The holidays are past. The new year is upon us and even though classes won’t resume until next week, several area high school sports teams will return to action today and tomorrow.
The prep action begins this afternoon with a five-way dual meet at “The Stable,” as wrestling squads from Walker Valley and Cleveland High will take on Cookeville, Rhea County and East Hamilton.
The mat action will start at 2 p.m. with the 11th-ranked Mustangs on one mat and the defending state champion and currently No. 2 ranked Blue Raiders on another. Both local mat squads will participate in the Soddy-Daisy Invitational Saturday.
Four area a hoop teams will return to the hardwood as well this evening, while another had a key District 5-AAA make up battle set for Saturday afternoon.
Both Cleveland High teams will journey to Chattanooga tonight to tangle with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Coach Mindy Kiser’s Lady Raiders (6-4) will actually play a pair of games over 200 miles apart in less than 24 hours. After traveling 30 miles south to Chattanooga this evening to battle the Lady Irish (7-4), they will trek more than 170 miles north Saturday for a 3 p.m. game against Southwestern High School (Somerset, Ky.), in the Southern Kentucky Shootout, being played at McCreary Central High School in Stearns, Ky.
After a slow start to the season, Coach Jason McCowan’s Blue Raiders (4-5) have bounced back with victories in three of their last four games and look to continue their recent success against the Irish (3-9).
Polk County will start the new year part of the hoop season against an old foe as the Wildcat squads journey to Decatur this evening to face longtime rival Meigs County.
Walker Valley’s boys basketball team will make the short trip to Ooltewah Saturday afternoon to resume the District 5-AAA contest that was started back on Dec. 5.
The game that evening had been moved up a night due to a wrestling tournament at “The Barn” that weekend, but the school’s heating system had not been adjusted, causing severe condensation on the extremely humid conditions. With players constantly slipping and falling, the referees stopped the contest with 2:23 left in the opening period.
The key district battle will pick up at that point with the Mustangs (8-5, 2-1) trailing the Owls (7-5, 2-1) by a 16-8 margin. The varisty game will be preceeded by junior varisty and freshman contests.
All local teams will be back in action as classes resume Monday in Polk County, as well as on Wednesday for Bradley County and Cleveland City schools.