• University of Tennessee the Tennessee golfer Zac Stolz advanced to the semifinal round at the Match Play golf tournament Saturday. The second-seeded Stolz won twice Saturday, beating Michael Thoms of Knoxville 4 and 2 and then beat Crait Smith 2 and 1, to set up a semifinal matchup with Matt Cooper today. The other semifinal will feature Brentwood's Brendon Caballero taking on Franklin's Michael Monroe. Benton resident Evan Ball won his opening match Saturday -- beating Knoxville's Brandon Rodgers 4 and 2 -- but lost 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals Cooper of Memphis. Keoni Vidrine of Delono and former Chattanoogan Nick Blakely both lost in the round of 16.
• Keaton Stanfield from LaFayette, Ethan Dendy from Trion, Lanier Guest from Rock Spring and Gunter Jordan from Calhoun are part of the Boys 16-18 Northwest contingent in the GSGA Junior Sectional Challenge Match today and Monday at The Landings Club-Marshwood/Magnolia in Savannah, Ga. There are teams for seven geographic sections of Georgia in the competition. Cole Ingram of Rossville is a Northwest player in Boys 14-15, and LaFayette's Gage Smith, Rock Spring's Riley Grant, Dalton's Hardin Chambless are in Boys 12-13. Dalton's Landon Painter and Trion's Garrison Dendy are among the Northwest representatives in Boys 11-under. Tori Owens of Chatsworth in Girls 12-13 is the only female in the competition.
• Point guard Deshawn Ruffin from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., signed recently to continue his basketball career for coach Tony Ingle at Dalton State College. The 5-foot-11 Ruffin averaged 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds a game as the Bulldogs went 26-1 and allowed only 34.7 points a game. Bolles is the alma mater of retired Atlanta Braves great Chipper Jones and former NBA guard Dee Brown, among other notable athletes. "We are excited to have Deshawn as a Roadrunner," Ingle said in a DSC release. "I am sure he will give our fans a great deal to cheer about. It's difficult for a freshman to get serious playing time and make positive contributions, but we feel he has a legitimate chance. He is a serious student and a solid player, and he has great character."
• Dakota Cantrell is a two-time National Bass Fishing Trail junior national champion, and the 2014 Grundy County High School graduate now has a college scholarship for his success. Cantrell recently became one of the first two bass fishing signees for Campbellsville University in Kentucky. He's been fishing competitively for 13 years, since he was 5, and he finished fourth in the Trail junior nationals in 2008 and won the titles the next two seasons. "Dakota's one of the toughest competitors on the water I've ever been around," Grundy angling coach David Lowrie said in Campbellsville's release. "He's very serious about fishing and winning. He's as good as anybody out there." Cantrell also starred in the offensive line for the Grundy football team and was a member of the Coalmont school's Athletes Working for Jesus program.
• Andrew Klaus has become Lee University's first full-time assistant softball coach. A native of Clarkston, Mich., Klaus spent the last two seasons as an assistant at East Central University in Oklahoma, which went 42-13 one year. He worked a year before that at Oklahoma Panhandle State, where he played baseball and received the Heartland Conference President's Honor with a 4.0 grade point average. "We are very excited about having Andy join our program," Lee coach Emily Russell said in a release. "He is a great young coach. Andy has served as a hitting coach for the last three seasons at Oklahoma schools. He has played and coached at the NCAA Division II level, which will be another great asset for our program." Klaus said he "fell in love" with softball after being asked to help with the sport at his alma mater and admitted that he wants to be a Division I head coach. "I knew that Coach Russell had done a good job of building a power when Lee was a member of the NAIA. I want to help her build the same type of program in the Gulf South Conference and Division II." Also, he said, "The scenery in this area is great, and Cleveland seems to be a growing town. The campus is gorgeous."
• The 10-, 14- and 18-under semifinals and finals in the Tennessee Junior Team Tennis tournament will be held this morning at the Champions Club, after play the last two days at UTC, GPS and Baylor as well.
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