMahieu homered to lead off the inning and Trevor Story hit his fourth homer of the series two batters later.
Tyler Chatwood earned the win a rather bizarre pitching line in five shutout innings. The Braves only managed one hit off him — Freddie Freeman’s first inning single — but Chatwood walked a career-high eight batters. Atlanta got on the board in the seventh inning on a double by Freeman, who scored on Nick Markakis’ ground out.
Chatwood was only the seventh pitcher since 1913 with five or fewer innings, eight or more walks and no runs. He was in jams in each of his five innings, but was able to come out unscathed with a pair of strikeouts and three ground balls. Chatwood recorded six groundouts on the night and no fly outs.
Though Jenkins had survived the challenges he faced while making his only two previous starts at the offensively-friendly confines in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, it did not take him long to become Coors Field’s latest victim. The rookie surrendered Arenado’s three-run homer before recording his first out in a 37-pitch first inning. He exited after surrendering extra-base hits to three of the four batters faced in the fourth inning.

The Braves are off on Monday before a short 2 game series in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Both games are set to begin at 7:10 PM and Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast of each game as part of the Atlanta Braves Radio Network.

Burns Delivers Clutch Hit to Give Sounds Win

Sounds7Billy Burns delivered a clutch two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Sounds to a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers Sunday night in front of 5,720 fans at First Tennessee Park.

The base hit by Burns came just moments after a costly two-out error by Omaha’s second baseman Orlando Calixte. With Joey Wendle at second and Rangel Ravelo at first, Bryan Anderson hit a slow roller to Calixte who bobbled the ball allowing all runners to be safe.

On a 2-2 pitch from Malcom Culver with the Sounds (56-46) trailing 5-4, Burns sent one through the right side to score Wendle and Ravelo to give Nashville the 6-5 lead.

For the second consecutive night, both teams put up runs in the later innings and blew multiple leads.

Both starters were solid for their teams as Christian Binford went six innings for Omaha (44-56) and Dillon Overton went seven for Nashville.

Trailing 2-1, Matt Olson clubbed a double to start the bottom of the sixth for Nashville. After a base hit by Renato Nunez, Colin Walsh bounced into a 3-6-3 double play but it scored Olson to level the game at 2-2.

In the last of the seventh, the Sounds collected four straight one-out hits to take a 4-2 lead. Jaycob Brugman delivered the big blow with a two-run double to the right-center gap.

The lead didn’t hold, however, as Omaha plated three runs in the top of the eighth. Overton started the frame and allowed three hits before being lifted in favor of Tucker Healy.

With a 4-3 lead, Healy unleashed a wild pitch with a runner at third to allow the Storm Chasers to tie it. Jorge Bonifacio followed with a sacrifice fly to put Omaha in front with a 5-4 lead.

Like Nashville’s prior lead, Omaha’s didn’t last as Burns came through with the two-out base hit. He finished the night 4-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Patrick Schuster worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his sixth save of the season. Healy earned his fifth win of the season and Culver was tagged with the loss.

The series finale is set for Monday night at First Tennessee Park. Left-hander Ross Detwiler (1-0, 1.80) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Alec Mills (3-1, 3.71) for the Storm Chasers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting

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