Blog Archives

North Sports Report – Friday Night Lights Week 1

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Don’t Miss It
How do you follow a banner year for MNPS sports? In 2014-15, every sports season featured a team state champion from MNPS: Fall – Hume-Fogg Boys Cross-Country; Winter – MLK Girls Basketball; and Spring – Pearl-Cohn Boys Track. Not to mention long playoff runs in football, soccer and volleyball for several teams including Hillsboro’s trip to the football state championship game in Cookeville.

Last year’s top college recruits are now MNPS alumni and Freshmen at UT, Oregon, Illinois, UT Martin, TSU, MTSU, Belmont, and other schools across the country. Don’t you love saying “I saw him/her play in high school” when talking about a local talent playing in college or in the pros. Well, MNPS is loaded with talent again this year. Don’t miss your chance to go to the games, support the schools and students, and see tremendous athletic performances.

The Fall season has started for Cross-Country, Volleyball, Golf, Girls Soccer, and Football. Go to the games. Seriously, go to the games and not just football. You will love it!

Titan Up Bobcat
Overton graduate Dezmond Johnson earned his degree from prestigious Duke University and was named to the Academic All-ACC team for his success in the classroom and on the field for the Blue Devils football team. Now, he has come home as a member of the Tennessee Titans.

Wait. Go back and read that again. Overton High School…Duke graduate…academic All-Conference…NFL player. Wow! Congratulations Dezmond Johnson!

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Football: Can’t Miss Showdowns Highlight Week 1
Week 1 features two nights of high school football this week for MNPS. Go to a game each night.

Saturday, August 22:

The place to be Saturday night is Vanderbilt University for the showdown between the Hillsboro Burros and the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds. Both teams have reloaded with talent and expect great seasons. The Associated Press ranks Hillsboro 3rd in the state for Division 5A and ranks Pearl-Cohn 4th in the state in 4A. They will be talking about this one for a long time – two of the best teams in the state playing on a Saturday night at the comfortable confines of Vanderbilt Stadium. Be there! I bet the place will be crawling with college coaches and recruiters.

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Friday, August 21, games include great season openers and rivalries:

  • The Antioch Bears host nearby rival Cane Ridge Ravens in the battle for southeast supremacy.
  • You can throw out the records when rivals Stratford Spartans and Maplewood Panthers meet. Since it’s the first game of the season, I guess it’s safe to disregard the records in all the games. Nevertheless, this is a hot rivalry hosted by Maplewood this year.

In other action:

  • Glencliff Colts travel to Whites Creek Cobras
  • Hunters Lane Warriors open at home against Clarksville Northwest
  • East Nashville Eagles travel to Rossview
  • McGavock Raiders head to Hendersonville
  • Overton Bobcats play at Stewarts Creek
  • Hillwood Hilltoppers visit Father Ryan

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The MNPS home games are at Antioch; at Hunters Lane; at Maplewood; and at Whites Creek on Friday; and at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Go to a game each night!

MNPS: The First Choice for Year after Year Success

North Sports Report – The ultimate track meet and a banner year for Metro Schools athletics

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Super… Simply Super

Stronger than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s MNPS student-athletes at the Middle Tennessee Middle School Track Invitational.

The performance of these middle school student-athletes was nothing short of superhuman.

  • Oliver’s Joe Honeysucker won the Shot Put for the second year in a row, topping his meet record by an astounding three feet. He also finished third in the 100m Dash.
  • Thurgood Marshall’s Jaden Harrison won the 100m Dash, won the High Jump, and finished second in the 200m Dash.
  • Madison’s Darius Hylick won the 110m Hurdles, and finished second in the Shot Put, and second in the Discus.
  • Race of the Day: Boys 200m – East Nashville’s Jashon Watkins closed fast and edged Jaden Harrison at the tape for a photo finish victory.
  • Race of the Day II: Girls 4 x 100m Relay: East Nashville held off Madison’s incredible final leg to win by .01 of a second.
  • Performance of the Meet: Remember this name because she is likely to be one of the best track athletes in the state throughout high school – Kia’onna Lawless won the discus with a meet record throw of 73-08. Her meet record time in the 100m (12.26) would have been fast enough to finish second in the 2014 class A-AA and Division II state high school meets. She won the 200m by more than a second over her nearest competition in a meet record time, and her leg of the 4 x100m Relay defies description except to say really, really fast.

This meet grows every year and will soon be the premiere middle school track and field event in the state. Plan to attend next year. You will be amazed.

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Spring Fling or Bust

It’s that time of year as teams and individuals work their way through district, region and sectional games, matches and meets, hoping for a trip to Murfreesboro and a shot at a state title. MNPS teams will be competitive for state championships in Baseball, Softball, Track, and Soccer. It has been a banner year for MNPS sports with team state championships in the Fall (Boys Cross-Country- Hume-Fogg) and Winter (Girls Basketball – MLK) and deep runs by teams in nearly every sport (e.g. Hillsboro played in the Football state championship game). We will finish the school year strong in Murfreesboro. Prediction: At least one team state championship and at least six individual or relay championships.

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National Recognition

Overton’s Gideon McKee earned MaxPreps/USA Baseball Southeast Player of the Week honors after earning two wins, striking out 17 and giving up no hits. That’s nine hitless innings with almost two strikeouts per inning. Uh…what’s the word?…oh yeah…WOW!

MNPS: The First Choice for Superhero Student-Athletes

North Sports Report – Signing Day, swimming & tournament time

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Sign, Sign, Everywhere Sign

The cheer of teammates, the tweets of college fan clubs and recruiting experts, the proud families, the cameras and interviews…it all adds up to the spectacle that is signing day. The North Sports Report reveled in the excitement of five signing ceremonies as student-athletes and their parents signed scholarship papers. These signings are media events, team events, school events, but mostly they are family events, and watching them is a thrill. From the lobby of Pearl-Cohn to the Hillsboro auditorium to McGavock’s hall of fame room, to Overton’s auditorium and ending at East Nashville’s auditorium… what a day!

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The best part is the proud realization that these students are college ready for the academics as well as athletics, and most importantly they have a foundation of character and work ethic that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Bowling State Tournament

Congratulations to Austin York of Hunters Lane who finished 10th in the state; to Kaitlin Cashion of NSA (bowling for MLK) who finished 13th in the state; and to Shamika White of McGavock who finished 14th in the state.

The View from Poolside

The North Sports Report attended its first high school Region Swim Meet at the Centennial Sportsplex. The place was packed with swimmers and spectators, and two races were going on at the same time – one in the “Deep Pool” and one in the “Shallow Pool.” The organization of the event is nothing short of miraculous. I bet there were close to a bazillion swimmers there, and somehow they all knew where to be and when to swim. Congratulations to all our swimmers on a great season!

Hume-Fogg relay team enters the water at the Region Swim Meet.

Hume-Fogg relay team enters the water at the Region Swim Meet.

Banner Night

At halftime of a recent basketball game, East Nashville recognized the state champion 4 X 400 meter relay team of Melvyn Wells, Christian Washington, DeAndre Kpana-Quamon and Isaiah Olige with the unveiling of the banner to hang on the gymnasium wall. Each member of the relay team received a small replica of the banner.

Banner ceremony at East Nashville for state champion relay team.

Banner ceremony at East Nashville for state champion relay team.

Wrestling State Tournament

In the Wrestling Dual Tournament (i.e. team tournament), McGavock and MLK advanced all the way to the state quarterfinals. The individual State Championships start today at the Williamson County Ag Expo Arena, and MNPS has 34 wrestlers vying for state championships:

  • Antioch: Nathan Manivong, Miguel Ruiz, Ishmael Arnold, Yadiel Hernandez, and Bryce Bush. Cane Ridge: Deion Boyd and Gabby Neal.
  • East Nashville: Johnathan Hill and Joseph Cartwright.
  • Glencliff: Akol Madut, Terrell Pinkerton, and Deby Cardona.
  • Hume-Fogg: David Veltheim and John Robinson.
  • Hunters Lane: Kemale Strong, DeShawn Hooper, and Marcus Ball.
  • McGavock: Mason Dobbs, Hunter Jackson, Matthew Smith, Darius Rutland, and Erik Moreno.
  • MLK: Sevaughn Orr.
  • Overton: SoMu Ou, Rowan Mizoury, Kue Htoo, Shad Haji, Dwain Jackson, and James Parker.
  • Pearl-Cohn: Montez Booker.
  • Stratford: Eric Foster, James Hughes, and Steven Rose.
  • Whites Creek: Keyangela Baker.

Good luck to our grapplers!

MLK displays its Wrestling Regional Championship Trophy.

MLK displays its Wrestling Regional Championship Trophy.

Middle School Wrestling

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Congratulations to J.T. Moore for winning the Wrestling City Championship.

Freshmen Basketball Champions

Congratulations to the Cane Ridge Lady Ravens on winning the girls Freshmen City Championship and to the East Nashville Eagles on winning the boys Freshman City Championship.

MNPS: The First Choice for College-Ready Character and Work Ethic

North Sports Report – December 11, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Wet…Cold…Ooh look, a Donut

The North Sports Report followed the Hillsboro Burros down I-40 to Cookeville for the state championship football game last week. After a great season, the Burros faced a blustery cold rain and gale force winds, and the weather was definitely a factor in the game. It is tough to play in those conditions, and it is grueling on the fans. So, a shout out to the Burros on a great season and to the good crowd of Burros Nation that made the trek to Cookeville. The atmosphere and excitement at a state championship game is unlike anything else in high school sports, the weather notwithstanding.

Of course, the North Sports Report prepped for the game with a stop at Cookeville hot spot Ralph’s Do-Nut Shop for two (yes, I said two) butter twists and a milk before the game, and then warmed my bones with two (yes, I said two again) butter twists and a coffee for the drive home. After a tough game as a fan, somehow donuts make things okay.

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I Love These Schools

In the midst of a tough week for two middle schools, their basketball teams met on the court for some hoops as the Madison Rams made the short drive to their neighborhood rival Neely’s Bend Beavers. This is not the appropriate forum for a political discussion, so just know that the North Sports Report loves these two schools and everyone associated with them.

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Awards Night for Metro Football

The Metro Nashville Football Coaches Association held its 30th annual Awards Banquet last week at the State Fairgrounds and inducted three legends into their Hall of Fame. Sports writer Mike Organ, longtime assistant coach Dorris Armstrong, and administrator Mike Tribue were inducted to rousing applause. The influence these three had on Metro sports over the years cannot be overstated.

The Defensive Player of the Year is Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips, the Offensive Player of the Year is Pearl-Cohn’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and McGavock’s Jay Gore is the Coach of the Year. The All City teams are loaded with talent as this season was one of the best for MNPS football in recent memory.

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Offense

  • QB – Isiah Upton, East Nashville
  • TE – Austin Sherman, Hillwood
  • QB – Michael Hughes, Hillsboro
  • OL – Edgar Rosas, Antioch
  • RB – Lennox McAfee, East Nashville
  • OL – Joseph Cartwright, East Nashville
  • RB – Vincent Perry, Hillsboro
  • OL – Immanuel Newsom, Maplewood
  • RB – Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Pearl-Cohn
  • OL – John Orr, Overton
  • WR – Jay King, Hillsboro
  • OL De’Marqueze Douglas, Pearl-Cohn
  • WR – Antwon Edmondson, Maplewood
  • K – Hayden Hilt, Hillsboro
  • WR – Rontavius Groves, Pearl-Cohn
  • Ath – Chris Claybrooks, McGavock

Defense

  • DL – Kyle Phillips, Hillsboro
  • LB – James Hughes, Stratford
  • DL – Justin Ignacio, Hunters Lane
  • DB – DeVarius Cortner, East Nashville
  • DL – Malik Harris, Maplewood
  • DB – Shandon Mayes, Hillsboro
  • DL – DeAngelo Holt, Overton
  • DB – Ugo Amadi, Overton
  • LB – Lamonte Roberts, Antioch
  • DB – Michael Bullard, Whites Creek
  • LB – Gage Smith, Maplewood
  • LB – Koreyon Jordan, Pearl-Cohn
  • Ath – Walter Holmes, McGavock

Congratulations to all MNPS student-athletes, coaches, and supporters on a great season!

Retro Classic is Back to the Future

The FANS Retro Classic is headed to a new location on the west side of town as high school hoopsters wear throwback uniforms from bygone schools. This year’s event is Saturday January 3, 2015 at the historic Cohn High Gym, 4805 Park Avenue. Games start at 2:00pm. Don’t miss the action as McGavock faces MLK; Hillwood takes on Pearl-Cohn; and East Nashville plays Hunters Lane. You will want to be there for a special appearance by the Madison Rams in the famed polka dot uniforms. Tickets are available at the door for $6 and proceeds benefit The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools.

MNPS: The First Choice for Devoted Fans

North Sports Report – November 20, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

“Grapple me this Batman” –The Grappler

Wrestling tournaments are like a three-ring circus with an extra ring. I guess that would be a four-ring circus – four simultaneous matches of non-stop action. The North Sports Report enjoyed a season opening tournament at Antioch High School last weekend where referees, wrestlers, scorekeepers, timekeepers and coaches crowd around four mats of competition. What might at first glance seem like chaos is a well-orchestrated athletic competition. Everyone knows where they are going, what they are doing, what the score is and who wrestles next. The logistics and organization were as fascinating as the competition. Good luck to all MNPS wrestlers this season!

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Guest Fan Reports

The North Sports Report is proud to provide the fan’s perspective on MNPS sports and will occasionally include submissions from guest fans. This week, Bonnye Pinkerton Holt reports from the Middle School Basketball Jamboree.

The Next Big Thing, Middle School Basketball
by Bonnye Pinkerton Holt

Saturday, November 15th, Maplewood High School hosted a Middle School Basketball Jamboree for several boys and girls teams from Metro Schools. Bellevue Middle, Two Rivers, Head, East, John Early and Jere Baxter are a few of the schools that participated in this awesome event. Each team played two 20 minute periods to showcase their talent and preview some of the exciting elements that are sure to come during this basketball season.

Additionally, 6th graders are now eligible to participate on sporting teams which added to the adrenaline throughout the day. Coaches were pumped, the players were driven and the fans were enthralled as these players showcased that the next big thing in sports will be Middle School Basketball.

The regular season started this week, and games are played on Tuesday and Thursday, with the girls’ game usually starting at 5pm. So mark your calendars and get the schedules of your favorite middle school and watch the excitement of future basketball stars.

Football Playoffs – The Quarterfinals

Which of the two huge playoff games will you attend this week? In 5A, the undefeated and top seeded Hillsboro Burros host Shelbyville with a trip to the state semifinals on the line. In 4A, the high-flying Pearl-Cohn Firebirds look to light up the scoreboard as they host White House. So, will you be at Hillsboro or at Pearl-Cohn? Pick one and go to a game!

All-America Selection

Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips has been invited to play in the prestigious US Army All American Bowl as one of the top high school football players in the country. Congratulations!

MNPS: The First Choice for the Best Fans

North Sports Report – November 13, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Middle School Football City Championship – Bulldog Battle

Bulldogs were all over the field last week at McGavock High School for the Middle School Football City Championship between the Oliver Bulldogs and the DuPont-Tyler Bulldogs. These two teams are loaded with talent, well-coached and came into the game undefeated. The North Sports Report had the honor of presenting the championship trophy to the DuPont Tyler team in the middle of the field, and I am looking forward to seeing the players from these two teams playing on Friday nights for the next four years.

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Check with a middle school near you for their Winter sports’ schedules. You will enjoy watching the competition, and they need your support.

Blue Knights Take Home Prestigious TSSAA Award

At its regional meeting last week, the TSSAA presented the BlueCross Championship Series award to Hume-Fogg for the 2013-14 school year. According to Assistant Principal Kelly Harned:

“Now in its fourth year, the BlueCross Championship Series… awards points based on quarterfinal, semifinal, final round and championship appearances, with the potential points earned increasing at each level of competition. At the end of the school year, those schools with the top average point totals in their division, as well as no citations for unsportsmanlike conduct, win.”

It’s an award for winning AND sportsmanship. Congratulations to Hume-Fogg coaches, students, parents and fans.

College Ready

A big day of signings this week as MNPS student-athletes prepared to take their education and athletic endeavors to the next level. McGavock’s Deann Whitlow signed to play basketball at Florida A&M; MLK’s Shon Jordan signed to play softball at Carson-Newman; Hillsboro’s Janel Pate signed to run track at Alabama; and Hume-Fogg’s Shannon Chelsvig will compete on the swim team at the University of Wyoming. Congratulations!

Firebird Named Mr. Football Finalist

Pearl-Cohn’s tremendous running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn was named a finalist for the TSSAA Mr. Football Award for the second straight year. Again this year, Vaughn rushed for over 2,000 yards and has his team primed for a run at the state championship.

Basketball Starts

The hoopsters hit the hardwood this week as MNPS looks to send even more teams to the state tournament this year.

Football Playoff Time – Friday November 14

The second round of the state playoffs features three MNPS teams.

  • In 4A, the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host Spring Hill.
  • In 5A, the undefeated Hillsboro Burros host Springfield.
  • In 6A, the McGavock Raiders travel to Ravenwood.

In the playoffs, the name of the game is survive and advance … no, make that … dominate and advance.

MNPS: The First Choice for Scholarship, Championship and Sportsmanship

North Sports Report – August 12, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Warrior Stadium is the place to be Thursday night August 14.

Warrior Stadium is the place to be Thursday night August 14.

Jam – Jam – Jamboree: A Three Night Footballapalooza

The 46th Annual Metro Football jamboree starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday. If you like football and want to see all the great Metro players and teams, this week is the time to do it. Each night will feature some of the best players in the state playing abbreviated games that serve as dress-rehearsals for the teams and a fan’s dream come true. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, August 14 – 7:00 pm
at Hunters Lane High School
Overton Bobcats vs. Pearl-Cohn Firebirds
Hunters Lane Warriors vs. Stratford Spartans

Friday, August 15, — 6:00 pm
at McGavock High School
Antioch Bears vs. East Nashville Eagles
Cane Ridge Ravens vs. Maplewood Panthers
McGavock Raiders vs. Goodpasture

Saturday, August 16 – 7:00 pm
at Hillwood High School
Glencliff Colts vs. Hillsboro Burros
Hillwood Hilltoppers vs. Whites Creek Cobras

I will see you there!

Great Coaches Change Lives

The North Sports Report attended the Middle School Coaches’ meeting last week along with an impressive group of football coaches, volleyball coaches and girls’ soccer coaches. The impact they have on their student-athletes is immeasurable and will last a lifetime. Coaching might be the most honorable position a person can hold. Is that a stretch? Maybe, but notice that those who hold public office are always referred to by the highest position they reach, and police officers and soldiers are referred to by their highest rank. Once a Senator becomes President, you would never refer to him/her as Senator, and a General will never be called Colonel again. But, a coach is always, and forever will be, “Coach.” If your coach became President, would you still call them “Coach”? Yeah, me too.

McGavock Hoopster to Sign with Florida A&M

McGavock’s DeAnn Whitlow has committed to continue her education and play basketball for the Florida A&M Lady Rattlers. Congratulations!

Replacing a Legend

Welcome and congratulations to Coach Brent Burns, the boys’ basketball head coach at MLK. Coach Burns takes the reins from the legendary Coach Doc Shelton who retired after 25 seasons.

MNPS: The First Choice for Great Coaches

North Sports Report – April 24, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Middle School Track Extravaganza – April 24 & 26

IMAG1323The future is now as Middle School student-athletes from across Middle Tennessee converge on Antioch High School’s new track surface for the inaugural Middle Tennessee Middle School Track Invitational. The meet will introduce middle school athletes to a broader range of competition and prepare them for the big high school meets in their future. More than 22 schools will be represented including Antioch Middle; Apollo Middle; East Nashville Middle; Gra-Mar Middle; Haynes Middle; Jere Baxter Middle; John F. Kennedy Middle; KIPP Middle; Isaac Litton Middle; Meigs Middle; MLK Middle; Oliver Middle; public schools from Rutherford County, Sumner County, Williamson County, and Wilson County; and area private schools.

This is a great opportunity to support middle school student-athletes and coaches, so come to Antioch High School on Thursday and Saturday to enjoy the fun. The running events start at 6:00pm on Thursday evening April 24 (the shot put competition starts at 5:30pm) and 9:30am on Saturday morning. Admission is $5 each day.

Awards Season

Callee Brooks with her Moss-Oliver Award.

Callee Brooks with her Moss-Oliver Award.

Hume-Fogg’s Callee Brooks took home the prestigious Moss-Oliver Award after starring in the classroom and on the soccer, basketball, and softball teams.

The Tennessean named its All-Midstate teams for the winter sports:

  • Aaron Ruiz of Cane Ridge – First Team All-Midstate Bowling;
  • Terry Holt of East Nashville – First Team All-Midstate Basketball
  • Jordan Majors of MLK – 2nd Team All-Midstate Basketball
  • Clarence Mathis of Antioch – 2nd Team All-Midstate Wrestling
  • Chelsea Nelson of Overton – 3rd Team All-Midstate Basketball

Congratulations!

The Decision … “I’ll Be Taking My Talents to ____”

Life is a continuous series of future-altering choices. The path chosen at a fork in the road leads to another fork in the road which leads to another fork … and so on, et cetera, ad infinitum. Around this time each year, high school seniors reach a major intersection and decide where to continue their education. Yep, where to go to college is a biggie.

Last week, several MNPS student-athletes decided to continue their athletic pursuits and take their education to the next level.

  • At Hillsboro, four student-athletes signed to play Basketball in college: Ian Harrison at Rhodes College; Antorian Moore at Garden City CC; Juanya Smith at Vol State CC; and Kindravious Webster at Walters State CC.
  • At Overton, two student-athletes signed to play Volleyball and two signed to play Soccer: Gohdar Mohammed (Soccer) at Trevecca; Victor Tsado (Soccer) at Trevecca; Domynique Kloss (Volleyball) at Martin Methodist; and Arei Logoleo (Volleyball) at Alabama-Birmingham.
  • At Hume-Fogg, the signings cover schools from coast to coast: Kiersten Bell (Track) at Duke; Kyle Kmech (Soccer) at Otterbein; and Claudia Rodriguez (Track) at Pepperdine.

Congratulations to all the Seniors!

A Fitting Tribute: The MNPS Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014

The North Sports Report loves attending the induction luncheon for the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame each year. Seeing the all-time great athletes and childhood heroes and hearing the stories of amazing feats… well, it’s like Disneyland for the public school sports fan. The influence for good on the Nashville community by this year’s inductees cannot be overstated.

Dr. L. Dale Beck (Howard, Class of 1949) was a two-time Hume Award winner, played football at Vanderbilt and baseball in the Yankees organization, and served as chief of the medical staff at two hospitals.

Joe Campbell (Stratford, Class of 1988) ended his high school career as the all-time leading rusher in MNPS history, was a two-time All-American in college, and played in the NFL before returning to Nashville to raise his six children.

Larry Cantrell (Goodlettsville, Class of 1985) won 10 individual state track championships and single-handedly won the team state track championship, was a two-time SEC champion and All-American in college at Alabama and now serves as a minister at the Nashville Inner City Ministry.

Coach Nick Coutras (Hillsboro, Class of 1953) turned down job offers from the Washington Redskins to stay at Overton and win a state championship in 1981, compile a record of 144-36-1, coach six Hume Award winners and influence countless young men.

Kenneth Duke (Litton, Class of 1949) is considered one of the greatest running backs in Nashville history, and went on to play at SMU before serving valiantly in the Marine Corps in Korea. When word that he had been killed in action reached Litton, his number 33 jersey was immediately retired.

Julie Brown Rollins (Madison, Class of 1962) was a four-time all-city basketball selection in high school, scoring 44 points in one game, coached high school basketball and compiled more than 650 wins, and has taught hundreds of children to swim.

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Congratulations!

MNPS: The First Choice for Heroes

North Sports Report – April 10, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Inspiration – The Historical Role of Athletics

Did you follow The Tennessean’s series on women’s basketball and great local athletes during the Women’s Final Four? Journalists Mike Organ (DuPont High grad) and Jessica Bliss captured the amazing history of women’s sports in Middle Tennessee. The articles list some of the most influential athletes in history, including MNPS legends Marynell Meadors (Hillsboro); Carolyn Aldridge (Glencliff); Joanne Arnold Tribue (Antioch); Pam Chambers (Madison); and Ann Hutcheson Price (Hillsboro).

Tuesday’s front page article explained how athletic competition inspires ambition and creates better leaders. Sports columnist Christine Brennan is quoted, noting that it is more than a game: “It’s about creating better people.” The host committee for the Final Four organized a session to utilize the lessons of athletics to help girls “develop a vision and voice, become an ethical leader, promote wellness and health and turn their vision into action.” The lessons translate from the basketball court to real life and help inspire a generation of girls who will make a difference.

Walter Fisher Sr. helped coach Hillsboro to a victory in this year's Retro Classic in his first trip to the historic Litton Gym since scoring 35 points as a star for the Pearl High Tigers.

Walter Fisher Sr. helped coach Hillsboro to a victory in this year’s Retro Classic in his first trip to the historic Litton Gym since scoring 35 points as a star for the Pearl High Tigers.

And, there’s no need to wait for a seminar or big event to see inspiration in action. This basketball season, the North Sports Report had the good fortune to visit briefly with Walter Fisher Sr., an assistant coach for the Hillsboro boys basketball team. Mr. Fisher started for the 1966 Pearl High School team that is generally considered the best in Nashville’s history.

Playing during the first year of integrated competition and making their first trip into gyms of all-white schools, Mr. Fisher and his Pearl High teammates were not always treated with courtesy and respect. “Before the game, the crowd would call us all sorts of names, and then we would start dunking and everything got real quiet. By the end of the game, they were patting us on the back and telling us how good we were.” Sometimes, playing the game makes a statement and teaches a lesson beyond what any classroom can convey.

In January of this year, the Pearl-Cohn basketball team donned throwback Pearl High uniforms, and Mr. Fisher met with the players prior to the game. “He told them what it means to wear a Pearl uniform,” Pearl-Cohn Coach Raymond Pratcher succinctly explained. That’s a lesson we all should learn.

Alumni Alert – Hunters Lane Alum: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

The Masters at Augusta National is the most prestigious and tradition-filled golf tournament in the world. For the fifth year, sportscaster Grant Boone, a member of the very first class at Hunters Lane, will be a part of the CBS coverage and will anchor the 11th through 13th holes, famously dubbed “Amen Corner.”

That’s right, Hunters Lane Warrior Grant Boone will provide TV commentary at the Masters. You can watch each group navigate Amen Corner live on the CBS Sports website.

Next time you see Grant, ask him to tell the story of how his golf coach at Madison High School, the legendary Bill Brimm, helped him get started in broadcasting.

April Showers Bring …Rain Delays

Occasionally, the weather will interrupt an otherwise splendid plan to enjoy high school spring sports, leaving the North Sports Report at the ball field just hanging around, nothing to do but frown … cue The Carpenter’s.

(Editor’s note: omit link to the Carpenter’s classic hit “Rainy Days and Mondays” – it’s too sad.)

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No worries, I’ll make it back for the make-up.

(Editor’s note: omit link to the hilarious HR Pufnstuf scene where every time someone says “make-up,” Pufnstuf hits Witchiepoo with a giant powder puff – it’s too weird.)

Alumni Alert – NFL Draft Day Coming for 2010 Maplewood Grad

So, the NFL Draft is less than a month away, and 2010 Maplewood scholar-athlete James Stone will be ready for the call. NFL.com says that one of his strengths is “intelligence.” In perusing the various analysts’ predictions and mock drafts, the North Sports Report noticed one that had him going to Jacksonville and another to Cincinnati. Are you listening, Tennessee Titans?

MNPS: The First Choice for Inspirational Leaders

North Sports Report – March 27, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Poise is Power – Eagles Take It to the Limit

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The crowd arrives as the East Nashville Eagles warm up for the state championship game.

Cool – that is the only way to describe the East Nashville Eagles boys basketball team. Those guys are flat out cool! The Eagles’ poise and composure during their march to a double overtime state championship game reflected the strong character of the team, its coaching staff and the school.

Let’s just start at the Region Championship game against undefeated Cheatham County. The Maplewood gym was crammed full with screaming fans – the Eagle fans packed one side of the gym and half of Ashland City was there. The game was [understatement alert] tense. Everyone in the gym was on edge with the emotion of the game… except the East Nashville basketball team and coaches. They were uncommonly cool, and a lot of the credit for their nerves of steel goes to Coach Jim Fey who had the team ready to face whatever came along.

Then, in the state championship game, Coach Fey goes down with an untimely illness, assistant coach Avery Patton steps in, and the coolness continues. Down by 10 points in the fourth quarter, and MTSU’s Murphy Center anticipating a blowout, the Eagles calmly clawed back to force two overtimes.

Were they talented? Sure. Were they well-coached with a good game plan? You bet. But what made the Eagles team great was the poise they showed under pressure. Congratulations to all our student-athletes who have learned to face adversity and pressure with the poise and composure of champions.

Holiday Spirit – Overton Goes Green

Check out this story about Overton’s St. Patrick’s Day seasonal baseball uniforms. It seems altogether appropriate for Johnny O’Baseball!

 

The UTC Women's Rugby Team includes two Hume-Fogg grads.

The UTC Women’s Rugby Team includes two Hume-Fogg grads.

Alumni Alert: College Rugby

While “spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport – the human drama of athletic competition,” the North Sports Report attended a college rugby tournament last weekend and ran into 2010 Hume-Fogg graduates and senior ruggers for the UT Chattanooga Mocs Women’s Rugby team, Meagan Eatherly and Karly North. Rugby is rough, tough, and gracefully barbaric. Awesome!

MNPS Sports Hall of Fame to Welcome New Members

The MNPS Sports Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony and luncheon on April 15 at LP Field as we celebrate great student-athletes and coaches of the past. The new members of the Hall of Fame are:

  • two-time Hume Award winner Dr. L. Dale Beck (Howard, 1949)
  • All-America running back Joe Campbell (Stratford, 1988)
  • track superstar Larry Cantrell (Goodlettsville, 1985)
  • Overton football coaching legend Nick Coutras (Hillsboro, 1953)
  • great football player and war hero Kenneth Duke (Litton, 1949)
  • basketball phenom Julie Brown Rollins (Madison, 1962)

MNPS: The First Choice for Grace, Poise and Composure

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