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Derrin Easterly confers with Whitwell softball players during a game in 2015, when he was the team's head coach. Easterly, who played high school baseball at Marion County, is now the baseball coach at Sequatchie County.

Derrin Easterly, the former Marion County High School baseball player who later led Whitwell's softball team to the substate round of the postseason, has assumed baseball coaching duties at Sequatchie County.

"I grew up playing high school ball versus Sequatchie County, and you knew every time you played those guys that you were in for a dogfight," Easterly said. "They have a history of having a good program. People (in Dunlap) care about baseball and support it."

After graduating from Marion County, Easterly went to Chattanooga State and then King University.

As a coach, Easterly had some success at Whitwell. The softball team lost in substate play to eventual state champion Gordonsville.

"They beat us 3-2 and then went on to win the state without giving up a run," Easterly recalled.

He compared softball and baseball.

"Softball is a little more fast-paced," he said. "As far as fundamentals, they're pretty similar. At the end of the day you still have to hit it and field it."

Easterly replaces Jacob Hatchel, who accepted the baseball coaching job at Dyersburg.

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Soddy-Daisy's Tre Carter is likely to be selected in the first five rounds of the pro baseball draft, which starts tonight. The well-rounded outfielder is considered a five-tool player who has drawn interest from multiple MLB teams.

Former Trojan still in Arizona

Former Soddy-Daisy baseball player Tre Carter remains in Arizona in fall instruction with the San Diego Padres.

The outfielder played only 12 games as a pro rookie this summer because of problems with his heart.

"He got out there and it was discovered during a physical that he had an enlarged heart, so he had to undergo some tests," Trojans coach Jared Hensley said. "They flew in some specialists, and he had to wear a monitor for a couple of weeks."

He was pretty much relegated to light work for a month or more.

Carter turned down an opportunity to go earlier in the draft, initially declining due to financial concerns. The Padres came back and drafted him in the 11th round, and finances were worked out.

In his short time of actually playing for the Padres' Arizona League team, he hit .298 with a pair of triples, 10 RBIs and three stolen bases.

"He might be home in the next week or so, but he has a chance to go to the Dominican (Winter League), and he may go in order to get some more at-bats," Hensley said. "I don't think that has been decided definitely."

More postseason golf tournaments

The Region 4-A/AA and District 5-AAA and 6-AAA golf tournaments are today.

The region tournament is at Fall Creek Falls and will feature a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The team winners advance to the state tournament, along with the top four boys and girls not on the winning teams.

Signal Mountain's girls and boys are the team champions from District 7. Junior Taylor Gardner was medalist, Lindsey Hollis finished third and fellow sophomore April Weaver was fifth.

"Just like in the past, we've got a shot," Signal Mountain coach Rodney Mitchell said. "We've worked hard. We're just happy to be in this position."

Eagles junior Jack Combs and senior Charles Beasley finished second and third in the district on the boys' side.

"We have a good ball-striking team," said Mitchell, who sees District 8 champion Macon County as the boys' favorite. "If we play well, things could get interesting."

Rhea County is hosting the District 6-AAA tournament at Dayton Golf & Country Club. The top three boys' and girls' teams from districts advance to region play, as do the top five boys and girls not on those teams.

The Golden Eagles are led by No. 1 player junior Russell Green. He's supported by senior Ben Fox and junior Jackson Lytle.

"We've got a pretty good district," Rhea coach Nathan Talley said. "We kind of mirror District 5 in a lot of ways. Cookeville and Warren County are pretty solid. White County is coming around. Those are girls and boys.

"I hope our guys kind of use our home-field advantage type of thing to move on to the region. We hope we kind of put it together on the right day."

Rhea's girls' team is junior C.J. Sneed and sophomore Lesley Green.

The District 5-AAA tournament is at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. The first tee time is 9 a.m.

Rivals team up for good cause

Marion County and South Pittsburg will team together to fight a common opponent Monday.

Yes, Marion County and South Pittsburg.

The volleyball teams from those District 6-A schools are scheduled to play at Marion County in front of the student body at 2:30 p.m. EDT. But the real opponent for the Lady Pirates and Lady Warriors is breast cancer.

Proceeds from the match and T-shirt sales are being donated to the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation scholarship fund, which provides college tuition assistance to students who have had a parent diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Marion County community lost Kennedy Griffith, daughter of director of schools Mark Griffith, to cancer two years ago. Additionally, Amber Slatton lost her battle with cancer last December, three days after Christmas.

Lady Warriors coach Carol Bailey, who as a teacher had both Griffith and Slatton as students, said her players are now more aware of childhood cancer than ever before. She added that an in-school match, especially against the county rival, is generally a big moneymaker and should generate a nice donation for the organization's fund.

"Despite what you might hear, they do get along well," Bailey said of the students at Marion County and South Pittsburg.

"Football is different. Other than that, we all get along."

Former Marion County volleyball player and third-year college student Emily Simmons has been a recipient of a Locher Foundation fund scholarship.

Baylor volleyball high in rankings

In its latest Xcellent 25 national volleyball rankings, MaxPreps has Baylor ranked fifth. The Lady Raiders (32-0) are the only Tennessee team in the Top 25.

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