Legendary Coach Clifford Kirk 'Responsive' After Ballfield Collapse

Family Confirms 'Cardiac Event,' ICU Overnight

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - by David Jenkins

Legendary local softball coach Clifford Kirk, in the midst of one of the most remarkable seasons in his nearly 40-year career, collapsed during the seventh inning of his Sale Creek's team Region 3-A battle with Whitwell Wednesday night.

Playing on their still-under-construction home field, Kirk had the winning run on second base in a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. As he turned towards his runner, he raised his left hand as if to convey a message, but uttered a very audible groan and collapsed directly across the bag, seemingly unconscious.

A trained medical attendant began CPR almost immediately, but there was no portable defibrillator on hand in the makeshift stadium or the two Hamilton County Sheriff's cars that arrived in less than five minutes. Approximately three minutes later, paramedics arrived and attempted to defibrillate the fallen coach once. CPR continued until he was loaded in the ambulance for transport to Erlanger.

Sale Creek principal Tobin Davidson said that the last word he got from the paramedics was that Kirk had a pulse and had opened his eyes, but was non-responsive. However, Channel 9 sports director Darrell Patterson has tweeted that Kirk became responsive during his transport to Erlanger. East Hamilton coach Cara Stiles, who played for Kirk at Soddy-Daisy and whose own team won its region championship game earlier Wednesday, tweeted from the hospital that Kirk conversed with EMTs.

Late Wednesday night, Kirk's family confirmed that the coach had suffered "a cardiac event" and was being closely monitored in Erlanger's ICU.

Sale Creek and Whitwell were locked in a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning of their Region 3-A final game, a rematch of the District 6-A tournament last week. Sale Creek players were allowed to leave for the hospital and it was agreed between Davidson and Whitwell coach Grace Pickett that a decision on the game would be made Thursday. Both teams already advance to Friday's sectional round by virtue of first-round region wins on Monday.

This was Kirk's first season at the small school, persuaded from retirement from former Soddy-Daisy athlete, teacher and coach Davidson. Last year's Sale Creek team won only one game, but this year's squad took a 21-16 record into Wednesday's contest with Whitwell.

 



Berger Leads GPS Past Pope John Paul II In Volleyball

Lilly Berger had 14 kills, six aces and 11 digs as the GPS volleyball team opened its 2017 season with a 3-0 win over Pope John Paul II in Hendersonville Friday afternoon. Emma Moore added 30 assists and 11 digs as the Bruisers won by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-16. GPS STATS: Lilly Berger -- 14 kills, 6 aces, 11 digs Emma Moore -- 3 kills, 30 assists, 2 aces, 11 ... (click for more)

Lookouts Hold On To Win Third Straight Game Over Smokies Friday, 9-8

KODAK, Tenn. -- Jonathan Rodriguez homered and singled, driving home three runs as the Chattanooga Lookouts topped the Tennessee Smokies 9-8 on Friday. Chattanooga, winners of four straight games, leads second-place Montgomery by seven games. The magic number to clinch is down to 11. Lookouts right-hander Felix Jorge (10-3) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing ... (click for more)

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

Judy Kay Peer, 69, Killed When Train Hits Her Car At Hamill Road Crossing In Hixson

Judy Kay Peer, 69, was killed on Friday night when a train struck her car in Hixson on Friday night. Ms. Peer, a Hixson resident, was driving a 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Police said she  was traveling west on Hamill Road and had stopped at the railroad crossing. The gates were extended with flashing lights and a sounding bell. A train that was traveling northbound on ... (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II - And Response (8)

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Confronting Racism In Public Education

Like most Americans, we have been bothered by the news in recent days. And as we have struggled to understand the racial issues that continue to confront our nation, we are left to ponder the issue even more within the context of public education.  The vast majority of Americans know that racism is wrong. It is one of the few issues on which almost everyone can agree. We ... (click for more)