Hixson's Austin Clark - Jamboree Star

Jamboree News & Notes

Saturday, August 17, 2013 - by B.B. Branton
Sale Creek football coach Ron Cox talks to his team after playing a quarter against Grace Saturday at Finley Stadium.
Sale Creek football coach Ron Cox talks to his team after playing a quarter against Grace Saturday at Finley Stadium.
- photo by Greg Davick

it cost $8 to get in Saturday’s second night of the 64th the annual Chattanooga High School

Football Jamboree … the thrill of witnessing Hixson freshman Austin Clark – a young man with down syndrome - use a convoy of teammates down the right sideline to score his first varsity touchdown late in the 20 minute quarter against Grace …

Priceless !

Forget all the other victors and heroes wearing the Black and Gold or any other school colors … Clark is the unanimous most valuable player of the weekend jamboree

Seeing the smile on Clark’s face with the ball in the end zone gives great understanding to many why so many area coaches spend hours helping kids become men and instilling important life lessons into teenagers … yet Hixson coach Jason Fitzgerald will probably say that Austin has taught him, his staff and Clark’s teammates enough life lessons to fill a few playbooks

Notes and Highlights From Saturday’s Games

Nearly Sweater Weather: With a light rain falling throughout the evening, it felt as though fans were watching football on the third Saturday in October rather than the third weekend in August.

Welcome Back Deb Martin: One of the original co-hosts of Stump-on-Sports tv show, and the lady who coined the oft-repeated phrase … -“L-A-T-E   N-I-G-H-T “, Deb had surgery in June to remove a ruptured aneurysm in the front part of her brain … the jamboree games are her first official sporting event she has attended since her surgery.

Media Marriage: Nathan Cook, a longtime member of the Stump Martin Mafia, and his new bride, Caitlin were married last weekend … Cook also works for the East Ridge Parks and Recreation Dept.


Sale Creek 0, Grace 0

The excitement of playing in its first jamboree translated into good defense and strong hitting by the Sale Creek players

“We kept our heads and played well for our first jamboree under the lights in front of a big crowd,” said Sale Creek coach Ron Cox.

Sale Creek senior Cody Daniel had an interception and ran hard for the Panthers and “Jarod McGhee did well in our first game as a freshman quarterback.”

“We have got to believe right here,” stated Cox pointing to his heart in a post-game meeting.

Walker Valley 14, Howard 0

It was the Holt Spencer show as the junior running back had scoring runs of 14 and two yards as well a third – a 27-yarder on the quarter’s final play – called back due to a Mustang penalty.

Good Goal Line Stand – Howard stopped the Mustangs on first and goal as Alex Stallion recovered a fumble … but the Hustlin’ Tigers gave it right back as WV’s Ryan Baker recovered a Tiger fumble on the Howard two … Spencer scored on the next play for the 14-0 lead.

Hixson 27, Grace 0

Wildcats on the Run: Hixson scored on three runs and a pass play, recovered a fumble and had an interception to beat Grace …

Good Kicking … Home-schooled kicker Luke White (Sr.) converted on all three Wildcat extra points in his first varsity football game

Interception by Spencer Waites and a fumble recovery by K. C. Shelton

Take it to the House: Hixson’s Isaiah Robinson scampered 70 yards on the first play from scrimmage 

Austin Clark scored on a 65 yard run on the game’s last play from scrimmage ..

 Wilkey to Gilkey: Hixson QB Preston Wilkey passed to Austin Gilkey for one score and later ran for another  

Rhea County 14, Ooltewah 7

The victorious Golden Eagles looked ready to reverse the 2-8 record from 2012 as Jacob York had TD runs of 24 and 37 yards against the Owls … Rhea’s Demetrius Patterson also had a fumble recovery

McMinn County 14, Red Bank 0

Dre Sanders opened the scoring on a two-yard run, while teammate Trevor Crisp scored on a one-yard run in the final seconds. 

East Hamilton 0, Notre Dame 0

A battle of two good defensive units … both teams should fight for their respective district titles.

East Ridge 0, Soddy Daisy 0

The night ended as it started with a scoreless tie.


Next Week:  The pre-season is complete and now everything counts.

Thursday Aug 22: McCallie at Cleveland

Friday Aug. 23: Several interesting match-ups

East Hamilton at Signal Mountain … can the Eagles gain revenge for loss last year at EH?

Bradley Central at Polk County … big early season rivalry game

Boyd-Buchanan at Red Bank … both teams look to bounce back after Jamboree losses

Ooltewah at Brainerd … meeting of first year coaches

Walker Valley at East Ridge … good non-district game

Chattanooga Christian at Grace … both teams need a win to kick start the season as schedule only gets stronger later in the season

Soddy Daisy at Hixson … two longtime Hamilton County rivals

Lookout Valley at Silverdale ... a pair of Class A teams

Howard at Baylor … Baylor plays Howard and Brainerd (Sept. 13) for the first time since 1996

Marion County at Grundy County … bragging rights on the line in good county rivalry with long time football traditions … seems this game belongs in mid-October with a nip in the air on a Friday night

Chattanooga Central at Franklin County … Purple Pounders take on the Rebels

Notre Dame at Knox Catholic … good road test for young talented Irish 

Sale Creek at Oakdale … interesting to see how SC players respond Friday night when the whistle starts football for keeps


contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


PHOTOS: Signal Mountain Burns Sullivan South, 3-0, For State Tourney Win

Mocs Tennis Team At ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team had a solid showing in doubles play at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championship Presented by Oracle today.  The Mocs won two of three doubles matches in main draw action in Knoxville, Tenn.    Senior Nic Wilson and freshman Simon Bustamante posted an 8-5 win against Eastern Kentucky's Romain Stoffels ... (click for more)

School Board Set To Vote Next Thursday On Choice Of Superintendent Search Firm

The County School Board is set to vote next Thursday night on picking a search firm to choose a new school superintendent. First, there will be more discussion at a work session next Tuesday. On Thursday night, several board members urged going ahead and making a choice. The panel voted 5-4 recently to hold up while discussing further the type of leader the board will be trying ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To Commercial Fire In Alton Park

The Chattanooga Fire Department on Thursday responded to a fire at Metalcasting Minerals Technologies at 3406 Alton Park Blvd. with five fire companies. Battalion Chief Ashley May said a hopper was full of combustible materials and a small area was on fire. Firefighters opened the hopper's hatch and applied large amounts of water and foam to the burning coal dust-type material. ... (click for more)

Literacy Is Critical

Government spending is often portrayed as a freight train "quickly running out of track." And there is some truth to that statement. There is not an endless supply of money to fund every good idea that comes along, and we must acknowledge that problem. Fiscal responsibility is a must.  That is why spending on priority issues like public education is important. You can spend ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)