CCS Blaze program hit new heights in 2018-2019 school year

Stars are born at Clinton City Schools: Kenzlee Hutchin- son qualified for the AAU shot put competition.
The Clinton Blaze athletic program reached new heights during the 2018-19 school year.

It all started in the fall when the Blaze had cross country teams for the first time. Lady Blaze runner Laci Percival qualified for both the state and national Elementary and Middle School Championship Meets.

Also, a male runner who Clinton City Schools Athletic Director E.T. Stamey identified as Ruben received a cross country award despite battling challenges.

The Blaze cross country teams were coached by Terri Curley, who had a busy year.

She also coached the girls basketball team last season and guided the Lady Blaze to a 15-3 record.

“Terri did a great job,” Stamey said.

Both the Lady Blaze and the Blaze (who went 14-4) competed for the second consecutive season and they played before sellout crowds. Wins were hard to come by during the first season of basketball in Clinton.

Kerley will not coach in 2019-20 as she will focus her efforts on track and field and cross country.

Former Powell High School standout and coach Christin Webb will take over as coach of the Lady Blaze. She’ll be assisted by Lauren Murphy, a former middle school player and high school softball standout.

Murphy also serves as an assistant for Knoxville Catholic High School’s softball team under Lindsay Rakes.

The Blaze also had a dance team that performed at the basketball games.

Also throughout the school year, Knoxville Area soccer pro Chris Carroll held camps for both boys and girls and Stamey said that he looks forward to continue the partnership between Carroll and Clinton City Schools.

The Blaze also fielded swim teams for the first time and Clinton split a pair of meets, defeating the Clinton Sharks and narrowly losing to Norris Middle School.

In the spring, the Blaze had a nine-team bowling league, which was run by coach Tammy Thatcher. The bowlers in the league showed significant improvement throughout the season.

Stamey said that many of the parental volunteers also took up bowling.

The Blaze also fielded track and field teams for the first time and participated in two meets.

The track program was coached by Kerley and received a big boost from the Clinton High School team. The Dragons coaches and athletes hosted a clinic and helped CCS run the Blaze’s meet.

Clinton High also donated equipment to the Blaze, including shot puts and a discus.