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Stephen Hargis

Stories by Stephen

The house I grew up in was in such a rural area it made Mayberry look like a metropolis. There wasn't another kid my age for miles, so sports and my imagination were how I learned to entertain myself.

Area school system builds indoor football field

New Sequatchie building covers many activities

DUNLAP, Tenn. — In the football-crazed Sequatchie Valley, where each school takes great satisfaction in one-upping its neighboring rivals, Sequatchie County High School has claimed bragging rights in facilities.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Even though the debate over a potential public/private school complete split was never mentioned openly during the two days of the TSSAA Board of Control meetings, the subject was discussed during the closed-door session, according to one board member.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Looking to simplify the state's high school football playoff scenario, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress unveiled a classification plan designed to combine the best aspects of two proposals.

The way LaQuisha Jackson sees it, all the changes she's undergone in the past year have prepared her for the biggest move of her running career.

When the TSSAA Board of Control begins its summer meetings this evening, the nine-member group will devote much of its time to discussing football classifications.

When the football season kicks off, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga won't be flying under the national radar.

Winning a state championship was not a requirement to become a finalist for the Scrappy Moore Coach of the Year award. But it certainly didn't hurt.

Four of the six finalists for this year's Scrappy Moore male Athlete of the Year award were multisport standouts, including one three-sport star. The finalists are Ringgold's Slade Dale, McCallie's C.J. Fritz, Baylor's Rafael Gaglianone, Dalton's Eder Mora, Gordon Lee's Jonathan Ragsdale and Meigs County's Levi Woods.

Six of the Chattanooga area's most accomplished female high school athletes have been named finalists for this year's Times Free Press Best of Preps Scrappy Moore Award.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — From the time he began running competitively, six years ago, Ramsay Ritchie set a goal that one day he would win a 1600-meter state championship. In his last opportunity Friday night, the McCallie senior achieved that goal, pushing himself past what he thought he had left over the final 200 meters.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — By now Tyler Davis is used to the confused glances and double-takes.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Two years removed from Tommy John elbow surgery and with soreness still tightening the muscles in his right arm after just two days' rest since his last start, McCallie senior Elliott Dockery pitched the game of his life when his team needed him most.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — One year after becoming the TSSAA's fastest sprinter by winning the 100- and 200-meter dashs and anchoring the state-championship 4x200 relay, Signal Mountain sophomore McKenzie Ethridge topped that performance with an incredible last-place finish Thursday night.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Although there has been some audible grumbling about Spring Fling event prices, the $10 all-day tickets and $5 parking fee are not new.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — By the time she was in middle school, Kate Kaufman had played seven sports.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — You don't have to watch Susan Crownover coach her GPS softball team for long before two words pop into your mind: "tenacious" and "winner."

LEBANON, Tenn. -- A four-run seventh inning pushed Memphis University School past Baylor, 6-5, in Wednesday night's loser's bracket of the Division II-AA state baseball tournament at Wilson Central High.

LEBANON, Tenn. — The hardest throw Tyler Payne made all day didn't come during his six innings of work on the mound.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A promising start to the Class A baseball tournament took a bad turn for Boyd-Buchanan on Wednesday as the Buccaneers lost two games and were eliminated.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Action continued on field across the Murfreesboro area for the second day of the Spring Fling with tennis and softball Wednesday morning. Chattanooga-area teams were set to get going in baseball, soccer and more softball this afternoon.

LEBANON, Tenn. — In the end the game was decided from John Hennen's rear end.

LEBANON, Tenn. — The way he took care of his business on the mound, it was almost as if Baylor freshman Gavin Roberson was trying to finish before curfew.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The bottom of the order kept finding a way to get on base, and the top of the order did its job to drive those runners home.

Despite a better total score than she won with last year, Baylor's Selena Popp was unable to repeat her Division II pentathlon state championship, finishing third overall Monday at Middle Tennessee State University.

The starter's gun not only signifies the beginning of today's pentathlon and the Spring Fling state tournament, but is also the first step of a very busy week for Baylor's Selena Popp. The junior will attempt to become the first track & field athlete in school history to repeat as pentathlon state champion when that event kicks off the week-long Spring Fling today at Middle Tennessee State University.

The biggest issue facing high school sports in more than a decade is still months from being decided, but if the Chattanooga area is any indication there is a clear consensus on the public-school/private-school debate.

An already talent-laden McCallie School junior class just added another gifted football prospect. Junior cornerback/receiver Nygel Edmonds, who played at Atlanta's Westminster last season and is rated a four-star recruit by, has transferred to McCallie and will be eligible this season.

The television analysts were still discussing the late-round picks in the just-completed NFL draft when B.J. Coleman's cell phone buzzed last Saturday night. On the other end a New York Jets assistant coach asked if Coleman would be interested in attending a team workout, and just like that the former McCallie and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga star again had his NFL hopes rekindled.

Even on cruise control, C.J. Fritz remained several steps ahead of the competition.

For the second time in less than a week the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletic department received good news for its athletes' academic accomplishments. When the NCAA released the latest Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday afternoon, a total of 12 UTC programs had perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 and all 17 athletic programs were well above the NCAA minimum of 930.

For the second time in less than a week the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletic department received good news for its athletes' academic accomplishments. When the NCAA released the latest APR report Wednesday afternoon, a total of 12 UTC programs had perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 and all 17 athletic programs were well above the NCAA minimum of 930.

Much like Bo Jackson was in football, McCallie's Tons Ferguson may be better at his "hobby" than his preferred sport of baseball.

WHITWELL, Tenn. — Clinging to its final out in its final at-bat, Whitwell seemed to be on the verge of ending its softball season Monday.

As well as things have gone on the athletic field for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recently, there was even more success in the classroom.

Two of the area's traditional powers will take center stage at Finley Stadium to begin the 2014 high school football season.

Former Ooltewah High and University of Tennessee defender Jacques Smith was taken as an undrafted free agent by the Atlanta Falcons just moments after the NFL draft ended Saturday evening.

While some area teams are still competing for spots in the spring state championship tournaments, arguably the area's best example of the grit and determination that makes high school sports so compelling had her athletic career end on a dusty softball field this past Tuesday.

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — It took just one inning for Whitwell to re-establish itself as the dominant softball team in District 6-A.

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — After going an entire regular season without losing to another Class A team, Whitwell's softball team was just four outs from suffering its second such loss in as many days, and to the same opponent.

WHITWELL, Tenn. — It was the bottom of the order that helped South Pittsburg finish on top of the District 6-A baseball tournament.

DUNLAP, Tenn. — As if reclaiming the District 7-AA tournament championship weren't sweet enough, the Sequatchie County softball team did so by beating archrival Bledsoe County for a third time this season Monday evening.

WHITWELL, Tenn. — For five innings Chase White kept reminding himself to be patient.

A strong collection of field-events athletes helped propel Gordon Lee to its first Class A girls' track and field state championship Saturday at Albany, Ga.

In a matter of months Nicolette Gordon has gone from knowing nothing at all about pole vaulting to become one of the best in the state in her classification. The Chattanooga Christian School junior took up the sport only after two knee surgeries forced her to end an eight-year gymnastics career.

It was while walking off the Finley Stadium turf, before he even had processed the just-completed Blue/Gold spring game two weeks ago, that University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman began grousing.

As his players trotted into the dugout for their fifth-inning turn at bat, Dade County baseball coach Brent Cooper gave some obvious but sobering instruction.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's football program again has benefited from a former Navy commitment's decision to transfer.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Her day's work began around 1 in the afternoon, but a little more than six hours later, standing in her warmup suit and cheering on teammates, Baylor senior Selena Popp looked as if she had barely broken a sweat.

Before the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's spring workouts, Times Free Press reporter Stephen Hargis posed five questions that coaches hoped to answer by the conclusion of their allotted 15 practices.

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