Athletics News



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icon Seniors  lead UH softball to new heights


April 10th, 2014 9:21 pm by


University High is on pace for its best year ever in softball, sporting an  18-3 record at the midway point of the season.

The Lady Bucs had the best record (6-1) of any local team in last weekend's  Eastman Invitational tournament in Kingsport, although their only loss came at a  bad time, a Round of 16 elimination game against Daniel Boone.

The Lady Bucs are led by a senior class which has the experience of two  straight state tournament appearances and a first ever win at the state last  season.

"That group has come together really well," University High head coach Keith  Jeffers said. "One of the things that is helping us right now is their  experience. They've been there and done that.

"But, we've got a long ways to go. We just have to prepare and keep getting  better every game."

Barrett Wherry is a strong-armed center fielder and also the team's leadoff  batter. She is among the team leaders in both RBIs and runs scored, although  Wherry is best known for her performance at last season's state tournament. She  hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and accounted for six RBIs in an 11-5  victory over South Fulton. The victory at the Murfreesboro Starplex was the  program's first ever in the Class A tournament.

"My home runs were great, but I loved that we were able to win as a team,"  Wherry said. "It was exciting to win our first game ever at state. We have  everyone back from that team but our starting pitcher, so we've gotten closer  than we were last year.".

Taylor Treadway is a third baseman whom her coach said has a glove like a  vacuum cleaner at times. She's also pretty effective on the offensive end with a  team-leading 25 runs scored. She also ranks third in RBIs behind Ari Ramsaran  and Wherry. More than stats, Treadway said chemistry and commitment set this  senior group apart from so many other teams.

"I think all the seniors are pretty close and all of us are really  committed," Treadway said. "All of us know what we are capable of, so we know  the goals set for us."

A big goal is a return to the state, although their head coach said that  alone will not determine how successful this season is. He wants them to simply  focus on one game at a time.

It's a strategy that has worked so far with UH piling up wins against several  larger schools including victories over David Crockett and Tennessee High from  the Big Seven Conference.

"We're very confident going into any game," Treadway said. "We know what  we're capable of and we never go into a game intimidated. Their school might be  bigger than ours, but it doesn't mean they're better."

Belle Bright, the talented catcher, fractured her thumb and wrist catching a  foul ball on Saturday and didn't get to play in the Boone loss. She is expected  to recover from the injury and be back on the field in three weeks. She is  certainly a big prescence for University High, the team leader with eight  doubles. She also ranks second on the team in both on-base percentage and  slugging percentage.

Most important has been her job on the defensive end, catching for Johnson  City Press All-Northeast Tennessee selection Haley Faulkner last season and for  Tanner Horton, who has compiled a 16-3 record so far this season.

Bright explained that catching for each of them presented different  challenges.

"Haley is more speed, while Tanner is more movement," Bright said. "Tanner  just hits her spots really well. But, both are really good pitchers."

Kutu Hall is more of a role player, but she's made the most of limited  opportunities with a .421 on-base percentage. Behind the scenes, coaches and  teammates say she plays a valuable role making sure everyone is prepared and  ready to go.

"I try to make sure everyone is at a good place with their attitudes," Hall  said. "It matters what you carry on to the field with how you play. Attitude is  everything in this sport. We've had a couple of rough patches, but we've been  able to come together and play as a team when we've needed to."

Attitude is something that Bright emphasized as well.

She explained how the Lady Bucs have more confidence than a season ago, and  with that she feels they have a better overall team.

Overall, the class has been a part of 89 wins as well as last year's historic  postseason run. Right fielder Sarah Higginbotham is proud of how the group has  helped elevate an already good UH program, which has five state tournament  appearances over the last nine years, to the next level.

"Keith and (assistant coach) Joe (DeGroat) have been the best coaches,"  Higginbotham said. "All the seniors have been working hard to get to this point.  Overall, we have a good starting nine and some good back-ups. We're really proud  of how far we've come."

© 2014 Johnson City Press 


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U-High pounds Unaka

March 31st, 2014 8:58 pm by


pictureThe University High softball team wasted no time taking care of business.

The Lady Bucs got off to a fast start against Unaka and cruised to a 10-0  victory in five innings Monday evening at Indian Trail Middle School.

Junior pitcher Tanner Horton gave up just two hits, and University High  scored all 10 runs in the first inning to improve to 11-2 overall and 3-0 in the  Watauga Valley Conference.

Lead-off batter Barrett Wherry got things going right away with a blooper to  left field. She later added a two-run single, ending the day 2-for-3 with two  RBIs and two runs scored.

"It meant a lot for us to jump on them early," Wherry said. "We kind of came  into it, thinking we've got this, but I'm glad we took care of it early and  didn't have to go seven innings. "

Unaka fell to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. After a rough first inning  which included starter Chelsea Grubb giving up eight hits and the defense  committing two errors, the Lady Rangers settled down the rest of the game. Sarah  Hardin gave up just two hits and one walk over the next three innings.

"We're young, starting four freshman," Unaka coach Dayton Buckles said. "Both  of our pitchers are freshmen. We were trying something a little different. The  second pitcher we brought in, she's been our starter, but she's been nervous at  the start of some games. We thought it might help to switch, but we got down too  far off the bat."

Much of it had to do with what was coming off University High's bats.

Horton hit a double and single in the first inning and ended 2-for-3   with three RBIs.

"It was a good day," Horton said. "We've been working really hard at the  beginning of the season, and everything is working out. We're happy where we are  right now."

Adding to the big inning, Taylor Treadway belted a two-run double, and Ari  Ramsaran came through with a two-run single. Eight players in the Lady Bucs'  starting lineup scored runs in the first inning including Belle Bright, Molle  Cohee, Sarah Higginbottom, Lexi Crouthers and Madi Freeman.

"We really hit the ball well that first inning," UH head coach Keith Jeffers  said. "We've done a lot of work on making contact with the ball and they were  able to accomplish that, at least in the first inning. I don't know what  happened after that."

The lack of additional runs didn't matter as the Lady Bucs' defense took care  of the rest. Wherry, playing in center field, made a quick throw to second base  to get Unaka's Shanda Matheson out on a fielder's choice for the first out of  the third inning.

Despite losing the base runner, the Lady Rangers were able to get Jessie  Matheson to third base and Lexi Perry to second later in the third inning.  However, Horton shut down the scoring threat with a 1-3 ground out.

In one sense, it was simply doing what was expected by a UH program which has  reached the state tournament in three of the last four years. So far this  season, the Lady Bucs' only losses have come to Class AAA White County and to  Class AA Carter in the championship game of the Gordonsville  tournament.

Jeffers believes another tournament this weekend in Kingsport will reveal to  him exactly how far his team has come this season.

"This  weekend in the Eastman (Invitational) is going to determine a  lot," he said. "We're going to play a lot of tough teams outside this area, as  well as Crockett and a couple of other teams. But, I'm pleased with where we're  at right now."

University  School vs Unaka softball  Image Gallery

April 1st, 2014 11:55 pm by Dave  Boyd






© 2014 Johnson City Press




Link to Video of Softball and Baseball game reports from April 1, 2014



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University  High has no trouble with Highlanders

April 1st, 2014 10:53 pm by Douglas  Fritz

pictureUniversity High could have been caught in a cat-nap situation, but instead  the Buccaneers took things seriously and went about their baseball business.

With the odd statistic of 30 baserunners and only eight official at-bats  where outs were recorded, UH pounded Cloudland 20-0 in a Watauga Valley  Conference game Tuesday at Thomas Stadium.

UH had 15 hits, received 10 walks, got hit by pitches twice, reached on a  error three times, had three sacrifice flies, and added one sacrifice bunt. The  Bucs improved to 3-3 in league play and 5-6 overall.

(For Twitter videos of the game, and a post-game interview with Logan  Metcalf, follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz).

On Monday in Roan Mountain, the Bucs took the first of the two-game series  with an 11-1 decision. They could have taken the winless Highlanders lightly in  the rematch, but instead were patient at the plate.

"It was really hard, but we tried to come in like it was against North  Greene," said Metcalf, who had a three-RBI performance. "We wanted to come in  and play as hard as we could. We got an eye on the ball and started to hit."

One of the highlights of the game was Metcalf's inside-the-park home run. He  slashed a line-drive-would-be double to right-center field and it got to the  fence. With the generous amount of turf at Thomas Stadium, Metcalf went wheels  up around the bases — much to the delight of his teammates.

It was that kind of day for the Bucs, who listened to the advice of head  coach Josh Petty.

"We've been preaching that we've got to keep the ball below our hands," said  Petty. "We want hard ground balls and line drives."

UH got those early and often. The Bucs plated seven first-inning runs as Nick  Sewell started things with a leadoff triple. Ben Jackson drove him in, and  Dayshawn Hamilton later added an RBI single.

Skylar Miller added an RBI hit, and Luke Willoughby plated two runs with a  single.

In the third inning, UH struck for a five spot. Metcalf and Andrew Bishop  drove in runs with sacrifice flies, and Nick Walley had a two-run single.

In a seven-run fourth inning, Jordan Sell had a two-run double while Brent  Fields added an RBI double.

Hamilton finished with three hits while Miller and Metcalf had two  apiece.

On the mound, Jackson (2-1) was steady for three innings and earned the win.  He allowed three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

After a pair of league setbacks to North Greene, UH has won three of four  conference games. The Bucs step outside of the league and play host to Johnson  County on Thursday, and then meet Happy Valley in a doubleheader Friday with all  of those games at Thomas Stadium.

"It will be simple baseball," said Petty. "The pitchers need to throw  strikes, we need to make the routine plays, and we need timely hits."

Noah Arnett had a double to pace Cloudland.

University  School vs Cloudland baseball  Image Gallery

April 2nd, 2014 1:00 am by Dave  Boyd


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© 2014 Johnson City Press


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The following pictures were published in the Johnson City News and Neighbor (772nd  Edition 3.15.14-3.21.14).

  (click on pictures below to display large image)

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iconMiddle School Soccer players -- do you want to play outdoor soccer? Do you want to play with your University School friends?  So do we!  We are getting a team of players from University School to play in the FCDallasTri Johnson City Recreational League.  Here are the details:

  • 6      week program beginning in March
  • Games      are held on Saturdays beginning at 9:00am and practices are Tues or Thurs      beginning at 5:30 pm (based on enrollment)
  •  All ages 8 v 8 game format with off sides to play 2 -      25 min halves with a 5 minute half time
  • Teams      are required to have a parent coach and roster a minimum of 12 players or      be assigned individually, boys,girls or coed.
  • Shin guards required ,      no metal or steal cleats. Current FIFA rules apply with some      modifications.
  •  At practice, bring your own BALL.
  •  On game days, bring a WHITE or GRAY jersey AND a      BLUE or GREEN jersey.

If you would like to play with some of the players from University School, you need to do TWO things:

1 .  Go to       to register by this Saturday, March 8th.   You will see a box on the right hand side that says "2014 Recreational Spring Registration".  Select that box and follow the instructions.  Be sure to select the" 2014 Spring Recreational Johnson City" option.  The option will show up after you select the age group (as long as they are U14 or less).

2.  Let Beth Strickler know at   that you are registering.  We need 12 players to be classified as a team - so let your friends know.  We can have both boys and girls play on the same team.

Thanks! Feel free to contact Beth Strickler () with any questions.  Let's play some soccer!



icon Lacrosse League Opportunity (Printable Flyer)






Congratulations to our Bucs Basketball teams on a great season!  Marcus Taylor made the District 1-A All-tournament team.  Lady Bucs Lexi Crouthers and Taylor Treadway also made All-Conference team.


team pictureOur Middle School Girls finished the season as the "Washington County Seventh Grade Tournament Champions"!!!   Proud of our Bucs!!!!









banner HS Boys Basketball

 icon Junior Bucs hold off Cloudland

January 10th, 2014 11:41 pm by Trey  Williams


pictureUniversity High is temporarily without point guard Luke Willoughby and  shooting guard Joseph Phillips, but it still has quite a backcourt in Marcus  Taylor. The 5-foot-9 senior overcame constant attention from Cloudland to  score 25 points, including 11-of-12 foul shooting in the fourth quarter, and the  Junior Bucs pulled away for a 57-49 Watauga Valley Conference victory Friday at  Brooks Gym.

Four of Taylor's free throws came compliments of two Cloudland  technical fouls in the final 63 seconds after Brady Horton's two free throws had  given UH (2-3, 8-9) a 50-41 lead.

Taylor put the finishing touches on the  victory with a crowd-pleasing driving dish to Horton for a lay-in that made it  54-41 with 47 seconds left.

Horton and fellow senior frontcourt players Nate  Berning and Jordan Evans were instrumental in victory, according to Taylor. They  combined for 10 blocks. Horton had 14 rebounds and four blocks. Berning had five  blocks and Evans had nine rebounds.

"They made it tough on me but everybody  played so well around me, and that was important to the outcome," Taylor said. "Those blocked shots are something that are invaluable. They came through really  big for us." Taylor scored four of his five field goals and 14 points in the  first half, including a pair of free throws with 4.5 seconds left in the second  quarter that gave UH a 26-18 halftime lead.

"We thought they'd do a lot to  limit his touches and they did a pretty good job of that," UH coach Justin  Penley said. "Some other guys that have been role players took it upon  themselves to impact the game in a positive way. I thought our posts played  well. I thought Brady really provided a spark for us. Cloudland usually does a  good job on the glass. We had to take advantage of that size in the  post."

The Highlanders (2-2, 7-11), who were led by guard Austin Whitehead's  16 points, opened the third quarter with a 10-run that gave them a 28-26 lead on  Zack Benfield's transition basket that Whitehead assisted with 5:51 left in the  period. But Taylor answered with four straight points, including an  18-footer.

"We came out flat," Cloudland coach Gary Harrison said. "They  outplayed us the first half and we never recovered from it. We've gotta become  more mentally tough. If you don't play four quarters in this league you're gonna  lose. "He (Taylor) is a great player and we knew that coming in. ... He can  singlehandedly beat you."

Dustin Estes scored 14 points for the Junior Bucs,  who made 29 of 39 free throws.

Cloudland was 14 of 24 at the line.

Preston  Ongtengco's 3-pointer via a two-dribble pull-up gave UH the lead for good  (43-41) with 2:50 left. He dove to force a turnover at the other end 27 seconds  later.

"I thought we played really well defensively and we were able to get  to the free throw line and convert," Penley said. "Down the stretch I thought we  played smart."

UH was 2 for 16 from 3-point range. Taylor made the other  trey.

Colby Birchfield scored 11 points for Cloudland. Jesse Potter added  eight.

Cloudland at University School basketball  Gallery
January 12th, 2014 11:55 pm by Dave  Boyd

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banner HS Girls Basketball

Cloudland (girls)   54
University High    40

Haley Johnson scored 15 points and point guard Courtney Clarke had  14 points and five assists to help the Lady Highlanders (2-2, 17-3) outlast the  fired-up Lady Junior Bucs.

Taylor Treadway's 10-foot baseline shot went  halfway down before spinning out with around 4:45 remaining, It would've cut  Cloudland's lead to 46-39, Instead, Clarke found Johnson for a transition basket  that made it 48-37 with 4:25 to go.

University High coach Rayne Price  credited Clarke as Cloudland's catalyst. "We wanted to stay between her and  the basket and make her a shooter," Price said. "She does a good job of making  them go."

Barrett Wherry scored 14 points for University High (0-5, 5-10).  Treadway and Brie Nikolous added 10 and eight, respectively.

The University High  starters played 159 of 160 minutes. "I was real encouraged by how they played  tonight," Price said. "It's hard to be mad when the girls are playing that hard,  especially when they (starters) are playing (basically) the whole  game."

Forward Courtney Wilson scored 12 points for Cloudland.

© 2014 Johnson City Press


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icon Taylor's 38 points lift Jr. Bucs to win         

November 30th, 2013 8:14 pm by Jeff Birchfield


Both head coaches agreed: Marcus Taylor was the difference for University High against Happy Valley.

Taylor scored 37 points to lift the Junior Bucs to a 68-65 victory over the Warriors in the opening game of Saturday action at the 24th annual Hardee's Classic basketball tournament at David Crockett High School.

In the fifth-place game, Daniel Boone rallied from 14 points to beat Cherokee in overtime and Greeneville beat Unaka for seventh-place.

Taylor had 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a rare 4-point play, to put the Junior Bucs ahead in a game which featured six second-half ties and 10 lead changes.

"I'm just glad it was enough," Taylor said as the Junior Bucs improved to 2-4.

"We needed a win, and I was just lucky I hit enough to win the game. We lost a tough game to Unaka the other night that was kind of the same way. Today, we were down in the fourth quarter, but we came back and won. That's promising for us.

We needed it."University High's coach Justin Penley had plenty of his praise for his 5-foot-9 senior guard's efforts against the Warriors (1-7).

"The difference in that game was that Marcus played on our team and not theirs," Penley said. "Marcus definitely came to play tonight. He made enough plays at the end to pull it out for us."

For the Warriors, it was a better showing after losing by double digits in each of their first two Hardee's Classic games. Happy Valley had a chance to send it into overtime, missing a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. "I thought our effort level was much better than the last two games," HV head coach Chuck Babb said.

"Mistakes were more limited. We made two or three in the last two minutes that were critical, but all in all, I was much happier with the effort.

"Taylor, we knew who he was when we got here, and two of our timeouts were spent talking about him and what they were going to do to get him the ball. But, he's a great player and credit to him how he made some big shots down the stretch.

"Happy Valley emerged from the first quarter with a 14-12 lead.

After University High led most of the second quarter, the Warriors regained the lead on a Josh Hammonds bucket. Nathan Kyte knocked down a 12-foot jumper at the buzzer to give HV a 26-23 lead at the half.

The Junior Bucs had their own buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter, when Luke Willoughby knocked down a 3-pointer to close within 42-40 heading into the final eight minutes.Willoughby gave University High the lead for good with a 3-point play to put the Junior Bucs up 64-61 in a second half.

Still, it came down to that final buzzer, which Penley said will serve his team well once they get to league play.

"Often times, it comes down not to coaching as much as guys making plays," he said. "Night in and night out, you know you're going to face solid game plans and guys are going to put their guys in spots. Hopefully, your guys make plays more than the other team."

Joseph Phillips added 15 points and nine rebounds in the University High victory.

Tyler Marlowe led Happy Valley with 18 points, while Corey Matherly posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Young matched the rebounding total, while freshman Austin Hicks scored nine points for the Warriors.

© 2013 Johnson City Press




icon UH back on top in Region 1-A/AA cross country

October 24th, 2013 8:41 pm by   

pictureUniversity High captured the Region 1-A/AA boys' cross country championship on Thursday at Daniel Boone High School for its first regional title since 2009.

Noah Jones (17:25) and Levi Carter (17:44) had individual finishes of sixth and seventh as the Junior Bucs finished ahead of runner-up Sullivan East 56-69 in the team standings.

"We were really struggling early in the season, but the boys worked hard to turn it around," UH coach Dee Perry said. "I've got to thank Landon Milhorn, the former ETSU runner who has been helping coach the boys. They responded well to Landon, but they worked hard and wanted to win this. They wanted us to bring that championship plaque back home again.

"A mixture of youth and experience was needed to haul in the prize. Freshman Zach Branham finished 10th (18:09), while seniors Hayden Simmons and Tanner Smith placed 15th and 18th in the individual standings.

"My fifth boy, I'm really proud of him," Perry said. "Tanner had a stress fracture and he's not even run since Sept. 15. He was tough. Without Tanner, he wouldn't have made it today.

"Wesley Pectol of Greeneville easily captured the individual title with his time of 15:44, nearly 23 seconds ahead of runner-up Zach Long of Grainger. Pectol enjoyed being out front at the Daniel Boone course where he hasn't always had the best times.

"It was a good race and it felt good," Pectol said. "I like this course, but the funny thing is I never ran very well on it the past three years. I don't know what it was, but I just felt so much better on this course today.

"Addie Leonard made it a Greeneville sweep of the individual titles with her run of 20:32, placing her 31 seconds ahead of teammate Hannah Rhodes.

As a result, Greeneville won the girls' team competition 34-61 over Sullivan East with University High third with 82 points. 

Elizabethton's Maci Shell finished third individually at 21:30, and Whitley True of Unicoi County finished 10th (22:38) to make her the final individual to qualify for the state meet.

University High's Cora Allison finished one spot behind Shell in fourth. Others who scored for the Lady Bucs were: Olivia Augsburger (eighth), Rebekah Owen (12th), Ashley Daniel (20th) and Makenzie Taylor (44th).

"I'm really proud of my girls," Perry said. "We came into today with only two (runners) from varsity. The other three were eighth-graders we moved up after their eighth-grade race. That's all we had." 

© 2013 Johnson City Press


icon Junior Lady Bucs fall in region semis


October 22nd, 2013 9:24 pm by

pictureWhen two teams can't score in soccer, they stop playing the full-field game and reduce the action to penalty kicks.

For University High, it was a season-ending miniaturization.

Chuckey-Doak defeated the Lady Junior Bucs by an official final score of 1-0, outscoring them 4-3 on penalty kicks in the Region 1-A/AA semifinals Tuesday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.

UH finished its year at 8-5 while Doak improved to 9-6-2 and advanced to Thursday's title game against Greeneville, which defeated Sullivan South, 4-1

What set up the PK drama was two 40-minute periods of scoreless soccer, followed by two 10-minute periods of the same. Then after a pair of 5-minute sudden death periods, the teams lined up and took their shots on goal.

Savannah Wexler connected for UH first, but Doak answered.

After each team missed — with UH getting a nice save from goalkeeper Taylor Treadway — Belle Bright's shot sizzled inside the left post for a 2-1 advantage.

Doak fought back for the tie, but Aubrey Campbell pushed the Junior Bucs back in front.

Again, Doak answered to make it 3-3.

When Lady Black Knights' goalkeeper Beth Ann Burns denied UH's fifth attempt, the game was in the hands of Doak's Alicia Phillips.

"You know it's do or die, and you know it's all on the line," said Phillips.

"I had given 100 percent on the field, and I knew no matter what happened we could hold our heads high. I was thinking all glory to God because we gave 100 percent.

"In practice, Phillips said her PK attempts always go to the same spot: left corner. Phillips took a rip and planted it inside the left post, leaving UH stunned and touching off a Chuckey-Doak celebration.

"I have a superstition you can feel the ball is going in when you kick it," said Phillips. "So I had confidence it was going in."

Treadway couldn't pull off her second PK stop, but it was her play in goal that got the Junior Bucs that deep into the game. She made a pair of terrific saves in the second half to keep the Black Knights scoreless.

"She has tremendous heart," said UH assistant coach Caitlyn Epps. "She's had back trouble, and she has been on crutches and laying in bed. But there was no question she was going to play tonight.

"UH had its chances in regulation play, but couldn't get its best shots on frame. Three times the shots were high, and two of them just barely went over the crossbar.

"We were pretty unlucky the whole game," said Epps. "And it was a sloppy game for us. We didn't put more than a couple of passes together. We weren't creative with the ball.

"The end of the game was spotlighted, but Epps said UH didn't really lose the contest at that point."We told the players at the end of the game it wasn't their fault," said Epps. "It was up to us to score earlier. Every person on the team was to blame."And the coaches were to blame. We didn't have the team as ready as we should have. (Penalty kicks) was a hard position to be in."

© 2013 Johnson City Press



 High School Girls Soccer


Wexler's late goal lifts Junior Bucs

October 15th, 2013 9:46 pm by

pictureELIZABETHTON — After a career total of 101 goals, none was sweeter for Savannah Wexler than this one.

With just 62 seconds left in regulation, the University High senior delivered a 20-yard sizzler just under the crossbar to give the Lady Junior Bucs a 1-0 victory over Elizabethton in the District 1-A/AA soccer semifinals at Rider Field on Tuesday night. It was a season-ender for the Lady Cyclones (8-10) while UH (7-4) advanced to Thursday's championship game against Sullivan South at 4:30 p.m. in Kingsport.

"This was the best goal I've scored," said Wexler. "It was the most meaningful." In a contest that seemed destined for overtime, Wexler caught a nice pass from Maya Houston in the middle of the field. Immediately it was clear the Lady Cyclones were in trouble. Wexler struck the ball solidly and kept it high enough to prevent a play from Elizabethton's goalkeeper.

"Because I've played soccer so long, I can tell when the ball is going in," said Wexler. "On that shot, the minute I struck it I knew it was going in the goal.

"God gave me the ability to score. I was happy to put it in."

After a scoreless first half where Elizabethton couldn't finish a couple of really nice chances, the Lady Junior Bucs controlled possession most of the second half. But UH couldn't get ball into the net.

University High head coach Victor Chirica said his team won because of effort. "I think we really tried hard to win this game," said Chirica. "We fought the whole game, beginning to end. We knew if we lost, the season was over for us. The girls gave 100 percent." UH won many of the 50-50 balls, and that was one of the differences, said Cyclones' head coach Bill McClay.

"They were quicker to most of the 50-50 balls," said McClay. "Hats off to them. They physically won the match. We played Tennessee High a couple of days ago, and we won most of the 50-50 balls. It's hard to understand why we didn't tonight. We just didn't have that extra gear." McClay said the game's lone goal was just one of those things.

"It's the way the ball bounces," he said. "But we didn't do a great job of thinking, 'Hey, I've got to clear the ball now.'

" Wexler said she believes her team still has some postseason noise to make. "If we play like we did tonight, I think we have a chance to go a long way," said Wexler. "We came close the last time against Sullivan South, but lost in the last two minutes."

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Link to pictures
Lady Cyclones vs University Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press

© 2013 Johnson City Press


banner Cross Country Victory at State Qualifier!

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iconCross Country Victory!  A big congratulations to both our Boys and Girls Middle School Cross Country teams who competed in the regional meet on Saturday October 12th. The boys team walked away with a fourth place finish with Jeb Jones placing 2nd overall and Pablo Rivas finishing 13th. The remaining boys demonstrated pack running at its finest to help the Junior Bucs advance to state. The girls team was lead by Cora Allison who placed 7th overall and Bekah Owen followed by Breanna Fee, Ashley Daniels, Camilla Rivas, and Calli Newberry. All the Junior Buc Ladies had a strong day to get the team to a fifth place finish which allowed the team to advance to state. Both teams will compete in Knoxville for the State Meet on Saturday, October 19th.  Congrats to both teams on a job well done!



banner Cross Country News

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Congratulations to our Cross Country teams who competed in the Hagan Stone Cross Country Meet in North Carolina.  Middle School Boys Team came in 3rd, Jeb Jones came in 7th, Pablo Rivas came in 13th overall,  and Cora Allison came in 7th overall for Girls.  Way to go, Bucs!!!

banner   High School Girls Soccer News

icon University High Lady Bucs played Elizabethton Lady Cyclones

UNIVERSITY HIGH WINS September 3rd, 2013

Lee Talbert Press Photo Editor

September 3rd, 2013 11:42 pm by Lee Talbert

University High Lady Bucs played Elizabethton Lady Cyclones at the Civitan Park Soccer Complex in Johnson City Tuesday evening. (Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)

University High beat Elizabethton 2-0 in girls' soccer on Tuesday.

Lady Bucs top Elizabethton

Savannah Wexler scored a goal and assisted on another as the University High girls soccer team defeated Elizabethton 2-0 in a conference match Tuesday night at Civitan Park.

Wexler, who scored on an assist from Sarah Robinson, helped out on Maya Houston's goal. Taylor Treadway got the shut out in goal. Centerback Gracie Gregg helped out on defense.

University High improved to 4-1 and 1-0 in the league, and plays again Thursday night against Tennessee High at Civitan Park.

Above, University High's Alayna Smith controls the ball.
Above, UH's Michaela Lane moves in for a tackle on Elizabethton's Olivia Bell.
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 © 2013 Johnson City Press



Athletic News:  Congratulations to our Track Team on a great showing for the Frank Carver Invitational meet .  Jarrod Smith won 1st place in Pole Vault, with Salter Blowers taking 2nd place!!!!!  Proud of our Running, Climbing, Leaping Bucs!!!!! 

Also, our High School Boys Soccer team claimed victory over Elizabethton and our High School Girls Softball team defeated South Greene, 6-3!!!! 


  banner HS Boys Soccer


UH on  right track in reshaped A-AA soccer


April 11th, 2014 9:56 pm by

University High and Elizabethton used to be on an island, and therefore were  forced by the TSSAA to join up with teams like Greeneville, Grainger and  Cumberland Gap for a far-flung soccer region.

Now the Cyclones and Buccaneers have their own little league since Sullivan  South moved to the Class A-AA ranks.

Right now, the Rebels (1-0-1) and Buccaneers (1-0-1) have the upper hand in  league play over the Cyclones (0-2-0). But each of the teams will play again,  and then they will do it all over in the district tournament.

Here's an update look at University High and Elizabethton:

University High

The Buccaneers have struggled a bit against the bigger schools, but where it  counts they are right on track.

UH defeated Elizabethton in a recent match, and earlier this season played to  a 1-1 tie against Sullivan South. Head coach Victor Chirica said his team should  have had the win against the Rebels.

"We hit the post twice, and we pretty much dominated the game," said Chirica.  "They had a free kick from about 30 yards away in the last minute and a half of  the game, and they were very lucky the ball went over our goalkeeper and went  in. It was pretty much the only chance they had."

Leading the way for UH, which has a record of 2-3-1 overall, is a strong and  consistent defense. Seniors Johnny Burke and Alex Destefano join Logan Webb to  create a wall in front of goalkeeper Luke Wexler.

"I like what I see," said Chirica. "They work together really well, and they  know each other. They've played together for quite some time. They understand  the game."

In the midfield, Chirica relies on two of the team's top players: senior  Wesley Ongtengco and junior Lowell Williams.

"They help the team a lot," said Chirica. "They control the ball very well,  and they are very skillful players. They are technique players. I've been  blessed to have them in there, and I'm very happy with the job they do."

Up top, sophomore Dani Houston has been the main man.

"He's good with both feet," said Chirica. "He's a very technical player."

Overall, Chirica said he feels good about the way his team is performing.

"I feel pretty confident," he said. "But you never know how the kids are  going to play. One day they are good, and the next day they aren't.

"We need to work on communication on the field, and be more disciplined. We  need to be more serious about the game."

Chirica said he expects a tougher game if his team meets Elizabethton again,  and Greeneville is once again expected to be the top team in the region.

© 2014 Johnson City Press


banner  HS Girls Softball

Congratulations to our Lady Bucs Softball team on a fantastic showing in the Eastman Tournament! 
Thursday: UH 3, Crockett 2
                 UH 2, Murfreesboro-Oakland 1

Saturday:  UH 7, Union County 5
                  UH 8, Tennessee High 1
                  UH 17, Pendleton County 0
                  UH  2, Cookeville 1

Sunday:  Daniel Boone 8, UH 1

Wow!!!! Great Games, Lady Bucs!!!!!!!



banner HS Girls Basketball



icon Unaka  vs Universtiy School Ladies basketball

December 31st, 2013 11:55 pm by Dave  Boyd



Cloudland  wins JC Honda Invitational

December 30th, 2013 11:11 pm by Jeff  Birchfield

...University High 47, Unaka 43

Taylor Treadway scored 18 points as  the Lady Bucs (5-9) held off a late Unaka rally for the win over their  conference foe.

Shanda Matheson hit a 3-point goal to pull the Lady Rangers  (5-12) within two points with 15 seconds left.

On the next possession, UH's  Barrett Wherry got a loose ball out of a scramble and scored on a lay-up to put  the game away. Wherry ended with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds,  while Lexi Crouthers had a 15-point effort.

"When we play with enthusiasm and  energy, I like how we play as a team," UH coach Rayne Price said.

"Taylor had  been struggling behind the perimeter, but she's coming around. Barrett had a  great game, a double-double as she was rebounding the ball really well. She did  a good job on (Brandi) Ensor when we needed her the most."

Ensor and  Jessie Matheson scored a dozen points apiece to lead Unaka. The Lady Rangers  trailed 18-9 after one quarter, but scored 11 straight to take the lead.

UH  responded with the next eight points to go ahead 26-20. They led the rest of the  way.


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bannerHS Boys Basketball

icon Crockett beats Devils at Hardee's         

November 26th, 2013 11:00 pm by Jeff Birchfield

Unaka   74 University High   70

The Rangers (4-4) went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 64 seconds after the Junior Bucs (1-4) had erased a 17-point deficit.

Unaka held a 29-13 lead over University High 29-13 in the first quarter and 45-33 at halftime.

Logan Carrier led Unaka's charge over its Watauga Valley Conference rival with 27 points. Alex Baltaji worked the interior for 25 points. In the final minute, freshman point guard Joe Searfoss and senior forward Eli Rasnick were perfect from the free-throw line.

"I keep saying if these guys will stay together and be all in with what we want to get done, we will be pretty good," Unaka head coach Aaron Dugger said.

"We just have to keep getting better. The main thing right now is our shot selection when we have a big lead. If we clean that up, we're going to be all right."

Marcus Taylor tallied 27 points, including six shots behind the 3-point line, and Joseph Phillips came through with 15 for University High.

Still trailing by a dozen heading into the final quarter, the Junior Bucs went on a 16-2 run to briefly take the lead.

"What it really boils down to is Unaka was ready to play tonight and we weren't," UH head coach Justin Penley said.

"We went through the motions and weren't sharp early. By the time we woke up and started doing good things, we had spotted them too much. Give Unaka credit, when we briefly took the lead, they made the plays down the stretch to get the win."

© 2013 Johnson City Press

bannerHS Boys Basketball

icon Boone, Crockett take Hardee’s openers        

November 25th, 2013 10:51 pm by Jeff Birchfield

David Crockett   66 University High 52

The Pioneers (5-1) scored seven points in the last 15 seconds of the third quarter to pull away from the Junior Bucs (1-3) in the nightcap.

Before then, University High had cut a 14-point Crockett lead in half.

"That's what you play for, those 6-0 to 8-0 runs," Pioneers head coach John Good said.

"If you can get one of those each quarter, at the end of the game, you've got a lead. The kids just really got it. It's one of those things when you score, you play better defense."

Sophomore guard Patrick Good led the way for the Pioneers with a 22-point performance, including six points in an 11-2 run to put the game away in the final quarter. Luke Hopson tallied 10 points and Isaac Barkley added nine in the Crockett victory.

"It was a grind," Coach Good said. "I knew (UH) coach (Justin) Penley would have them prepared and they came out body blow after body blow. But, our kids just ground it out. We played hard and that's what we're going to be about, playing hard."

Joseph Phillips was the leading scorer for the Junior Bucs with 18 points.

Fellow senior Marcus Taylor finished with 17 for UH.

Crockett will face defending tournament champion Greeneville in today's late quarterfinal. University High will meet Watauga Valley Conference rival Unaka in a losers' bracket contest.

© 2013 Johnson City Press

bannerCross Country

banner Daniel Boone boys runner-up in state for 2nd staight year

November 2nd, 2013 11:30 pm by From staff reports

NASHVILLE — Daniel Boone finished state runner-up in the Class AAA boys cross country meet for a second straight year on Saturday at Percy Warner Park.

Other local squads also had plenty of success. Science Hill posted fifth-place finishes in both the Class AAA boys' and girls' races, while the University High boys were fourth in the Class A-AA competition .


In the Class A-AA boys, Noah Jones finished 12th individually (17:08) to lead the Junior Bucs to a fourth-place team finish.

Levi Carter and Zac Branham added finishes of 17:55 and 18:08, respectively.

Seniors Tanner Smith (18:16) and Hayden Simmons (18:46) also added to the University High points total.

"We wanted to be top-five and fourth-place was great," University High head coach Dee Perry said.

"It was a lot better than we did last year. Our top three come back so next year, we want to finish even higher.

Our girls finished 12th and we have the top-five girls back for the next two years. I'm really looking for them to win it in the next two years."

© 2013 Johnson City Press


banner   High School Girls Soccer News 

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Wexler lifts UH to District championship

October 17th, 2013 8:47 pm by
KINGSPORT — Savannah Wexler delivered her second winning goal in as many games, lifting University High to a District 1-A/AA championship with a 2-1 victory at Sullivan South on Thursday.
After helping the Junior Lady Bucs (8-4) atone for a loss to Elizabethton with a 1-0 semifinal victory on the road Tuesday, Wexler and company avenged regular-season losses to the Lady Rebels (9-8-1) by overcoming a second-half deficit.
University High will host Chuckey-Doak in a regional opener on Tuesday. South will visit Greeneville.
"I've never been so happy," Wexler said. "I'm so proud of my team. We had a rough couple of weeks with losing to them twice, losing to Elizabethton. I'm high on heaven right now. I'm glad God gave me the ability to play."
Wexler's goal came in the 48th minute, some 2½ minutes after eighth-grade teammate Sarah Robinson had tied the score. At the beginning of the season it wasn't certain Robinson would be able to play due to a heart condition.
"Sarah Robinson's phenomenal," University High assistant coach Caitlyn Epps said.Robinson and Wexler each scored from around the same spot — some 25 yards out in the center of the field. Robinson impressively hooked a left-footer inside the right post, and Wexler used her right foot to send one in the net's left corner.
"They're great players," Epps said. "Both Savannah and Sarah can kick it with their left and their right (foot)."
The winning score came on one of many attacks that freshman Maya Houston's dribbling advances helped generate.
"She assisted me against Elizabethton for the game-winning goal and now against (Sullivan South) for the game-winning goal," Wexler said. "Just playing with her is great.
"South's goal came on a kick after a penalty that left the University High coaches animated, to say the least. The Lady Rebels' Brianna Barrett sent a high diagonal kick arching over ailing keeper Taylor Treadway from 20-25 yards in the 33rd minute. The Lady Rebels led 1-0 at intermission despite UH having possessed the ball at least 85 percent of the half.
"I told the girls at halftime, 'They kicked our butts in the first half. We shouldn't have been leading,'" Sullivan South coach Keith Parker said. "And in the second half we fell asleep, started ball-watching ... and let them have two wide-open shots from outside. You cannot let a team do that, especially with the good players they have in the middle. I mean, they'll kill you every time.
"Treadway delivered when it mattered most — on another free kick from Barrett with approximately 16 minutes remaining. Barrett sent another high, arching shot that was descending just under the crossbar, but Treadway jumped and knocked it above the bar with an impressive two-handed save.
"Taylor Treadway is hurt," Epps said. "Her back is killing her. And she showed tremendous heart.
"You know, I talked to her before the game and asked if she wanted to play, because she's been in pain for two or three days now. And she said, 'Oh, I'm definitely playing. I'm not sitting down, I'm playing.' And I know that hurt to jump, because I'm warming her up and each time she'd catch it she goes, 'Ah.' So it was pretty gutsy.
"Wexler got a good look at Treadway's clutch save.
"I ran and hugged her afterward," Wexler said. "She's one of my best friends and to have her on the team with me ... she's amazing.
"Treadway had to deny South's Marissa Byerley on a good opportunity with less than two minutes to go.
"We had a couple of point-on shots we couldn't score at the end," Parker said.UH outshot South, 19-12 (unofficially), but Treadway snuffed several high-percentage opportunities.
"She was wobbling before the game," Wexler said. "But she played amazing tonight. She played amazing against Elizabethton. She's our superstar."Treadway's toughness set the tone, as did the physical play of teammate Belle Bright, who didn't let a point-blank blast to what appeared to be the ribs drain any of her aggression.
"Last year we barely won any games," Wexler said, "and now to be in the (district) championship and have won it, it's amazing."
© 2013 Johnson City Press

banner Golf Tournament 

Congratulations University School Golf, Nick Sewell, who fired a 2-under-par 70 at the District 1 A/AA Golf Tournament at Elizabethon Golf Course on September 16th.  Nick finished third overall, qualifying for the Regional Tournament.  In the Regional Tournament Nick shot a 73 on September 23rd, qualifying for the state tournament at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester. At the State Tournament, Nick carded a two-round total of 162 (84-78). We are proud of you, Nick! Swing, Bucs, Swing!

  banner Cross Country Victory!


Congratulations to the Middle School Cross Country Boys and Girls teams who had a STRONG showing at the Overmountain Run which was run at Sycamore Shoals.  The boys walked away with a second place finish and were lead by Jeb Jones who placed first in the meet, Pablo Rivas who placed 9th, and Cooper Pack who came in 12th. The top 6 were rounded out by Caleb Strickler, Alex Lemery and Nick Pohlgeers. Congratulations to all the boys who ran hard to lead the Junior Bucs to a strong showing!

The girls had a strong meet finishing in 6th place overall and were lead by Cora Allison who placed 6th overall in the meet as well as Bekah Owen and Bekah Rice who came in the top three for the bucs. Ashley Daniel, Courtney Henley and Calli Newberry also had strong finishes rounding out the top 6 for the bucs. Congratulations to all the ladies for a job well done!


banner  HS Boys Basketball

Attention all High School Boys interested in trying-out for Basketball  this season: Conditioning will begin October 1st, from 10:00-11:30am; meet in the weightroom (room 105) of Brooks Gym.   We will also meet October 3rd, from 3:30-5:00, and each day after school from 3:30-5:00 beginning October 7th.  Attendance at conditioning is expected of all players who want to try-out.  Please contact Coach Penley () with any questions

banner Middle School Girls Basketball

All 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Girls interested in trying out for the Middle School Girls Basketball Team are encouraged to attend open gym in the school gym on Sunday, September 8th, from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.  Please contact if you have any questions

banner Cross Country Victory!

Congratulations to the University Middle School Cross Country runners who had a strong showing on Thursday during the Redskin Rally Invitational. A record number of runners participated with 699 among the field. The JV boys were lead by Lewis and Collin with Nelson, Kalin and Tuck rounding out the team. The varsity middle school girls were lead by Cora Allison who finished 10th with Bekah Owen and the rest of the team close in tow. The middle school boys finished 1st as a team with Jeb Jones placing 2nd and Pablo Cooper, Will Owen, Caleb Strickler and Nick executing pack running to bring home the win for the Junior Bucs. Congratulations to all the runners for an amazing race!

banner Cross Country Victory!

Link to Tennessee Runner - Run Fer Da Hills Meet Results   (photo gallery!)

Congratulations to both Middle School  and High School  Cross Country teams. The High School boys finished 1st in the Run fer da Hills meet last Saturday.  Levi Carter was our first finisher in 5th place. Noah Jones and Zach Branham were in the top 15. Olivia Augsburger was the top finisher for the girls in 24th place.

Middle School boys also took 1st place at the same meet. Jeb Jones finished 2nd overall with Pablo Rivas and Cooper Pack finishing in the top 10. Cora Allison was our top girl in 9th place overall.  The girls finished 7th.  Good job!


banner Buc Booster memberships are on sale for $25.00.  Buc Booster family passes for members are on sale now for $150.00.  This provides entrance for members and all family (i.e., cousins, uncles, grandma, etc.) to all home games of all sports.  Free UH Buc hat will be provided for all family passes while supplies last!  Membership Form




Link to 2012-2013 Athletic News