Raiderettes kick off Regional Quarterfinal in Lynchburg on Friday

LOCAL NEWSFill the gym, is the refrain echoing out of Moore County High School this week as our MCHS Raiderettes prepare to battle it out at home for the first game of the Regional Tournament.

The MCHS Raiderettes pieced together a 18-13 (6-4) record to earn themselves a spot in the TSSAA 2020 Class A East Regional Girls’ Basketball Tournament as one of 32 teams. They enter the tournament ranked #2 in District 8 and face off against STEM Prep Academy in the first round on Friday.

The STEM Chargers are led by top shooters sophomores Andranique Voorhies and Andrian Voorhies, as well as senior Ndidi Morgan.

Two points shy of district top spot

Last week, the Raiderettes lost to Huntland in Franklin County, 56-54, narrowly missing out on the district’s top spot. It was a fierce match up that saw four lead changes in the final two minutes. Lady Hornet Mikaylie Edwards swished a mid-range jumper with 30 second remaining to give Huntland the go-ahead lead.

The Raiderettes will look to season leaders like sophomores Olivia Richards, Erica Clifton, and Chloe Brazier as well as senior Carolyna Driver to keep the season momentum moving. If they win this first game, they’ll take on the winner of the LEAD Academy versus Fayetteville game on Monday, March 2 at Eagleville High School.

Friday night’s tip off is at 7 p.m. and the MCHS Gym will open at 6 p.m. You can also watch a live broadcast on the NFHS Network. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Playoffs begin tonight without Fayetteville City

REGIONAL NEWS | Sports — The TSSAA playoffs will kick off tonight … without Region 5A’s undefeated regular season team. Last Tuesday, the TSSAA denied Fayetteville City School’s appeal regarding the eligibility of a student-athlete. That denial put a final period on their varsity football season.

Team forced to forfeit six games

The move follows a series of up-and-down events for the Fayettevile High School Tigers. Last September, they received what they interpreted as approval for a transfer player from Alabama to play in the 2019-20 season. That letter, from TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress, stated that, “Based on the information obtained by our office, TSSAA can confirm that the (redacted) family has had a bona fide change of address into the Fayetteville High School zone.”

But TSSAA officials claim that letter only referred to the student-athlete’s move from Alabama to Lincoln County. On October 15, the TSSAA contacted the Fayetteville School System regarding a complaint they’d received. It stated that the student in question wasn’t living inside the Fayetteville High territory. A strict reading of the TSSAA guidelines is that the TSSAA’s definition of territory includes both the geographic boundary and bus route. According to school officials, the student lives in Lincoln County. However, he doesn’t live inside the Fayetteville City limits, which is where the bus route exists for Fayetteville High School.

Days later the TSSAA informed the Tigers that they’d need to forfeit the six games the transfer student-athlete played in and pay a $600 fine. The forfeited games dropped the Tigers’ record from 10-0 overall, 5-0 district to 4-6 overall and 0-5 district – essentially forcing them to miss post season play.

Back and forth legal battle

It was a heartbreaking decision for the Tigers, who went 1-9 last year, and their first-year head coach, Kenny Morson. One that forced Fayetteville City Schools officials to do something unconventional. They appeared before a Circuit Court Judge M. Wyatt Burk asking for a temporary restraining order and injunction against the TSSAA. Judge Burk granted their request … temporarily putting the Tigers back in post season action.

Two days later, the TSSAA filed a motion to dismiss. That day, the judge encouraged both parties to work out the issue privately rather than pursue a lengthy and messy legal battle. Fayetteville City agreed on the condition that the TSSAA postpone publishing the Region 5 brackets until the matter was resolved. On Tuesday, the TSSAA denied Fayetteville City’s appeal … putting an end to the legal back and forth.

“I wish I could take one of the members back there with us to face my team,”Coach Morson told The Tennessean on November 5. “I’ve got no words for it.” (Click here for that article.) •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Post season play back on for Fayetteville City

REGIONAL NEWS | Fayetteville — The plot thickens in the Fayetteville City School versus the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) battle brewing in Lincoln County. On Wednesday, the school announced that a Lincoln County Chancery Court granted a temporary restraining order and injunction against the TSSAA’s ruling to deem a transfer student ineligible as well as force the school to forfeit six wins … essentially making them ineligible for post season play. Circuit Court Judge M. Wyatt Burk issued the ruling.

In a letter posted on their public Facebook Page, Director of Schools Janine Wilson stated, “As a result of this step, we will not be appearing for an appeal hearing with TSSAA Board of Control, at this point, but we will however present our case in front of a court of law to be conducted at a later date.”

So far this season, Fayetteville City’s played an undefeated season. They were leading in Region 5A play and boasted a 9-0 record, prior to the TSSAA’s decision.

A hearing is now set for November 13 but that’s five days after the first round of the football playoffs. Post season play begins on November 8.

“The decison to seek relief in court was not made in haste,” Director Wilson’s letter continued. “We feel that this course of action is the most appropriate step to address this situation for the benefit of our players and coaches.” •

Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story that will be updated as for facts are available. Stay tuned.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TSSAA force Fayetteville City to forfeit six games

According to a copy of this September 6 letter from the TSSAA, the unnamed transfer players was approved to play at Fayetteville City Schools. On October 25, TSSAA reversed that decision. The school is appealing. {Photo Provided}

REGIONAL NEWS | Sports — According to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). Moore County’s Division 1 , Class 5A opponent Fayetteville City Schools must forfeit six football game and will miss post-season play after TSSAA determined the school played an ineligible transfer player in six of the team’s first seven games.

Previously, Fayettevile had played a perfect season with a 9-0 overall record and a 5-0 Region 5A record. The vacated wins will leave the team 3-6 overall and winless in the district. The move shakes up the Region 5A standings … moving Fayetteville out of the top spot. The new rankings are: 1) Cornersville, 2) Huntland, 3) Moore County, 4) Mount Pleasant, 5) Richland, 6) Fayetteville.

According to the TSSAA, the transfer athlete did not move into the Fayetteville school system’s territory, “as defined by the TSSAA bylaws.”

On Saturday, the official Fayetteville City Schools Facebook page posted a copy of a September 6 letter to the high school stating, “Based on the information obtained by our office, TSSAA can confirm that the (redacted) family has had a bona fide change of address into the Fayetteville High School zone.”

According to them, TSSAA approved the transfer student and then reversed that decision. Fayetteville City Schools is appealing the decision. •

{Editor’s Notes: This is an ongoing story and we will update as new information is available.}

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}