Stanley Jackson out as Brainerd High School football coach

Stanley Jackson out as Brainerd High School football coach

January 15th, 2013 by Staff Reports in Sports - Preps

Former Brainerd football coach Stanley Jackson

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

Stanley Jackson has been relieved of his duties as the Brainerd High School football coach, and the school has begun advertising the position on the TSSAA website.

A year after upsetting East Hamilton in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Panthers dropped off to 1-9 and had an 0-7 District 6-AA record.

Jackson said he found out last week during a meeting with Brainerd principal Uras Agee.

When asked if he resigned or if the job was taken from him, Jackson replied, "I felt it was taken from me. He felt like we had a difference in philosophy."

Agee, a former Hixson football assistant coach, was named principal at Brainerd last May.

Saban visits Bell

The recruiting process is heating up for Ridgeland All-America safety Vonn Bell. After visiting Ohio State last weekend, Bell received a visit from Alabama coach Nick Saban on Monday. Saban spent time with Bell and Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis at the school, then went to Bell's home.

Bell still has an in-home visit scheduled with Tennessee coach Butch Jones and will visit the Knoxville campus next weekend. He plans to announce his choice out of those three finalists on national signing day, Feb. 6, at Ridgeland.

Standifer to Bradley

Soddy-Daisy quarterback Brett Standifer has transferred to District 5-AAA rival Bradley Central. He will be a senior in a position where the Bears are losing four-year starter Bryce Copeland, who threw for 6,398 yards, second-most in area history behind Calhoun's Taylor Lamb.

Standifer will be one of four quarterbacks competing for the Bears' starting job in the 2013 season. In two-plus seasons as the Trojans starter, he threw for more than 3,000 yards and ran for almost 400.

In 2012, the Bears went 6-5 and advanced to the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, where they fell to McMinn County. The Trojans went 2-8, losing their last six games, and coach Kevin Orr resigned after the season. No successor has been hired.

Baylor loses O'Connor

After just one semester and one football season at Baylor, quarterback Michael O'Connor has transferred to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound highly touted prospect from Canada started 10 games last season, throwing for 1,000 yards and rushing for almost 400.

Although he had just one year of varsity experience, playing in Ottawa, O'Connor became a prospect after an impressive showing in last summer's recruiting camp circuit, including an Elite-11 region camp in Columbus, Ohio, that earned him scholarship offers from Michigan State, Mississippi State, Buffalo and Toledo.

IMG Academy is a private athletic training institute where students typically attend class for about three hours and train in their respective sports for up to six hours per day. This will be the first season of football competition for IMG, with former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Chris Weinke serving as head coach.

"What surprised me was that he and his family felt he was better attending a non-traditional academic school," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "They were searching for a good fit when they came to us, and I guess after last season they felt like he needed the extra help to get him ready for the next level.

"He's planning to graduate next December so he can sign and enroll early, wherever he goes, and adjusting to the American game, I think they just felt like he had some catching up to do to be ready."

O'Connor's transfer opens the door for sophomore Nick Tiano, who split snaps with O'Connor last season, to take over as the Red Raiders' full-time starter.

Cleveland wrestlers No. 2

Christian Brothers remains atop the Tennessee coaches' wrestling poll following a weekend victory at the Brentwood Invitational. Also in the tournament was second-ranked Cleveland, which finished as a runner-up to the Purple Wave.

Other area teams in the top 10 are No. 3 Soddy-Daisy, No. 5 McCallie, No. 8 Baylor, No. 9 Bradley Central and No. 10 Walker Valley. Soddy-Daisy hosts Baylor tonight and travels to Bradley Central on Thursday. Cleveland will be at Walker Valley on Thursday.

Four state-ranked

Four area teams received rankings in the latest Tennessee state basketball polls.

The Bradley Central girls improved to 17-1 with three wins and slid up a spot to No. 4 in Class AAA, with only nationally ranked programs Riverdale, Blackman and Science Hill ahead of them. The McMinn Central girls remained fifth in AA, while GPS fell from seventh to ninth in Division II-AA.

The lone area boys' team ranked is McMinn Central (17-1), which rose from No. 9 to No. 6 in Class AA after two wins.