Ooltewah Hires Massey To Take Over Softball Program

Former Owls Baseball Star Assumes Controls After Nelson's Firing

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – While the prep athletic spotlight is on Spring Fling, Ooltewah High School managed to make news Thursday afternoon.

Jon Massey, who formerly played and coached baseball at Ooltewah High School, has been hired as the Lady Owls’ new softball coach.

Massey, who turns 49 next month, replaces veteran Norma Nelson, who was fired on May 14 after 20 years directing the Ooltewah softball program, in a controversial move by principal Mark Bean.

“I’m excited,” Massey said. “I’m going to be relying on (assistant coach) Heidi Moses, a really special coach. The dynamics of baseball and softball are very similar with a difference in some distances, but it’s all about organization and fundamentals and we’re going to work to make our team successful.”

Massey was graduated from Ooltewah in 1982 and signed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee under coach John Whited. He played with the Vols for two years and then finished his athletic career at Birmingham-Southern.

Massey then coached for Steve Longley at Cleveland State Community College for two years and eventually graduated from UT-Chattanooga. He then worked at McKee Foods and later decided he wanted to teach and coach.

He joined the Ooltewah faculty in 2001 and was an assistant baseball coach for Joe Wingate for four years. When Wingate left for Arkansas State, Massey moved into the head position and held that post from 2006-08. He had a 79-46 record and the per-season  breakdown went like this: 35-9, 28-18 and 16-19.

“I really enjoyed coaching baseball, but I was also coaching football and it’s hard to do both sports when you’ve got young children,” Massey said. “I chose to give up one of them, but I’m starting my 10th year coaching freshman football.

“The opportunity to coach softball – I’ve helped coach my daughter’s teams in the past – came up and I look forward to working with the girls.”

Ooltewah athletic director Jim Jarvis confirmed Massey’s official hiring Thursday afternoon.

“We’re very fortunate to have on staff a person with the background of a Jon Massey,” Jarvis said. “Jon played here, played at UT and finished at Birmingham-Southern. He returned to Ooltewah in 2001 and helped with the varsity baseball program, eventually becoming the head coach. He was very successful and ran an outstanding program.”

Massey, who teaches special education, said he is currently working to put in place a pitching coach and Bri Shoemake, an Ooltewah graduate who earned softball all-America honors at Carson-Newman College will join the staff.

Nelson, who succeeded Jim Lovell, finished runner-up in the state tournament in 1994-95 and 1997 in her first four years as the head coach. She was with the program for 25 years, the last 20 as head coach, and won more than 600 games.

Nelson captured three state championships in 1990, 1992 and 2008, a season in which the Lady Owls finished 46-3-1. In those title years, Ooltewah went 135-21.

Ooltewah also won a state softball title under Lovell in 1982.

“Norma is a friend of mine,” Massey said. “She will do well in whatever she decides to do. She’ll be fine.”

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 

 


Rusty Ballenger Sits Atop Current UCRA Points Standings

The reigning/defending United Crate Racing Alliance (UCRA) Champion Rusty Ballenger of Seymour, Tn., sits atop the current points standings after eight rounds of the 2017 season leaving Fort Payne (AL) Motor Speedway gaining five valuable points over his two closest challengers  Saturday  night. Ballenger took over the points lead two weeks earlier exiting I-75 ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats Secure NCA Nationals Bid

April 2018 is still some eight months away, but the Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats have already got plans for Spring Break. They'll be spending it in Daytona Beach, vying for another national championship. The Cheer Cats earned a bronze bid for the NCA/NDA National Championships after qualifying during a team camp on July 21. The 12-member team will compete in the All-Girl ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Considering Property Tax Increase Of Just Under 10 Cents

Soddy Daisy officials are considering a property tax increase of just under 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.   A possible vote on the increase is set for the next meeting of the Soddy Daisy Commission on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.   The current tax rate is 1.3524, but the new certified rate after the recent reappraisal is 1.2559.   ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Can Franks Road Be Next? - Councilman Ledford Says Yes It Can

It was great to hear that something is finally getting done about Northpoint Boulevard. Now, Mr. Ledford, can we please do something about getting Franks Road fixed? Mickey Spence * * * Yes, Franks Road can be next. Since day one on the job, I have focused on roads in District 4 that need immediate attention. I am happy to report that working together with Mayor ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chik-fil-A Commits To East Ridge And Camp Jordan Development

In less than three weeks after a plan that could enhance Camp Jordan in East Ridge was announced, it has been learned that a Chik-fil-A restaurant will break ground at Jordan Crossing this fall. While developers John Healy, Matt Woods and Ethan Woods cannot make a public comment, the news is every bit as profound as James Earl Jones saying, “If you build it, they will come,” in ... (click for more)