Expectations High For Cleveland State Cougars

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - by Bryan Grisham
As sure as the turning of the leaves in the fall, hope springs eternal at Cleveland State Community College as another basketball season has rolled around. With coach Lee Cigliano entering his 18th season as the head Cougar, expectations are at peak levels with the influx of talent that he and his staff have assembled for the 2013/2014 version of Cougar basketball.
 
"We've got practically a brand new team this year with only two returning players from last year," the coach stated.
"We participated in a couple of Junior College jamborees in the preseason and held our own against some top competition. We've dealt with a number of different injuries so far, so it has been a challenge to practice and develop continuity, but we are making progress."
 
This year's version of the Cougars will be looking to improve on last year's 19-10 record and a run in the always-tough Region VII Tournament that saw the Cougars fall just one layup, that rolled off the rim at the buzzer, short of a trip to the National Tournament in Kansas.
 
As is usually the case in Junior College basketball, practically a whole new team hit the floor on November 1st as only two familiar faces were on the Cougar bench. Kahan Swift and Dantario Dansby will be the two returning Cougars and will be counted on heavily to lead the fresh faces into the new season.
 
Freshman, Stetson Moore from Knox Halls High School and Seymour, Tennessee will see plenty of time at the guard position while Swift will most likely start at the off guard according to the coach. Sophomore transfer Kendrick Williams will see a lot of time at the point when he recovers from an injury and freshman Jackie Hale from Birmingham, Alabama along with Robert Brandon (Seigel High in Murfreesboro), who is also recovering from a knee injury suffered in his senior season, will be in the mix at guard.
 
"Injuries have really dictated the playing time up to this point, but we have a lot of talent and depth at the guard position and it will be fun to watch the competition when they all get healthy," the coach stated.
 
Another Sophomore transfer from Ohio, Keevin Tyus will bring his athletic 6'5 frame into the starting lineup at the small forward. Freshman, Matt Whitmire will add a little local flavor to the Cougar lineup as the former Bradley Central Bear will see plenty of time at the forward position.
 
"Keevin is one of those high energy guys," the coach explained. "His motor is always in high gear. Matt is very steady and is a smart kid and we are looking forward to seeing these two guys develop and work together."
 
The center position is wide open as Sophomore transfer, Travis Wildgoose from the Bahamas will see considerable time as will incoming freshman, Dontae Lippert from Murfreesboro Oakland High School. Whitmire will also see time at center as will 6'8 freshman, Marcellus Roberts from Knox Central High School and 6'6 freshman, Ethan Hayes from Anderson County, Tennessee.
 
"The five spot is really wide open," said Cigliano. "We have a group of very athletic guys that can all switch back and forth from the four and the five spot depending on the foul situation and matchups with our opponent."
 
Dansby along with Jay Cade, a freshman from Gibbs High School will be in the mix at guard when he returns from an ankle injury as will Simon Clifford from Louisville, Kentucky.
 
The conference schedule will be as tough as always with Volunteer State, Southwest Tennessee, Walters State, Roane State, Chattanooga State and Cleveland State among others, jockeying back and forth for the top seeds come tournament time in March at Roane State.
 
"It will be a tough schedule as always," concluded Cigliano. "There are several teams that will be strong, a lot of the guys from Motlow transfered to Southwest when their coach got the job out there so that'll be interesting. But really we are concentrating on our game and learning to work together and get healthy and get better day by day. We're excited about the possibilities of this team when the tournament rolls around."
 

Owls' Putman Voted 5A Preseason All-State

Ooltewah's Nic Putman has been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Class 5A Preseason All-State high school football team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. PUTMAN, A 6-2, 255-pound senior defensive lineman, was the only Chattanooga-area player voted to the team. Oak Ridge placed four players on the team __ Tee Higgins, Darel Middleton, Alex Alcorn and ... (click for more)

Lookouts Shutout Blue Wahoos Thursday, 3-0

Chattanooga Lookouts outfielder Max Kepler homered twice and starting pitcher Jason Wheeler (W, 2-2) hurled eight shutout innings to lead the team to the 3-0 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos . The win was Chattanooga's 11th shutout of the season.  Kepler's two solo-home runs was more than enough to back a solid outing by Wheeler. Kepler finished the game going 3-for-4 ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

The Silence Is Deafening - And Response

In this week’s news cycle we have the international uproar over the killing of Cecil the lion. In the same time most national news outlet refuse to even mention the undercover videos of so call doctors and technicians discussing the harvesting, processing and sale of human baby body parts.  The argument by those liberal, progressive Democrats has been that the “fetus” was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)