The 27th Choo Choo Classic high school volleyball tournament will be held this weekend at East Ridge and Red Bank.
Action begins Friday with pool play at both locations starting at 4 p.m. Fifteen teams will play at East Ridge, and 16 will compete at Red Bank.
Teams return Saturday for seeded pool play starting at 9 a.m. Teams that qualify to play in the Gold bracket will be at East Ridge for single-elimination scheduled to start at 4 in the afternoon. Silver-bracket competitors will be at Red Bank where play also is set to start at 4. Finals are scheduled to begin at 8.
"It's pretty much the same people we've had for a while," East Ridge coach and tournament director Catherine Neely said. "It's going to be a pretty good field."
Silverdale Baptist Academy was scheduled to play at Notre Dame last Thursday, but the contest was rained out. And, no, it's not baseball or softball season for TSSAA teams.
The volleyball teams were unable to play in Notre Dame's new facility because of flooding.
"Apparently a storm drain couldn't handle the runoff from the building and it backed up into our facility," Notre Dame coach Ted Hackett said.
Hackett said the match, which hasn't yet been rescheduled, couldn't be moved to the main gymnasium because it would've taken too long to set things up and put tape on the floor. But all is back to normal now because the Lady Irish hosted and defeated Bledsoe County in a District 7-AA match Monday night.
When asked if he'd been involved before with a volleyball match that was rained out, the coach said, "Not inside, no."
Heritage goes 5-0
Heritage continued its impressive start to the softball season with a 5-0 showing at the Allatoona Buccaneer Bash over the weekend. The Generals, who played Class AAAAA and AAAAAA teams in the tournament, are now 10-1 on the season.
Lauren Lawson earned three of the wins in the circle and had three doubles and five RBIs, while leadoff batter Olivia Tamewitz continued her torrid start to the season by going 12-for-18 with seven runs scored and five stolen basses. Hannah Wills and Shelby Hammontree had six and five RBIs, respectively, while Katie Pritchett was 7-of-17 with a homer.
Heritage coach Steve Chattin also announced that Jason Carter, who played prep and collegiate baseball, has joined the program as an assistant coach.
Also at the Allatoona tournament, Calhoun won its division, including 8-0 wins over Colquitt County and Cherokee.
27th Choo Choo Classic
Friday at East Ridge
4--East Ridge vs. Cleveland, East Hamilton vs. Notre Dame, Central vs. Grace Christian, Bradley Central vs. Hixson; 5--Cleveland vs. Silverdale Baptist Academy, Blessed Trinity vs. Grace Academy, Grace Christian vs. Ooltewah, Father Ryan vs. Sale Creek; 6--East Ridge vs. Silverdale, East Hamilton vs. Grace Academy, Central vs. Sullivan South, Bradley Central vs. Father Ryan; 7--Hixson vs. Sale Creek, Grace Academy vs. Notre Dame, Blessed Trinity vs. East Hamilton, Ooltewah vs. Sullivan South; 8--Bradley Central vs. Sale Creek, Central vs. Ooltewah, Blessed Trinity vs. Notre Dame, Grace Christian vs. Sullivan South; 9--Hixson vs. Father Ryan.
Friday at Red Bank
4--Red Bank vs. Warren County, Signal Mountain vs. Soddy-Daisy, Baylor vs. Walker Valley, Boyd-Buchanan vs. Chattanooga Christian; 5--Knoxville Catholic vs. Sullivan East, Coffee County vs. Science Hill, Livingston Academy vs. Walker Valley, Farragut vs. GPS; 6--Baylor vs. Elizabethton, Boyd-Buchanan vs. Farragut, Red Bank vs. Sullivan East, Science Hill vs. Soddy-Daisy; 7--Baylor vs. Livingston Academy, Chattanooga Christian vs. GPS, Knoxville Catholic vs. Warren County, Coffee County vs. Signal Mountain; 8--Red Bank vs. Knoxville Catholic, Science Hill vs. Signal Mountain, Elizabethton vs. Walker Valley, Boyd-Buchanan vs. GPS; 9--Sullivan East vs. Warren County, Coffee County vs. Soddy-Daisy, Elizabethton vs. Livingston Academy, Chattanooga Christian vs. Farragut.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.