published Friday, January 13th, 2012

McMinn’s Ward state’s honoree

McMinn County’s Haley Ward was recently named Tennessee’s Gatorade cross country runner of the year. Mixing in an outstanding soccer season with cross country, the junior won the Class AAA state championship and ran the fastest time for any girl at the state meet.

“Haley Ward is an exceptional competitor,” Ravenwood coach Peter Mueller said. “I watched her perform at the state meet and she dominated in Class AAA, which is the toughest class in the state.”

Ward was named Times Free Press Runner of the Year after winning six of the eight meets in which she competed. She is the first area athlete to receive the state honor since its inception in 2007.

Arnold to Bryan

Following in his father’s footsteps, Chattanooga Christian senior Brandon Arnold will sign scholarship papers this afternoon to continue his career at Bryan College in Dayton.

The 6-foot-2 Arnold averages a team-high 15 points per game for the Chargers, who are 11-7 overall and 4-1 in District 7-AA. The elder Arnold, CCS’s coach, played at Bryan from 1996 to ’98 and was second in the NAIA in assists as a senior.

“We’re so excited about [Brandon] getting an opportunity,” Coach Arnold said. “We’re such different players. His niche is that he can shoot the ball well. He extends the defense and gets his shot up quick, and he’s more of a true off guard than a point guard.”

Brandon has hit 50 3s at a 37 percent rate.

“He reminds me more of my teammates at the time than me,” Jim Arnold said. “I was more of a playmaker. Either way, to see him wear the same uniform I wear is both unique and special. It’s great to see him have the same opportunities I had.”

Vaughn to Reinhardt

Sonoraville’s Kailey Vaughn recently signed a volleyball scholarship with Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga.

“I loved the small-town feeling,” Vaughn said of her visit in November to the school in the conference with Bryan and Tennessee Wesleyan. “I went to 30 different colleges, and that was the only one that made me feel like I was at home.”

Vaughn, an outside hitter, is currently splitting time as a member of a club volleyball team and playing basketball for Sonoraville. As far as volleyball, she said working on her blocking is a priority before she joins Reinhardt’s team in August. She plans to major in business management and minor in marketing.

As a senior, Vaughn led the 33-9 Phoenix with 7.1 kills per game and was second with 6.2 assists, 0.95 blocks and 5.24 digs per game. They went 12-0 in their area and went to the state tournament for the fourth year in a row.

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