Sonoraville High School did not wait long to fill its football head coach opening, naming assistant coach Denver Pate as Jim Kremer's successor Thursday.
Kremer resigned last week after three years, having led the Phoenix to three consecutive playoff seasons, two postseason wins and a 21-13 overall record. According to athletic director Brent Mashburn, Kremer is taking a job closer to his Florida roots due to family concerns.
"Jim has a family down south, and I think he's headed back down," Mashburn said. "We've had several really good years with Jim, and he has our program headed in a really good direction. Now with Coach Pate we can hopefully take that next step."
Pate was the team's offensive coordinator the past two seasons, and the program had an offensive-record-setting campaign in 2015.
"He's done a really good job for us, and the kids love him," Mashburn said. "He's going to be a great fit. The program can pick right up where it left off."
Kickoff Classic set
Four area teams will participate in a season-opening football event, the Chattanooga Kickoff Classic, on Thursday, Aug. 17, at Finley Stadium.
Baylor will play Notre Dame at 6 p.m., and that game will be followed by Central vs. Walker Valley at about 8:30. Tickets are $10, covering both games. Tickets will be available at the participating schools or at the gate on game day.
"Our kids have always loved playing at Finley Stadium and in the atmosphere it brings. To be in partnership with three other great schools and coaching staffs makes this even more special," Notre Dame coach Charles Fant said.
"It's an unbelievable opportunity for our student-athletes and community," Central coach Cortney Braswell said. "This event gives us the ability to provide a high school football experience second to none. To play on a Thursday night, surrounded by some of the best coaches and players in the Chattanooga area, and in the best facility in the area is an opportunity Central couldn't pass up."
Morgan's 3-homer day
Carson-Newman baseball recruiters are looking pretty sharp after a recent three-homer game by Eagles signee Colby Morgan of Boyd-Buchanan.
"He had a nice day," Buccaneers coach Taylor Gilley said. "We had a doubleheader and he hit all three in the second game, and I think had five RBIs."
On the day, the first baseman went 5-for-5.
"He has a great swing, a God-given talent to hit the baseball," Gilley assessed.
Morgan hit a dozen home runs last season and is closing in on 20 for the past two seasons.
"He's a power hitter but he's also a good fielder. He's made some nice picks at first," Gilley added. "I think he'll do well at Carson-Newman. It's a nice fit."
Audible for Trion football
Trion's Sam R. McCain Stadium will host a football game tonight, just not the one initially scheduled.
What was supposed to be the second edition of the Trion-Gordon Lee alumni game has been changed to a Trion Blue-and-White alumni scrimmage after the Bulldogs' rivals failed to get enough players to form a team.
"I'm not sure what happened, but we can't do anything about it," Trion coach Justin Brown said. "We've got 40-plus players, though, who are pretty excited about playing again to go with 60 alumni band members and 14 cheerleaders."
To help fill out the squads, Brown and fellow coaches Eric Brock, Tim Bennett, Roone Gable and Garrett Brown also will suit up for the 7:30 kickoff. The baseball team hosts a Class A playoff doubleheader earlier in the day, and Justin Brown hopes they stick around for some football.
"We are hoping baseball takes care of business and all those folks can come over to the football stadium and watch some old guys," he said. "I can promise it will be entertaining."