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.

 


Chattanooga Christian School Adds Fitness and Wellness Center

Blend together a 5,000 square foot fitness/wellness area with state-of-the-art team meeting rooms, varsity locker rooms, coaches’ offices, public restrooms and a large concession area able to handle fans viewing three sporting events simultaneously and one has the Powerhouse. Collier Construction is putting the finishing touches on the new, 14,000 square foot fitness and wellness ... (click for more)

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)

Ruling States That City Of Cleveland Is Entitled To Liquor By The Drink Funds

The city of Cleveland is entitled to keep all funds collected since city voters approved “liquor by the drink” in the Nov. 5, 2002 election. Bradley County Schools sued the city for taxes owed based on the school board’s interpretation of state law. Cleveland City Schools will be allowed to keep its money. The city of Cleveland distributed the liquor by the drink tax to Cleveland ... (click for more)

Crash On Chattanooga Avenue Causes Power Outage

A single-car accident in Dalton damaged a power pole on Chattanooga Avenue in front of the Crown Mill Village apartments and has caused a power outage in the area.   Chattanooga Avenue was closed between Matilda Street and Judson Street while the Dalton Police Department investigated the crash and Dalton Utilities worked to replace the pole. The road was reopened later.  ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Memorial Day - And Response

It is recorded in the Fourth Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that after the nation had crossed the River Jordan, Joshua would receive a divine commandment to choose 12 men from among the people and tell them to take 12 stones from the middle of the river.  Each man placed a stone on their shoulder which represented one of the tribes of Israel, and served as a memorial ... (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)