Covenant College announced Monday that it officially has been accepted as an active member of NCAA Division III, eligible to play for postseason championships and national awards after a four-transitional period from the NAIA. "NCAA Division III is the ideal athletic affiliation for Covenant College and our athletic department," athletic director and men's basketball coach Kyle Taylor said in a release from the Lookout Mountain school. "Division III's core values align very well with our philosophy of athletics. I am grateful to everyone in our campus community who has contributed to our reclassification process. It has been an arduous four-year process, but praise God it is finally over!" Covenant officials said much of the credit should go to former AD Tami Smialek and to Laura Mlynski, who was the compliance coordinator when the process began. "The dedication of those two women to this transition laid the foundation for full membership in the NCAA that we have now achieved," associate AD Tim Sceggel said. "I want to say a special thank-you to our student-athletes for being patient through this process," Taylor said. "Their continued support, matriculation and work ethic did not go unnoticed."
• Jack Webb, a local 1975 graduate of McCallie School, was inducted last week into the University of Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame. He was the second 2013 inductee into the hall, and his wife of 30 years and their daughter and grandson were able to enjoy with him the ceremony at the UK tennis stadium. Webb was a two-year captain for the Wildcats and played No. 1 or 2 singles for three seasons, earning All-SEC honors in 1978 when he was the No. 2 singles runner-up in the league tournament. He won an SEC doubles title as a freshman.
• Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., announced the signings of two wrestlers from East Ridge High School to scholarship papers for the 2013-14 season: Kendall Small and Coby Walker. Both lettered four years for the Pioneers, with Small going 48-6 as a senior and Walker winding up his career as a captain for coach Brad Laxton. He also lettered in soccer for two years, while Small played four seasons of football and won the JROTC Cadet Challenge two years in a row. They brought the list of Bulldogs wresting recruits to 14.
• Eric Boyd from Flintstone won the $1,500 top prize in the Super Pro class Saturday night at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. The Astec Co. electrical engineer won with a 4.84-second run on a 4.83 dial in his dragster -- at 136.25 mph the fastest car in the class. Steve Dowdy from Ringgold was second with a 5.05 run on a 5.04 dial in his Chevy dragster. Veteran strip Hall of Famer L.C. Bigham from Tunnel Hill won again in the Foot Brake class with an 8.37-second run on an 8.35 dial in his 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, and his son David from Calhoun was second in a '69 Dodge. Mike Griep and Marty Goldsmith were third and fourth. Mattie Keener and Chloe Keener from Dunlap were first and second in Junior Dragster.
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