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Staff file photo / Although Chattanooga Football Club fans won't be in the stands at Finley Stadium on Saturday night when the team returns to competition, the NISA Independent Cup match against Georgia Revolution FC will be televised locally.

Chattanooga Football Club is set to return to competition this week, and although fans will not be permitted inside Finley Stadium for the NISA Independent Cup match against Georgia Revolution FC at 8 p.m. Saturday as live professional soccer resumes in the Scenic City, the action will be shown locally on the CW Television Network (WFLI) — a first for the 12-year-old club. The telecast, which will include pregame and halftime shows, will feature play-by-play calls from John Freeman, and the voice of Major League Soccer expansion franchise Nashville SC will be joined in the booth by Dale Schilly. Chattanooga FC has played just one match this season, earning a 1-1 draw in its professional and National Independent Soccer Association debut against Oakland Roots SC on Feb. 29 in California. Less than two weeks later and with CFC days away from its first home match of 2020, the NISA suspended the league's season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NISA wound up scrapping the spring schedule but announced plans in early June to kick off a fall schedule in August. "It is important to us to give everyone in town a chance to watch the return of live sports in the Scenic City," CFC managing director Jeremy Alumbaugh said in a team release. "We're grateful to our partners, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Sinclair Broadcasting for working with us and helping provide our community this event. We're all excited to be back on the pitch, and to have our first match back also be our first EVER live televised game is truly special. Chattanooga FC can't thank BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee enough for their continued support of our club and this City." CFC's release also noted streaming options will be available at MyCujoo.tv.

* Codi Crippen has joined the Tennessee Wesleyan University men's soccer program as an assistant coach entering Luke Winter's fourth year in charge of the Bulldogs. Crippen replaces Billy Sparks, who recently resigned, and heads to Athens having spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia, most recently serving as the NAIA Division I Knight Hawks' interim head coach. Crippe has also worked at Huntingdon College — an NCAA Division III program in Montgomery, Alabama — and was a graduate assistant for the women's team at Bethel University in Tennessee, another NAIA D-I program. He also volunteered as an assistant at Ohio's University of Rio Grande after playing for that NAIA program.

 

Golf

* The list of 1,401 Women's Golf Coaches Association's All-American Scholars for 2019-20 includes several standout student-athtletes from area programs: Cameron Daniel, Megan Donahue and Hannah Gasaway representing Dalton State College; Haverly Harrold, Judianne Speach and Supuschaya Srichantamit of Lee University; and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Kirsty Beckwith and Esme Hamilton. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 is required for consideration for the designation. Beckwith, Hamilton, Harrold and Speach were all honored for the second year in a row.

* Former UTC and Baylor School standout Stephan Jaeger tied for third Sunday in the Korn Ferry Tour's TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes. Jaeger closed with a 6-under-par 66 in Berthoud to finish at 13-under 275, two strokes behind winner Will Zalatoris (69) and one behind runner-up Chase Johnson (63). Jaeger shared third with Erik Barnes (70), Taylor Pendrith (70) and Callum Tarren (69) to earn his first top-three finish since winning the Knoxville Open in May 2018, when he was still a PGA Tour regular but played the developmental circuit event opposite The Players Championship.

* John Maupin will be back for another year in charge of Lee's golf program in 2020-21, but his 13th season in Cleveland will include a new title: director of golf. Maupin will continue to coach the men's and women's teams, both of which have enjoyed Gulf South Conference and NCAA Division II national success during his tenure, but the former Berry College captain will do so with the title change and a staff restructuring that will permit the addition of an assistant coach for each team, Maupin said in Lee's release announcing the move. Currently, Maupin's staff lists only a volunteer assistant and a graduate assistant, both of whom's duties include men's and women's players.

* Cleveland State's Wes Spillers, who as a freshman this past school year received honorable mention to the NJCAA PING Division II All-America Team, recently won his hometown's Cookeville City Amateur and did so in emotional fashion. The June 27-28 victory in which Spillers posted a 36-hole score of 134 — 15 strokes better than his best score from the 2019-20 season — at Tennessee Tech's Golden Eagle Golf Club came just days after the death of an uncle due to cancer, and Spillers won while using as a ball marker a coin from 1878 that had just been sent by his uncle. In Cleveland State's release detailing the victory, Spillers said that "being able to come home and do something like this with so many people I grew up with and love surrounding me was extremely special."

 

Miscellaneous

* The Chattanooga Area FCA's recent Day of Champions honors included Ooltewah's Colby Davis being named the Christian athlete of the year, for which he will receive the Gerald Sinkfield Memorial Scholarship. Gerald Sinkfield, who died in March after dealing with the effects of leukemia for more than a decade, and his wife Stephanie "have been great friends and benefactors of FCA," according to the organization's release. The runner-up to Davis, who played baseball for the Owls and plans to attend Lee University this school year, was Grace Academy basketball and volleyball player Holley Fulghum, who will also receive a scholarship and plans to attend Liberty University. Other annual award winners: East Ridge volleyball coach Hudson Hodges (Jim Sattler Leadership Award); Howard football coach John Starr (Legacy Builder Coaches Award); Silver Crest Baptist (FCA church partner of the year); Hixson Middle School's Brooke Watson (Judy Fowler Leadership Award); UTC student and FCA volunteer Madalyn Mills (Gerry Stephens Influence Award). Other nominees for athlete of the year were: Emma Bradford (Sequatchie County), William Cady (McCallie), Jarett Clift (Silverdale Baptist), Hannah Deakins (Rhea County), Chase Ellis (East Hamilton), Gracen Ford (Baylor), Katie Hamby (Soddy-Daisy), Caroline Johnson (East Ridge), Shannon Ledford (Red Bank), Alex Moore (Marion County), Meg Priest (GPS), Gabe Rains (Lookout Valley) and Zora Thomas (Tyner).

* The Dalton State College athletic department and FirstBank recently announced a partnership/sponsorship. While Dalton State's release did not disclose dollar amounts, it referred to the Nashville-based bank's "significant contribution" toward athletic scholarships, funds for an annual Roadrunners sports banquet, financial training for student-athletes and an internship for one student.

 

Tennis

* Simon Labbe has transferred from East Carolina to UTC and has three seasons of eligibility remaining on the tennis court as he begins his time with Chuck Merzbacher's Mocs in 2020-21, having been a freshman in 2018-19 but getting another year after the recent spring season was significantly shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. The left-handed Canadian player totaled 32 combined wins in singles and doubles in 2019-20.

* The Gulf South Conference's all-decade team for women's tennis included former Lee standout Francesca Tondi, who received All-GSC recognition three times during her career with the Lady Flames from 2016 to 2019. Tondi played on Lee's No. 1 court for both doubles and singles, winning more than 70 matches for the program despite having her senior season cut short by injury.

 

Softball

* Lee University and coach Emily Russell will host two one-day summer camps for prospects in high school graduating classes 2021 to 2025 at the Lady Flames' Stanley Butler Softball Field, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on July 15 and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 19. Each camp will include station work (agility, defense, hitting) with college coaches that will be followed by live skills competitions. Players should bring their own equipment, including a water bottle. The cost is $150 per camp and includes an athletic performance shirt. Information and registration is available by visiting leesoftballcamp.com, calling Russell at 423-614-8456 or writing to leesoftballcamps@gmail.com.

 

Swimming and diving

* For the 53rd straight semester, the men's and women's teams at Sewanee have earned College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Team status. Sewanee was one of 461 schools to receive the honor for the 2020 spring semester, which the women's team finished with a 3.40 GPA (3.23 cumulative) and the men's team finished with a 3.19 GPA (3.25).

Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at mkirkland@timesfreepress.com.

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