Blog Archives

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 tssaa.org 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.

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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!

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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

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

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 – 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 – 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.

Thursday:

  • 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

Friday:

  • 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

North Sports Report – October 23, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Teachers are Always There

At halftime of the most exciting football game of the year, the North Sports Report ran into one of his former teachers. Rita Bradley taught me at Neely’s Bend Elementary School many years ago, taught all three of my children several years ago, and asked about each of them by name on Friday. It’s amazing how teachers remember all those students. So, why was a retired elementary school teacher at Vanderbilt Stadium for the East Nashville vs. Pearl-Cohn showdown? Well, she’s a big fan of East Nashville superstar running back Lennox McAfee, one of her former students at Neely’s Bend. When I got home from the game, I grabbed the old Neely’s Bend yearbooks from the shelf and did some investigative reporting. Sure enough, there’s Lennox McAfee alongside his kindergarten classmates.

As I reflected on the thrilling game, the talented student-athletes, the electric atmosphere, and the huge crowd, I kept coming back to the thought of Ms. Bradley and the beautiful notion that teachers become their students’ biggest fans.

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Football Polls

With two weeks left in the regular season, three MNPS teams are ranked in the Top 10 in the state. Hillsboro is undefeated and ranked 4th in 5A; East Nashville is undefeated and ranked 3rd in 3A; and Pearl-Cohn is ranked 9th in 4A.

Middle School City Champs Defying Gravity and Looking for the Sweep

Congratulations to the J.T. Moore Middle School Lady Matadors Soccer and Volleyball teams that both won City Championships this week.

Region Final: Girls Soccer

The Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights host White House at West End Middle School tonight for the girls soccer Region Championship. Hume-Fogg will play in the Sectionals on Saturday, looking for their second state tournament trip in four years.

Football Friday October 24, 2014

Only two regular season games remain, and the stakes keep getting higher as teams battle for playoff spots. This week, the North Sports Report will be at Nick Coutras Stadium on the Overton campus as the Overton Bobcats welcome the 7-1 McGavock Raiders with playoff position on the line.
In other action:

  • Antioch Bears travel to Hunters Lane Warriors in a key District 12AAA matchup;
  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Hillwood Hilltoppers;
  • Undefeated Hillsboro Burros play at home against Glencliff Colts;
  • Stratford Spartans host Marshall County;
  • East Nashville Eagles look to stay undefeated as they face Nashville Christian;
  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds welcome FRA; and
  • Maplewood Panthers head to east Tennessee to play Alcoa.
  • Whites Creek Cobras have the week off.

MNPS home games are at Overton; at Cane Ridge; at Hillsboro; at Hunters Lane; at Pearl-Cohn; at East Nashville (on the TPS campus); and at Stratford. Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for Lifelong Learners and Lifelong Fans

North Sports Report – October 16, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Vanderbilt Stadium to Host Big Game

Friday night, October 17, the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds will visit the East Nashville Eagles in a showdown of epic proportion. The most anticipated football game of the year is so huge that it has been moved to Vanderbilt. The undefeated Eagles have given up only seven points all season, and the Firebirds are loaded with top college prospects, including Ke’Shawn Vaughn – scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Purdue, Wisconsin, Louisville and Ohio State – Jimmy Farrell, Rontavius Groves, A.J. Morris, and more. East Nashville is led by MTSU commitment Isiah Upton, Wofford commitment Lennox McAfee, DeVarius Cortner, and more. College ready? Oh yeah!

Vanderbilt Stadium is the place to be Friday Night for the East Nashville vs. Pearl-Cohn football showcase

Vanderbilt Stadium is the place to be Friday Night for the East Nashville vs. Pearl-Cohn football showcase

Have you ever heard stories from old timers about the time they saw so-and-so play in high school or they were at the game when yada yada? Well, this is the game you will want to tell your grandkids about. Be there! Kickoff is at 7:00pm at Vanderbilt Stadium. Tickets are $8. Get there early and enjoy the excitement.

Tournament Time

Volleyball: Congratulations to the Overton Lady Bobcats for winning the District 12AAA Championship and to the Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights on their District 10AA Championship. Hume-Fogg plays tonight at Page for a return trip to next week’s state tournament.

Girls’ Soccer: The weather has wreaked havoc on the schedule, and district tournaments continue as teams inch toward the state tournament. Stay tuned for updates.

After a timeout for Fall Break, middle school soccer is heading toward the City Championship

After a timeout for Fall Break, middle school soccer is heading toward the City Championship

Cross-Country: The Steeplechase course will again host the state championship on November 1. MNPS has several individuals and teams vying for a state championship, including defending champion and course record holder Bailee Dean of Cane Ridge.

Football Friday October 17, 2014

Last week…

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In addition to the Pearl-Cohn vs. East Nashville game, MNPS has a slate of great games.

  • Overton Bobcats will honor the school’s first football coach, Solon Apple, prior to and at halftime of their game with the Hillwood Hilltoppers;
  • Maplewood Panthers welcome Stratford Spartans;
  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Riverdale from nearby Rutherford County;
  • Whites Creek Cobras host Lipscomb; and
  • Undefeated Hillsboro Burros travel to Franklin County.
  • Antioch Bears, Hunters Lane Warriors, McGavock Raiders, and Glencliff Colts are idle this week.

The MNPS home games are at Maplewood; at Overton; at Cane Ridge; at Whites Creek; and at Vanderbilt. Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for College Readiness

North Sports Report – September 26, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Beautiful Rivalry

What is your favorite rivalry? Auburn/Alabama; Oklahoma/Texas; Yankees/ Red Sox; Celtics/Lakers; Ali/Frazier; Sylvester/Tweety?

Ahh rivalries… the pageantry, the excitement, the emotion, the undying effort, the eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge… there is nothing like it. This week, the North Sports Report revisited a rivalry that might top them all as the girls’ soccer teams for Hume-Fogg and MLK brought magnet madness to the field at West End Middle School. The effort of the two teams was matched only by the excitement of the fans. The student sections went all out with face paint, body paint, baby powder, trumpets (yes, I said baby powder and trumpets), school flags and clever cheers. The game is always close between these two, and this nail biter lived up to the billing. As professional sports teams worry about dwindling attendance and look for ways to keep their fans’ attention, they could learn something about a game day experience from this girls’ soccer game. There was no giant video screen, no fancy concessions, no highlights of other games, and no set of cover tunes at halftime. Yet, somehow the excitement rivaled any game in any sports venue. There’s a magic to it that everyone should experience. Go to a game!

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Evening on the Eastside: A Spartan Homecoming

The North Sports Report arrived at Stratford for the football game last Friday and it looked like the State Fair had moved to the stadium parking lot. There were games, hot chicken booths, free hot dogs, an alumni table, and kids running around everywhere. Even elementary school PTOs had booths and were enjoying the fun. It was a carnival! As game time approached, the Stratford Marching band arrived and headed through the crowd toward Buster Boguskie Field. The halftime homecoming ceremony included a parade of alumni from seven different decades. I recognized some of the alumni including former Spartan and NFL star Cory Fleming and legendary Spartan hoopster and starter on the famed Ernie and Bernie teams at UT Mike Jackson. It was a great night of community support and school pride.

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Football Friday September 26, 2014

This week, the North Sports Report heads to Antioch as the McGavock Raiders visit the Antioch Bears in a crucial district 12AAA showdown.

In other action:

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Hillsboro Burros in another huge district game;
  • Hunters Lane Warriors ride a two game winning streak to Glencliff Colts;
  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds and their star studded lineup welcome Station Camp;
  • East Nashville Eagles (outscoring opponents 208-0 this season) celebrate Homecoming as Ezell-Harding visits;
  • Overton Bobcats travel to Ravenwood;
  • Stratford Spartans head over to Father Ryan; and
  • Whites Creek Cobras venture to LaVergne.
  • Hillwood Hilltoppers and Maplewood Panthers are idle this week.

The MNPS home games are: at Antioch; at Cane Ridge; at Glencliff; at Pearl-Cohn; and at East Nashville (played at TPS). Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for Rising Up to the Challenge

North Sports Report – September 4, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Maplewood Football Going Big Time at Vanderbilt Stadium

Friday night is a perfect opportunity for you to see high school football in Nashville. The comfortable confines of Vanderbilt Stadium (aka the Big Stage) will be the scene as the Maplewood Panthers host Lipscomb Academy. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm.

The North Sports Report joined coaches and administrators from Maplewood and Lipscomb along with Vanderbilt officials for a walk-through at the stadium, and everyone is fired up! If you think you have something better to do than be at Vanderbilt Stadium Friday night (something that does not involve one of the games listed below), you would be wrong. Tickets will be available at the ticket booth at the stadium, and fans will enter through Gate 2. Parking is free. Please remember, just like all big arenas, backpacks and umbrellas are not allowed. See you at the game!

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In other action:

  • Stratford Spartans travel to face Pearl-Cohn Firebirds. Running back Keshawn Vaughn who is averaging over 250 yards per game, ranking him in the top ten in the nation.
  • Antioch Bears take a short jaunt to Smyrna;
  • Whites Creek Cobras host the undefeated East Nashville Eagles;
  • Glencliff Colts and McGavock Raiders open District 12AAA competition at McGavock;
  • Hillsboro Burros play at Hillwood Hilltoppers; and
  • Cane Ridge Ravens have this week off.

MNPS home games are at Vanderbilt (Maplewood’s game); at Hillwood; at McGavock; at Overton; at Pearl-Cohn; and at Whites Creek. Go to a game!

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Middle Prep Soccer

The North Sports Report enjoyed another thrilling afternoon of soccer this week as the Rose Park Middle Prep Lady Titans faced the Lady Royals of MLK on the historic field of old Pearl High. Fantastic!

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Alumni Alert – Big Red Punter

Hillsboro alumnus Joseph Occhipinti is the starting punter for Western Kentucky. During the Hilltoppers’ season opening victory, Occhipinti averaged 53 yards per punt. Keep up the good work!

Alumni Alert – Making the Cut

Check out the roster for the Atlanta Falcons. Maplewood alum James Stone earned his degree from the University of Tennessee last spring and earned a roster spot for the Atlanta Falcons this week. Congratulations!

Alumni Alert – It’s Time

Brad Gaines, a member of the last class at DuPont High School (Class of 1986) who led the SEC in receptions for Vanderbilt, will be featured in a touching special on the SEC Network produced by ESPN. The show will highlight Gaines’ relationship with Chucky Mullins, an Ole Miss player who was severely injured while tackling Gaines. Check your listings and don’t miss “It’s Time.”

MNPS: The First Choice for Performing on the Big Stage

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