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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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!
Middle School Wrestling
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
by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc
Hall of Fame Athlete and a Teacher of the Year
Coach Joanne Tribue was named Cane Ridge High School’s 2014 Teacher of the Year for her outstanding work throughout the school year and throughout her teaching career, but did you know she is one of the all-time greatest student-athletes in MNPS history? Or that she completed high school with 12 years of perfect attendance? Or that she held a national record in track? Or that she won the first ever state championship in the Pentathlon? Or that she held the Austin Peay State University school record for most blocked shots? Or that she was a collegiate all-American in Track?
Coach Tribue was inducted into the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, and her Hall of Fame bio describes her astounding accomplishments.
Joanne Tribue graduated from Antioch High School in 1978 in the Top 10% of her class and with 12 years of perfect attendance. She served as class president every year in high school, was selected the “Optimist Award” winner, and won the “E.R. Harris Award” presented to the most outstanding senior. She participated in volleyball, basketball and track. In track, she was the state champion in 1977 in the 80-yard low hurdles and set a national record. She also won the first State Pentathlon Championship, was selected “Track woman of the Year” her senior year by The Tennessean and “Track Woman of the Year” her senior year by the Nashville Banner. She finished in the top five in the state in 10 different events. In basketball, Joanne was selected All-District, All-Region and All-NIL during her junior and senior years. After high school, Joanne attended Austin Peay State University, where she held the school record for most blocked shots in basketball. In track, she was selected “OVC Track Woman of the Year” twice and selected “All-American” in the hurdles. After college, she became a teacher and has won numerous awards as a high school coach.
Congratulations Coach Tribue!
Does “Love” Mean Nothing to You? District 12-AAA Tennis
Congratulations to District 12-AAA Tennis Players of the Year, Nicole Webb of Cane Ridge and Ben Demonbreun of Overton and Coaches of the Year, Adam Lightman of McGavock and Terry Strickland of Overton. For a full story, see the Overton online student newspaper.
MNPS Sweeps the Middle Tennessee Middle School Track Invitational
The North Sports Report enjoyed two days of the best Middle School track event in the State last week as Antioch High School’s new track surface hosted 22 schools (public and private) from across Middle Tennessee. Congratulations to the Haynes Middle Design Center’s Girls Team and Apollo Middle School Boys Team for taking home the Championship trophy. East Nashville Middle’s girls and Oliver Middle’s boys finished runner-up – confirming once again that MNPS has the best Middle School student-athletes around. If you missed them this year, check out Middle School sports next Fall. You will be impressed!
The Spring Sports Regional tournaments, matches and meets are the next step toward State Championships. The North Sports Report will keep you up to date as MNPS student-athletes and teams progress through the brackets.
MNPS: The First Choice for Teachers of the Year