By Ed Greif
It is that time of the year when sports slows down briefly as Christmas comes and goes, and the new year comes in.
The CCHS basketball teams have gone in different directions this weekend, as the Lady Jets are in Lawrenceburg and the Jets are in Hilton Head, SC, for a three-day affair. Both the Lady Jets and SMHS Lady Panthers will be playing next weekend in the Jon Loden Holiday Classic at Midway High School. The SMHS Panthers are in Maryville next weekend.
Both wrestling teams will be in action after Christmas.
Things will get back to normal in January.
College football's second season — the bowl games — gets cranked up this weekend with four games — the New Mexico Bowl (Washington State vs. New Mexico State), the Las Vegas Bowl (Fresno St. vs. USC), the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Buffalo vs. San Diego St.) and New Orleans Bowl (Tulane vs. Louisiana Lafayette).
The Beef O'Grady Bowl (Ohio vs. East Carolina) will be played Monday.
There will be 30 more games, including the BCS national championship game on Jan. 6 to wet your appetite after celebrating Christmas and New Years.
The FCS has its two semi-finals this weekend, as New Hampshire takes on N. Dakota St. tonight at 8 and Towson St. plays E. Washington Saturday at 2 p.m.
The University of the Cumberlands is taking on Grand View in Rome, GA, for the NAIA championship.
Florence, AL, is the site of the Division II championship game Saturday, Lenoir Rhyne vs. NW Missouri State, while the Amos Alonso Stagg Bowl (Mt. Union vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater) for the Division III championship will be played tonight in Salem, VA.
In college hoops, the Vandy women and men are at home Saturday against UNC-Asheville and Georgia Tech, respectively.
The Tennessee Lady Vols travel to Stanford Saturday, while the Vols will host Morehead State Monday.
Both Vandy and Tennessee will return to the court next week.
The Chattanooga Lady Mocs travel to ETSU Saturday to end the first half of the season, while the Mocs have completed play and will return to the Roundhouse Dec. 29-30 to host MTSU, Maine and Grand Canyon in the Dr. Pepper Classic.
For what it's worth, that's the way the old ball bounces.
Congratulations to the CCHS cheerleaders under the guidance of Melissa Kerley, Jeanenne Swafford and Becki Atkinson for the winning state competition to earn a berth in the national competition in Florida in February. The squad needs several thousands of dollars for their trip. If you would like to donate, contact Melissa at Don Hinch Insurance. I'll have more on their fund-raising effort later.
I would like to thank several people who have helped me this year. They include Walt Riches (photos), Gary Robbins, Rebecca Foster (photos), Travis Clark (photos), Kim Tabor (photos) and the coaches and administrations at both CCHS and SMHS for their support.
Kudos go to Frank Gale and Jim Butler for contributions this year. I wish Jim the best in his retirement.
I am going to take some time off between Dec. 26-Jan. 3, so if you have any sports news to go in any of the issues between those dates, please email them to me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 456-7683.
To paraphrase the initials LBJ and HHH, some say Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert H. Humphrey, but at this time of the year it is.....Lets Be Joyous and Ho Ho Ho! Happy holidays!
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)