USA Today High School Sports announced Thursday its state-by-state winners in the "best rivalry" competition, and Baylor-versus-McCallie in Chattanooga was the choice for Tennessee. The "Cross-River Rivalry" dates back to 1905. Now fans of the two schools are teaming up to get the national award out of representatives from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The public can vote at http://contest.usatodayhss.com/vote/south. The regional round ends Wednesday with four rivalries advancing, and a national winner of $10,000 -- split between the two chosen schools -- will be announced at 11 a.m. on Dec. 19.
Track & Field
• The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga track and field teams will begin their 2012-13 indoor season today in the Middle Tennessee Christmas Invitational meet at Murfreesboro. It will start with field events at 10:30 a.m. EST. Besides host MTSU, other teams entered are Western Kentucky, Tennessee State, Belmont's men and Austin Peay's women. "We have a lot of freshmen who haven't experienced a collegiate track meet," UTC coach Bill Gautier said in a school release. "This will be a good learning experience for them."
• Lee University golf coach John Maupin completed his announcements of five recent women's team signees with information on Daytona State College sophomore Callie Kitchens from Tallahassee, Fla., and Gallatin High School senior Cori Burns from Goodlettsville, Tenn. "Callie plays for one of the best junior college programs in the country," Maupin said, "and one of the top coaches in the country, Laura Brown. As a member of the team at Daytona State, Callie has had the opportunity to play in some really big tournaments, including the NJCAA national tournament last spring." With only three returning players next year as Lee makes the move from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, Maupin liked having at least one of his recruits with college experience. Kitchens was a five-time high school district champion and a regional medalist as a junior and a senior, and she won multiple times on three junior tours. She was the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour player of the year in 2008, and Coach Brown said she "has consistently improved" while at Daytona State. Burns has finished well in both the Tennessee Girls Junior Amateur and the State Women's Amateur, Maupin noted, and she won an AAJGT event at Brown Acres in Chattanooga. The Lee coach said he had been "building a relationship" with Burns for a long time. "Cori just has a great energy about her," he said. "She loves the game of golf and pursues that passion with everything that she has. Her work ethic really stands out to me. She works with a great instructor from Gallatin, Johnny Warren, and she has really put in the time needed to become a strong player."
• Georgia Northwestern Technical College will hold its "Toy Drive" basketball games Tuesday at the Rossville Athletic Complex, beginning with the women's contest at 6 p.m. Both GNTC teams will host Mid-South College, and admission for both costs one new toy for the Stocking Full of Love drive.
• Safe at Home Baseball instructional camps and showcases for middle school and high school aged players will be held next Saturday and Dec. 29 in East Ridge. The instruction will be based at Old School Hardball on Tombras Avenue -- formerly the McBrien School -- and showcase games will be held at Camp Jordan Park, weather permitting. Each session will begin at 9 a.m. and costs $100, with a T-shirt and hot dog lunch included. Representatives from six major league organizations and at least 15 colleges and universities, including six NCAA Division I schools, have committed to attend, according to organizers, and some professional players will help college and high school coaches teach. There will be a time for parents to ask questions of the scouts and college coaches. For more information, contact Stan Teem at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-280-2584.
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