The Chattanooga Mocs football team is the pick of litter in the Southern Conference. Coming off its first league title since 1984, the SoCon coaches and media deemed the Mocs the team to beat in 2014.
Historic Pinehurst, N.C. was the site of both the United States Men's and Women's Opens last month and in two weeks' time, two of LaFayette's own youngsters will have their own shot on one of golf's most storied pieces of property.
The 12-year-old Ringgold Tigers had their best finish at the Dizzy Dean state level in six years after a runner-up finish in the Invitational State Tournament in Ringgold on Wednesday.
Nestled away in the mountains of extreme northwest Georgia sits Trenton Golf Club, a hidden gem among public courses throughout the state.
The 12-year-old Ringgold Tigers remain the Catoosa-Walker County area's last hope at a Dizzy Dean state baseball championship.
The Fairyland Club Flash completed the 2014 Chattanooga Area Swim League (CASL) season with a respectable fifth-place overall showing at the Bill Caulkins City Meet at Chattanooga's Warner Park this past weekend.
Catoosa County swim teams, including Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe cracked the top 10 last weekend in the annual City Meet held in Chattanooga.
The Ringgold Tigers have been ranked as the No. 6 pick in the Stump On Sports Preseason Football Coca-Cola 12-pack.
The 10-under Renegades baseball team ruled in Panama City, Fla.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — A rising gold football-shaped trophy will be the prize for the national champion in the new College Football Playoff.
Barring any weather delays, only two days remain in the Dizzy Dean State baseball tournaments and only three local teams remain in the running to bring state titles back to the Catoosa-Walker County area.
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James tells Sports Illustrated he will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers .
When it comes to LeBron James, all that's certain is this: One fan base is about to feel scorned, and other is about to feel absolute joy.
Miami or Cleveland?
The same choice he faced four years ago is the one facing the four-time NBA MVP now. He became a champion in Miami. He still calls Ohio home. It's obviously not an easy decision, and the ramifications of what he's about to say — it's still unclear when any announcement will be coming, but it's more than likely sooner than later — will have a massive impact on the Heat and the Cavaliers.
For the Heat, keeping James is likely the only way they can stay a championship-contending team for a fifth straight season next year. If he stays, it would seem likely that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would re-sign with Miami as well, keeping the "Big 3" that has played in each of the last four NBA Finals intact for at least another season.
For the Cavaliers, it's a chance to welcome home the player who fans — and the team's owner Dan Gilbert — directed so much scorn toward when he left in 2010 after seven brilliant seasons.
James left Las Vegas late Thursday, two people close to the situation told The Associated Press. One of those people said James and Wade were flying together to Miami, and that James would be continuing on from there for his long-planned trip to Brazil for the World Cup finals. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because none of the details were revealed publicly.
Earlier Thursday, James again appeared at his skills academy for the nation's top high school and college players, scrimmaging and then watching games in the afternoon with some friends, including Wade. Meanwhile, in Bath Township, Ohio, cars lined the streets near James' 30,000-square-foot mansion in anticipation of an announcement. People posed for photographs and TV news crews did remote reports from the driveway of his offseason home.
As he makes his choice, here's some things he may be considering about returning to Cleveland:
BUSINESS HEADQUARTERS: Northeast Ohio is where James and his close friends grew up. He has business interests in the Cleveland area. He and his LRMR agency recently signed popular college quarterback Johnny Manziel to a marketing deal. Manziel now plays for the Browns.
YOUNG ROSTER: Although the Cavaliers haven't made the playoffs since he left, they can offer James a young roster filled with potential and promise. They're led by All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who recently agreed to sign a five-year contract extension, and the Cavs also have two other No. 1 overall draft picks in Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins.
COACHING STAFF: Cleveland's coaching situation could be a concern. The Cavs are on their third coach since James left and the team recently hired David Blatt, an international icon but someone who has not coached in the U.S. before. The Cavs did hire well-respected assistant Tyronn Lue, who has a strong relationship with James.
CAVS ASSETS: The Cavs have assets they could trade to bring another elite player to Cleveland and have had preliminary talks with Minnesota about a deal for forward Kevin Love.
OWNER: The biggest obstacle in James' possible return could be his relationship with Gilbert. In the hours after James left four years ago, Gilbert blistered James in a scathing letter to Cleveland fans. In an AP interview that same night, Gilbert said James quit during the playoffs.
And while James has strong ties to Ohio, he has also forged them in Miami.
PROVEN WINNERS: Instead of potential, the Heat are proven champions. James has been to four straight NBA Finals with Miami, winning two championships. They have made good on the promise Heat President Pat Riley made to James four years ago: Come to Miami, be part of something special, and compete for titles every year.
COACHING STAFF: There hasn't been turnover in Miami's coaching staff and front office since James joined the Heat. He's played for just one coach, Erik Spoelstra, and Riley has championship pedigree.
OWNER: Unlike the situation with Gilbert, there's no rancor with Heat owner Micky Arison. The Heat have preached a family approach to everything, even allowing members of James' inner circle access to the locker room and other team areas — no minor thing within the framework of the Heat culture.
BIG 3: James came to Miami in large part to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, both of whom also are free agents. It's hard to envision Bosh staying if James leaves. It's easy to see both Wade and Bosh recommitting instantly, if James decides to stay in Miami.
MIAMI INVESTMENTS: His wife has a juice bar in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami and James is said to be investing in a chain of pizza restaurants coming soon to South Florida. He doesn't have Miami roots, but he's created ties to South Florida nonetheless.
It's easy to see why James is torn.
Whether it was one of Gilbert's planes coming to South Florida, or movers packing up James' luxury cars from his Coconut Grove, Florida home, or reports that a cupcake shop in Ohio had heard from people that James had already decided to return to Cleveland, any nugget of information sets the rumor mill into overdrive.
But his camp says he has all the information needed to make a decision.
The ball is now in LeBron James' hands.
Reynolds reported from Las Vegas and Withers reported from Cleveland.
Ringgold Youth Soccer announced tryouts for the fall 2014 soccer season for groups U10 girls, U10 boys and U12 boys will be Saturday, July 19 on field 5.
Rodeo days are here.
Ringgold Youth Soccer's Academy will hold tryouts for the Fall 2014 soccer season for U10 Girls, U10 Boys and U12 Boys. Teams will participate in Academy level competition with some of the local U10 Girls, U10 Boys and U12 Boys. The schedule for tryouts - to be held at 288 Emberson Drive in Ringgold - will be on Saturday July 19, from 3–4:30 p.m.
ARENBERG, France (AP) — Dutch rider Lars Boom has won a chaotic fifth stage of the Tour de France marked by the withdrawal of defending champion Chris Froome following two crashes.
LILLE, France (AP) — Marcel Kittel won the fourth stage of the Tour de France — his third of the race — in a sprint as the tour returned home from England on Tuesday.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA will not take action against the Colombia player who injured Neymar and ended the Brazil star's World Cup.
FIFA said its disciplinary panel "cannot consider this matter" under the rules because the match referee saw the challenge by Camilo Zuniga and judged it at the time.
"In this specific case, no retrospective action can be taken," FIFA said in a statement on Monday, because the incident "did not escape the match officials' attention."
In a separate decision, the panel also refused to consider a Confederation of Brazilian Football appeal against captain Thiago Silva's yellow card in the 2-1 win quarterfinals over Colombia on Friday in Fortaleza.
Thiago Silva's second caution of the tournament triggered a one-match ban which he will serve in the semifinals. Brazil will therefore be without its best player and its captain against Germany on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte.
Neymar will be sidelined for about 45 days after sustaining a fractured third vertebra.
The panel studied video of Zuniga's 86th-minute challenge, where he kneed Neymar in the back when jumping into him at speed. Zuniga apologized on Saturday.
Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo did not show Zuniga a yellow card, and FIFA's disciplinary panel considered the incident judged on the spot.
The seriousness of an injury could not be weighed in a disciplinary decision, nor was mistaken identity a factor in the case, FIFA added.
"First and foremost, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (Claudio Sulser) wishes to state that he deeply regrets the incident and the serious consequences on Neymar's health," the statement said.
The Luis Suarez biting case earlier in the World Cup raised expectations that Sulser's panel would also punish Zuniga.
However, Suarez's bite of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder was missed by match officials. That allowed Sulser to use video evidence to ban the Uruguay forward for nine international matches and four months.
The Mexican referee in that case, Marco Rodriguez, will handle the Brazil-Germany semifinal in his first match duty since Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 on June 24.
Thiago Silva was booked against Colombia for impeding goalkeeper David Ospina who tried to kick the ball downfield.
The FIFA disciplinary code states that cautions can be canceled only in "exceptional circumstances."
The panel "cannot consider the matter given the fact that there is no legal basis entitling it to grant such request," FIFA said.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The World Cup's best dribblers — Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben — face off when Argentina and Netherlands meet in the semifinals.
In Brazil, Robben has been quick, Messi has been quicksilver.
On Wednesday in Sao Paulo, either one could turn the semifinal with a dazzling turn of pace or a weaving run to propel his team to the final.
"We have to cut the supply line to Messi," Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi told Dutch website Nu.nl.
The Barcelona star led Argentina through the group stage with four goals. He has also made 180 passes in his five matches so far.
The Dutch have shared the goal-scoring duties more evenly — Robben and Robin van Persie each have three, Memphis Depay has two of the team's total of 12 — but the Bayern Munich winger's scintillating sprints with the ball have often been the highlights of Oranje matches.
"We know that we will play against one of the best teams when it comes to counterattacks because of the speed of their men up front," Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. "So we have to take precautions to not give them the possibility to counterattack, to always be well positioned, to not lose balls unnecessarily in areas where there's a lot of risk."
After scoring 10 times in group play, the Netherlands has managed only two in its two knock-out matches and the Dutch will be hoping captain Van Persie regains his touch in front of goal. He looked off the pace and missed an easy chance near the end of regulation time in the quarterfinal against Costa Rica.
The Netherlands will again be without their powerful midfield controller Nigel de Jong, who has a torn groin muscle. A possible replacement, Leroy Fer, is recovering from a hamstring injury and it is not clear if he will be fit for Wednesday's semifinal at the Itaquerao Stadium.
Argentina will be without Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, who limped off in the first half of his country's quarterfinal win over Belgium with a right thigh injury, but striker Sergio Aguero has been declared fit after recovering from a similar problem.
Di Maria scored the extra-time winner against Switzerland in the second round and set up Gonzalo Higuain's winning goal in the first half against Belgium on Saturday.
"He's a good player, but we look at the whole team, not one player," Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen said. "We're going to watch ... how Argentina plays. We're going to make our plan to beat Argentina."
Whether that plan again could involve Cillessen being substituted a minute before a penalty shootout and replaced with the more physically imposing Tim Krul — as happened against Costa Rica — remains to be seen.
The move by tactical mastermind Louis van Gaal was the World Cup's most surprising substitution and one of its most effective as Krul stopped two penalties.
"We are ready for everything," Krul said. "Hopefully, we don't need it against Argentina and we can do the job in 90 minutes."
The two sides have a long World Cup history, including one of the Netherlands' most heart-breaking losses, in the 1978 final when Rob Rensenbrink's shot hit the post shortly before full time with the scores level at 1-1. Argentina went on to win 3-1 in extra time.
In 1998, the Dutch led by Guus Hiddink got a measure of revenge when Dennis Bergkamp's memorable goal knocked Argentina out in the quarterfinals in France.
Cillessen said beating Argentina in Sao Paulo would only be a step on the way to making amends for the 1978 final — one of three the Netherlands has lost, earning the Dutch the title of the best team never to win the World Cup.
"It would be revenge if we win the World Cup," Cillessen said. "But we have to wait for that. It's not a final. It's a semi."
LONDON (AP) — Germany's Marcel Kittel showed he may be the sprinter to beat at the Tour de France, speeding to his second stage win this year in Stage 3 on Monday as cycling's big event entered London before leaving England for France.