Sports

Already missed, Johnny has one ‘Heck’ of a story

Tennessee lost one of its heroes when Johnny Majors recenlty passed. Coach Majors is a legend as a Hall of Fame player and coach, but he also touched many lives in Tennessee as a man.

In the 1980s while coaching at Rule High, I would attend coach Majors’ coaching clinics at the University of Tennessee. He was always working the crowd and talking with high school coaches.

I was fortunate to be with Don Ward, and John would always spend five or 10 minutes talking with Don about Knoxville high school football, and I would get to be a fly on the wall. Coach Majors and Don would always exchange coaching gems that would open my eyes to the little things that so many coaches overlook.

In the early 2000s while on the staff at Knoxville Central High, I attended a Coach of the Year Clinic in Atlanta. Coach Majors owned the Coach of the Year Clinic. He had purchased the business from legendary Michigan State head coach Duffy Daugherty and held clinics in different cities across the nation.

The Clinic was well-organized and featured major college coaches as speakers. Again, like the UT clinic, coach Majors was very active and visible while having informal talks with coaches outside the formal sessions.

I was now an old man on the staff and was acting as a mentor for a couple of younger coaches. It was Saturday night and I directed my young friends to the free sandwiches and beer provided by the clinic. We ended up sitting in the lobby watching all the coaches coming back from their nights out on the town and laughing at their returns.

Read More

J.D. ‘exactly what we were looking for:’ Estus

KNOXVILLE --- Christian Academy of Knoxville athletic director Ried Estus has found his next boys basketball head coach.

It’s J.D. Johnson, who has been coaching at Christian schools in North Carolina during the past several years.

“Johnson is exactly what we were looking for when we opened the search,” Estus stated in a recent press release. “He is a Godly man, an experienced and proven coach and has the academic credentials worthy to join our excellent teaching faculty.”

In addition to coaching basketball, he’ll teach high school history.

“For me, I’ve been a full-time social studies teacher and this will be my 14th year,” Johnson said. “I’ve been teaching at private Christian Schools for the last eight years.”

Having coached in North Carolina since 2007, “When I was doing my research, CAK looked like a place where I could be for a long time and build a program,” he added.

Johnson hails from the Cleveland, Ohio, area. He played college basketball at Lake Erie College.

Read More

Diamond adjusting for KCS 8th-grader

Carpenter Ford is spending his summer playing in a high school baseball league, and that certainly is normal for any player this time of year.

He’s one of many players on the diamond right now as a pair of leagues in East Tennessee are giving athletes a chance to play after the COVID-19 pandemic ended the 2020 spring semester and sports season, and he’s relishing his most recent chance to get on the field just like any player.

What makes Carpenter unique is he’s a rising eighth grader playing for Knoxville Christian School, as most players in the league are either recent high school graduates or currently enrolled in high school.

And if that’s not tough enough, Carpenter has been the Knights’ primary starting catcher since the league started last month. He’s also still learning the position.

But don’t look for Carpenter to be intimidated by the duties of handling some top high school pitchers.

You see, he plays high school hockey for the Farragut Admirals club.

Read More

Whiston sisters, with local tie, earn All-SEC honors

Perhaps Waverly Whiston’s positive experiences working at and playing the golf course at Fox Den Country Club has enhanced her overall positive experience as a University of Tennessee student-athlete.

Whatever happened, little sister Nicole Whiston must have been impressed, following Waverly to UT — all the way from San Diego — to create a sibling pair on the UT Lady Vols Golf Team during the 2019-2020 season.

Both enjoyed much success, earning All-SEC awards, the league office recently announced.

Waverly, a junior, was named to the All-SEC Community Service Team. A SAAC representative, she spent time during the year working and teaching at the women’s team’s golf clinic and participated in the team’s pen pal program.
 
She also participated in a Christmas gift program, adopting a child at Christmas and providing that child with presents.



“Waverly is very deserving of the All-SEC Community Service Team honor,” UT head coach Judi Pavon said. “She always looks forward to representing Tennessee and the golf team in the community and helps out when she has an opportunity.”
 
On the course, Waverly ranks eighth all-time in UT history in career stroke average at 74.53.

Read More