Category Archives: Sports

Summer Boating Season Kicks Off With Memorial Day Weekend

The 2020 Memorial Day holiday weekend is upon us and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets along with boating in a safe and responsible manner.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is regarded as the unofficial start to the summer boating season and is one of the year’s busiest boating weekends. Last year, there were no boating-related fatalities during the holiday weekend for the fifth consecutive year.

In 2019, there were 21 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests made over the holiday weekend. TWRA wildlife officers reported five injury incidents and six property damage incidents.

Along with the use of life jackets, TWRA wants to stress the responsible use of alcohol while boating. It is important to consider the effects of drinking and driving whether on water or land. In a boat on the water, the effects of alcohol increase because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Tennessee. “Boating incidents are preventable,” said Capt. Matt Majors, statewide boating investigator. “Boating under the influence is irresponsible and illegal. Our wildlife officers will be out day and night on our waterways to ensure the safety of our boating public.”

The TWRA is seeing a boom in the increased use of paddlecraft such as kayaks and paddleboards throughout the state. PFDs are required equipment on kayaks and stand up paddlecraft (SUPs).

For many residents, the Memorial Day weekend will be the first time to have the boat on the water this year. TWRA officials say taking a few minutes to check some of the boat components may be the key to having a nice, safe outing. Performing a simple maintenance check before getting on the water may prevent problems. Check hoses to make sure they are in good shape. Make sure the lights work and carry extra fuses and bulbs.

In addition, TWRA urges all boaters to remember the basics:

*have a wearable life jacket for every person onboard

*if your boat is 16 feet or longer, there must be a Type IV throwable device onboard

*have onboard a working fire extinguisher if you have enclosed fuel compartments or cabins

*children age 12 and younger must wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway – drifting is considered underway

*any boat operator born after January 1, 1989 must have onboard the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate

*choose a designated boat operator

*make sure there is a current boat registration

Boat Operation Basics:

*keep a proper lookout at all times

*maintain a safe speed

*cut the engine while boarding from the water or entering the water from the boat

*be aware of the carbon monoxide hazards that exist and keep fresh air flowing

*”no wake” means idle speed

*boating safety courses – log onto www.tnwildlife.org for information.

Campbell County Middle School Fishing Team Has Big Weekend

The COVID 19 pandemic has halted most sport but fishing is not one of them. Last weekend the Campbell County Middle School Fishing team dominated the first ever Norris Lake Social Distancing Fishing Tournament. The only contact any of the fishermen had was that of the people on their own boats.

The Cougar Middle School anglers won the overall tournament with a total of 314 inches and took second through fourth places.

Gabe St. John and Mason Dople finished second with 239 inches of fish. Third place went to Caden Miller and Grayson Dykes with 188 inches. In fourth were Ayden and Anthony Malone with 81 inches.

Jellico Quarterback Joseph Paul Ranked In Top 50 By Gridiron Scout

Joseph Paul had a standout year as quarterback for the Blue Devils of Jellico last football season. The junior gunslinger was money through the air completing 113 passes on 225 attempts. He 17 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. In all he threw for 1571 yards. He also rushed 33 times for 341 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

His work on the filed has caught the attention of gridironscouting.com. The recruiting website has him ranked #44 in their recruiting ratings. The 6’1 200 pound Paul has a good chance to have another outstanding season with many of his weapons and line returning. This could further impress the scouts and recruiters from college football programs throughout the region.

Coach Brent Peel spoke highly of his offensive signal caller saying, “Joseph is a young man with tremendous faith. And has a great love for the game of football. He has a strong work ethic and great leadership skills also. We are very proud of him for what he has and continues to accomplish.”

Though the current state of high school football in Tennessee is still uncertain Paul and his Blue Devil teammates are poise to battle their border rivals, the Yellowjackets of WIlliamsburg, in their season opener.

May 16th-22nd Is Safe Boating Week

The 2020 National Safe Boating Week is May 16-22 and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be participating to promote the wear of life jackets as the summer boating season starts in full force.

National Safe Boating Week is annually held the week prior to Memorial Day weekend. Boating partners across the United States and Canada are teaming to promote safe boating practices, including the wear of life jackets for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the 2020 boating season.

Tennessee offers boating enthusiasts an abundance of opportunities to enjoy the resources across the state. Memorial Day weekend is viewed as the unofficial kickoff to the summer boating season. The goal of National Safe Boating Week is to educate the public about the importance of safe boating practices and wearing life jackets.

“The single most important action one can take to prevent drowning while boating is to wear a life jacket,” said Betsy Woods, TWRA Boating Education Coordinator. “They are called life saving devices because they really can save lives.”

In addition, Friday, May 15 is Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day. Boaters can share a photo wearing a life jacket at work (or home) on social media along with the hashtag #lifejacket2work and tagging @boatingcampaign (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). Photos can also be emailed to outreach@safeboatingcouncil.org. Winners will be chosen randomly throughout the day to receive boating prizes from the Safe Boating Campaign, such as T-shirts, dry bags, first aid kits, stickers, and more.

TWRA Offers Guidelines For Safe Recreational Boating

When enjoying recreational boating, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says it is important to observe the following practices to protect yourself and others and slow the spread of Covid-19:

Only boat with those in your immediate household: no guests or outside-of-household family.
Boat close to home. Make direct trips to local accesses only. Go right from your home to the access and back.
Maintain distance at fuel and community docks.
When fueling, wash your hands as you would when car fueling. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
No beaching or rafting with other boats. Maintain social distance of 6 to 10 feet.
If you have been diagnosed or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with Covid-19 (including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), you should not leave your home at all, including to participate in outdoor recreation. This self-isolation period should extend for at least 7 days after illness begins and 72 hours of being fever-free without using fever-reducing medications and resolution of other symptoms.