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Off the Field – Seems like it was only yesterday (March 2, 2016 issue)

By Curtis Carden

The Unicoi County High School basketball teams concluded the 2015-2016 season last week in the Region 1-AA quarterfinals against the teams from Grainger High School.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were at the Three Rivers Conference jamboree.

A tip-of-the-cap goes out to the senior members of the Blue Devil and Lady Devil teams. It was a year of growth and both programs were able to provide excitement for their fans.

Lady Devil head coach Kerri King had her team battle through injuries and lack of experience  to build up the rotation for next year. Blue Devil head coach Michael Smith saw his team pick up runner-up honors during the District 1-AA tournament and have key pieces coming back to the puzzle for 2016-2017.

The ride was one to remember. Best of luck to the seniors on their future endeavors, and underclassmen never forget – it is never too early to prepare for next season.

Three Rivers Conference awards will be announced after each conference team completes its  postseason run.

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The No. 13 ranked Maryville College Lady Scots earned their first ever USA South Atlantic Conference (SAC) tournament championship on Saturday, Feb.27, with a 60-48 triumph over Piedmont. The Lady Scots (24-3) continued their successful season in the tournament after winning their fourth outright regular season conference title.

Former Lady Blue Devil hoopster Chelsey Harness is a freshman with the program. Maryville automatically qualified for the NCAA tournament with Saturday’s victory.

• • •

East Tennessee State University is off to a consistent start for the 2016 softball season.

The Lady Buccaneers hold a 4-3 record on the year with a pair of UCHS graduates contributing to the cause.

Tiffany Laughren has .273 batting average and has a 1-0 record from inside the circle. Taylor Wright also added a double in a recent contest for the squad. ETSU returns to action on Friday, March 4, at home against Alabama A&M.

• • •

ETSU announced changes to their spring football schedule. The Bucs moved their second consecutive Mountain States Health Alliance Spring Game to Saturday, April 8, at Kermit-Tipton Stadium in Johnson City at 1 p.m.

ETSU will also hold a scrimmage on Thursday, March 24, at Elizabethton High School.

• • •

Former Lady Blue Devil Brooke Strother has her sophomore year going in the right direction in Morristown. Strother, part of the Walters State Community College softball team, saw her team advance their record to 8-3 on the year. The Lady Senators return to action March 4.

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Spring sports are around the bend for Unicoi County athletes. The Erwin Record is presenting the annual spring sports section March 16. Athletics from the high school will be highlighted in the supplement.

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For more information on Unicoi County athletics, readers of the The Erwin Record can visit a handful of social media accounts, including The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page. Updates and photos from games can also be found on Twitter at: @CurtisCarden_ER.