The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is listed No. 18 in Athlon Sports' preseason rankings of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision schools and No. 20 by both Lindy's Sports Annuals and The Sporting News. North Dakota State, which has won the last two FCS national titles, is ranked No. 1 by all three publications. Soon-to-depart Southern Conference member Georgia Southern is No. 2 in the Lindy's and Sporting News lists and No. 3 in Athlon's. Wofford and Appalachian State each had one No. 5 projection, but Athlon and TSN both had Wofford behind UTC. UTC's Mocs went 6-5 in 2012 for their third winning season in four years and return 10 starters on both offense and defense.
• Bo Simpson of Maryville won the $3,000 first-place prize Sunday in the 4.70 class at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. He won in a 1970 Chevrolet Nova featuring a modified 632-cubic-inch modified Chevy engine with injected alcohol and nitrous oxide assist. Simpson covered the one-eighth mile in 4.72 seconds at 150.25 mph, the fastest speed of the meet. Ossie Newcomb of Knoxville was second at 4.75 seconds in a 1969 Camaro, and Jeff McNally was third. Joey Carr of Chickamauga won the 6.00 class in a '74 Chevy Vega with Whitwell's Justin Dempsey second, and Chris Turner was first with Lonnie Wigley second in the 7.00 class. Rubin Prince was first and Tracy Cochran second in the 5.70 class, and Kevin Rodden won in Super Pro with Cody Holloway the runner-up. Charles McRae won the Foot Brake class with Marty Goldsmith second. The junior dragster victor was 9-year-old Jacob Clayton at 7.90 seconds in his Briggs & Stratton-powered dragster; Colby Crane was second.
• Rhea County's Hunter McClendon recently signed to continue his baseball career with regional NAIA power Tennessee Wesleyan College, not long after Golden Eagles teammate Hunter Scoons signed with the Athens school. Both Hunters were three-year starters for Rhea, according to coach Mike Kinney, and deserving of their scholarships. "These guys have put in numerous hours, and I'm very excited that Tennessee Wesleyan has given them the opportunity to reach their goal of playing collegiate baseball," Kinney said. "Both of them hit over .350. Hunter Scoons is a very athletic outfielder and swings the bat very well. He has a very high ceiling. Hunter McClendon was probably our best pitcher -- he pitched six district games for us -- and he's as solid a young kid and young player overall as we have."
• In addition to the three Tennessee Wesleyan baseball players drafted by major league organizations earlier this month -- center fielder Michael Carballo by the White Sox, first baseman Jake Stone (the AAC player of the year and a second-team NAIA All-American) by the Cardinals and pitcher Justin Sprenger by the Rangers -- Bulldogs pitcher Corey Rhoney landed a professional contract. Rhoney, who went 9-0 with a 2.67 earned run average in 2013, signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals. "We lost some great players, but I'm proud of these four and and look forward to seeing their baseball careers continue at the next level," TWC coach Billy Berry said in a school release.
• The Tennessee-Georgia All-Star baseball game scheduled for Tuesday was postponed and rescheduled for 6:30 this evening at Ridgeland High School. A home run contest will begin at 5:30.
• The Tennessee-Georgia All-Star softball doubleheader will be played tonight at Frost Stadium starting at 6. Two youth softball games will precede the event. The 6-under Frost Falcons will take on the Dayton Thunder at 3:30, followed by the 10-under Rampage against the Chattanooga Fuze. Both youth games will have a one-hour time limit. Admission is $6 for ages 13 and older and $3 for ages 6-12. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.
• The Frost Falcons '00 won the ASA Oklahoma Hall of Fame 12-under girls' fastpitch tournament earlier this month. Having qualified already for the ASA 12-under national tournament, they are 60-7-1 after finishing eighth out of 27 teams in the 14-under division of the Scenic City College Exposure Tournament last weekend. They went 5-0 with a 33-5 run differential in Oklahoma, in what was a mini-nationals with 19 teams, with pitchers Hannah Kincer and Shelby Walters allowing only two earned runs and Kincer driving in nine runs. She had a three-run double in the championship win over the Texas Kaos, when Walters did the pitching, Cheyenne Lindsey was 2-for-3 with a two-run double and Trinity Liner added an RBI triple. Other players are Meagan Beasley, Lillian Berger, Emerald Frost, Mallory Lowe, Haley Smith, Alexis Trimiar and Breanna Vinson.
• Chattanooga State's softball team was one of the NJCAA all-academic teams for 2012-13, for having a collective grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The Lady Tigers' GPA was 3.14.
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