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North Sports Report – State champions all over the place

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

A Victory Lap… or Four

With only two events remaining and a 42 point lead, the Pearl-Cohn Boys track team gathered behind the stands with Principal Sonia Stewart, Assistant Principal Brian Mells, several teachers, coaches and supporters. The penultimate event, the 3200m run, included no Firebird, so the only thing between the Firebirds and the state championship was the 4 x 400m Relay, basically a victory lap for the team state champion… well, more like four victory laps – four very fast victory laps.

To pass the time during the 3200m races, Mr. Mells began introducing the North Sports Report to members of the team: Darryl Harris, Jr. is the Valedictorian of the Class of 2015; Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Cameron Watkins donned their Fighting Illini hats; and Rontavius Groves will be one of the state’s top football players this fall. A member of Pearl-Cohn’s track team told me a few weeks ago that the Regional Meet is the time to set personal records, but the State Meet is all about the team. Visiting with these young gentlemen on the verge of a state championship, I understood. They were all about the team.

We took our place in the stands for the final race. It had been a year since the team had fallen a point and a half short of a state championship, and for a full year, everything pointed to this race. The Relay team did not disappoint, pulling away for the icing on the state championship cake and 96 total points, 44 more than second place.

It was thrilling!

That Championship Feeling

Earlier this month, the North Sports Report made its bold Spring Fling prediction for Metro schools – one team championship and six individual or relay championships. Did you snicker when you read that, knowing how much I underestimated the MNPS springability and flingability?

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Actual results:

One team champion; one team runner-up; and six top-ten teams.

Four state champions; three runners-up; and one third place.

Nine state championships (that’s right, nine individual state championships); nine runners-up; and four third place finishers.

Pearl-Cohn’s Boys Track team was phenomenal in winning the state title. Stratford’s Boys Track team finished 7th and Maplewood’s Boys Track team finished 8th.

East Nashville’s Girls Track team finished 2nd in the state, while Hume-Fogg and MLK’s Girls teams tied for 9th.

East Nashville’s Girls won the 4 x 400m Relay, and Hume-Fogg’s Girls finished 2nd in the 4 x 200m and the 4 x 400m relays. Pearl-Cohn’s Boys swept the sprint relays, winning state championships in the 4 x 100m, 4 x 200m, and 4 x400m relays. Stratford’s Boys finished 2nd in the 4 x 400m relay.

Hillsboro’s Janel Pate won the 100m and 400m and finished 2nd in the Long Jump. Cane Ridge’s Maya Perry-Grimes won the state championship in the Triple Jump. East Nashville’s Grenetria Shell won the 100m Hurdles, 300m Hurdles and Pentathlon. McGavock’s Mikayla Thompson finished 2nd in the Discus. Hume-Fogg’s Stephanie Brown and MLK’s Denia Hill-Tate tied for 2nd in the High Jump. Stratford’s Jermesia Haynes finished 3rd in the 100m and 200m.

Pearl-Cohn’s Darryl Harris Jr. won state championships in the 400m and Long Jump and finished 2nd in the Decathlon. Pearl-Cohn’s Rontavius Groves won the 200m Dash. Pearl-Cohn’s Cameron Watkins finished 2nd in the 100m and Long Jump. Maplewood’s Ross Bagley finished 2nd in the 110m Hurdles. Maplewood’s T.J. Turner finished 2nd in the Triple Jump. Stratford’s Corey Simmons finished 3rd in the 100m and 200m.

Great performances!

A Bobcat among the Titans

Overton alumnus Dezmond Johnson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Christian Ministries from Duke University. He was named Academic All ACC three times during his college career. Now, he is a member of the Tennessee Titans. Visit Overton’s online student newspaper to read an interview with the new Titan. Congratulations, and go Titans!

MNPS: The First Choice for Champions of Education

North Sports Report – December 4, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

The 71st Annual Hume Award Presentation

The Hume Award was first presented in 1944 to a football player in Nashville’s public schools on the basis of scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance, and value to the team. The ceremony is hosted by a local civic club and rotates among several clubs each year. This year’s luncheon was hosted by the Nashville City Civitan Club.

As each coach introduces their finalist and describes the value each student-athlete has on his team and his school, I watched the parents. East Nashville’s Coach Waite explained that Lennox McAfee eased the worried coach’s mind prior to the season with his leadership and hard work. Hillsboro’s Coach Clayton pointed out that Kyle Phillips coached the offensive line while recuperating from an injury and referred to him as Coach Phillips. Hunters Lane’s Coach Murray pointed out that Bobby Jordan Jr. was always in the front, leading whether in the classroom or on the field. McGavock’s Coach Gore told that after explaining something to the offensive line, he would check with Damian Starks to be sure the coach had given proper instruction. Overton’s Coach Williams bragged on Ugo Amadi explaining that he had worked so hard in the classroom that he will be graduating a semester early. Pearl-Cohn’s Coach Brunetti told of Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s tireless work ethic and drive to improve.

Nothing compares to the look on the faces of proud parents as someone professes their child’s virtue. Parents’ pride – stoked by the coach’s praise of their child – shines brighter than any star.

Oh, and this group of Finalists is probably the best collection of football players at any Hume Award presentation in its 71 year history.

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Double Up and Then Some – Pearl-Cohn Star Takes Home Top Awards

Pearl-Cohn’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn was named Tennessee’s Mr. Football this week as the top back in AA in the state. He followed that by winning the most coveted of awards, the Hume Award. And this just in… Ke’Shawn Vaughn has been named Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year! Congratulations!

State Champion – Cheerleading

Congratulations to the Cane Ridge Cheerleaders who took home the TSSAA state championship trophy. I think that is the school’s first team state championship.

Great Football Season Heads to Cookeville

The 2014 football season was the best in recent memory. MNPS teams were loaded with talent, we played two games at Vanderbilt Stadium, we had two teams reach the state semi-finals, we have several of the top players in the country, and Friday night Hillsboro will be playing for the Gold Football in the state championship game in Cookeville.
The championship game is Friday night at 7:00pm on the campus of Tennessee Tech. Get your tickets at Hillsboro so the school receives a portion of the proceeds. When you head to Cookeville, be sure to stop at Ralph’s donut shop. I think their specialty is called a Butter twist. I am serious about that…get the donut on your way to the game and another one for the drive home. Go Burros!

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Passing of a Legend

Our condolences go to the friends and family of Roy Herald, a member of the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame. Major Herald starred at the old Howard High School and won the Hume Award for football, attended college on a basketball scholarship, and played professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He served as a Metro Nashville Police officer for 42 years.

MNPS: The First Choice for Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Value to the Team

Hillsboro Burros heading to state football championship


Hillsboro High School Football Team is on it’s way to play for the state championship! The Burros will play in the title game this Friday night at 7pm in Cookeville.

You can cheer on the Burros and help support them at the same time if you buy your tickets NOW! 50% of each ticket pre-purchased before gametime on Friday night will be donated to the school’s football program.

Tickets are $12.00. You can purchase them at Hillsboro High School in the main office, during business hours from now through Friday.

If you buy your ticket at the game, Hillsboro gets 0%, so purchase your tickets early!

It’s going to be a great game! Go Burros!

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