May 22nd, 2015 11:54 pm by Jeff Birchfield
MURFREESBORO — University High continued its strong pole vaulting tradition with a couple of top-five finishes at the TSSAA Class A/AA state track and field meet Friday at Middle Tennessee State University.
Jarod Smith skied to 13 feet and six inches and Salter Blowers hit 12-feet to finish second and fifth, respectively in the pole vault competition.
"I tied my p.r. for the third time this year so I'm happy with it," Smith said. "I haven't really improved so much height-wise this year, but I've gotten more consistent. It's nice to finish second, but I would have liked first obviously."
Blowers didn't have his best effort, but it was still good enough for both to earn All-State honors. He gave credit to UH coach Carlson Cox, who he called the best coach in the Southeast.
"It's a wonderful meet, something different than what we're used to," Blowers said. "I didn't do my best today, but I know I can come back next year and win it."
May 14th, 2015 10:08 pm by Jeff Birchfield
KNOXVILLE — University High kept its tradition of pole vault winners alive, while the brother of the Bucs' most decorated vaulter won in another event at Thursday's Section 1-A/AA track and field championships at Christian Academy of Knoxville.
The Bucs' Jarod Smith led a 1-2 finish of himself and Salter Blowers in the boys' pole vault, while Wilson Wade was the champion of the 300 meter hurdles.
Happy Valley also had an individual champion as Brianna Buck was the winner in the girls' high jump.
In the competition between University High juniors, Smith skied to 13-feet to beat Blowers who cleared 11-feet-6.
"It's six inches lower than my career best, but I'm happy," Smith said. "It's great to go 1-2 and it's even better to go with a teammate to the state meet."
Smith added that it helped that conditions were ideal when he was attempting his jumps. He and Blowers didn't have to sit through the sun for hours and they competed on a nice, new track with a new jump pit.
Blowers also expressed happiness that the duo was able to qualify for the state championships again. Smith finished third in the state and Blowers was sixth a year ago, but both went higher than those marks on Thursday.
"It's pretty cool. We've worked hard throughout the season and we think we can do well," Blowers said. "We getting better and better every single day. Every day is different and every day presents a new opportunity."
Wade, the younger brother of UH's two-time state champion vaulter Devon Wade, ran 41.18 seconds to win the 300 hurdles.
"I've never won anything. I've always come in second or third," Wade said. "It felt pretty amazing to finish first and to qualify for state for the first time. I'm pretty psyched. I'm not as good as my brother was, but I'm making my way up. It's my first year doing the hurdles, but I'm decent at both jumping and running so I combine them pretty well."
It was Buck's first year competing in track, period. After coming into the meet as the No. 2 seed behind Sullivan South's Olivia Kent, the Happy Valley junior was the only female jumper to clear five-feet.
"It's my first time ever winning anything," said Buck after becoming the first Warrior athlete to win a sectional championship since 2007. "I was just arching my back and running hard at it. I think if I keep working and keep practicing harder, I can go higher."
Ethan Thomas of Elizabethton added to his decorated high school career with a leap of 20-09.75 good enough for second place in the long jump.
With the top two qualified for state meet and the rest of the field determined by the best third and fourth-place performances across the state, the Cyclones believe Emily Schubert's third-place throw in the discus will qualify her for state.
Elizabethton coach Amber Abel wasn't as confident about the fate of the boys' 4x800 relay team of Cody Baker, Austin Depew, Harrison Wright and Andy Johnson. The Cyclones came into the event as the No. 1 seed, but finished fourth.
Unicoi County is also looking at a couple of possible at-large bids with Laura Rogers' third-place finish in the pole vault and Stephanie Wisse's fourth-place in the 200.
University High's Grace Owen is also on the bubble after a third-place finish in the girls' triple jump.
Happy Valley had a couple more waiting news on at-large bids with Demetrius Canter fourth in the boys' discus and Daniel Runyan fourth in the pole vault.
Sullivan East's Luke Meade won the 3,200 and finished second to Grainger's Zach Long in the 1,600. Kendall Ivester finished second in the girls' shot up, while Peyton Kegley qualified in the boys' decathlon. Haley Rowe is also waiting on today's Section 2 and Section 3 results after finishing fourth in the discus.
The girls' state meet is scheduled for next Thursday at Middle Tennessee State University. The boys' meet is on tap for Friday.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
USchool Track: Congratulations to Wilson Wade who placed 1st in 300m hurdles, and Jarod Smith and Salter Blowers who finished 1st and 2nd at the Sub Sectionals!!! Now on to State on Thursday & Friday, May 21st & 22nd. Go Bucs!
May 11th, 2015 9:43 pm by Gene Renfro, Press Correspondent
University High withstood Washburn and a 68-minute weather delay to pick up an 11-0 win with a combined perfect game by Lexi Crouthers and Mollee Cohee in the Region 1A softball semifinals on Monday at East Tennessee State's Betty Basler Field.
Crouthers threw the first four innings and struck out nine of the 12 Washburn batters she faced. Cohee worked a perfect fifth.
The Lady Bucs advanced to today's championship and reserved a spot in the sectional against North Greene, which defeated Cosby 19-7 earlier in the day. The scheduled first pitch is for 3:30 p.m. and will be played at Betty Basler Field. University High and North Greene will meet for the fifth time this season.
A season ago the same two teams battled for the Region 1-A title with the Junior Lady Bucs winning 4-1 en route to Murfreesboro. University High will also be looking for a fourth straight regional crown.
"It was important because it was win or go home," said University High head coach Keith Jeffers. "It was a great win, it's the next step. I've told them that it is basically three seasons, the regular season, the district and the regionals and we're one step closer."
The offense did their job for the Junior Lady Bucs.
Ari Ramsaran had a two-run single in the first inning to start her busy day. She followed that up with a RBI single in the second and a RBI on a fielder's choice in the third. Ramsaran finished the day with her three-run home run in the fifth to make it an 11-0 score.
"She was giving me good pitches to hit and it felt good on the home run," Ramsaran said. "It's good to be getting the hitting going into the regional finals."
© 2015 Johnson City Press
University High captures 1-A softball crown
FROM STAFF REPORTS
GREENEVILLE — Tournament MVP Mollee Cohee was 4-for-5 with a double with six RBIs to lead University High to a 16-7 victory over North Greene for the District 1-A softball championship on Tuesday night.
It was the fourth straight District 1-A championship for the Lady Bucs.
Other offensive leaders included Madi Freeman who scored four runs on two hits and a walk
Ari Ramsaran had two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Miranda Honeycutt hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning.
Olivia Miller also scored three runs for the Bucs, which got a completegame effort from Lexi Crouthers.
Abby Weems was 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the Lady Huskies.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
Soccer Win! Congratulations to our
Boys Soccer team
who won the first game in the district tournament against South last night (Tuesday, May 5th) with a score of 4-3. They play the conference championship game at Elizabethton on Thursday, May 7th, at 7pm (@Elizabethton TA Dugger field). Come out and cheer on our Kickin' Bucs!
The following article was in the Johnson City Press for the May 5th game:
University High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Sullivan South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
KINGSPORT — Brady Sant had a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, as the Bucs rallied from three goals down to defeat the Rebels and in a Tuesday District 1-AA semifinal.
Down by two goals in the first seven minutes and the down by another goal, Sant had a penalty kick for the first University High in the 35th minute.
Preston Ongtengco had the other goal for the Bucs.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
Track News: Congratulations to all Track Athletes who participated in the Times News Relay Meet. UH had several athletes compete in the meet which included Jarod Smith, who placed 1st for pole vault, Salter Blowers, placing 3rd in pole vault, Julia Gabel in pole vault, the Girls 4x800 which included Cora Allison, Christina Fulcher, Ashley Daniel, and Bekah Owen. Wilson Wade competed in back to back events for an excellent triple. Those events included 400m dash, 300m hurdles and 200m dash. Congrats to all athletes! View Meet Results
By NN Assistant on April 29, 2015 Local Sports
By Jeff Keeling
In a clash of conference front-runners Monday, a young University High softball team proved its mettle when its lone senior, Mollee Cohee, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs, and the score knotted at 6 against North Greene.
Fittingly for senior night, Cohee proved the difference-maker at Betty Basler Field, drawing a walk to bring Abbie Jones home from third in what coach Keith Jeffers described as, "a crazy game."
In addition to drawing the crucial walk, Cohee had two hits in a balanced offensive attack. Leadoff hitter Madi Freeman reached base three times and scored each time. Molly Dison had a crucial two-run hit early in the game, and Lexi Crouthers went the distance on the mound, overcoming some defensive lapses.
It put a team depleted by the loss of seniors and transfers after last season's state tournament run in a strong position as the district and regional playoffs approached. The Lady Bucs improved to 8-1 in the Watauga Valley Conference and dropped North Greene to 8-2. The team followed the tense victory with a 17-0 thumping of Cloudland in Roan Mountain Tuesday night to claim the conference crown outright.
"They came together when it counted," Jeffers said of his young team, which includes two starters who hadn't even played competitive softball prior to this season. The next step, he said, is to take care of business in the district tournament at South Greene beginning Saturday.
District Two shouldn't pose a major problem if the girls play well, Jeffers said, giving the Lady Bucs a decent shot at reaching sectionals and a chance to repeat last year's trip to Murfreesboro. In sectionals, should they get there, Jeffers expects a matchup with Oliver Springs, Grace Christian of Knoxville or last year's opponent, Meigs County.
"Hopefully we can win district to get a one seed, and keep winning through the regionals to have a shot at hosting a sectional game," Jeffers said.
Offense shouldn't be the stumbling block in a lineup anchored by Cohee and sophomore Ari Ramsaran, he said. "Our problems have been consistency on defense. We've been hitting well the last couple weeks, and if we play a better game than we played tonight defensively, we've hung with pretty much everybody we've played."
The Lady Bucs, who loaded their non-conference schedule with teams from much larger schools, were 14-18 overall heading into the Cloudland game.
Photos by Dakota Hamilton. See photo galleries at docophotography.com
Catcher Molly Dison celebrates with Mollee Cohee after Cohee's walk advanced the winning run.
UH pitcher Lexi Crouthers delivers in the first.
Miranda Honeycutt gathers in a shot to left field.
Madi Freeman, who scored three runs, makes the throw from center.
Catcher Molly Dison attempts to advance a runner with a bunt.
Second baseman Abbie Jones reaches third safely.
©2014 Johnson City News and Neighbor
April 27th, 2015 11:04 pm by Jeff Birchfield
Photo by Jeff Birchfield
Mollee Cohee didn't get too caught up in the moment.
At University High's Senior Day, the team's lone senior was up to bat with two outs, the bases loaded and the game tied in the final inning. In this moment which every softball player dreams of, she wanted to send one over the fence for a grand slam.
Instead, she ended up being the hero by never swinging the bat.
Cohee took a bases-loaded walk which scored Abbie Jones as the Lady Bucs rallied for a 7-6 win over North Greene on Monday evening at Betty Basler Field.
"I was thinking we needed to get that run in," Cohee said. "I knew a walk would get the run in, getting hit by a pitch would get it in. I'm usually pretty patient at the plate and taking those pitches wasn't a big deal to me. But with that situation, it was tough. I definitely wanted to get the winning hit, even a grand slam, but any way we will take it. It's super sweet either way."
University High moved into first-place in the Watauga Valley Conference at 8-1 and earned at least a share of a fourth straight league title. The Bucs (14-18) can clinch the title outright today with a win at Cloudland.
"It was a big win for us this year," University High coach Keith Jeffers said. "We lost five starters last year and for these girls to come together like they did, it's big. It says a lot about them. We've struggled at times this year, especially in some tournaments, but overall it says a lot for these girls competing."
For North Greene, the loss added to their frustration of always being one of the league's top teams, but having that someone standing in its way. For most of the past two decades, Unaka provided that obstacle. Recently, it has been UH.
Still, Lady Huskies head coach Renee Light said there was no one to blame, but themselves after a costly error kept the inning alive. North Greene fell to 8-2 and 15-9.
"UH is a good team and you have to play all seven innings," Light said. "We had too many errors. We beat ourselves."
Still, the Huskies nearly had the league title in hand after Julia Penley's two-run single in the top of the seventh inning.
It came after Talley Bailey, who signed with Hiwassee College earlier in the day, blasted a three-run home run in the top of the third to give North Greene a 4-3 lead.
University High, which had taken a 3-1 lead in the first inning off a RBI double by Cohee followed by a two-run double by Molly Dison, tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Madi Freeman came home after a wild pitch.
Ari Ramsaran then put UH ahead 5-4 in the sixth inning with an RBI ground out which allowed Freeman to score her third run of the game.
It looked like it might not be enough after Bailey was intentionally walked in the top of the seventh and Penley followed with her two-run single.
"I was getting stressed out with bases loaded and a full count on the batter," said Crouthers, who picked up the win. "I'm glad we put something together with our bats and came through in the end. It was something special."
The error, which kept the bottom of the seventh alive, allowed Frankie Cradic to score a game-tying run. After Crouthers was hit by a pitch, Cohee stepped to the plate and came through with the walk-off walk.
Her coach wasn't surprised she handled the situation with such composure.
"With her up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded, I felt good," Jeffers said. "Even though it was a walk, it was the same thing as a base hit. She brought in the winning run and it was a big win for us."
© 2015 Johnson City Press
April 2nd, 2015 10:33 pm by Ivan Sanders, Press Correspondent
Losing sometimes is a bitter pill to swallow, but there's nothing like getting a measure of revenge against your arch rival.
University High (3-0, 2-0) managed to finally get a bad taste out of their mouth as the Bucs completely dominated Sullivan South in boys soccer with a 4-0 victory at Summers-Taylor Stadium Thursday evening.
The Rebels defeated U-H last season to win the conference.
"I am really proud of the guys," Buc head coach Dan Almond said. "South pursued the ball well. To get better you have to play the better teams, and I respect South a lot."
With just over six minutes off the opening-half clock, Lowell Williams punched a score into the South goal on a through ball for the 1-0 U-H advantage.
The Bucs tacked on a second score with ten minutes left before halftime to take get some breathing room at the break leading 2-0.
Noah McGill recorded the goal with the ball coming off a deflection.
"Having the 2-0 lead allowed us to change and adjust things," added Almond. "I am proud of the guys for executing our game plan for this game."
South needed to respond quickly to have an opportunity to get back into the contest, but it was the constant, physical play of the Bucs that continued to dominate into the second half played under a steady light rain.
Williams blasted his second goal of the game with only 3:25 off the clock to start the half to making it 3-0 in favor of U-H.
"We are rivals obviously, and they took the championship from us last year," Williams said. "We wanted to come out and win this. My teammates created all the opportunities.
"This gives us a lot of momentum going forward and as we prepare for Elizabethton who is our next tough opponent."
Coach Almond liberally utilized his bench which kept the legs fresh and allowed his team to continue forcing the issue with numerous shots on goal.
McGill closed out the scoring from just outside the penalty box that scooted through the rain-soaked gloves of the South keeper in extra time for the final 4-0 margin.
"We were expecting a tough game, and we came in determined," stated McGill. "We utilized a lot of our potential and kept playing the whole game."
© 2015 Johnson City Press
March 13th, 2015 9:27 pm by Jeff Birchfield
University High has turned to a doctor of therapy to get its boys' soccer program on good footing.
Dr. Dan Almond, who holds the all-time record for assists and points at Emory & Henry College, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Bucs.
He served as junior varsity coach at Science Hill from 2008-10 where his teams compiled a 37-1 record. He mostly recently served as head coach for the FC-Dallas Tri-Soccer Club team where his boys U13 team had a 45-15-7 overall record which included the 2014 state championship for their age group.
Still, he's facing some of the same challenges as any new coach taking over a program.
"Learning 23 to 26 new players is always tough," Almond said. "I'm really blessed being a new coach that we have seven seniors. But, we're going through how they've played in the past and teaching them the style that I like to play. I've really enjoy the challenge, but obviously starting from scratch is tough."
Almond's day job is a doctor of physical therapy for the Holston Medical Group. While it makes it a little more challenging with his schedule than with a faculty coach, University High has been willing to work with him, feeling they have the best man for the job.
"We're very excited about Dan," University High athletic director Dustin Honeycutt said. "He has a supreme track record of success everywhere he's been. To have someone of his caliber, someone with a nationally-ranked FC Dallas team, it was pretty clear-cut for us. With Dan's leadership, I think we're going to have a pretty successful team this year and beyond that."
The Bucs look to improve on last season's 3-8 campaign and good production is counted on by senior forward Lowell Williams. Other seniors in the starting line up are center backs Noah Jones and Logan Webb and right wing Silas Venturella.
Almond, with his background as a standout offensive player, is trying to instill more of an attacking philosophy, although he has a defensive-minded assistant Reed Tallman who helps keep things in check.
"We balance each other out very well," Almond said. "There are certain things I see offensively that I think we can improve on and he sees things on the defensive end. I'm happy to pass on that mentorship to those players."
Almond, who led Virginia High to the 1997 state championship game when he was in high school, has continued to stay active as a player with several clubs like Bristol Alpha and Johnson City Divided in both indoor and outdoor tournnaments.
It gives him a good perspective of the challenges his own players face.
From the junior class, Preston Ongtengco will be a starter at right back and Tani Houston and Brady Sant are center midfielders.
Sophomore Brayden White is the left wing and Luke Wexler is the starting goalkeeper, although his athleticism could lead to playing some other spots on occasion. Freshman defender Cooper Pack fills out the starting roster.
It is Almond's hope that the team can develop some of the continuity and communication seen with the Knoxville-area teams.
"You find they have good players that play for a long time together," Almond said. "Spacing and movement off the ball are much easier when you play with the same guys for a long time. I'm finding that at University High, some guys have played together and some haven't."
Almond is also wanting the team to adhere to his motto of FAITH, which stands for fortitude, attitude, integrity trust and humility. It's three-fold in its approach, first as one of high integrity, second a strong student in the classroom and third a strong soccer player on the filed.
University High opens the season next Monday by hosting KACHEA. One week later, they will go on the road a week later to take on the new program at Happy Valley.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
January 16th, 2015 10:45 pm by Jeff Birchfield
Brent Fields and Collin Newberry gave University High the veteran leadership which coach Justin Penley has been looking for on Friday night.
Fields hit a late 3-pointer and a free throw, while Newberry took a key charge with seven seconds left to help the Bucs hang on for a 45-43 win at Providence Academy after the Knights missed a potential game-tying layup with two seconds left.
"You want to see some leadership in late-game situations and those guys made enough plays for us to survive," Penley said. "It's a learning process for us because even though those guys are seniors they haven't played a ton. It was back and forth, back and forth, but those guys made some big plays at the end."
With Newberry scoring 13 points and Fields netting 11, University High improved to 8-11. The Knights, who got a game-high 17 points from Caleb Backus, fell to 9-10 after the tough defeat.
"Both teams played really hard and it came down to they made one more shot than we did," Providence coach Martin Sells said. "We missed several key layups. We will have to learn from it and grow."
Fields' 3-pointer was the second big shot he had behind the arc. He hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of the first quarter to give University High a 12-8 lead.
"It was a huge game," Fields said. "It's developed into a pretty good rivalry and this is always a hard place to play. Those guys really came after us so getting this win was huge."
Both teams were cold from the field in the second quarter with the Bucs holding an 18-15 lead at the half.
The pace picked up near the end of the third quarter and Trevor Trujillo's steal and breakaway layup gave Providence a 27-26 lead heading into the final quarter.
Backus gave the Knights a 31-29 lead on a breakaway dunk with 6:38 left, but Dustin Estes responded with a 3-pointer on the other end for the Bucs and a 32-31 lead.
They battled back and forth until Dayshawn Hamilton gave UH a little breathing room on a pair of 3-point goals. Still, Providence kept fighting back and gave itself a chance to win.
Trujillo added nine points and Jackson Graham had seven for the Knights. Hamilton reached double digits for the Bucs with 10 points.
University High 45, Providence Academy 42 (Girls)
Elise Howard made six 3-point goals, none bigger than her game-winning shot with 28 seconds left, to lift the Lady Bucs (9-6) over the Lady Knights (10-7).
Howard ended with a game-high 22 points as University High led 21-5 early in the second quarter only to see Providence score the last dozen points of the half.
It was a tussle throughout the second half as Howard and Providence's Kenzie Trujillo engaged in their own personal shootout early in the third quarter.
The Knights made five trey in the period to trail just 37-34 heading into the final quarter.
Erica Roller hit a 3-pointer with 4:39 left to give Providence its first lead of the game, only to see Howard score University High's final eight points.
"We got out on them, but we got in a little foul trouble early," UH coach Randy Winstead said. "The second half, we had to take our press off and get into a zone. Our intensity level dropped pretty bad, so the last four minutes we went back to man-to-man, pressing again and got after them at the end."
Lexi Crouthers added nine points for the Bucs and Ari Ramsaran had a game-clinching offensive rebound with three seconds left.
Roller paced Providence with 14 points, followed by Trujillo with 13 points and Emma Harrod with 12.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
January 9th, 2015 11:17 pm by Gene Renfro
ROAN MOUNTAIN — University High used a productive second quarter and withstood a second-half barrage for a 65-61 win at Cloudland in the boys' contest on Friday night while the Lady Highlanders were 65-43 winners earlier.
The second quarter for the Bucs included an 18-2 run in which five different players scored. Dayshawn Hamilton knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the half to make it 22-20 for the road team during the run. That was the first of the next 13 points that went toward University High who owns an overall record of 6-10 and now 2-3 in the conference.
Cloudland made one last push, but Preston Benfield's 3-point attempt with four seconds left didn't missed and UH's Brent Fields grabbed the rebound. He was later fouled and hit a free throw to ice the contest. Fields led the road side with 15 points, nine of which came in the third quarter.
"It's been a roller coaster season. I just kept telling our guys we were playing well in spurts and again tonight it was more of the same," University High head coach Justin Penley said. "We just made enough plays there at the end to grind one out. The thing that I'm most proud of is that it was a lot of different guys contributing."
Earlier in the second half the Highlanders turned up the pressure and used a 12-0 spurt in just 65 seconds of the third quarter to make it 41-38. Another four-point rally brought the home side within a point, but Fields hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the right wing to extend the margin. He totaled four long-range scores in the contest.
Cloudland carried a 12-0 run from the third quarter into the final one to seize a 54-51 lead with 5:53 to go. Hamilton did it again from long range with two makes to swing the advantage back to UH, 59-58, with 3:22 to play. That was the 12th and final lead change of the game. Hamilton tallied 13 points thanks in part to a trio of 3-pointers.
The final four points for University High came at the free throw line as the Bucs didn't make a field goal for the final 2:54. Dustin Estes had three of those points from the line in an 11-point effort.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
December 16th, 2014 10:29 pm by Gene Renfro
It didn't go as planned, but the result was fine for the University High Lady Bucs in a 47-46 victory over Sullivan Central on Tuesday at Brooks Gym.
In the boys' game, Sullivan Central controlled from nearly start to finish for a 52-40 win.
University High girls coach Randy Winstead called a timeout with 9.3 seconds left to set up a plan when the Lady Cougars were at the free throw line. After two misses, the home side brought the ball back across half court, but Winstead decided to let things play out.
From there Ari Ramsaran was near the top of the circle and her shot fell into the basket as the buzzer sounded. For Ramsaran it completed an 11-point night and a comeback for University High.
Ramsaran also hit a buzzer beater to close out the first quarter and tie the score at 13-13.
It looked like Sullivan Central was going to pull away early in the fourth quarter, but University High did not go away quietly thanks to Elise Howard. The Lady Cougars opened up a 44-36 lead near the middle of the fourth quarter. After that Howard scored the next five points to make it a one-possession contest. Howard scored all of her 11 points in the second half.
"One thing about this game is that we didn't get discouraged," University High head coach Randy Winstead said. "We fought through adversity. We didn't get down on each other and just kept playing the whole game."
The Lady Cougars had chances to extend their lead, but late free throw struggles hindered that. Sullivan Central missed three free throws in the final minute and did not score a field goal in the final 4:49.
In the second quarter Alyssa Rupert posted the final five points to turn a 21-17 score in favor of University High into a 22-21 lead for Sullivan Central at halftime.
Sullivan Central saw Gabriella Rupert beat the third quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer from the right wing. Her long-range score made it a 36-32 lead for the Lady Cougars.
University High went with the strategy of playing the starting five for all 32 minutes and was led in scoring by Lexi Crouthers and her 16 points. Seven of her points came in the opening four minutes of the game.
"It was one of the situations in which we didn't sub," Winstead said. "It was the first time we've done that all year. I kind of base it on how the game is going and what they're doing."
The Lady Cougars were led by Katlyn Buckland and Meg Crawford with 10 points apiece.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
December 9th, 2014 10:44 pm by Ivan Sanders
Lady Rangers top Unversity High in shootout
Umbrellas were needed inside Brooks Gym as three's were raining from both sides. The teams combined for 16 treys as the Unaka girls' basketball team beat University High 56-42 for a Mountain East Conference victory.
After trailing 32-23 at the intermission, the Lady Rangers (3-3, 1-0) came out of the locker room with a swarming defense to take a come-from-behind victory in the shootout.
The Lady Bucs (3-3, 0-2) were the aggressors in the first quarter of the contest as Lexi Crouthers and Elise Howard combined for five treys in the first eight minutes of action with Crouthers netting three and Howard two to push UH out front 21-11.
Unaka finally stemmed the tide in the second period outscoring the Lady Bucs 12-11 behind six points from Hannah Tipton.
Crouthers stayed hot hitting two more three-balls to finish with 18 first-half points.
Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers is known as a master educator for evaluating his team's position and he made all the right adjustments at the break.
"We changed the defense and the personnel who were guarding the two girls in the first half," said Chambers in reference to Crouthers and Howard. "We had times where our youth showed as we had a few times where we didn't know what we were doing. We left them open too much."
The Lady Rangers came out like a swarm of angry bees and swallowed up the Lady Bucs defensively in the second half while putting the stinger in offensively to outscore UH 18-6 to take a 41-38 lead after three quarters of action.
Unaka got four treys from four different players to seize their first lead including Tipton, Lexi Garland, Cheyenne Drew, and Madison Ensor.
While Unaka was getting hot, the Lady Bucs fizzled out offensively as UH managed only six points in the third and four points in the final period.
"Coach Chambers told us we had to get in the faces of the two girls and as long as we do what coach tells us, we will do well this year," said Tipton. "He told us that if we didn't come out and play better we weren't going to win. We have lots of faith in each other."
Unaka added 15 more points to its side of the ledger in the fourth behind six points from Ensor with two more treys and four free throws from Tipton.
Despite being held to only two points in the second half, Crouthers finished as game-high scorer with 20 points.
Howard contributed with 11 points for UH.
Nine players hit the scoring column for the Lady Rangers led by Tipton with 13. She was joined in double digits by Ensor and Katlyn Weaver with 11 points apiece.
"They make me mad sometimes and my gray is growing," added Chambers with a chuckle. "Basically there is no varsity experience. We are a junior varsity team playing a varsity schedule.
"They're a great bunch of kids."
High School Boys Basketball
University High (boys) 67, Unaka 50
After a dogfight in the first half where both teams took turns exchanging offensive blows, the Bucs (2-5, 1-1) took control and never turned back in taking the 67-50 conference win.
"I felt like our kids played with a lot of passion and intensity after the first five or six minutes of the game," said UH skipper Justin Penley. "It didn't start out like we wanted it to. I kept telling the kids to play hard and get after them and good things would happen."
Unaka stormed out to an early 17-9 lead after one quarter behind eight points in the period by Dylan Carrier.
Brent Fields sank five points to keep the Bucs competitive.
Dayshawn Hamilton caught fire in the second stanza with a 10-point outburst to help UH sneak away with a 29-25 advantage at intermission. Dustin Estes rattled the rim for five points in a contributing effort.
The third quarter was dead even as each team managed to net 13 points.
Carrier led Unaka with four while Hamilton continued his strong play with seven as UH took a 42-38 edge heading into the final eight minutes of regulation.
From there, the Bucs hit overdrive and left the Rangers in a cloud of dust as UH raced away with a 25-12 quarter to take the win.
"We got in foul trouble," stated Unaka head coach Aaron Dugger. "We have some guys who have some talent, and we had to play a long stretch tonight without them."
Hamilton finished as high man for the contest with 22 points to lead UH. Estes (17), Collin Newberry (10) and Fields (10) joined Hamilton in double figures for Penley's squad.
Carrier showed the way for Dugger's Ranger team with 18 points in the tilt. Joe Searfoss had a good game with 10 for the Rangers.
"We just kept grinding," stated Penley. "We are playing a lot of kids and this is a learning experience for our guys. We just need to continue our growth as players and as a team."
© 2015 Johnson City Press
University High takes South down to the wire
September 29th, 2014 10:53 pm by Trey Williams
University High takes South down to the wire
After blowing out University High on Sept. 2, Sullivan South had to wait 80 minutes to exhale in the rematch.
The Lady Rebels' Kaitlin Barrett hooked a shot inside the left post from perhaps 20 yards out with some 10 minutes remaining in the first half and South made it stand up for a 1-0 victory.
University High lost 8-1 at South in the previous meeting, and Rebels coach Keith Parker said he warned his players about complacency prior to Monday's matchup.
"We're not pleased leaving this game," Parker said. "We left way too many opportunities on the field. We just did not pass the ball well.
"UH, they've improved vastly since we played those guys last game, but we didn't help ourselves at all in our decision making. We kept the ball too long, didn't keep knocking it around like we can."
Maya Houston, University High's talented, tireless sophomore, nearly tied the score with roughly 10 minutes remaining. She hit the crossbar from approximately 35-38 yards out on the right side of the field.
"It was a great shot," University High coach Caitlyn Epps said. "Maya Houston's a good player. I ask a lot of her."
All of UH's players seemed to answer the challenge of making a better showing against the Lady Rebels.
"I told my players at the end of the game that I couldn't have really asked for more," Epps said. "I thought we possessed the ball better. I thought we had good combinations in the offense and I thought our defense was playing pretty solid.
"But that's soccer. It happens sometimes. They get that one open chance and they get it, whereas we had plenty of chances but didn't get it."
South had several other quality opportunities. Marissa Byerley's left-footed shot from the left edge of the box was wide right late in the first half, and Briana Watlington and Barrett had decent chances in the final 17 minutes.
The skilled Barrett made an impressive run to create her shot.
Houston's skills and energy were entertaining, too.
"She's an excellent player," Parker said. "You've got to keep your eyes on her or she'll beat you. I thought (her shot) was in; I really did.
"They had us on our heels the last 15 minutes. I think, as a whole, UH — I think they outplayed us more than we outplayed them. We were just lucky enough to get a goal."
South (4-0-1, 9-2-3) visits Elizabethton on Thursday.
UH (3-6) will try to bounce back when it hosts Happy Valley today.
"We have a young team, and they've been working a lot harder as the season's gone on," Epps said. "They've been giving much better efforts during the game."
© 2014 Johnson City Press
Golf team updates from the A/AA Region and State tournaments
Region tournament was at Link Hills Golf course on September 15th. Haley Bradshaw qualified for region as an individual and shot a 101. The Boys Team also qualified and they came in 3rd place as a team. Nick Sewell won the region tournament after tying with Tanner Hall from Sullivan South for first place with 72's. They had an exciting 2-hole play-off and Nick won! This qualified him to go to the State Tournament!
The State tournament was held at Willowbrook Golf Course in Manchester, TN where Nick played the 2-day tournament on September 23rd and 24th. He shot a 72 on day 1 and a 77 on day 2 which put him tied for 8th place overall out of 72 players from across the state.
September 15th, 2014 10:49 pm by Trey Williams
GREENEVILLE — If Tanner Hall was going to lose a regional golf title on the second hole of a playoff after burning the edge on a couple of putts while his opponent got up and down from the sand to extend sudden death – well, it might as well have been to Nick Sewell.
University High's Sewell won the Region A/AA tournament Monday at Link Hills by finishing a 30-foot two-putt with a tap-in par. It was a storybook moment of sorts for Sewell, who played through eighth grade with Hall and his Sullivan South teammates at Colonial Heights.
"I played in middle school with those guys," Sewell said. "We've been pretty good friends since probably about sixth grade. Tanner's a great guy. He's a class act and I wouldn't have wanted to go into a playoff with anyone else."
Sewell shot 72 to punch his ticket to the state tournament, which begins next Tuesday at WillowBrook in Manchester. Hall and his Sullivan South teammates also qualified for the state tournament, as they won the team title by nine shots (298-307) over L&N Academy of Knoxville.
L&N Academy's Nick Bernard (76) and Chris Kleinshmidt (77) advanced to the state with Sewell, as did Chuckey-Doak's Ananias Bonin (75).
Sullivan South's Taylor White shot a 76 to win the girls' title. Other girls qualifying for the state tournament were Grainger's Kristen Ankrom (78), Elizabethton's Jamie Hinkle (81) and Northview Academy's Heidi Lawson (86).
Greeneville's girls won the team title to advance, defeating South on the first hole of a playoff.
It looked like Sewell might lose on the first hole of his playoff with Hall. Sewell's approach found a sand trap beyond the green and Hall's stopped some 10 feet from the cup. But Sewell made a relatively difficult shot look routine.
"I've been working on my wedges, just making sure I keep my head down through the swing so I don't skull it or whatever," Sewell said. "I made sure I did that and hit it out like I wanted – to about six feet, I guess."
Sewell made the putt after Hall missed by a fraction of an inch, forcing another hole.
"That was a great up-and-down," Hall said. "He had about a five-footer and he made that and I missed my – about a 10-foot birdie putt. I couldn't really get the putter rolling today, but I still played pretty well. My par putt on two in the playoff lipped out. ...
"I didn't mind losing to Nick. I wouldn't want it to be anyone else, really. Nick played great and he got it."
Sewell birdied Nos. 8 and 14.
"I hit No. 8 in two – hit a really good hybrid to knock it on and two-putted for birdie," Sewell said. "And I lipped out an ace on No. 14 for birdie. I'd say those are two pretty defining moments. ...
"It's a great feeling. I'm really excited. I've put out a lot of really hard work since, probably, the sixth grade to get here."
All of the middle school discussion reminded Hall of what a positive influence Colonial Heights coach Bob York had on Sewell and the South golfers. And it seems like South will essentially have an extra teammate at the state in Sewell.
The Lady Rebels' White edged Ankrom by two strokes for the title, though she said they were "neck and neck" down the stretch.
"Normally I get really nervous, and I was actually really calm," said White, who smiled at mention of regional champ and state qualifier. "I'm overjoyed about that. I'm disappointed that my team didn't get to go, because we both worked really hard all year. But I'm really happy that I get to go as an individual. ...
"I really struggled with my approach shots and putting today, but my long game was really good. So that's what kind of held me together."
© 2014 Johnson City Press
Congratulations to University School Golf team, who came in second as a team with a score of 324, and Nick Sewell came in second overall individually with a score of 72. Nick, a senior here at UH was named Co-MVP for District 1 A/AA Golf and qualified to play in the Regional Tournament next Monday, September 15th, at Links Hills in Greeneville. Haley Bradshaw, also a senior at UH, qualified for the Regional as an individual with a score of 94. So proud of our Swinging Bucs!!!
September 8th, 2014 10:54 pm by Joe Avento
ELIZABETHTON — It was all Sullivan South at the District 1-A/AA golf tournament Monday at Elizabethton Golf Course.
The South boys, spurred by individual champion Seth Crawford's 71, captured the title by 23 strokes over runner-up University High. Meanwhile, South's girls won by 25 over Elizabethton as Taylor White took medalist honors with a 69.
With South dominating as expected — three Rebels finish in the top six — everybody else was playing for second place. The University High boys captured second, thanks to Nick Sewell's runner-up finish. Sewell shot 72 to finish one stroke behind Crawford.
South finished at 301. University High (324) edged Johnson County (325) for second. The top three teams all qualified for the Region 1-A/AA tournament, next Monday at Links Hills Country Club in Greeneville.
"That's our goal coming in, to keep our season alive," UH coach Justin Penley said. "We knew coming in that South was the team to beat for first. We're just fortunate they take more than one team to regionals and we get to play another week."
Sewell began on the back nine and made the turn at one under par, but ran into trouble to start the front. He made a double-bogey at No. 1 followed by a bogey on the next hole. He righted the ship and played the final seven holes in two under par, with birdies at the fifth and eighth holes.
"He's been playing well all season for us," Penley said. "He's a really good player. He works hard at it. He deserves the success he has."
The individual competition wouldn't have been so close if Crawford hadn't bogeyed the final two holes. Still, the South sophomore was happy to be the district champion.
"It feels good," Crawford said. "I wish I would have finished a little better, but everybody can always find a few extra strokes they could have saved. Other than that, I'm pretty proud of the way I played."
South's Seth Worley shot 73 to finish third, while his teammate Tanner Hall tied with Johnson County's Brandon Vannoy for fourth at 78.
Sullivan East's team didn't qualify for the regional, but three of the Patriots' players made it as individuals. John Luster (81), Ethan Mays (83) and Austin Sadler (84) will all be playing at Link Hills on Monday.
They will be joined by Unicoi County's Dalton Spears (84) and Elizabethton's Christopher Schaff (85). The top five finishers not on qualifying teams earned spots in the regional.
The South girls, the defending Class A/AA state champions, were even more dominant. White's 69 and Kaitlyn Grills' 78 were the top two scores in the entire field.
With the women's tees on the par-four ninth and 18th holes playing short, White was able to hit 5-irons onto both greens on her tee shots.
"I've been really working on my iron game, so that's been a lot stronger lately," White said. "Knowing this course is pretty easy to shoot under par on, it gave me a big heads-up on everything."
South finished with a two-player total of 147. Elizabethton, led by Madison Campbell's 83, finished at 172. Sullivan East, with Holly Hamilton's 83 leading the way, shot 178 and claimed the final regional berth.
Qualifying for the regional as individuals were Unicoi County's Heavenly Shelton (91), Hampton's Hannah Brummitt (91) and Savana Weddle (96), Happy Valley's Kalee Johnson (94) and University High's Hayley Bradshaw (94).
© 2014 Johnson City Press
Congratulations to the Boys Middle School Cross Country team for their win at the 8th annual Run-Fer-Da-Hills meet in Bristol. Jeb Jones - Boys 1st finisher, Chloe Cradic - Girls 1st finisher, and Nick Daniel - 1st finisher in Elementary. Way to go, Bucs!!!
Congratulations to the men's and women's High School Cross Country team who had a strong showing in South Carolina. The women's team was led by Cora Allison followed by Bekah Owen, Ashley Daniels, Chloe Graves and Grace Owen. The men's team was lead by Pablo Rivas, followed by Cannon Pack, Cooper Pack, David Fragerberg, Lewis Wessner, Nick Pohlgeers, Caleb Turner, Ramiro Rodriguez, James Briest, and Kalin Sokell. The Junior Bucs will be back in action this Saturday in Roanoke, VA. Way to go team!
September 2nd, 2014 7:57 pm by Ned Jilton
© 2014 Kingsport Publishing Corporation
HS Boys Soccer
HS Boys Soccer
Soccer Team Keeps on Kicking! After a tough loss for our Men's Soccer team last Thursday, our Bucs will travel to Greeneville on Tuesday, May 12th, in Regional Play. View Press Article . Go, Bucs, Go!
Track Team Sectional Qualifications! Congratulations to our
USchool Track Team
who competed in sub sectionals on Tuesday, May 5th. Many qualified for sectionals to include the following team members: 4x800 girls team (Cora Allison, Christina Fulcher, Ashley Daniel and Bekah Owen), 4x800 boys team (David Gantz, Ramiro Rodriguez, Caleb Turner and Nick Polhgeers), Grace Owen in triple jump, Bekah Owen in 800 meter dash, Wilson Wade 300 hurdles, 200m dash, 4x4 boys team (David Gantz, Moses Coley, Cannon Pack and Wilson Wade), Salter Blowers and Jarod Smith in PV. All team members mentioned will move onto sectionals on Thursday, May 14th! Congrats to all on a fantastic season!
April 22nd, 2015 10:23 pm by Gene Renfro, Press Correspondent
The University High baseball team honored a quartet of seniors and then went onto defeat Cosby 6-1 on Wednesday.
The Bucs started things in style with a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the first. Senior Logan Metcalf singled to score fellow senior Nick Sewell then came home on DayShawn Hamilton's single to right.
"It was a good win today. Logan Metcalf came out and pitched a good game," said University High head coach Josh Petty.
Metcalf threw the first six innings and struck out 10 batters, scattered five hits and gave up a lone run with a walk. Sewell finished things off in the seventh. Cosby got to him for a hit and walk.
In the second inning, Jakob Hare scored on Sewell's single to center to make it 3-0.
Cosby scored its only run in the top of the third to make a dent in the margin. Brody Williams singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly off Brandon Earls' bat.
The Junior Bucs answered with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning, when Metcalf raced in on Hamilton's groundout to third.
University High tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Senior Brent Fields started with a one-out hit to reach and moved up on a single by Hare. A wild pitch moved both runners up and Fields scored on a throwing error by catcher Keenan Phillips. Hare came in on a wild pitch to end the night's scoring.
Hare had two hits to go along with his two runs.
University High's fourth senior, Joe Coffey-Slattery, reached base twice on a walk and was hit by a pitch.
The Bucs took advantage of four Cosby errors and three wild pitches.
UH improved to 10-11 and will play Volunteer on Friday at Indian Trail.
"Volunteer will be a tough test Friday," Petty said.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
Congratulations to the following University School Track Team members for recent wins in Pole Vault:
Middle School Boys Basketball 2nd Place Victory! Congratulations to our Middle School Boys Basketball team for taking 2nd place in the Conference!!! So very, very proud of our Athletic Bucs!!!!
Middle School Girls Basketball 3rd Place Victory! Congratulations to our Middle School Girls Basketball team for taking 3rd place in the Conference!!! So very, very proud of our Graceful, Jr. Lady Bucs!!!!
January 20th, 2015 10:34 pm by Gene Renfro
Dustin Estes' 8-0 scoring spurt helped University High to a 48-42 win over Cloudland Tuesday at Brooks Gym.
The senior posted the third quarter's last five points and then hit a three in the fourth to turn a 29-25 deficit into a four-point lead. The margin remained above four the rest of the way.
Estes was also clutch down the stretch. With 68 seconds left, Cloudland's Preston Benfield was called for a technical foul. Estes made one of the shots and added three more points on free throws in the next 36 seconds to make it 44-37.
Estes led all scorers with 19 points which included two 3-pointers.
The Bucs improved to 3-3 in the conference and 9-11 overall. Included in that record is the first season sweep of Cloudland since Justin Penley's first season at the helm in 2007-08.
"We took care of the basketball for the most part," Penley said about his team's effort. "We knew coming in that was going to be an important factor in determining if we're in the game at the end. The second thing we emphasized was rebounding. I felt like Cloudland is too good of a team to give second chances too."
Cloudland's Zac Benfield completed an old-fashioned, three-point play with 25.9 seconds remaining to make the score 46-42. A turnover gave the ball back to the road team, but a miss gave the Bucs the rebound with 10 seconds remaining and they held on for the win.
After a back and forth start, the Highlanders used Zac Benfield for four points to grab an 8-3 lead late in the opening quarter.
Cloudland kept a lead until it was 13-10 three minutes into the second quarter. Preston Ontengeo scored to start a 7-0 Buc run that was capped by a Dayshawn Hamilton 3-pointer. The Highlanders tied things at 17 apiece, but a three from Estes and a three-point play by Collin Newberry ended the half as University High led 23-17. Newberry tallied 14 points on the night.
University High started the second half with a bucket from Newberry, but the Highlanders posted the next dozen points with a balanced attack. Dalton Vines and Zac Benfield both tallied four points apiece in that run.
Zac Benfield finished with 15 points to lead the Highlanders while Preston Benfield was responsible for 11 more.
"At times it was a slow, grind it out game and we were able to make a few more shots than they were tonight," Penley added about his squad that went the final 4:31 of the game without a field goal.
University High 54, Cloudland 47 (girls)
University High jumped in front early and owned a 22-11 lead after eight minutes thanks in part to four 3-pointers split by Lexi Crouthers and Ari Ramsaran.
Crouthers ended up with 15 points and Elise Howard chipped in 15 more for the winning side.
Cloudland battled back in the third quarter to take a 41-40 lead momentarily thanks in part to seven points from the game's leading scorer Kendall Mull. She totaled 17 in the contest to go with a dozen points from Faith Russell.
The home side rallied in the final quarter as Ramsaran scored four of her 14 points in that frame. Mollee Cohee also finished in double-digits with 10 points for University High.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
Cross Country State Meet:
who ran in the 2014 Cross Country State Meet in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, November 1st. Both Cora and Pablo had solid performances in their races. Thank you to the team for coming together and cheering their teammates on to the finish line at Starbucks in the snow!
Cross Country : Somewhere along the line from the long bus rides and the countless hours of practice, our success and our failures, our inside jokes and our stories we became more than a team; we became a family. We look forward to Track. Congratulations to all on a successful Cross Country Season. Coach Whitson
Cross Country Victory! Congratulations to Jeb Jones, Blake Ryan, Caleb Strickler, Collin Daniel, Will Owen, Ele Drona-Migareas, Josiah Turner, and Drew Oligny! The Middle School Boys Cross Country team placed 2nd in State Championship in Knoxville. Jeb Jones placed 3rd. He was All-State! Also, congratulations to Nick Daniels, who placed 18th in Elementary Race! Way to go, Bucs!!!!
We have several new coaches for UH sports this season!
Ms. Bethany Byrd – Middle School Girls Head Basketball Coach. University School is excited to announce Bethany Byrd as the Middle School Girls Head Basketball Coach. Bethany played 4 years of college basketball at the University of Montevallo where she is the all-time leading shot blocker and 2nd all-time leading scorer. She led her team to the Elite Eight and was inducted into the University of Montevallo Hall of Fame in 2003. Bethany has coached both high school and middle school girls’ basketball as well as softball.
Mr. Dan Almond – High School Boys Head Soccer Coach
University School is excited to announce Dan Almond as the Boy’s Head Soccer Coach. Dan played college soccer at Emory & Henry where he still holds the record for assists and points for a career and single season. Dan has also coached high school soccer, leading the Science Hill JV team to a 37-1 record from 2008 to 2010. Dan’s most recent coaching experience was head coach of the 2014 FC – Dallas U13 program which was nationally ranked. Welcome to University School, Coach Almond!
Mr. Randy Winstead – High School Girls Head Basketball Coach
University School is excited to announce Randy Winstead has the High School Girl’s Head Basketball Coach. Randy played college level basketball for 2 years and has coached both high school and middle school basketball. Randy most recently led Gray’s middle school girls basketball program to 3 straight Big 3A conference championships and 2 state sectional championships from 2011 to 2014.
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 2013-2014 Athletic News