Coffee County Basketball Gets Home Sweep of Lawrence County

Bella Vinson of Coffee County CHS basketball

The Coffee County CHS basketball teams started their 2nd rotation through the district at home on Friday night.  The Raider cagers welcomed Lawrence County to the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym in their 2nd matchup of the season.  The Raider teams each captured their 6th win in a row as the Lady Raiders defeated the Lady Cats 64 to 42 while the Red Raiders won 60 to 57.

The Lady Raiders raced out to a 16 to 0 lead in the first quarter after hitting five 1st National Bank 3 pointers in the first 8 minutes.  Lawrence County battled back to cut the lead to 7 at the half, but Coffee County opened the 2nd half on a 23 to 10 run to roll to their 7th straight district win.  Bella Vinson led the Lady Raiders in scoring with 23 points as she was named the Crazy Daisies player of the game.  Abby Morgan added 17 points and Jacey Vaughn and Ellie Graham each dropped in 9 points.  The win is the 21st on the year for Coffee County.

Rod Brinkley of Coffee County CHS basketball

The Red Raiders struggled early as Lawrence County opened the game on a 12 to 2 run.  Coffee County cut the deficit to 2 at the end of the 1st quarter and trailed by 1 entering the 2nd half.  In the second half, Coffee County caught fire as they scored the first 8 points of the 3rd quarter and never trailed again.  Darius Rozier led the Raiders in scoring with 17 points.  Kyle Farless added 11 points and Andrew Mahaffey scored 10.  Rod Brinkley came off the bench to add 7 points as Mahaffey and Brinkley were named the Crazy Daisies co-players of the game.

The Raider and Lady Raider basketball teams will be back at home on Tuesday as they host Columbia.  Tip-off for the girls’ game is set for 6 PM and Thunder Radio will bring you live coverage beginning with the Char-El Apartments and Home Rental Pregame show at 5:50.

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Coffee County Wrestlers Score Individual Titles on Saturday

Mary Anne Walker(far left) claimed the 125 class championship at McGavock on Saturday[Photo provided]

The Coffee County CHS wrestling team ended a busy week on Saturday with a pair of strong tournament performances.  A pair of Lady Raider wrestlers competed in the Middle Tennessee Wrestling Officials Association Grand Championships at McGavock High School as Mary Anne Walker captured a first place medal.  The Red Raiders competed in the Mountain Top Invitational at Sewanee and captured a pair of 1st place medals.

Mary Wolfrum and Mary Anne Walker represented the Lady Raider grapplers at the MTWOA meet as part of a field of 74 wrestlers.  Wolfrum competed at 119 pounds and entered the competition as the 6th seed.  After dropping her first match in a hard fought 9 to 2 decision, Wolfrum was eliminated in the elimination round by a pin.  Walker entered the 125 pound bracket as the #1 seed and defending that ranking well.  After a first round bye, Walker got a pair of pinfall wins to capture the tournament title.  Walker won the semifinal in 30 seconds before capturing the crown in 45 seconds.

Raider wrestling coaches Roger Barlow(in red t-shirt) and Randall Jennings(kneeling with plaque) celebrate the Raiders 4th place finish at Sewanee on Saturday. [Photo provided]

Thirteen wrestlers for the Red Raiders traveled to St. Andrews-Sewanee to compete in the Mt. Top Invitational.  The Raider team captured 7 medals, including a pair of championship medals and the Best Match Award.  Coffee County came home with the 4th place team finish.  In the 182 pound class, Rey Reyes went 3 and 0 to capture 1st place which included a pair of pins and a decision win in the championship(14 to 8) which earned him the best match trophy.  At 120 pounds, Brett Francis also finished in 1st place as he got a technical fall win and a pair of pins.  Jesse Smith(at 145 pounds) finished in 3rd place with a record of 3 and 1.  Gavin Prater(138) finished in 4th place with a 2 and 2 record.   Zack Bush(160) also finished in 4th place with a record of 1 and 1.  Chris Speegle(220) grabbed a 4th place medal and finished with a record of 3 and 2 while Cardin Stump finished 4th in the heavyweight class as he compiled a record of 2 and 2.

The Raider wrestlers now await the final district standings to be completed to see if they have qualified for Thursday’s Region 5 Duals Tournament at Siegel.   Thunder Radio will keep you updated on the Raiders schedule.

Coffee County Middle School Basketball Set to Open CTC Tournament Action This Week

CTC Girls’ Tournament – 2019

The postseason tournament schedule for the Central Tennessee Conference basketball tournament was released on Saturday evening.  As expected, the Coffee County Middle School teams will each enter the tournament as the 4th seed in both the boys’ and girls’ brackets.  The Red Raiders will open tournament play on Monday night at 7:30 PM against North Franklin.  The Lady Raiders will open tournament play on Wednesday at 5:15 PM.  Both games, and all CTC tournament games, will take place at Tullahoma High School.

Thunder Radio will be on hand to bring you the broadcast of each game as part of the First National Bank Hometown Sports Series.  Monday’s game will tip off around 7:30, the pregame show will get underway at 7:20.  Wednesday’s game will begin at 5:15 with the pregame show set to begin around 5:05.

CTC Boys’ Tournament – 2019

Preds Conclude Homestand with Loss to Panthers

Too little, too late.

The Nashville Predators rallied in the third period, but they were unable to overcome a slow start as they fell to the Florida Panthers by a 4-2 final on Saturday night. It’s the second straight loss for the Preds as they conclude their only homestand in the month of January.

A record hockey crowd of 17,716 at Bridgestone Arena saw the Predators surrender a 3-0 lead before scoring twice in the first 3:23 of the third period, but the Panthers had the jump from the opening puck drop, and that ultimately made the difference.

“It wasn’t good enough, and a lot of our problems stem from our starts,” Preds center Nick Bonino said. “We feel games out, don’t compete enough right away, and then we have to play catch up. When we turn it on, we’re really hard to play with, but in this League it’s too little to late sometimes.”

“It’s a loss against a team that played last night and traveled and came into our building and took it to us for the first part of the game,” Preds forward Austin Watson said. “We pushed at the end, but that start and the way we’re dipping our toe in the water in back-to-back home games, it’s not good enough.”

Aaron Ekblad gave the visitors the lead less than five minutes into the contest when he blasted home his ninth of the season on the power play, and Frank Vatrano made it 2-0 after one period.

Early in the second stanza, Vincent Trocheck took advantage of a neutral-zone turnover a beat Juuse Saros on the breakaway to put the Panthers ahead by three, but the Predators began to get quality chances before the period was out, a sign there was a push coming.

Indeed, Bonino beat James Reimer at 2:45 of the third, and Watson scored less than a minute later, but that was as close as the Preds got before the Panthers got their fourth and final tally of the night to seal it.

“It was more the start for me more than anything,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think there were a lot of chances in the second. In the third, we came out and pushed, but fell short going through the third period when they scored the fourth one. For me, it was the start, the first period that led to the loss.”

From here, the Predators visit Colorado and Vegas for two more contests before they’ll go eight days without a game thanks to the NHL All-Star Weekend and the NHL-mandated bye week. It will be a chance for Nashville to not only correct what did them in on Saturday, but also an opportunity to get back on track before the hiatus.

“I think it’s important to fix these problems right away, no matter what we have coming up,” Watson said. “It’s not fun for us to play this way, especially at home. We had an opportunity to win a couple big games and unfortunately, we didn’t. The good thing though is that we do play 82 games and we have a chance to bounce back before we take that time off.”

“That’s all in the attitude,” Laviolette said of the slow start. “That’s what you bring to the rink and bring to the game. It has to be better.”


Predators forward Colin Blackwell made his NHL debut on Saturday night after being recalled earlier in the day. The 25-year-old registered two hits and won three faceoffs in 11:29 of ice time.

Nashville centerman Ryan Johansen served the first of his two-game suspension for high-sticking.

With the January home schedule now complete, the Predators will head on the road for two, beginning on Monday afternoon in Colorado before a stop in Vegas on Wednesday.

Pete Weber’s Postgame Report

Coffee County Wrestlers Roll Over Cascade on Friday

Chris Speagle of Coffee County CHS wrestling

Coffee County CHS wrestling team traveled to Wartrace on Friday night for a non-region duals match with Cascade.  The Red Raiders swept the 6 highest weight classifications to capture the 67 to 18 win.

Coffee County got pinfall wins from Cardin Stump(at 285), Christopher Speagle(220), Rey Reyes(182), Jacob Phillips(170), Dakota Chalker(160), Jesse Smith(145), Gavin Prater(138) and Brett Francis(120).  The Raiders also got forfeit wins by Hunter Massey(113), Hunter Waring(132) and Zachary Galy(195).  Nick Martinez also won a pair of exhibition matches by pinfall fighting at 220 pounds

The Raider grapplers return to action on Saturday as they travel to Sewanee for the Mountain Top Invitational at St. Andrews-Sewanee.  Weigh-in is set at 9 AM.

Coffee County Middle School Basketball Sweeps Harris on Thursday Night

Jackson Shemwell of CCMS basketball

The Coffee County Middle School basketball teams closed out the regular season on the road on Thursday night.  Traveling to Shelbyville to take on Harris, the Raiders and Lady Raiders roared to a pair of lopsided wins over the Eagles.  The Lady Raiders won 31 to 8 while the Red Raiders scored a 37 to 12 victory.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Radiers dominated from start to finish.  Coffee Middle held the overmatched Eaglettes to 2 points in the second half to close the season with a record of 13 and 6.  Alivia Reel led the Lady Raiders in scoring with 15 points, including a trio of 3 point baskets.  Chloe Gannon added 8 points in the win.

The Red Raiders held Harris to 2 points in the first half in the dominant win.  The win gives the Red Raiders a final conference record of 8 and 6.  Jackson Shemwell and Hayden Garr each had 8 points in the win to pace the Raider scoring attack.  Jacob Holder chipped in 6 points.

Next up for Coffee Middle teams will be the CTC basketball tournament which is set to begin on Monday in Tullahoma.  The tournament schedule is set to be released on Friday and Thunder Radio will keep you apprised of game times and opponents.  Jonathan Oliver, Red Raiders head coach will be a guest on Saturday’s Coffee Coaches Show to talk about the regular season and will preview the upcoming conference tournament.  The Coffee Coaches Show is broadcast live each Saturday morning at 10 AM from the showroom of Al White Ford/Lincoln.  The Coffee Coaches Show is heard exclusively on Thunder Radio.

Coffee County Wrestlers Grab Road Win at Shelbyville

Dakota Chalker of Coffee County CHS wrestling

The Coffee County CHS wrestling team continued their busy week in Shelbyville on Thursday night.   Tangling with the Eagles in a head to head match, the Red Raiders captured a 42 to 36 win.

Coffee County got pinfall wins from Christopher Speagle(at 220 pounds), Cardin Stump(285), Brett Francis(120), Gavin Prater(138), Dakota Chalker(160) and Rey Reyes(182).  The Raiders also grabbed a forfeit win at 132 pounds by Hunter Waring.

The Raider grapplers return to action on Friday as they travel to Wartrace for a special match with Cascade.  The high school wrestlers and the Coffee County Youth wrestlers will both be in action.  Weigh-in is set at 5 PM, the first match is scheduled for 6 PM.

Preds Fall to Jets in Divisional Clash

In a test between the top two teams in the Central Division, it was the visitors who passed.

The Nashville Predators fell to the Winnipeg Jets by a 5-1 final on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena, their first loss in two games against the Jets this season.

In a game that presented a potential postseason matchup between two of the behemoths in the Western Conference, it was Winnipeg who prevailed by playing quicker than the Preds and capitalizing on their chances.

“It was a big game for us,” Preds Captain Roman Josi said. “They’re right in front of us. They’re obviously a great team in our division. We’re not happy with the result, but we have to learn from it.”

“They’re a good hockey team,” Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “We know that. They know that. I thought we competed for the most part. Our battle level, especially in the first, it was there, it was back and forth. You get frustrated as the game goes on, but, all in all, I think they just executed more than we did.”

Brendan Lemieux gave the Jets a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, and it could have been two if Nashville Video Coaches Lawrence Feloney and Andrew Meloche didn’t step in and call for an offside review. As is typical, the duo got it right, keeping the deficit at one.

Less than four minutes into the second, however, Mason Appleton made it 2-0 Winnipeg. Midway through the period, the Preds got on the board thanks to, who else, but Viktor Arvidsson, who slid home a loose puck for his 18th of the season and fourth in two games.

But, with less than a minute to play in the second stanza, Bryan Little put the visitors back up by two, and the Jets added two more in the third to pull away and clinch their victory.

“They were better than us tonight,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “They were quicker. I thought they capitalized. I thought they did a better job of generating quality chances. It seemed when we got in the offensive zone our shots didn’t go through, we didn’t do a good job of taking his (Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck’s) eyes, we didn’t generate the chances from the areas that we need to generate them from. For me, they capitalized on their chances and I thought that we needed to do a better job generating our chances.”

The Predators don’t view the loss as an indicator that the Jets are a better team than they are – it’s just one game – but on this occasion, it was Winnipeg who found a way and jumped out to a four-point lead in the division.

“They’re tough games every time we play them,” Josi said. “They’re a great team, and right now they’re in front of us. It’s such a long season, though. We have to learn from that game. There’s a lot of things we can do a lot better, but it’s one game. We have to focus on the next game.”

“They’re the team we’re chasing right now,” Ellis said. “It’s a bit of a test for us, and tonight, we failed. But, hopefully the next one we won’t.”


With an assist on Viktor Arvidsson’s goal, Filip Forsberg extended his point streak against Winnipeg to four games.

Nashville’s three-game homestand concludes on Saturday night when they host the Florida Panthers before embarking on a two-game trip to Colorado and Las Vegas prior to 2019 All-Star Weekend.

Pete Weber’s Postgame Report

CHS Wrestling Splits Final Home Matches on Tuesday

Jesse Smith(top) of Coffee County CHS wrestling

Hosting their final home matches of the year, the Coffee County CHS wrestling team played host to Oakland and Eagleville for Senior Night on Tuesday night.  The Raiders won their match with Eagleville by a score of 54 to 20 before dropping their match with state-ranked Oakland 68 to 6.  The Lady Raider wrestlers fought to a draw with Eagleville.

Against Eagleville, Coffee County got pinfall wins from Hunter Massey(at 113 pounds), Gavin Prater(138), Jesse Smith(145), Dakota Chalker(160), Ray Reyes(182) and Zachary Galy(195).  The Red Raiders captured forfeit wins from Christopher Speegle(220), Cardin Stump(285) and Hunter Waring(132).

Against Oakland, the Raiders got a pair of decision wins.  Brett Francis(120) won his match by a score of 9 to 3.   Jesse Smith(145) fought his way to a 6 to 0 decision.  In the girls’ match with Eagleville, MaryAnne Walker got a pinfall win over her opponent.

The Raider grapplers return to action on Thursday as they travel to Shelbyville for a tri-match.  Weigh-in is set at 5 PM, the first match is scheduled for 6 PM.

Coffee County Claybusters Capture Individual Titles on Saturday

The Coffee County Claybusters opened the 2019 portion of their season on Saturday with an ATA Individual Shoot at Highland Rim Shooters Club in Tullahoma.  The Claybusters captured 5 of the 8 titles handed out on the day.  Colter Smith won the High Overall Shooter award.  Tucker Carlton captured the Junior Category title and Brayden Davenport won the Sub-Junior category.  Alexus Stacey captured the top spot in the Lady Category and Dylan Hickerson won the top spot among Class D shooters.

The Claybusters return to competition on Saturday, February 2nd for a team event at Big Springs.  The AIM/ATA team event gets underway at 9 AM in Christiana.

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