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TSSAA expanding historical information on website

Douglas Fritz • Jun 9, 2020 at 10:15 AM

In the absence of high school sports, the TSSAA is making use of the void by adding to its historical database.

At the forefront of the work is Bradley Lambert, the organization’s technology director. He said the TSSAA wants to gather as much information as possible while it is still available and place it on the website tssaasports.com.

“We don’t want to lose anything,” Lambert said. “Most of the information we have at the office has been digitized in one way or another, but we still have some things in the cabinets.

“For the most part, any bracket or state results were made available by Nelson Smotherman. We put all that stuff in the system. We’re at the point where it’s time to fill in the blanks and expand what we have.”

Lambert said if the historical information isn’t gathered in a timely fashion, it may never find its way to the website.

“It happens every day, where people clean out their closets or attics and things wind up in the trash,” Lambert said. “Also we lose people and lose connections to the past. That’s the primary thing that has been on my mind.”

Lambert said technology assistant Shonnie Speicher has played a key role in the work.

“She does more work on it than anybody,” he said. “She goes back through The Tennessean archives and searches as many newspapers as we can get our hands on, back from the era before computers.”

One of the things the TSSAA has compiled is a list of every school in the organization’s 95-year history. Here is the current list of Northeast Tennessee area schools:

Carter — Cloudland, Douglas, Elizabethton, Hampton, Happy Valley, Unaka

Greene — Baileyton, Beacon School, Camp Creek Academy, Cedar Creek, Chuckey, Chuckey-Doak, Doak, George Clem, Glenwood, Greeneville, Jearoldstown, McDonald, Mosheim, North Greene, Ottoway, South Greene, St. James, Warrensburg, West Greene

Hawkins — Bulls Gap, Cherokee, Clinch, St. Clair, Volunteer

Johnson — Elk Mills, Johnson County, Watauga Academy

Sullivan — Blountville, Bristol, Dobyns-Bennett, Douglass, Holston, Holston Valley. Ketron, Kingsport, Lynn View, Mary Hughes, Mill Point, Slater, Sullivan Central, Sullivan East, Sullivan North, Sullivan South, Sullivan West, Tennessee High, Tennessee Online Public School

Unicoi — Unicoi County

Washington — Boones Creek, Daniel Boone, David Crockett, East Tennessee State Training School, Fall Branch, Jonesboro, Lamar, Langston, Science Hill, Sulphur Springs, University School, Washington College Academy

Go online at tssaasports.com/history/schools for the complete list.

Lambert said if there is a school missing from the list, corrections can be submitted on the website.

LAMBERT’S BEGINNING

Before streaming sports was a thing, Lambert was doing it as a student at Oliver Springs.

There was one scenario where he would get the custodian to answer a phone after school hours as part of a process to do a remote streaming broadcast in the late 1990s.

“Before we left school, I would go to the computer lab and set it up,” Lambert said. “I would connect the computer to a telephone and leave school. When we got to the game, I would call with the bag cellphone and had it worked out for the nighttime janitor. He would answer the phone and get it to where we could patch through to our phone.”

It was an unusual setup for that part of the computer era.

“For a high school program, it was unheard of at the time,” Lambert said. “We always had good community support. The community ate it up, listening to those games.

“As a high school kid, I loved it. Technology is such today — where we’ve all got smartphones — you don’t have that level of excitement.”

HAMMONDS RESIGNS

Greeneville is searching for a new football coach after Dan Hammonds’ surprise resignation Sunday.

Hammonds led the Greene Devils for one season, leading them to a record of 10-3 before a Class 4A quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Elizabethton. He was an assistant coach for the Greene Devils for 14 seasons prior to taking over from Caine Ballard, who led Greeneville to four state titles.

Eddie Spradlen took over as interim coach, and athletic director Brad Woolsey told the Greeneville Sun he expects to have a new coach before the end of the dead period on July 6.

Contact Douglas Fritz via email at dfritz@johnsoncitypress.com.

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