Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Memorable moments of 2014

Unicoi County’s sports teams provided numerous memorable moments during 2014.
With readers’ participation, The Erwin Record has compiled a list of the top 10 moments from the past year. From the hardwood to the brickdust, various teams are represented in this year’s list.

10) Jr. Blue Devils punch
state tourney bid
It was a year for the ages for head coach Ken Hilliard, assistant coach Chris Hatcher and the 2013-2014 Unicoi County Middle School Jr. Blue Devil basketball team.
The run saw its bright spot on Jan. 31 in a 38-37 championship victory over Ross Robinson in the TMSAA Area 1 Class AAA tournament.
Trevor Hensley and Troy Podvin combined for 22 points in the contest and Clay Simpson added a post-presence, but it was an entire team effort with a “never-say-die” attitude, according to Hilliard.
UCMS ultimately bowed out the following week in the middle school’s equivalent of the state tournament held in Sevier County.

9) Teams join forces
for Relay for Life event
The Unicoi County High School Blue Devil baseball team and the Erwin IronPigs, a local adult league team, joined forces for the inaugural Relay for Life benefit game on July 25.
The game was the brainchild of IronPig founders, Andy Slagle and Bobby Smith, and UCHS head coach Chad Gillis.
The IronPigs scored a 5-2 victory and the event netted $400 toward cancer research.

8) Undermanned track and field team makes noise in postseason
It would be a year to remember for the UCHS track and field teams.
C.J. Wells and Stephanie Wisse each tore through the record books for head coach Paul Shelton and company.
The Blue Devils finished third in the Three Rivers Conference meet while the likes of Bodhi Bradford, Dustin Whitson, Thomas Tipton, Alex Edwards and others punched their tickets for deep runs in the postseason.
Wisse ushered in a breakout year and will join Wells and Edwards for her sophomore campaign as one of the leaders for the 2015 team.

7) UCMS softball season
wins conference title
The diamonds were painted gold for the Jr. Lady Blue Devils in 2014.
The UCMS softball team netted the Middle Eight Conference title after battling with T.A. Dugger to a 2-1 victory on April 26.

6) Lady Blue Devil dig deep
for Tiny Day title
In a battle of Division I signees, Lady Blue Devil Tiffany Laughren and Lady Green Devil Jordan Fortel went the distance in the circle.
It was Unicoi County that was able to get the firepower needed in the ninth inning to give the Lady Blue Devils last year’s Tiny Day Classic title against rival Greeneville.

5) Megan Todd continues
tradition, qualifies for state
Freshman Lady Blue Devil Megan Todd qualified for the state cross country meet in 2014. Todd’s qualification made it three years in a row that a Lady Devil had participated in the state meet – Whitley True competed the two previous years.
Todd also finished ninth in the regional meet.

4) Connor Simpson snags
school dunk record during Blue Devil basketball season
With a senior-laced team, UCHS Blue Devil Connor Simpson brought the hammer down on multiple nights for the basketball program.
Simpson, a current member of the Roane State Community College baseball team, showed he could dunk with authority last season.
The then-senior set a new school record with 19 dunks on the year and rocked a game-winner against Hampton, a Class A state tournament team, last season.
The Blue Devils ended the regular season with a Three Rivers Conference regular season co-conference title with Sullivan South. The Blue Devils finished with 20-plus wins, third in the district tournament and runner-up in the Region 1-AA tournament.
UCHS graduated eight seniors off the 2013-2014 team.
3) Haley Webb breaks record
A record-setting night by Lady Devil senior Haley Webb propelled the Unicoi County High School Lady Devil basketball team to a 68-25 victory over Sullivan North on Friday, Dec. 5, in Kingsport. Webb finished with a game-high 24 point performance, including eight first-half three-pointers.
Webb’s three-point prowess gave her a record for the most three-pointers made before halftime in a game, according to the National Federation of High Schools record book. The national record was achieved by Rebecca Greenwell, from Owensboro, Ky., back in 2013 with seven.

2) Mallory Jackson ends UCHS tennis career with doubles title
Mallory Jackson and Murfreesboro just went together the past four years.
The senior Lady Devil and teammate Emily Lynch won the Class A/AA doubles tennis title last season and marked the second straight year Jackson won it all at state with a doubles partner.
Last year marked the senior’s fourth straight trip down to Murfreesboro.

1) Charlie Baxter retires as
state’s winningest coach
Charlie Baxter, a 2006 TSSAA Hall of Fame inductee, called it quits following the end of last year’s season.
During his final season with the UCHS baseball program, Baxter surpassed legendary coach Buck VanHuss as the winningest coach in the state.
VanHuss’ record was at 1,021 heading into last year’s baseball season.
Chad Gillis, an assistant coach from last year, assumes the head coach spot for the Blue Devils in 2015.