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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 – Sports are great. Scholarships are better.

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Big Sports Week…and Graduations

Don the cap and gown, cue the Pomp and Circumstance march, grab the tissue… the culmination of years of hard, sometimes tedious, work receives its reward. They’ve been at this school thing since they were four or five years old, and now their grown and ready to cross that stage and flip that tassel. Graduation gets first billing: everything else is part of the journey. As important as sports can be to a student (and it might be the best dropout prevention program ever devised), the diploma dash – down the aisle and across the stage – will always be the most important run of the season. Congratulations to all the graduates!

That being said…let’s talk sports.

World Cup has Nothing on this One

The Middle School Soccer City Championship might go down in history as the most riveting match in MNPS history with McMurray edging Croft in a penalty kick shootout. The soccer world will talk about this one for years.

Spring Fling – State Track Meet, May 18-22

The state track meet is a spectacle to behold! MNPS athletes competing with the best the rest of the state has to offer. Check out the schedule at and head to Murfreesboro to check out the action. MNPS has several teams that will be in the hunt (some might say favored) to win the state championship. Athletes to watch:

  • Hillsboro’s Janel Pate is the top sprinter in the state
  • Hume-Fogg’s Ben Brunson is the defending Decathlon champion and the state’s top qualifier

In the A-AA Pentathlon, the top four qualifiers in the state are all MNPS student-athletes:

  • Grenetria Shell, East Nashville (3,294 points);
  • Kayla Guthrie, Whites Creek (2,723 points);
  • Darreon Sawyers, MLK (2,648 points); and
  • Micquana Webster, East Nashville (2,617 points)

And many more…

Track: Middle School City Championship

The North Sports Report spent the evening at Cane Ridge High School for the City Championship Track Meet. The place was packed with fans, and these athletes are truly spectacular. Last week, I compared the middle school track athletes to comic book super heroes. This week – photographic proof. The Flash (or is it East Nashville’s Jashon Watkins?) is a blur as he makes the turn in the 200m.


The Flash

Congratulations to all the student-athletes and coaches!

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Soccer: Middle School City Championship

McMurray and Croft will take to the pitch for the Soccer Middle School City Championship on Friday at Croft. The pool of great Boys Soccer teams in MNPS high school continues to grow deeper, (see the success of Stratford, Glencliff, Antioch, MLK, Overton, Hume-Fogg and others), and the same is true at the Middle School level. Check out this game Friday afternoon. You will be amazed!


Celebrate! with Stratford STEM soccer


Scholarships in the Community

Stratford football and basketball player Chazz Simpson and Pearl-Cohn track athlete George Johnson were awarded a total of $3,000 in scholarships this week from the Madison Kiwanis Club. Chazz will attend Western Kentucky University and George will attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The scholarships are based on academics, character and service to the community. Congratulations!

MNPS: The First Choice for College and Career Ready Graduates

Meet the 2015 inductees into the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Hall of Fame – Honoring the Greats

Awestruck: that’s the best way to describe the North Sports Report as the superstars of the past entered the West Club at LP Field to celebrate five new inductees to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame. This luncheon is like Disneyland for the North Sports Report! “There’s the great…” or “Look, there’s the legendary…”, or “Here comes the incomparable…” each time another hall of famer arrived.

Those in attendance included the incomparable Barbara Frazier (Pearl High, Class of 1981), Larry Schmittou (Cohn High, Class of 1958), and Bob Dudley Smith (West High, Class of 1948); the legendary Coach Charlie Anderson (Cohn High, Class of 1952); Walter Overton (Pearl High, Class of 1970), and Joe Casey (North High, Class of 1946); and the great Joanne Arnold Tribue (Antioch High, Class of 1978), Porter Williams (Pearl High, Class of 1969), and Jinx Cockerham (Hillsboro High, Class of 1966).

MNPS Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees

MNPS Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees

This year’s class adds five extraordinary athletes to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame:

    • Coach Joe Allen led Donelson High and McGavock High to basketball state championships; his teams won more than 500 games; he coached nine All-State players, including NBA champion Charles Davis; and he was named Coach of the Year in 1964, 1972, and 1974. The McGavock High School gym floor is named in his honor.
    • Preston Brown (Maplewood, Class of 1976) is considered by many to be the best running back in Nashville prep football history. When his high school career ended, he held the single season and career rushing records, was named All-State and All-America in football and was named the NIL Athlete of the Year. In track, he led Maplewood to the state championship, winning the 100 yard dash and 220 yard dash and anchoring the state champion 440 yard relay team. He went on to star at Vanderbilt (led the SEC in receiving) and still holds the school record for longest kickoff return. He was drafted by the New England Patriots and played four seasons in the NFL.
    • John Henderson (Pearl-Cohn, Class of 1997) is included in any discussion of the greatest football players in Nashville history. He played defensive tackle and tight end on two state championship teams. A consensus All-America in high school, Henderson was ranked the top player in the state and 7th best player in the country. He played at the University of Tennessee and again was a consensus All-America, played on the National Championship team, and won the Outland Trophy for being the best lineman in college football. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1st round and played 11 seasons in the NFL including two Pro Bowl appearances.
    • Mike Jackson (Stratford, Class of 1973) was All-State, Metro Player of the Year, honorable mention All-America, and MVP of the Tennessee All-Star game during his stellar high school basketball career. At the University of Tennessee, Jackson started and served as captain on one of the most storied basketball teams in SEC history, teaming with Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld on Coach Ray Mears’ “Ernie and Bernie” teams of the 1970’s. His sweet, smooth jump shot and 14.3 per game scoring average convinced the NBA’s Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clipper) to draft him, and he later played professionally in Europe.
    • Frank Pillow, Jr. (Whites Creek, Class of 1983) was a two sport star for the Cobras in the 1980’s, winning the state championship in the long jump and anchoring the mile relay team to a state record time and a team state championship. He was named All-American in the long jump and earned a scholarship to play football at TSU. As a receiver, he led the team in receptions and broke the school record for most receptions and receiving yards in a game with a 12 reception, 242 yard performance during a game his senior year. Pillow was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had 22 receptions for 420 yards and 2 touchdowns his rookie season. His professional football career included playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Detroit Lions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, and the Indianapolis Colts.

The program from the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is a treasure trove of information about some of Nashville’s most influential people and greatest student-athletes. The North Sports Report suggests that a copy be available at every high school library.

MNPS: The First Choice for Great, Legendary and Incomparable Students

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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  • 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


  • 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 – 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

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 – November 6, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

State Champions!!!

The state championship cross-country meet at the Steeplechase course is a spectacle to behold. Schools set up their team tents; hundreds of student-athletes gather at the starting line; fans take short cuts across the course to cheer their favorites at different points in the race; and photo finishes are not uncommon.

Hume-Fogg’s Boys team won the state championship. In the long history of Hume-Fogg High School (the oldest public school in Nashville), it might be the school’s first boys’ team state championship. MNPS was well-represented in the team standings. In addition to Hume-Fogg’s championship, MLK’s boys team finished 3rd; Hume-Fogg’s girls finished 5th, and East Nashville’s girls finished 15th.

In the A-AA girls race, Anna Reside (MLK), Grenetria Shell (East Nashville) and Keleah Shell (East Nashville) finished in the top 50. In the A-AA boys race, Dominic Voehler (Hume-Fogg), Christopher Hornsby (MLK), David Tyus (Hume-Fogg), Jared Clark (MLK), Jack Forte (MLK), Baker Neenan (Hume-Fogg), and Jacob Gholson (Hume-Fogg) all finished in the top 30. In the AAA girls race, Abby McCulla (Hillsboro) ran a blistering 19:16.79 and finished 13th.

Congratulations to all the cross-country student-athletes!

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Royals Put Up Big Numbers in the Alley

Last week, two of MLK’s bowlers each rolled a game of 256 in their match against Whites Creek. Andre Rucker (256/640) and Kaitlin Cashion (256/593) are cruising down the lane toward the state tournament.

Football Playoff Time

Last week, the North Sports Report attended a rivalry match-up of two playoff teams as McGavock hosted Cane Ridge for the Wall Bowl Trophy. For me, the highlight might have been my introduction to McGavock’s new mascot Hopo (which stands for Hold On Persevere and Overcome) – a mascot with a message.

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This week, the TSAA playoffs start, and MNPS has six teams competing.

  • The North Sports Report will be at Pearl-Cohn as the #2 seed Firebirds host Greenbrier.
  • The undefeated and #1 seed Hillsboro Burros look to advance as they host Kenwood.
  • East Nashville Eagles play a rematch from last week (this time it’s at home) against Lipscomb.
  • Overton Bobcats host McGavock Raiders for the second time in the past two weeks, but this time it’s for a spot in the second round of the state playoffs.
  • Cane Ridge Ravens look to upset Blackman in Murfreesboro.

The MNPS home games this week are at Pearl-Cohn; at East Nashville (on the TPS campus); and at Overton. Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for Champions – in the Classroom and Out

North Sports Report – October 31, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

When the End Comes…Taking it to the Next Level

The end of a student-athlete’s high school career arrives like a thief in the night. Whether the end comes with a sudden injury, the end of the regular season, a playoff loss, or a championship, the finality hangs over the field like a fog.

The North Sports Report attended Hume-Fogg’s state tournament soccer game yesterday, will attend a football finale tonight, will attend the state cross-country championship on Saturday, and heard news of East Nashville star quarterback Isiah Upton’s season ending injury and pondered that the end should never overshadow the journey. If you follow the old coach’s cliché and play every play like it is your last, the mark you leave is indelible no matter the ending. In life, the alternative cliché might be “treat everyone like it’s the last time you will see them before they give a reference at your job interview or speak at your funeral.”

Today, I attended the memorial service for Ronald Webb, the longtime teacher, coach and Principal who passed away this week at the age of 87. Mr. Webb started his career at Litton High School and became the first football coach for Stratford High when it opened. He later served as Principal of Wright Middle School and spent nearly thirty years as the Principal of McMurray Middle. The message was delivered eloquently by one of Mr. Webb’s former students at Stratford who also served on his faculty at McMurray. Brenda Haywood arrived at Stratford during a turbulent time. On the first day, as the first African-American student at Stratford, she was pelted with insults and rocks as she made her way to school. Upon entering the school, she encountered Mr. Webb for the first time standing like a guardian angel as if to say, “Be not afraid.” His care, concern and love for her, like that for all his students, lasted the rest of his life.

Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Webb’s family and gratitude to Mr. Webb for the love and support he showed his students and Nashville’s public schools.

Alumni Alert: NFL Veteran Picked up by Dallas Cowboys

Glencliff Colts alumnus Tim Dobbins is a 10 year NFL veteran and recently joined the Dallas Cowboys. Congratulations!

Cross-Country State Championship on Saturday

The state championship cross-country meet begins at 10:00am on Saturday November 1 at the Steeplechase Course. MNPS student-athletes and teams will be in the running for multiple championships.

Another State Tourney Run

Congratulations to Coach Tracey McClain and the Hume-Fogg girls soccer team for a great season and appearance in the state tournament. Hume-Fogg fell 1-0 in a tight, hard-fought quarterfinal match.

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Football Time

Last week…

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Trick or Treat! Games this week are played Thursday and Friday including some big games with playoff implications.


  • Hillsboro Burros extended their unbeaten streak as they beat Hunters Lane Warriors (33-0) on the road Thursday
  • Maplewood Panthers lost to the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds (20-35) on the road Thursday in a huge district game where both teams were looking to improve their playoff positions
  • McGavock Raiders hosted the Cane Ridge Ravens Thursday in a huge showdown of married Principals (and 70-14 rout by the Raiders) #WallBowl
  • Hillwood Hilltoppers hosted Glencliff Colts in a 20-6 loss Thursday


  • Overton Bobcats travel to Antioch Bears in a throwback rivalry renewal.
  • A big community celebration is planned on Friday at Stratford as the Spartans host Whites Creek Cobras;
  • East Nashville Eagles play at Lipscomb for the district championship on Friday.

The MNPS home games Thursday are at Hunters Lane; at Pearl-Cohn; at Antioch; at McGavock and at Hillwood. On Friday the MNPS home game is at Stratford. Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for Inspirational Leaders

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