Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / McCallie football players hoist the TSSAA Division II-AAA state championship trophy after beating Montgomery Bell Academy in the BlueCross Bowl this past Dec. 5 at Tennessee Tech.

On the heels of the school's first football state championship since 2001 and its first cross country state title in seven years, McCallie finished ranked No. 13 in the 2019 fall sports national MaxPreps Cup standings for boys' schools.

The MaxPreps Cup determines the top high school athletic programs in the country based on state tournament finishes as well as other factors.

The cross country team's five scoring runners all finished in the top 14 at the TSSAA Division II-AA state meet to secure the team title in early November, and one month later the football team beat Montgomery Bell Academy 28-7 for the DII-AAA state title.

McCallie totaled 456 points in the MaxPreps boys' standings for fall 2019, with Indiana's Carmel finishing first at 739, well ahead of Montana's Bozeman (627) in second place and Kentucky's Trinity (613) in third. Signal Mountain (418) was No. 23 as the only other Tennessee school in the top 25.

The Blue Tornado's success continued after the fall sports season this past school year, when the swimming and diving team tied with rival Baylor in February to share the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association boys' state title for 2020, McCallie's 21st overall in the pool.


Whitwell hires Cabell

Whitwell High School has hired Jake Cabell as its head football coach. Cabell served as a defensive assistant for the Tigers in 2013-14 and now replaces Travis Olinger, who was let go in February after just one season leading the program.

Cabell, who played defensive back at Nebraska, has also coached at the collegiate level as an assistant at Eastern Washington, Iowa Wesleyan, North Carolina Central, Oregon State, Tennessee State, Texas Southern and Western Illinois.

He is the Whitwell football program's 10th head coach in 16 years.

Calls to Cabell were not returned, and Whitwell principal Teena Casseday declined to comment on the hiring.

some text
Staff photo / Whitwell defenders, in red, converge on East Ridge's Jalen Boykin during the 2019 season opener for both teams this past Aug. 21 at East Ridge.

Central's Smith not done

Central High School pitcher/infielder Jaleesa Smith will continue her softball career with Webster University, an NCAA Division III program in Webster Grove, Missouri.

"Losing my senior season because of the (coronavirus) pandemic was really tough, but it also pushed me to realize that I still want to play," Smith said. "I'm excited to have this opportunity and looking forward to being back out on the field soon."

some text
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Central's Jaleesa Smith pitches during a game at Red Bank on April 12, 2018.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.