Cleveland

There will still be an arms race in District 5-AAA entering the 2014 football season. But the league's top four teams will be introducing new arms.

Austin Massey is the No. 10-ranked college football prospect among area high school seniors. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound quarterback, who is receiving interest from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State and Kentucky, sat down with the Times Free Press recently before the start of his final prep season.

The Ooltewah and Cleveland football teams were selected as two of the state's top Class 5A teams in a preseason poll.

Cleveland High School has hired Caitlin DeLoach to take over as head coach of its softball program.

Tickets for the the inaugural Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic on Aug. 21 at Finley Stadium, matching the McCallie and Cleveland high school football teams, are on sale now at www.timesfreepress.com/kickoff. Tickets cost $8 in advance and will be $10 on the day of the game.

It all begins anew. Winter workouts became summer conditioning, which led to 7-on-7 passing camps, and now cleats will dig into dew-soaked practice fields this morning as high school football teams across Tennessee are allowed to put on full pads and prepare for the season's kickoff.

During his senior season at Tyner, Trey Suttles wasn't even sure that he wanted to play basketball in college.

TSSAA Division I coaches and athletic directors from high schools in the southeastern part of the state met Thursday at Chattanooga Christian School to discuss football classification proposals and the possibility of a split between public and all private schools.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Even though the debate over a potential public/private school complete split was never mentioned openly during the two days of the TSSAA Board of Control meetings, the subject was discussed during the closed-door session, according to one board member.

Sadik Spence showed Tuesday at Notre Dame that as baseball players go, he's got plenty of basketball ability.

Instead of having to coach against the players on the Georgia all-star soccer team Friday, Calhoun coach Matt Rice was able to assemble them and turn them loose together.

Coaches and athletes in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia often lament the fact that there is very little in-season competition between area high school programs in the two states. The TSSAA and the GHSA are on different reclassification cycles, so scheduling interstate contests proves difficult.

In the athletic realm there is little the three major award winners from Thursday night's Best of Preps Banquet have in common except, obviously, success.

Winning a state championship was not a requirement to become a finalist for the Scrappy Moore Coach of the Year award. But it certainly didn't hurt.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — By now Tyler Davis is used to the confused glances and double-takes.

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