Top Local Sports Story of 2016: DCHS Tigerettes Finish 4th in State

Top Local Sports Story of 2016: DCHS Tigerettes Finish 4th in State

A final four finish for the DCHS Tigerettes in the TSSAA Class AA Girls Softball Tournament at Murfreesboro in May topped the year in DeKalb County sports.

After winning the regular district season, district tournament and region tournament, the Tigerettes advanced to the state tourney, finishing in 4th place to conclude the season with a record of 35-6-1.

The Tigerettes’ state tournament run began with a 5 to 3 win over Dyersburg in the first round game followed by a 6 to 2 loss to Waverly. The local team won one more with a 5 to 1 victory over Chester County before being eliminated by White House Heritage 5 to 2.

It was the program’s third consecutive state tournament appearance and eighth in program history, but the first time the squad reached the Final Four.

After the season, Tigerette Coach Danny Bond announced his retirement although he remains employed by the school system in a new position. Bond had served as coach of the DCHS girls softball program for 31 years since it began in 1985. He succeeded Marshall Ferrell as the Alternative Learning Center Director. Bond has been an educator for more than 35 years having taught Physical Education, Health, Lifetime Wellness, and Personal Fitness. In his 31 seasons as softball coach, Bond compiled an overall win-loss record of 680-258-1 (.725). His District win-loss record was 293-56 (.840). Bond also served as DCHS boys basketball from 1986 until 2002 and recorded an overall win-loss record of 256-220 in 17 seasons.

In July Danny Fish was named to succeed Coach Bond. Fish, who served as an assistant for the last four years moved from Northside Elementary School to DCHS where he serves as a physical education teacher.

DCHS Tigerette Pitcher Kayley Caplinger was named the Most Valuable Player of the District 8AA Softball Tournament. Caplinger pitched a shutout every night of the tournament and only allowed 9 hits in 4 games played with 28 strikeouts. Members of the All District Tournament Team from DeKalb County were Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, and Joni Robinson. DeKalb County also had its share of honors for the regular season. Tigerette Coach Danny Bond was named Coach of the Year in District 8AA. Kayley Caplinger was selected as District Co-Player of the Year, Co-Pitcher of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year. The District’s Defensive Player of the Year is Tyra Graham. Members of the All District Team from DeKalb County are Kayley Caplinger, Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, Hannah Walker, and Myranda Bailiff. Allison Maynard received honorable mention. Maddison Parsley and Joni Robinson were named to the All District Freshman Team.

Meanwhile, two Tigerettes, who graduated in May, put pen to paper on June 20, signing to play for the Roane State Community College Raiders softball team next spring. Tigerette catcher Dani Meadows and center fielder Hannah Walker were joined by their parents, fellow high school players, and coaches for the signing at DCHS. Jessica Hackworth, Assistant Softball Coach represented Roane State.

Nine members of the 1986 DCHS Tigerette fast pitch softball team reunited Friday afternoon, April 22 at the Danny Bond Field to commemorate the 30 year existence of the program. Following the game between this year’s DCHS Tigerettes and Warren County, each member of the 1986 inaugural team was recognized including Patty Redmon Hale, Tammy Billings Eaton, Dionndra Foster, Tammy Hayes Reynolds, Tracie Webb Baker, Christie Poss Hart, Michelle Gard Roller, Vickie Hayes Gwynn, and Gena Hayes Cripps. They were joined on the field by their Coach Danny Bond, who is the only coach in the history of the program. Other members of the 1986 team unable to attend were Tina Waggoner Woodall, Tonia Foster Pack, Beth Hale Gill, Christie Frazier Young, and Lori Pugh Hall. Other DCHS Tigerette Alumni also joined the 1986 team on the field for photographs along with the 2016 team.

The season for the 2016 DeKalb County Tiger Football Team ended in November after coming up short against the East Ridge Pioneers in the first round of the TSSAA Class 3A Football Play-Offs in Smithville. The final score was 23-18. DeKalb County concluded the season with an overall record of 7-4 and finished as runner-up to Sequatchie County in the regular season region standings. Thirteen players on the 2016 DCHS football team and Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp were recognized in December for All-Region honors during an awards banquet in Cookeville. Trapp was named the Region 4-3A Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year. The players receiving honors were :Most Outstanding Linebacker Nick May; Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Tayvian Nokes; Most Outstanding Defensive Back Bradley Miller; Most Outstanding Tight End Christian Pruitt; Most Outstanding Punter Matthew Poss; 1st Team All Region Eli Cross; 1st Team All Region Luke Green; 1st Team All Region Steven Jennings; 1st Team All Region Riley Sexton; 1st Team All Region Devin Zaderiko; 2nd Team All Region Devin Bain; 2nd Team All Region Gage Delape; and 2nd Team All Region Tyler Cantrell.

DeKalb County High School Football is stepping up a class next year going from Class 3A to 4A. Enrollments for Class 4A are from 822 to 1,102. The DCHS enrollment is 856. DeKalb County will be part of the new five team Region 3 Class 4A which will also include Macon County, Livingston Academy, Stone Memorial, and Cumberland County. For the last few years, DeKalb County has been part of Region 4 in Class 3A along with Cannon County, Grundy County, Sequatchie County, Smith County, Upperman, and York Institute.

A.J. Mooneyham, a senior, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 DeKalb County High School Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held in January. The awards were sponsored by Liberty State Bank. The MVP trophy was presented to Mooneyham by Coach Steve Trapp. " He started out as a running back and then moved around and did a lot of different things for us but for his career he rushed the football for 108 times for 540 yards and 11 touchdowns. Keep in mind he got moved around a lot. He wasn't solely a running back for his whole career. He had 39 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Return yardage. He had 13 returns, punting and kickoff returns for 266 yards. He did a lot of different things for us in his career. Defensive stats. He had 209 total tackles including 19 for a loss, one safety, seven interceptions, five deflected passes, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and four blocked extra points or field goals," said Coach Trapp. "In 2013 he was named 2nd Team All-District in 8AA. He was voted by his team as DeKalb County High School Defensive Back of the Year. In 2014 he was 1st Team All District in 8 AA. He was named DCHS Linebacker of the Year. In 2015 he had 11 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He had 57 rushes for 239 yards and seven touchdowns. A.J. received All Upper Cumberland 2nd Team Defensive Back, All Region Most Outstanding Defensive Back and 1st Team All Region for Region 4AAA. He's had a pretty good career for us," Coach Trapp said. The Tigers finished the season in November, 2015 with an overall record of 7-4 and another appearance in the state play-offs. It was the fifth consecutive year the Tigers earned a berth in the state play-offs and their seventh appearance in the last eight years. The Tigers lost in the first round of the play-offs to the Chattanooga Christian Chargers 23-22 in Smithville. Meanwhile, Carlee White, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coaches Amanda Fuller and Sonya House.

Steven Jennings, a senior at DeKalb County High School, may soon become the first DCHS Tiger ever to play collegiate baseball in the Southeastern Conference. This outstanding pitcher and short stop for the DCHS program signed a letter of intent in November to play for the Ole Miss Rebels after his high school career is completed. The signing was held in the library at DCHS. Jennings was joined by his parents, Randy and Jill Jennings, his sister Cori, DCHS baseball coach Jon Adam Kefauver, members of the Tiger baseball team, and DCHS football coach Steve Trapp. Jennings was also selected by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association to be a member of Team Tennessee in the Junior Sunbelt Classic in Mcalester, Oklahoma. Jennings was among 20 high school players from across the state who represented Tennessee in the Classic in June.

DeKalb County High School got a new baseball coach in 2016. Jon Adam Kefauver of Crossville was named in June to replace former coach Tracy Slone who was not re-hired for another season. Kefauver came to DeKalb County after serving three years as head baseball coach and as a Wellness and Physical Education teacher at Stone Memorial High School in Crossville. In addition to his coaching duties, Kefauver is a wellness/PE teacher at DCHS.

Senior Noah Parsley was named the DCHS Tiger basketball Most Valuable Player during the annual banquet in March, while Senior Jailyn Bolding received the Lady Tiger MVP honor. Senior Chloe White is the Most Valuable Cheerleader. The awards were sponsored by Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. The MVP and MVC awards are named in memory of Allen D. Hooper. In addition to being named MVP, Parsley received the team's Hustle Award, Best Defender, and Best Passer Awards. Bolding,along with the MVP award, was honored for being the team's Best Ball Handler, Hustle Award, and Best Defensive Player. Bolding received All District Honorable Mention and was chosen to the All District Defensive Team. The season for the DeKalb County Tigers ended with a loss to Cannon County in overtime in the District Tournament at Cookeville last month. The Tigers finished the season at 13-20 overall. The DeKalb County Lady Tigers wrapped up their season losing to Sequatchie County in the Region Tournament. They closed out the campaign with an overall record of 24-14.

Ashli Chew, a senior and member of the DCHS Lady Tiger Basketball Squad, was selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association 2015-16 Girls All-State Team in Class AA. During her high school basketball years, Ashli scored a career high 1150 points. That was really a 3-season total because she had an ACL and MCL tear at the end of her freshman year that required surgery and kept her sidelined for the majority of her sophomore year. With hard work and determination she came back strong in her junior year and was named MVP. She led her team to the first win over Livingston Academy in 31 years this past season by sinking 2 free throws with only 3 seconds left on the clock. In her senior season alone Chew led her team in scoring with 619 points, and led in rebounds with 255 rebounds. An average of 16.9 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Her free shooting was at 70 % this season. She also led her team to a win over Cannon County for the first time in 17 years in February scoring the winning points with .9 seconds left on the clock. Her team had a 3rd place finish in the District Tournament and made an appearance in the Regional Tournament. Ashli was selected to the All Freshman Team in the district as a freshman; 3rd Team All District and Upper Cumberland Honorable Mention and Junior-Girls 3-point Shooting Champion her Junior Year; And in her senior year she was named 1st team All District; All Upper Cumberland 2nd team, District 8AA All Tournament Team and now All State Basketball Team for AA. She is only 1 of 16 players across the State of Tennessee selected for this honor. In February Ashli signed a Basketball Scholarship to play at the college level with Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.

After the season, DCHS Girls Basketball Coach Joe Pat Cope learned that he would not be re-hired for another season. In his seven seasons as the Lady Tiger Coach, Cope compiled an overall record of 126-102. His district record was 18-68 and his post-season mark was 4-10. Coach Cope later joined the women’s basketball coaching staff at Ole Miss as a video coordinator.

In May, Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard was named to succeed Coach Cope as the girls basketball coach at DCHS but Kennard changed his mind about taking the job and resigned in August to accept a teaching position near his home at Livingston Academy. Danny Fish was then selected to replace Kennard was the new DCHS girls head basketball coach. Fish is now coaching two sports at the school. He was selected in July to succeed longtime Tigerette softball coach Danny Bond.

John Pryor was named DCHS Golf Coach and Seth Willoughby took over coaching duties for the Tennis program in May. The positions were formerly held by Joe Pat Cope. As during the past season, Willoughby will continue to serve as an assistant to DCHS Tiger Basketball Coach Lynus Martin

DeKalb County High School Golfer Isaac Walker competed in the TSSAA Class A-AA Golf Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 4 & 5 at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester. Walker shot a 77 on Tuesday and a 74 on Wednesday for a two day total of 151. Out of 72 golfers competing, Isaac finished in a tie for 14th place. Walker, just a sophomore, was making his second appearance at the state tournament in as many years. Walker earned his way into the state by finishing 3rd in the district tournament and 2nd in the region.

The DCHS Cross Country Team traveled to Cookeville Tuesday, October 25 to compete in the TSSAA Region 4 A-AA meet. In the girls race, Mya Ruch finished 3rd with her best time of the season coming in at 20:46. This 3rd place finish qualified her to attend and compete in the TSSAA state meet on Nov. 5th. This was the first time DCHS has had anyone to go to state for XC. Mya is a freshman this year and also earned a spot on the MSCCA All Mid-State Bronze Team . She qualified for this honor over fall break. In the State Meet, Mya placed 15th out of 181 runners and medaled, hitting her best PR by finishing with a time of 20:32, which earned her a spot on the TSSAA All-State Team.

DeKalb County High School Tiger Basketball Coach Lynus Martin reached a coaching milestone in mid-November, notching his 257th career victory and passing former Coach Danny Bond for 2nd on the all time list, behind former Coach Harold Luna. Martin is in his 15th season. The victory came in the season opener against the Chattanooga Patriots in which the Tigers won 87-36.

DeKalb Middle School Lady Saints Head Coach Josh Agee recently won his 200th game in his 14 years coaching at the school

The DeKalb West School Bulldogs took first place at the annual Best of the West tournament in October/November while the Lady Bulldogs captured a third place finish.

The DeKalb County Pee Wee Tigers won the First Ever Middle Tennessee Youth Football Conference Super Bowl in October at York Institute. They avenged their only loss of the season by beating Fentress County 6 to O. The Peewees won 9 straight games after their season opening loss to Fentress.

Local Coach Josh Agee and the 7th grade team of the AAU organization Tennessee Rush played in the AAU Division II National Basketball Championship July 3-8 in Kingsport. The girls of the Rush team were up against 27 other teams of stellar competition from all across the United States. The team was undefeated for the tournament with a record of 7-0.

The DeKalb County 7-9 year old Girls Coach Pitch All Stars claimed the Championship of the Tennessee Youth Baseball Association on July 17 in Murfreesboro. They competed in the TYBA's 7-9 year old Girls Coach Pitch Open State Championship. DeKalb County defeated the Christiana Diamond Queens 11 to 1 in the Championship Game after first beating Unionville 11 to 4 in the Semi-Finals earlier in the day. The local team began tournament play on a Friday with an 11 to 5 win over Unionville and then played two games on Saturday, beating Christiana 8 to 5 and Adrenaline 13 to 1.

DeKalb County native Darvin Gill was named in June to be the head basketball coach of the girls program at Rhea County High School located near Dayton Tennessee at Evansville. In addition to his basketball coaching duties, Gill is an educational assistant at the school and may serve in other coaching positions. From 2007 to 2015, Gill was an assistant to head girls basketball coach Michael Dodgen at Cannon County High School before the two of them left for White County High School in the same roles this past season. Prior to joining the Cannon County program, Gill served as an assistant to former DCHS girls head basketball coach Victor Harrison in 2004-05.

He caught it on April Fools’ Day, but Sasa Krezic had a fish tale that was verified and placed in the record books by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It is no joke! A new northern brook trout state record was on the Caney Fork River near Smithville by Krezic, a resident of Nashville. Will Collier, a TWRA fish biologist, verified the record weight at 4 lbs., 12 oz. The old state record was set in 1973 by Jerry Wells while fishing the Hiwassee River near Chattanooga. It weighed 3 lbs., 14 oz. and stood the test of time over 43 years. Northern strain brook trout have been stocked on the Caney Fork River since 2008.

Boosters, players, donors, and local public officials joined the administration of DeKalb West School in a groundbreaking on April 21 for the new baseball indoor hitting and pitching practice facility. The DeKalb West School Bulldog Baseball Boosters Club plans to build a 40 x 100 foot structure on campus which is to include hitting cages, restrooms, concession stand, storage, office, and locker room.

Smithville was well represented at the 2016 Cheersport Nationals held February 12-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Cheersport Nationals is the largest cheerleading competition in the world with over 1,250 teams and over 25,000 cheerleaders in attendance. Power Athletics' Storm Cats, a Senior Coed Level 3 team, took home the National Championship in their division. Power Athletics' Lady Cats, a Junior Level 2 team and defending National Champions, took home second place after a very close two-day competition.

The DeKalb Middle School Cross Country Teams had a successful season. On Saturday October 8th, the boys team earned 2nd place out of a field of 12 teams, qualifying them for the state cross country meet in Knoxville. The regional meet was held at Macon County High School in Lafayette. Out of a field of 89 runners the boys showed amazing teamwork and determination edging out tough competitors such as Tuckers Cross Roads, Cannon County, and Macon County. Aaron Gottlied led the boys team placing 3rd overall with a time of 12:38, a personal record for him. Cameron Miller finished 9th with at PR of 13:09. Connor Vance was close behind finishing 20th with a PR of 13:39, followed by Braden Martin 24th with a PR of 13:43, Levi Driver 47th with a PR of 14:24, Holden Trapp 15:50, Gage Trapp with a PR of 16:05, Liam Wallace PR of 16:01, Bralin Moss PR of 17:01, and Brenden Wagner 20:27. Representing DeKalb girls at the state meet in Knoxviille were Carly Vance, who placed 13th in the region with a time of 14:28 and Alex Moreno who placed 41st with a time of 15:46.

37 year old Brian Shelton was the overall winner of the 18th annual fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run Saturday, July 2 and he set a new course record at 16:12. Meanwhile Kristen VanVranken won the race among females. She ran the course in 20:23. Winners in other categories were: TOP MALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Sean Edwards at 19:21: TOP FEMALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Kendra Faith Edwards at 24:53. One-Mile Fun Run (age 12 and younger) winner: TOP MALE: Conner Vance of Smithville at 6:47. TOP FEMALE: Bella Bryson of Woodbury at 8:19. The 18th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 321 participants. Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Josh Miller of Smithville won the DeKalb County Fair 5K and Fun Run in July. Miller was the overall winner of the race which was held on West Main Street in Alexandria. He ran the course in 22:18. Danny Mayo took second place in the race at 23:24 and Emily Davis came in third place at 24:15. Fun Run winners were:1st place: Ethan Trapp at 10:03; 2nd place: Maddox Pyburn at 13:50; and 3rd place: Max Hendrixson at 14:47.

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