Sports

Spring Sports Update

CC BaseballThe cold weather and snow can only mean one thing, spring sports are just around the corner.  Middle school spring sports squads have been working out for almost 2 weeks as they prepare to begin their sports seasons on February 29th.  The Coffee County Middle School baseball team is the first to open the scrimmage season as they travel to Siegel on Saturday for an 11:30 doubleheader.  The varsity plays first with the JV to follow weather permitting.  CCMS baseball coach Rodney Meeker will be a guest on Saturday morning’s Coffee Coaches Show to talk about the upcoming season.

Speaking of baseball, the Coffee County Red Raider baseball team is having a makeup baseball tryout on Monday February 15 from 3 to 6 for all students at high school and freshman Academy that didn’t tryout in summer. The tryout will be held at Powers Field behind Coffee County Central High School.  Students wishing to tryout will need to bring glove and cleats.  If you need more information, contact Coach David Martin at: martind15@k12tn.net.  High school spring sports teams begin their preseason practices on Monday

Coffee County Basketball Closes Regular Season This Weekend

CC FloorWith the cancellation of Tuesday’s basketball game, Coffee County will now close out the season on Saturday when they make that game with Warren County in McMinnville. The Raiders and Lady Raiders now turn their attention to Senior Night on Friday night at the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium. Tullahoma visits The Patch with both Coffee County teams needing wins in the final district game of the year.
A win by the Lady Raiders would most likely earn them a 5th place finish in the district standings. It would also mean the Lady Raiders would avoid the play-in game scheduled for early next week. In that situation, Coffee County would travel to Franklin County for the first round of the District 8AAA tournament. A loss would most likely tie Tullahoma and Coffee County for fifth place in the district. The winner of the tiebreaker would avoid the play-in game. The loser of the tiebreaker would host a play-in game early next week.
For the Red Raiders the situation is much simpler. Coffee County is locked into the play-in game. A win in the game against Tullahoma would tie Coffee County with Tullahoma for 6th place in the final district standings. The winner of the tiebreaker would host next week’s play-in game between Coffee County and Tullahoma. The semi finals and finals of the District 8AAA basketball tournament will be held at the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium.

Preds Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Capitals

Pee Weber’s Postgame Report

Filip Forsberg

Filip Forsberg

Filip Forsberg scored twice, but the Nashville Predators comeback fell short, as the Washington Capitals topped the Preds by a 5-3 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville tallied two in the third period to cut the deficit, but Washington ultimately staved off the final pressure to secure the victory.

“You lose the hockey game, so that’s what sticks with you most,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “The mistakes that you made, things you could have done better, execution of different areas of the game where you know you could have made a difference and done something different; in saying that, there were a lot of good things that we did early on. I thought the first period was our best period. It was tough to walk away not having a lead in that period.”

Washington took a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a Jason Chimera goal, followed by a tally from Tom Wilson in the middle frame.

Forsberg cut the Capitals lead to one when he sniped a shot from the left circle and past Braden Holtby for his 16th of the season and his second in as many games. Craig Smith picked up the primary helper on the play, extending his assist streak against Washington to three games.

The Preds continued to outshoot the Caps through the first two periods, but goals from Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson gave the Caps a 4-1 advantage eight minutes into the third.

Midway through the final frame, Roman Josi’s point shot at 9:49 hit Matt Niskanen in front of the net and trickled past Holtby to bring the Preds back to within two. Then, Forsberg recorded his second of the night against the team that drafted him, when he deflected a Mattias Ekholm shot out of midair in front of the net to make it 4-3.

Nashville fed off a re-energized home crowd and continued to press, but Alex Ovechkin iced the contest with an empty netter, ultimately giving Washington their League-leading 39th win of the season.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, and against a team like that, it’s going to end up in the back of your net,” Captain Shea Weber said. “That’s the main reason we went down 4-1. But, showing the resiliency we did shows we have a lot of character in here.”

The Preds head to the Sunshine State in the coming days, but coming close to besting the top club in the NHL won’t be easily forgotten, as the Preds search for points to rise in the standings.

“Leaving that game against them, I know they’re the top team in the League right now, but it’s still frustrating for us,” Laviolette said. “We need to win games, whether it’s the top team or somebody in the division or somebody that’s not in the playoffs right now. We have to collect points.”

The Predators face the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers back-to-back this Friday and Saturday, as the team hosts its annual Fathers Trip in the Sunshine State.  Thunder Radio will bring you Friday’s contest immediately following Coffee County basketball

Coffee County Middle School Hosts Basketball Banquet on Monday Night

The Coffee County Middle School basketball teams held their annual postseason banquet on Monday night at Farrar Hill Farms as each player was recognized and individual awards were presented to the members of the teams.

CCMS 6th Grade Basketball Award Winners

CCMS 6th Grade Basketball Award Winners

The 6th grade boys’ team, coached by Bryan Morgan, honored the members of their team which finished the season with a record of 7 and 2. Individual award winners were:
Most Improved – Phineas Rollman
Hustle Award – Ethan Baker
Defensive MVP – Aiden Abellana
Offensive MVP – Joseph Duncan
Raider Award – Conner Shemwell

6th Grade Girls Award Winners

CCMS 6th Grade Girls Award Winners

The 6th grade girls’ team, coached by Jamie Morgan, honored the members of their team which finished the season with a record of 9 and 0. Individual award winners were:
Offensive Player of the Year – Leigha Insell
Defensive Player of the Year – Madison Rooker
Rebounding Award – Marley Perry
Hustle Award – Kiya Ferrell
Lady Raider Award – Marley Perry

Varsity Boys

CCMS Boys Varsity Award winners

The 7th and 8th grade boys’ team, coached by Jonathan Oliver and Ryan Gilmer honored the members of their team which ended their season with an overtime loss to West Tullahoma in the conference tournament. Individual award winners were:
6th Man Award – Jalen Morris
Hustle Award – Hayden Hullett
Offensive Player of the Year – Brandon Jernigan
Defensive Player of the Year – Blanton Brown
Raider Award – Larson Meltzer
Coaches Award – Jaxon Vaughn

CCMS Varsity Girls Basketball Award winners

CCMS Varsity Girls Basketball Award winners

The 7th and 8th grade girls’ team, coached by George Pearson, Matt Vinson and Kandi Shemwell, honored the members of their team which ended their as a State Sectional finalist with a record of 25 and 1. Individual award winners were:
Head Manager – Naomi Nelson
Free Throw Award – Bella Vinson
Coaches Award – Journey Arnold
Team Spirit Award – Kylie Phillips and Jade Arnold
Rookies of the Year – Sarah West and Marissa Douglas
Leadership Award – Julia Duncan
Defensive Player of the Year – Ellie Graham
Hustle Award – Jenna Garretson
6th Man Award – Keri Munn
Most Improved – Keelie Hillis
Lady Raider Award – Bella Vinson
Most Valuable Player – Julia Duncan

CCMS Sectional State Title Bid Comes Up 4 Seconds Short

The Coffee County Middle School Lady Raiders with the 2nd place trophy following the TMSAA Middle Section State Tournament on Saturday(Photo by Jay Bailey - Manchester Times)

The Coffee County Middle School Lady Raiders with the 2nd place trophy following the TMSAA Middle Section State Tournament on Saturday(Photo by Jay Bailey – Manchester Times)

Mt Juliet got a short jumper from Emma Palmer with 4 seconds remaining to hand the Coffee County Middle School Lady Raiders their first loss of the year 43 to 42 on Saturday afternoon in the TMSAA Middle School Sectional State Finals in Murfreesboro.  A Coffee County rebound under the Mt. Juliet goal was tied up with the possession arrow belonging to the Lady Bears with 9 seconds showing on the clock.  That set up the last second in-bounds play to the taller and more physical Lady Bear post player who sank the shot and the Red and Black’s state title dreams.

CCMS basketball players (left to right) Julia Duncan, Bella Vinson and Jenna Garretson were named to the All Tournament team following the TMSAA Middle Section State Tournament on Saturday(Photo by Jay Bailey - Manchester Times) [EDITED FROM ORIGINAL]

CCMS basketball players (left to right) Julia Duncan, Bella Vinson and Jenna Garretson were named to the All Tournament team following the TMSAA Middle Section State Tournament on Saturday(Photo by Jay Bailey – Manchester Times) [EDITED FROM ORIGINAL]

Coffee County, which trailed by 5 points at the half, roared back to take the lead with 69 seconds remaining behind the support of a huge Lady Raider cheering section.  A pair of 3 pointers helped Coffee County tie the score with 4:35 left in the 3rd quarter and set up an exciting final 10 minutes of basketball as each team swapped the lead down the stretch.  The loss broke a 34 game winning streak for Coffee County stretching back to 2014.   The Lady Raiders finished the season with a mark of 25 and 1.

Coffee County was led in scoring by Julia Duncan who had 16 points.  Jenna Garretson added 9 points, including 7 in the 4th quarter.  Ellie Graham and Bella Vinson each finished with 6 points.  Following the game, Duncan, Garretson and Vinson were all named to the All-Tournament Team.

Thunder Radio was on hand to record the finals match-up and that game will be broadcast on Monday night at 8 PM.  A copy of the podcast will be available at our website, beginning on Monday evening at: http://www.thunder1320.com/downloads/  The Lady Raiders will also be guests on Saturday’s Coffee Coaches Show at 10 AM here on Thunder Radio.  The Coffee Coaches Show is broadcast live from Al White Ford/Lincoln.

CHS Basketball Splits with Columbia on Saturday

Bailey Morgan of CHS basketball(Photo by Jay Bailey - Manchester Times)

Bailey Morgan of CHS basketball(Photo by Jay Bailey – Manchester Times)

In a pair of district basketball games rescheduled from Tuesday night, Coffee County welcomed Columbia to the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym on Saturday afternoon.  The Lady Raiders used a strong 2nd half to drop the Lady Lions 48 to 37.  The full court press of Coffee County helped limit Columbia to 15 points in the 2nd half as the Lady Raiders completed the season sweep.  Holli Smithson led the Lady Raiders in scoring with 16 points and was named the Gateway Tire and Service Center player of the game.  Bailey Morgan added 9 points while Jacey Vaughn finished with 7 points as Coffee County moved into sole possession of 5th place in the district.

Garrett Eldridge of CHS Basketball(Photo by Jay Bailey - Manchester Times)

Garrett Eldridge of CHS Basketball(Photo by Jay Bailey – Manchester Times)

In the boys’ game, the Raiders stayed in range of district leading Columbia through 3 quarters before falling 62 to 47.  A 13 to 1 run by Columbia in the first half provided a lead for the Lions that Coffee County could not overcome.  Garrett Eldridge led the Raiders in scoring with 18 points as he was named the Gateway Tire and Service Center player of the game.  Kohl Young finished with 15 points and Wyatt Day added 6 points for Coffee County.

Coffee County travels to McMinnville on Tuesday to take on non-district rival Warren County.  The girls game will tip off at 6 PM and Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast beginning with the Powers Storage pregame show at 5:50.

Coffee County Basketball Teams Fall at Franklin County on Friday

File Photo -  Holli Smithson

File Photo – Holli Smithson

In a pair of physical games, Coffee County dropped 2 district contests to Franklin County on Friday night in Winchester.  In a girls’ game that featured 59 foul calls, the Lady Raiders saw a 4th quarter comeback fall short as they lost 49 to 38.  The Red Raiders had a 4th quarter rally of their own come up short as they dropped a 59 to 50 decision.

A loosely officiated girls’ game saw Coffee County take a physical beating in the first half as they fell behind 24 to 11 at intermission.  In the second half, the Lady Raiders matched the physical play of the Rebelletes as they cut the Franklin County lead to 2 points with 7 minutes remaining.  However, the rally resulted in the Lady Raiders getting into deep foul trouble before 3 Lady Raiders fouled out as Franklin County held on for the win.  Holli Smithson led Coffee County in scoring with 10 points as she was named the Gateway Tire and Service Center player of the game.  Abby Morgan finished with 9 points while Aerial Williams and Jacey Vaughn each added 6.

CHS basketball player Grant Sadler

File photo – Grant Sadler

The Red Raiders had trouble getting shots to fall as they fell behind by 16 points at the end of the 3rd quarter.  Grant Sadler and Garrett Eldridge keyed a 4th quarter rally that saw Coffee County cut the lead to 7 points with a little more than 2 minutes left.  Franklin County hit 6 of their 9 free throws in the 4th quarter to hang on for the win.   Sadler led the Raiders in scoring with 22 points as he was named the Gateway Tire and Service Center player of the game.  Eldridge added 11 points  while Wyatt Day and Stephen Sullivan each netted 7 points.

Preds Pot Six, Skate Past Sharks

Pete Weber’s Postgame Report

Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators

Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators

Viktor Arvidsson scored twice and Filip Forsberg’s three points helped lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. The triumph was Nashville’s 25th of the season and snapped a three-game home winless streak for the club.

“Everybody chipped in and did their thing,” Arvidsson said. “We won as a team, and that’s great. Pekka [Rinne] made huge saves and everybody played great.”

James Neal gave the Preds a 1-0 lead, when he finished off a beautiful pass from Ryan Johansen and beat Martin Jones through the five hole for a goal. Johansen corralled the puck behind the San Jose net and dished a backhand feed to Neal in the left face-off circle after a silky spin off a defender to create space. The goal was Neal’s 19th of the season and Johansen’s helper gave him 13 points in 13 games in a Preds uniform.

“San Jose is a good team, and at times they were outplaying us, but when we were on our game and when we executed, we finished off plays,” Johansen said. “You could see the smiles on guys and the confidence growing from that. So it was fun out there tonight.”

Johansen picked up another helper in the second period, when he found Calle Jarnkrok all alone in the slot. Jones got a piece of Jarnkrok’s wrist shot, but not enough, as the puck went up into the air and came back down behind the goal line. Jarnkrok’s ninth of the season gave Nashville a 2-0 lead before Joe Thornton got San Jose on the board with a power-play goal.

However, before the frame was out, Arvidsson converted on a play that could’ve gone wrong, but turned out so right. Arvidsson received a pass from Mike Ribeiro – who played in his 1,000th career game on Saturday – while skating backward into the offensive zone and managed to rifle a shot, while falling to his knees, over the shoulder of Jones for a 3-1 advantage. Forsberg recorded the secondary assist on the play for his 100th career point.

“It was huge,” Forsberg said of the win. “It’s going to be important all the way down – every goal, every game, especially these games at home in the conference. It was a big game… We played a really solid 60-minute game.”

The final frame brought points 101 and 102 for Forsberg as he potted a shorthanded goal at 6:51 for the Frosty goal and a 4-1 Preds lead. Arvidsson then claimed his second of the evening, as he and Forsberg converted on a 2-on-1 to put the game out of reach. Captain Shea Weber added an empty-net goal for his 14th tally of the season before the game was out, giving Nashville their 57th and 58th points.

“Confidence is a contagious thing, and you can get on a little bit of a roll. We have to make sure [we keeping improving],” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s not going to be an easy game against Washington [on Tuesday]. They’re one of the best teams in the League, so we have to be ready to go.”  That Tuesday game will be broadcast on Thunder Radio immediately following Coffee County basketball.

Nashville Sounds Announce 2016 Coaching Staff

Sounds3The Nashville Sounds 2016 coaching staff was named by the Oakland Athletics today and is highlighted by the return of Manager Steve Scarsone.

Scarsone, 49, enters his eighth season in the Oakland organization and fourth consecutive campaign as manager of the club’s top affiliate. His coaching staff will consist of pitching coach Rick Rodriguez, hitting coach Eric Martins, trainer Brad LaRosa and strength and conditioning coach A.J. Seeliger. LaRosa joins Scarsone as the only returning member from the 2015 coaching staff.

Scarsone sports a career managerial mark of 634-632 (.501) after guiding the Sounds to a 66-78 record in his first year at the helm in 2015. In three seasons as manager of the A’s top affiliate, Scarsone has compiled a 224-208 (.519) record.

He began his managerial career with two years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization as manager of the Single-A South Bend Silver Hawks (2001) and Advanced-A Lancaster JetHawks (2002). He stepped away from baseball before returning in 2009 with the Oakland organization. Scarsone managed the Single-A Kane County Cougars (2009), Advanced-A Stockton Ports (2010), Double-A Midland RockHounds (2011-12) and Triple-A Sacramento River Cats (2013-14).

Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone

Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone

The Anaheim, Calif. native was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 1986 draft and played seven seasons as a Major League utility infielder with Philadelphia (1992), Baltimore (1992), San Francisco (1993-96), St. Louis (1997) and Kansas City (1999).

Rodriguez, 55, takes over as Nashville’s pitching coach after serving in the same role with the Single-A Stockton Ports in 2015. Rodriguez was Triple-A Sacramento’s pitching coach in 12 of the last 16 seasons, including his most recent stint in 2013-14. He also served as the A’s bullpen coach from 2011-12 and as the manager of Advanced-A Modesto in 2003.

This is his 32nd year in the A’s organization, including seven seasons as a player and 23 as a minor league coach.

The East Bay, Calif. native was selected by Oakland in the second round of the 1981 draft. In 31 career MLB appearances, Rodriguez compiled a 3-4 record with a 5.73 ERA. He pitched with Oakland (1986-87), Cleveland (1988) and San Francisco (1990).

Martins, 43, enters his first season as Nashville’s hitting coach after serving in the same role for Double-A Midland in 2015. Prior to his one season in Midland, Martins was a scout for the A’s since 2007. During his time as a scout, Martins was responsible for signing A.J. Griffin, Daniel Robertson, and 2014 first-round selection Matt Chapman.

The East Los Angeles, Calif. native was selected by Oakland in the 17th round of the 1994 draft out of Long Beach State. He played professionally for 11 seasons, including parts of four seasons with A’s Triple-A affiliates. He was a part of the 1997 Edmonton team that captured the Pacific Coast League championship and the 1999 Vancouver team that won the Triple-A World Series.

LaRosa will return to Nashville for his second season with the club and ninth as the athletic trainer for Oakland’s top minor league affiliate. Prior to joining the Athletics, he spent five seasons at Double-A with St. Louis (2005-07) and Miami (2003-04).

LaRosa has been recognized with several different accolades and awards, including the PBATS Minor League Trainer of the Year in 2007. He is a certified member of the National Athletics Trainer Association and the Illinois Athletics Trainer Association. LaRosa obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Seeliger enters his first season as Nashville’s strength and conditioning coach and his fourth season with the A’s organization. Seeliger served in the same role with Single-A Beloit (2013), Advanced-A Stockton (2015) and Double-A Midland (2015).

Seeliger obtained his bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and master’s degree from A.T. Still University.

2015 pitching coach Don Schulze was reassigned to Single-A Beloit while 2015 hitting coach Webster Garrison will serve as the A’s rookie-level Arizona League affiliate manager. He’ll be joined in Arizona by 2015 Sounds strength and conditioning coach Terence Brannic.

The 2016 season will be the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.

CCMS Lady Raiders Advance to Saturday’s State Sectional Finals

Coach George Pearson talks to his team during a timeout in the conference tournament last week.

Coach George Pearson talks to his team during a timeout in the conference tournament last week.

The Lady Raiders of Coffee County Middle School needed a 4th quarter comeback to punch their ticket to the TMSAA State Sectional Tournament finals as they outlasted Rossview 42 to 36 on Friday afternoon. Coffee County, who trailed 30 to 29 with 3:42 to play, was 7 of 7 at the free throw and got a pair of big 3 pointers in the 4th quarter to nail down a finals date with Mt. Juliet on Saturday at noon at Murfreesboro’s Central Magnet School. The Lady Raiders had six 3 pointers on the afternoon, with 5 of those coming from 7th grader Bella Vinson. Julia Duncan led Coffee County in scoring with 19 points while Vinson finished with 17. Keelie Hillis and Jenna Garretson each added 3 points for the Lady Raiders who won their 34th straight game as they improved to 25 and 0 on the season.
Saturday’s finals will pit the Lady Raiders against Mt. Juliet who defeated Christiana on Friday night. The finals will begin at noon. Due to scheduling conflicts, Thunder Radio will not be able to carry the broadcast live, but hope to have a podcast of the game available for a later broadcast. Fans who wish to ride in a caravan to the game, can meet the team and parents at Coffee County Middle School no later than 10 AM on Saturday morning. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to come out to CCMS at 10 AM on Saturday to give the team a rousing sendoff.

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