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Off the Field – Former Devils having impact

By Curtis Carden

Walters State Community College continues to make noise on the diamonds with former Unicoi County High School athletes working with the baseball and softball teams.

The Walters State baseball team (31-13) was ranked 11th in the NJCAA Division I rankings released on Wednesday, April 13. The Senators are coached by former Blue Devil Dave Shelton. Former Blue Devils Austin Green and Ethan Rice are sophomores on the team.

As for the Lady Senators, the Walters State softball team was ranked 12th in the NJCAA Division I rankings with a record of 29-4. Sophomore Brooke Strother, a former standout from Lady Devil Diamond, is part of the team.

Current UCHS senior Abby Hensley will join the team in the 2016-2017 season.

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Unicoi County Little League will host their Minor League and T-ball opening day events on Saturday, April 23.

The day’s festivities are set to start at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. Staff from the Unicoi County Health Department will be offering fun and educational activities for the whole family, including crafts, relays and “Toss out Tobacco” corn hole games.

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Members of the East Tennessee State University football team attended the grand opening of the new Coalition for Kids facility on Tuesday night. A group of ETSU football coaches and players showed their support during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Johnson City facility named “Kids City.” During the year, the Bucs help with Coalition for Kids as ETSU holds the annual Buccaneer Christmas event inside the MSHA Athletic Center as well as volunteering at other events.

The ETSU football team recently concluded the spring with its annual Spring Game at the mini-dome and hosted a scrimmage the week prior at Elizabethton.

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Appalachian Championship Wrestling is coming to the Erwin National Guard Armory on Saturday, April 23. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with bell time set for 7 p.m.

Ticket prices for the event are set at $5, while children six years of age and under and military members with ID receive free admission.

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The 2016 First Free Will Baptist Golf Classic will be Saturday, April 23 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start at Elizabethton Golf Course. The event will be a 4-person, Captain’s Choice format. Individuals are encouraged to attend and teams will be made. Cost per player is $50 with proceeds going toward the church’s building fund.

Teams and players may pre-register or sign up the day of the event. All players will get a goodie bag with numerous products and at least $100 in coupons. A post-round BBQ meal is included for all players. In addition, any player with a hole-in-one on hole No. 8 will win $12,500.

Prizes will also be awarded for closest to the pin and long drive. For more information contact Gene Renfro at [email protected] or 335-2076.