Indians’ head baseball coach Ryan Wagner has certainly put a challenge in front of his team. After playing rival Science Hill on Monday and Tuesday, the Indians will play in the Scott Dean Memorial tournament in Knoxville. D-B was originally scheduled to play nine-time state champion Knox Farragut on Thursday, but decided to make a late schedule change.
“We’re not playing Farragut on Thursday night,” said Wagner. “We’re playing three games. We had four and they had five, so we decided we were going to play two games Friday and one Saturday. With the stretch we have, that’s plenty of games. It’s a tough stretch.”
The Indians will still play top-notch competition with games against Knox Webb, Knox Bearden and Maryville. Then the Indians bounce back on April 16-17 with the Big Seven Conference showdowns against Tennessee High.
At the end of this nine-day stretch, the Indians should have a strong knowledge about their postseason chances.
David Crockett was already one of the top softball teams in Northeast Tennessee, and the Lady Pioneers’ performance in the Eastman Invitational reaffirmed their status.
Crockett tied Grainger on Friday before running through Elizabethton, Unaka twice, and Unicoi County. The Lady Pioneers were knocked off by Walker Valley in the semifinals, but left the event with a solid record of 12-5 overall.
“I thought the team played great as a whole,” said Crockett head coach Carla Weems. “Kara Weems and Matty McKee pitched some great games, Reagan Miller hit a home run and had several RBIs, and Riley Hope hit the ball well as did Lenzie Jenkins.”
Also, Crockett got it done with the gloves.
“We played good defense all day (Sunday),” said Weems. “I am just proud of my team.”
Crockett, which stands in third place in the rugged Big Seven Conference, faces a tough schedule this week. After battling Unicoi County again Monday, Crockett plays Dobyns-Bennett on Tuesday and Daniel Boone on Wednesday.
Dobyns-Bennett is off to a 7-0-2 start this season, and the Indians are ranked No. 7 in the latest state poll.
Traditional powerhouse Germantown Houston is No. 1, followed by Independence, Station Camp, Hendersonville, Cookeville and Collierville.
D-B has been dominant this season, outscoring its opponents by a combined total of 35-3. The Indians were tied by Science Hill (1-1) and battled to a scoreless draw against Oklahoma’s Norman North in the recent Southern Coast Cup in Foley, Alabama.
Greeneville is ranked No. 1 in the latest Class AA state poll. The Greene Devils (8-2-0) are the defending Class A-AA state champions from a final eight that included Division II powers Christian Academy of Knoxville and Christ Presbyterian Academy.
Now in Class AA and with most of the private schools out of the picture, the Greene Devils still have to contend with private-school Knox Catholic, which is ranked No. 5.
White House is No. 2 and No. 3 Murfreesboro Central Magnet already owns a 3-2 win over Greeneville this season.
Baseball highlight games
Dobyns-Bennett at Science Hill
Tennessee High at Daniel Boone
Sullivan Central at Sullivan East
Unaka at Hampton
Sullivan East at Sullivan Central
Dobyns-Bennett at Tennessee High
Elizabethton at Sullivan South
Hampton at University High
Hampton hits the meat of its Watauga Valley Conference schedule. …
East and Central are trying to knock each other off to stay at the top of the Three Rivers Conference standings.
Softball highlight games
Dobyns-Bennett at David Crockett
Daniel Boone at David Crockett
Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett
Sullivan South at Elizabethton
Unaka at Cloudland
NFS tournament at Erwin
NFS tournament at Erwin
Elizabethton at Sullivan East
Science Hill is standing firm atop the Big Seven standings, but it’s a league with four or five good teams — and Dobyns-Bennett is one of them. …
Cloudland isn’t known for having a strong softball program, but the Lady Highlanders have won three in a row and get another shot at frontrunner Unaka, which won the first meeting in a competitive 3-0 contest.
Soccer highlight games
Sullivan Central at Elizabethton
Greeneville at Sullivan South
Sullivan South gets a chance to gauge its chances of postseason success while Central and Elizabethton try to secure a little better footing in conference play.
Science Hill’s Ben Grable has made his college choice. He plans to play baseball at Walters State and will sign Wednesday in Science Hill’s gym at 3 p.m.
Everything remained the same except for Dobyns-Bennett moving past Tennessee High in this week’s Baseball Top 10.
Team (W-L) — Prv
1. Science Hill (16-3) — 1
2. Dobyns-Bennett (12-6) — 3
3. Tennessee High (14-3) — 2
4. Unicoi County (9-5) — 4
5. Elizabethton (8-4) — 5
6. Sullivan East (8-4) — 6
7. Daniel Boone (9-5) — 7
8. Sullivan Central (6-4) — 8
9. Sullivan South (8-5) — 9
10. Cherokee (8-7) — 10
David Crockett powers up a spot to No. 3 in this week’s Softball Top 10.
Team (W-L) — Prv
1. Daniel Boone (15-8) — 1
2. Unicoi County (16-5) — 2
3. David Crockett (12-5) — 4
4. Science Hill (14-5) — 3
5. Elizabethton (8-7) — 5
6. Dobyns-Bennett (13-6) — 7
7. Sullivan East (9-6) — 8
8. Unaka (10-5) — 6
9. Sullivan South (4-8) — 9
10. Cherokee (3-5) — NR