McCallie and Baylor Celebrate 100th Anniv. of Tennis

Both To Compete in Rotary Tourney, April 4-5

Thursday, April 03, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

From wooden racquets and white tennis balls to T2000 racquets of the 1970s to the high tech equipment and facilities of the new millennium, tennis players from Baylor and McCallie have won at an alarmingly high rate of success not just for a few decades but a century.

100 Years: Both schools are celebrating 100th anniversary seasons this spring and are ready to make a run at team titles in this weekend’s Chattanooga Rotary Tennis Championship.

While Baylor and GPS will battle for the Girls A division crown, Chattanooga Christian hopes to bring home the girls B title. On the boys side, Baylor and McCallie will face strong challenges from defending champion St. Xavier (Ky.) and Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville) in the A division and a veteran Hixson team looks to make some noise in the B division along with Signal Mountain.

2013 Rotary Champions: Baylor girls and St. Xavier (Ky.) boys are defending champs in the A division, while Knox. Catholic (boys) and Huntsville (girls) took home the top hardware in the B Division.

2014 Rotary Schedule:

Friday:  First Singles Start at 8:30 a.m. - The Boys and Girls A Division will be at Baylor, while the Girls B will be at GPS and Boys B at McCallie.

Team and Individual titles should be determined by late Saturday afternoon.

Chattanooga teams: GPS, McCallie, Baylor (boys and girls), Hixson (boys), Chattanooga Christian (girls), Signal Mountain (boys and girls).

Baylor History: The highlights include national team championships in the late 1960s along with numerous Mid-South and state titles.

Top players range from Lefty Bryan in the 20s, Alex Guerry Jr. in the 30s to ITA Collegiate Hall of fame trio Zan Guerry, Roscoe Tanner and Brian Gottfried in the 1960s, along with interscholastic national doubles champions in the 1970s including Pem Guerry-Wesley Cash and three-time doubles winner David Dick.

The Red Raiders under coach Park Lockrow put together a 103-match win streak in the 1980s, and the current Baylor girls team under coach Dustin Kane had won 46 in a row before losing to Ransom Everglades (Fla.), 5-4, in the DecoTurf finals last weekend.

Baylor players and coaches have done well on the national and world stage as current tennis director Ned Caswell is a three-time age division world champ and Cash has won three national age division grand slams (titles on all four surfaces) and a world doubles gold medal in 2013.

McCallie History: City, state and Mid-South team titles date back starting in the second varsity season in 1915 along with champion players ranging over seven decades (1940s-present), including Bob Caldwell and Vernon Kelly, Hugh O. Maclellan, Turner Howard, Andy Avram, Eric Voges, Andrew Rogers, Sawyer Voges and Wes Nelson.

The Blue Tornado dominated the previous decade with a four-peat at the state tournament (2006-09) and won its first Rotary team title in 1957.

contact B.B. Branton at

Lookouts Lose To Smokies, 6-5

In a game that started out fast and furious, the Tennessee Smokies (33-34) scored the only run after the third inning to lead them past the Chattanooga Lookouts (32-33), 6-5. The loss puts the two teams into a tie for first place in the North Division with only three games left in the 2014 regular season. The Smokies got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the top of ... (click for more)

RJ Takes Triple Crown Opener At Boyd's Speedway

Labor Day weekend was kicked off in High-5 Fashion Friday night as Dirt Track Hall of Famer and two-time Dirt Track World Champion Ronnie Johnson took the $3,000 payday of "National Boiler Service 50" at his home track Boyd's Speedway in Chattanooga. The unsanctioned Super Late Model event drew 44 cars all vying for a spot in the 24-starting field. Ray Cook led at the start ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)