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Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Back to the Future…The FANS Retro Classic Rocks

The North Sports Report attended the most exciting, innovative, heartwarming basketball extravaganza last weekend at the old Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium. I hope you saw the media coverage. Four local television stations, The Tennessean, and even ESPN.com covered The FANS Retro Classic. The teams wore throwback uniforms of bygone high schools, fans wore memorabilia and legendary MNPS coaches were recognized at mid-court. Decked out in retro uniforms of old DuPont High, Litton High, Cameron High and the eye popping iconic Madison High polka dots, the teams took to the court in what I believe is the first varsity high school basketball games at the old Litton gym in over forty years. Nashville Sporting Goods helped with the throwback uniforms, and Maplewood, Hume-Fogg, Hunters Lane, Stratford, Glencliff, and McGavock hooped it old school.

Talk about history, recognizing great old-school coaches was a highlight of the event: McGavock’s first basketball coach Joe Allen; Stratford’s first football coach Ronald Webb; Stratford’s first basketball coach Charlie Anderson; Hunters Lane’s first basketball coach Carlton Collier; and Madison High’s first football coach Bill Brimm. What’s that, Coach? No sir, I didn’t say “old school.” I said “wise and experienced.”

Coaches at The FANS Retro Classic The FANS Retro Classic Hunters Lane & Glencliff
Coaching legends: McGavock's Joe Allen; Madison's Bill Brimm; Stratford and Litton's Ronald Webb (also a long time Principal at McMurray); Stratford's Charlie Anderson; and Madison and Hunters Lane's Carlton Collier. Hunters Lane in old school Madison High uniforms and Glencliff in old school Cameron High uniforms.
The FANS Retro Classic Hume-Fogg & Maplewood The FANS Retro Classic Stratford
Game action: Hume-Fogg, dressed as old Madison, vs. Maplewood, dressed as old Litton. Stratford Coach Barry Mangrum introduces legends, principal Ronald Webb and coach Charlie Anderson, for pre-game words of wisdom to the attentive Spartans.

The North Sports Report can’t wait until next year’s FANS Retro Classic!

News from the Alley… Best in Tennessee History

Check out this morning’s Tennessean and sportswriter Chip Cirillo’s piece on Cane Ridge superstar bowler Aaron Ruiz who won the state championship his freshman year, led the state with the highest per game average last year as a sophomore, and broke the state record this year with an average of 244. By the time Aaron concludes his high school career, he will be recognized as the best bowler in the history of Tennessee interscholastic bowling. The state tournament is January 24-26 in Smyrna. Good luck to all our bowlers!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Historic Performances


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hoopin’ Old School…aka…The New Old Fashioned Way

What are you doing Friday January 4 and Saturday January 5? The North Sports Report will join The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools, high school basketball fans, alumni, celebrities, and (hopefully) you at The FANS Retro Classic high school basketball extravaganza at the historic and freshly renovated Isaac Litton High Gymnasium. The high school teams will be wearing throwback uniforms to honor bygone high schools. That’s right! The high school teams of today will don the uniforms of schools that no longer exist as high schools. Don’t worry…no short shorts or belts or silky pants…just a little something to recognize and appreciate history.

The teams playing the games include: Hume-Fogg; Maplewood; McGavock; Stratford; Glencliff; and Hunters Lane. They will be wearing game uniforms to honor Madison High; Litton High; DuPont High; and Cameron High. So far, the thought of replicating Madison high’s polka dot design has generated the most attention with a photo and story (written by DuPont High alumnus and sportswriter extraordinaire Mike Organ) in Sunday’s Tennessean and inquiries from ESPN.com. Say what? That’s right, I said polka dots and I said national attention from ESPN.com.

Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium

Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium

Bottom line – if high school student-athletes are willing to wear polka dots to honor historic schools, we should be there to support them! Tickets will be available at the door and admission is $6 each night. Proceeds go to The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools for the benefit of athletic programs in Nashville’s public schools.


  • Friday January 4: First game tips at 5:00pm

  • Maplewood girls vs. Hume-Fogg girls

  • Maplewood boys vs. Hume-Fogg boys

  • Saturday January 5: First game tips at 5:00pm

  • Stratford boys vs. McGavock boys

  • Glencliff boys vs. Hunters Lane boys

So, I’ll ask again. What are you doing Friday January 4 and Saturday January 5? That’s what I thought. I’ll see you there.

The FANS Retro Classic Banner

Be a fan. Go watch some basketball.

Honors and Awards


Hume-Fogg’s Sarah Morris was named 1st Team All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.

The Tennessean named McGavock’s Hanna Gundinge to the All-Midstate Team.


Two-time State Champion, MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper was named 1st Team All-Midstate by the Tennessean.

Cane Ridge’s sophomore sensation Bailee Dean also earned a spot on the Tennessean’s 1st Team All-Midstate.


The Tennessean’s All-Midstate Football Team included several MNPS student-athletes:

  • Maplewood’s Damario Lewis (1st Team), Ronald Wilbert, and Cortez Adams;

  • Hillsboro’s Joseph Occhipinti;

  • Antioch’s Moses Cornelius;

  • Cane Ridge’s Jeremy Greer and Jeremy Bolden; and

  • Whites Creek’s Michael Cain.

Congratulations to all our MNPS student-athletes.

Alumni Alert

2012 McGavock graduate Caleb Azubike helped lead the Vanderbilt defensive effort in a New Year’s Eve triumph at the Music City Bowl. Caleb had three tackles and recovered a fumble in a dominant Commodore victory.


In 2013…Resolve to be a fan of a high school and middle school near you. Support the student-athletes, attend the games, encourage the students and coaches…In short, and it bears repeating, BE A FAN!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Fans


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hume Award Luncheon

Overton’s Brandon Orr joined a long list of distinguished Hume Award winners, the most prestigious scholar-athlete award given to high school football players, at the 69th Annual Hume Award Luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. Other finalists at the luncheon were Antioch’s Christian Molina, East Nashville’s Michael Collins, Hillsboro’s Joseph Occhipinti, and McGavock’s Tracey Bowler. The ceremony at the luncheon includes a brief statement by the head football coach of each finalist, describing the leadership and scholastic achievements as well as the football accomplishments of these fine young men. It is always a highlight of the year for the North Sports Report. 


 The Hume Award

The Hume Award

Other Hume Award Nominees this year included:

  • Noble Wolugbums – Cane Ridge

  • Anton Arnold – Hillwood

  • Justin Lang – Hunters Lane

  • Wayne Williams – Maplewood

  • Jeremy Ward – Pearl-Cohn

  • Erick Davidson – Whites Creek

Congratulations to all our scholar-athletes.

Hume Award History…Cool Stuff for the Old Timers

The Hume Award was first presented during World War II, in the 1944-45 school year. Nashville City School Board Chair William Hume and School Superintendent W.A. Bass established the award for football players in Nashville’s public schools to recognize “sportsmanship, scholarship, and football ability.” A trophy with the names of each recipient travels to the school of the winner each year.

Although it is the 69th annual award, there have been 72 Hume Award recipients (two winners were named in 1987-88, 1994-95, and 1995-96). 13 Hume Award winners attended Overton, including this year’s recipient; six attended Hunters Lane; five attended Maplewood, including two of the last four; five attended East; five attended Hillwood; three attended Antioch, Glencliff and Stratford respectively; two attended McGavock, Pearl-Cohn, and Hillsboro respectively; and Whites Creek’s one Hume Award winner was the great Jamie Graham in 2006-07. 22 of the Hume Award recipients attended schools that no longer serve as high schools, including Cohn, West, Howard, North, Madison, Litton, and Goodlettsville.

Names you might recognize from the list of Hume Award winners include Eddie and Billy Lawrence from West (1944-45 and 1946-47); Odell Binkley from North (1950-51); Cohn great Thomas E. Wells (1956-57); Maplewood’s E.J. Junior (1976-77); Hunters Lane’s Reginald Grimes (1994-95) who played quarterback at Hunters Lane and starred as a defensive tackle at Alabama; Maurice Fitzgerald of Pearl-Cohn (1996-97); Brenard Wilson II of Hunters Lane (2004-05); and James R. Stone of Maplewood (2009-10). The list is long and impressive.

Alumni Alert – Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

The North Sports Report attended the Tennessee Titans game at LP Field Sunday versus the league leading Houston Texans. In looking for a silver lining during the game, I found myself repeating “He is a Glencliff graduate” every time Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins made a good play. The former Glencliff Colt made so many great plays, including an interception and fumble recovery, those sitting near me grew exceedingly weary of my Glencliff Colt pride. Although the home team had a disappointing day, one linebacker from Glencliff put on a rousing homecoming performance.

Don’t Miss the Hoops

Nothing compares to the sweet sounds of a high school gym on game night. The ball bouncing on the hardwood, the buzz of the crowd, the cheerleaders, the joyful conversations of students and fans sitting nearby … it is magical. The thrilling games at Maplewood last Friday even exceeded the North Sports Report’s expectations. The girls’ game included an overtime session after Maplewood scored at the final horn to tie the game.

The boys’ game was a thrill a second slam fest to the very end. East Nashville jumped out to an early lead scoring 22 points in the first four minutes. Let’s put that in perspective… they were on pace to score 176 points. It was high-flying, slam dunking, jump shot swishing, fast paced hoops. How did Maplewood respond? They turned up the defense, scrapped and scraped and took the lead going into the fourth quarter. With 1.2 seconds remaining and the game on the line, Maplewood would inbound the ball near mid-court trailing by 2. Somehow, the Panthers managed to get off a three-point shot before the horn, and it headed straight for the goal as if in slow motion. If it goes in, Maplewood wins…if not, East Nashville wins. The shot hit the rim, rattled, rolled, bounced, spun, and …. The game ended.

So, did it go in or not? Who won the game? Let me just say… “You should have been there!” GO TO A GAME! You will love it!

After the game, exhausted from the excitement, the North Sports Report paused by the new waterfall/fountain in front of Maplewood High, constructed with the help of Maplewood students, to relax and unwind. Beautiful!

 Maplewood Fountain

A nice place to relax after intense Maplewood basketball games.

Hoops This Week – Friday December 7

Here is your chance to see a game near you:

  • Antioch Bears host Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Overton Bobcats;

  • Whites Creek Cobras welcome Maplewood Panthers;

  • Stratford Spartans visit MLK Royals;

  • Glencliff Colts host Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • East Nashville Eagles play at home against CPA;

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights host Ezell Harding; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb

The MNPS home games are at: Antioch; Overton; Whites Creek; MLK; Glencliff; East Nashville; and Hume-Fogg (played at NSA).

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Prestigious Scholar-Athletes


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Cross-Country Excellence

MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper’s second consecutive state championship capped a great Cross-Country season for MNPS runners. That’s right, Klockenkemper reigns as state champion two years in a row. The MLK boys’ team finished second in the state and Hume-Fogg’s boys’ team finished fourth in the state.

Cane Ridge Sophomore Bailee Dean finished runner-up in the state in her first year of competition. Future is bright for that runnin’ Raven.

A Lesson from History …aka…Annual End of Season Waxing

In sports with a playoff system, most teams end their season with a disappointing loss. That’s just the nature of the beast. About this time every year, the North Sports Report contemplates the end of the season that comes so quickly in the playoffs. Although consoling disappointment with historical quotes might not be recommended therapy, the lesson from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote applies to all of us no matter our venture, and bears repeating again this year.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Congratulations and all due credit to our students, coaches, teachers, staff, parents and administrators who strive valiantly, dare greatly, and know the great enthusiasms and great devotions of a worthy cause.

Alumni Alert – James Stone

The North Sports Report visited Neyland Stadium in Knoxville this week and witnessed an outstanding offensive line performance, anchored by 2010 Maplewood graduate James Stone, the starting center for the Tennessee Vols. Every offensive play begins in the hands of the former Panther. Outstanding!

Football Playoffs – Second Round: November 9, 2012

MNPS has three football teams in the second round and all playing nearby this Friday night. In the Class 4A playoffs, the Maplewood Panthers travel north to face White House. In the Class 5A playoffs, the Hillsboro Burros head to Sumner County to square off with Beech. And, the Overton Bobcats travel just down the road to Brentwood High in the Class 6A playoffs.

This is a great week to show your support and go to a game.

Hoops Time!

The 22nd Annual Metro Basketball Jamboree – or as the North Sports Report calls it, Hoops-apallooza – tips off the basketball season this week.

On Thursday November 8 at Antioch – Glencliff Colts play East Nashville Eagles starting at 5:00pm; McGavock Raiders play Pearl-Cohn Firebirds at 6:30pm; and host Antioch Bears play CPA at 8:00pm.

On November 9 at Hillwood – Hillsboro Burros play Whites Creek Cobras starting at 5:00pm; Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights play Harpeth Hall at 6:30pm; Hume-Fogg Blue Knights play Nashville Christian at 7:15pm; and host Hillwood Hilltoppers play MLK Royals starting at 8:00pm.

On November 10 at Maplewood – Stratford Spartans play Cane Ridge Ravens starting at 5:00pm; Hunters Lane Warriors play Lipscomb starting at 6:30pm; and host Maplewood Panthers play Overton Bobcats starting at 8:00pm.

This is your chance to get the first glimpse of the MNPS Super-Hoopsters! Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Knowing the Triumph of High Achievement


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

It’s the Time of the Season for…Playoffs and Championships

Pressure packed games with the end of the season hanging in the balance… in a flash your season and high school career could be …done. All the years of hard work and sacrifice culminate in this moment when student-athletes compete with it all on the line. It’s playoff time.

Championship Game: Freshman Football – the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds visit the Antioch Bears with the Ninth Grade City Championship on the line today at 4:00pm.

Championship Game: Girls Soccer – Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights play CPA for the District 9AA Championship tonight at 6:00pm.

Championship Game: Girls Soccer – Antioch Lady Bears and the McGavock Lady Raiders play tonight for the District 12AAA Championship.

Sectionals: Volleyball – Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights have reached the Sweet Sixteen in the state and visit Page tonight at 7:00pm with the chance to qualify for the State Championship tournament.

Shout Out on National TV from an NFL Star

Two weeks in a row, Glencliff graduate Tim Dobbins played on national television – Monday Night Football on ESPN one week and Sunday night on NBC the next week. On Sunday, each member of the starting defense introduced himself, and the starting linebacker for the Houston Texans said: “Tim Dobbins…Linebacker… Glencliff High School” Whoop Whoop for the Glencliff Colts!

TSSAA Reclassification

The TSSAA examines enrollment every four years and realigns its member schools into six classifications for football and three classifications for the other sports. The TSSAA announced this week the new classifications for every school in the state and will align the various districts next week. It is possible that MNPS schools will change districts, and that rivalries will be disturbed or created by the realignment. Frankly, the North Sports Report does not expect much change, but will examine the districts after the TSSAA makes the final decisions. Stay tuned…

Football Friday: October 19, 2012

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week pits two teams on a roll after notching impressive victories last week – the East Nashville Eagles travel to Nick Coutras Stadium to face the Overton Bobcats.

In other action:

  • Both teams are playing for playoff position when the Hillwood Hilltoppers visit Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel east of the river to Buster Boguskie Field to play the red hot Stratford Spartans;

  • Maplewood Panthers travel over Monteagle (a beautiful drive this time of year) to Chattanooga to play Boyd-Buchanan;

  • Antioch Bears host Columbia; and

  • McGavock Raiders host Goodpasture.

Glencliff Colts, Hunters Lane Warriors, Pearl-Cohn Firebirds, and Whites Creek Cobras will rest up during their bye week and prepare for next week’s regular season finale.

The MNPS home games are at Overton; at Cane Ridge; at Stratford; at Antioch; and at McGavock.

All games start at 7:00pm except Maplewood’s game which starts at 6:30pm central time (7:30pm local Chattanooga time).

Enjoy a game this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Competing When It’s All on the Line


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Monday Night Boogie

Are you ready for some….hey, that’s Glencliff graduate Tim Dobbins playing linebacker for the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football! After an all-state career at Glencliff, Tim was an all Big 12 performer for the Iowa State Cyclones, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and is in his seventh season in the NFL playing linebacker for the undefeated Texans. He had four tackles Monday night and will start this week against the Green Bay Packers. Tim and his Houston teammates visit LP Field to face the Titans on December 2.

Over the River and Through the Woods…Cross-Country

The cross country season culminates in the state championship meet at the Steeplechase course here in Nashville on November 3. MNPS will have several runners and teams vying for state championships that day. Starting times for MNPS runners are 1:00pm for AAA Girls; 1:45 for AAA Boys; 2:30 for AA Girls and 3:15 for AA Boys. Dig deep…finish strong…cross country!

Football Friday…October 12, 2012

Last Friday, The North Sports Report took a date to the Pearl-Cohn vs. Whites Creek football game, and I am here to tell you that high school football is an ideal date night. What? You don’t believe me? Well, let’s check the “great date” rubric. Entertainment …check. Music performed by talented musicians …check. Reasonably priced…check. Nachos, grilled hamburgers etc… check. Sitting close to your spouse on a cool autumn evening…check. The North Sports Report is a hopeless romantic…hopeless indeed.

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week is at Glencliff as the Colts welcome alumni to homecoming and face the visiting McGavock Raiders.

In other action:

  • Overton Bobcats travel to Antioch Bears for an old time rivalry game with district title implications;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood;

  • East Nashville Eagles travel to Hunters Lane Warriors for Hunters Lane’s Senior Night;

  • Stratford Spartans host Maplewood Panthers;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras celebrate Senior Night as they host CPA.

Hillwood Hilltoppers and Cane Ridge Ravens do not play this week.

The MNPS home games are at Glencliff; at Antioch; at Hillsboro; at Hunters Lane; at Stratford; and at Whites Creek. Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Digging Deep and Finishing Strong


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hillsboro Hoopster Commits to Big Blue Tigers

Talk about a bright college future…Hillsboro’s Jamontae Davis has committed to continue his studies and play his college basketball locally at Tennessee State. Looking forward to watching his senior season with the Burros, and then next year, you can check out his show at the Gentry Center.

Alumni Alert – Maplewood Graduate Earns OVC Special Honors

According to the Tennessee Tech website, Tennessee Tech Freshman and 2012 Maplewood graduate Ladarius Vanlier was named Ohio Valley Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after a tremendous performance against Murray State. Ladarius “had 291 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in school history…returned an OVC-record 11 kickoffs (just one off the NCAA record) for 237 yards (13 yards shy of the OVC record) including a 94-yard touchdown in the second quarter. It marked the sixth-longest return in school history and the ninth-longest kickoff return in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) so far this season. Vanlier also returned one punt for 30 yards and caught four passes for a total of 24 yards.”

Football Time

Last week’s Pearl-Cohn vs. Maplewood game reminded me to always stay to the end. The last two minutes of that game defies description and ended with a game-tying field goal attempt falling just short. Maplewood Principal Ron Woodard and the Panther staff were great hosts as always; the two marching bands electrified the crowd with a battle of the bands halftime show that kept everyone rocking; and the ending of the game …well, “defies description” is the only way to describe it. An awesome night at Maplewood!

Football Thursday October 4, 2012

This week is one of my favorites as we double the fun with games on Thursday and Friday. The North Sports Report has two…count them two…games of the week.

For Thursday’s Game of the Week the North Sports Report will head to McGavock to see the Overton Bobcats visit the McGavock Raiders in a big District 12AAA showdown.

In other action on Thursday:

  • Stratford Spartans travel to East Nashville Eagles in the Pride of the Eastside Throwdown;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Glencliff Colts; and

  • Maplewood Panthers travel to CPA.

MNPS home games on Thursday are at McGavock; at Hillwood; and at East Nashville (played on the TPS campus). Go to a game Thursday night!

Football Friday October 5, 2012

Need more? Of course, you do. The North Sports Reports Friday Night Game of the Week sees the Whites Creek Cobras face the home-standing Pearl-Cohn Firebirds.

In other action on Friday:

  • Antioch Bears take their balanced and powerful running attack to face the Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood; and

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Centennial.

MNPS home games on Friday night are at Pearl-Cohn; at Hunters Lane; and at Hillsboro. Go to a game near you!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Bright College Futures


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Bowling Season: Set ‘Em Up…Knock ‘Em Down

The time has come for MNPS student-athletes to hang out in the alley…bowling alley that is. Bowling is an exciting combination of an individual and team sport. Did you know that the bowler with last year’s highest per game average in the state resumes his state title hopes for the Cane Ridge Ravens. That’s right, Aaron Ruiz, the best high school bowler in Tennessee, and all other MNPS bowlers are heading down the lane toward a successful bowling season.

Alumni Alert – Volunteer to Save the Day

How about Hillsboro graduate Eric Gordon’s performance Saturday for the Tennessee Volunteers? Eric helped lead the Vols to victory at Neyland Stadium with four tackles and a crucial interception.

Soccer Season Version of Magnet Madness

The North Sports Report attended the girls’ soccer match between the Lady Blue Knights of Hume-Fogg and the Lady Royals of MLK this week. While the action on the field was exciting, the North Sports Report was most impressed with the true school spirit of the fans. The students, body-painted in school colors, brought the stands to life as they banged a drum, encouraged both teams, and all cheered the effort at the end. MNPS students are FANtastic!

Football Friday September 28, 2012

The North Sports Report enjoyed the breezy homecoming night at Antioch last week. It was a beautiful night for football.

Antioch High School Football Team
The Antioch Bears take the field.
Antioch High School Concession Stand
The Wizard of AHS - The Antioch High School concession stand brings the refreshment.

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week is the match-up we have all anticipated as the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds visit the Maplewood Panthers in the game each team hopes will catapult it toward a district title. It promises to be one of the best match-ups of the year! I’ll see you there.

In other action:

  • Glencliff Colts host Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • East Nashville Eagles travel to CPA;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel to Independence;

  • Overton Bobcats welcome Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors cross the river to face McGavock Raiders; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Lipscomb.

Antioch Bears and Stratford Spartans do not play this week.

The MNPS home games are at Maplewood; at Glencliff; at Overton; at McGavock; and at Whites Creek. The students would love to see you at a game this week!

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the the True School Spirit of the Fans


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

It’s the People that You Meet

The best part about attending MNPS sporting events … great people! Hoping for some wisdom to rub off, the North Sports Report visited with three of MNPS’s great all-time leaders Friday night. Coach Jerry Pigue, the first football coach in the history of Hunters Lane High School (even the field is named “Jerry Pigue Field”); Coach Carlton Collier, the first basketball coach in the history of Hunters Lane; and Colonel Barry Sprouse, longtime Hunters Lane Army ROTC teacher, all attended Friday night’s game at Hunters Lane. In my brief conversations with each, I couldn’t help but appreciate their years of service and the influence each of these great men had on me over the years. Their collective impact on the lives of MNPS students and the city of Nashville is immeasurable. Go to a game…you’ll love it!

Middle School Venue – Isaac Litton Middle

How about a Middle School game? You can’t beat the atmosphere at Isaac Litton Middle School when the Donelson Middle Jets visited the Litton Middle Lions. The newly renovated middle school building in the background combined with the historic feel of the football field and old gym creates a remarkable ambience. And, the scoreboard looks great. By the way, both Donelson and Litton have top-notch cheerleading squads.

Litton Football Score Board

Alumni Alert – Recent Grads…Off to a Great Start

Did you see 2012 McGavock graduate and Vanderbilt freshman Caleb Azubike block a punt in Vandy’s win Saturday? The North Sports Report shouted: “Hey, I know him!”

How about 2012 Maplewood graduate and Tennessee Tech speedster Ladarius Vanlier returning kicks against the number four team in the country? That’s cool!

Football Friday September 21, 2012

Where will the North Sports Report be this week? My guess is… headed southeast to the home of the Antioch Bears as they try to corral the Glencliff Colts. I’ll see you there!

In other action:

  • Cane Ridge Ravens visit McGavock Raiders in the ever popular Wall Bowl! Cane Ridge Principal Michel Wall looks to avenge McGavock’s late game (some would say miraculous) victory in last season’s Wall Bowl that has kept McGavock Principal Robbin Wall bragging throughout the year. Bragging rights take on a whole new meaning when the Principals of each school are married to each other. I want to say it’s just a game, but I know better.

  • East Nashville Eagles will be among the maple trees to face Maplewood Panthers;

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Hillsboro Burros;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers welcome visiting Station Camp;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors head over to face Overton Bobcats;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds take the short trip to MBA; and

  • Stratford Spartans travel to Lawrence County.

The MNPS home games are at Antioch; at McGavock; at Maplewood; at Whites Creek; at Overton; and at Hillwood.

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Wisdom of Great Leaders


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Middle School Sports – Game Time

Middle School Fall Sports start this week. The North Sports Report Middle School game of the week is Haynes Middle Design Center at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle football game. Middle school student-athletes today = MNPS high school stars of the future. I’ll see you there.

Volleyball – These Girls Got Hops…or The Sky’s the Limit

The North Sports Report was amazed at the astonishing skill and leaping ability of the volleyball student-athletes as I cheered on the Overton and Cane Ridge volleyball teams. When you go to a volleyball game, be sure you arrive early enough to see the warm-ups. Amazing! The precision and teamwork of the digs and sets along with the grace and power of the high-flying monster spikes underscore the tremendous athletic ability of MNPS student-athletes. Volleyball – Can you dig it?

Alumni Alert

The North Sports Report bumped into Madison High fullback Greg Morgan Friday night. Greg serves as a TSSAA official and was the referee for the Hillwood vs. Antioch game last Friday. Greg famously scored a touchdown in Madison High’s 1979 Tobacco Bowl victory over Cumberland County. By famously, I mean… the North Sports Report vaguely remembers hearing about it.

Football Friday Night…Last Week’s Game

The North Sports Report is on a roll when it comes to picking the game of the week. Hillwood High School’s stadium, the fans, cheerleaders and band provided a great atmosphere to watch football, and the game went right down to the wire – another barn-burner for the game of the week. Antioch Bears quarterback Raekwon Hosey had a spectacular performance with 209 yards rushing including touchdown runs of 63, 58 and 15 yards plus a touchdown pass of 33 yards. Here’s an understatement…high school football is great family entertainment.

Hillwood High School football pregame - the National Anthem at Sunset
A beautiful pre-game National Anthem at Hillwood High School.

Friday Night’s Game of the Week – September 7, 2012

This week’s Game of the Week has the North Sports Report heading to Green Hills to witness the East Nashville Eagles visit the Hillsboro Burros in this week’s only game pitting two MNPS teams. It promises to be a tough battle to the very end.

In other action:

  • Antioch Bears travel to Centennial;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens head to Ravenwood;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Lebanon;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Father Ryan;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel south to Brentwood;

  • Maplewood Panthers go to Riverdale;

  • McGavock Raiders are at home against Franklin;

  • Overton Bobcats take a short trek over to Lipscomb;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to BGA;

  • Stratford Spartans play at Brentwood Academy; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Davidson Academy.

The MNPS home games are at Hillsboro; at Glencliff; at Hillwood; at McGavock; and at Whites Creek. Games start at 7:00pm. Enjoy a game near you!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for High-Flying Monster Spikes


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Alumni Alert – USA Olympic Basketball Coach

Did you know that Hillsboro High School graduate Marynell Meadors is an assistant coach for the 2012 US Olympic Women’s Basketball Team? That’s right, the gold medal winning US team – perhaps the best women’s basketball team ever assembled – benefited from the leadership of an MNPS legend. Coach Meadors is also the General Manager and Head Coach of the Atlanta Storm of the WNBA. Burro Bob is beside himself with pride. Congratulations to Olympic Champion Coach Meadors!

Sparkle Cats – Unique Student-Athletes Help Fans Get with the Program

No need for the North Sports Report to search far for inspiration, it met me at the gate, selling programs for the game. As I entered Nick Coutras Stadium at Overton High School Saturday night, I was greeted by The Sparkle Cats selling the game program with the roster of all four teams playing in that night’s jamboree. The Sparkle Cats is a pep squad of special needs students who train and perform with the Overton Cheerleaders. Principal Shuler Pelham and Cheerleading sponsor Donna Merchant explained that the Sparkle Cats go to cheerleading camp, perform at pep rallies, and help the cheerleaders with selected cheers at the games.

Every now and then, we need a reminder of the beauty and grace of public education and the true meaning of school spirit. Also, sometimes we need a game program with the teams’ rosters. The Sparkle Cats was just what the North Sports Report needed.

History…Isaac Litton High School

Isaac Litton High School closed forty years ago, but its history of athletic excellence is deep and rich. From Bonnie Sloan, the first deaf player in the NFL, to Bobby Hillman, a major league catcher who caught two no-hitters in his career, to the famous Marching 100+ marching band that performed in the 1964 Tournament of Roses Parade, to John Gordy, Detroit Lions great – the feats of Litton students are legendary. Litton alumnus and war hero Kenneth Duke played college football at SMU, left SMU to join the Navy, and was killed in Korea. The bridge on Briley Parkway over the Cumberland River near Litton is named in his honor. Friends and alumni gathered last week to dedicate the renovated gymnasium and alumni area. If you have any interest in the history of Nashville, Nashville schools, or high school athletics, you must visit the Litton alumni room.

Litton High Band Uniform & Tournament of Roses Pictures
The Isaac Litton Alumni room (The Lion’s Den) includes memorabilia from the marching band’s appearance at The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California in 1964.
Litton High Football Jersey - #33 Kenneth Duke
Reflecting on the past: The Litton football jersey of war hero Kenneth Duke hangs in the Lion’s Den at the newly renovated Litton Gymnasium.

Football Starts this Friday…They call it Week Zero

The jamborees packed all thirteen MNPS football teams into three nights at three locations. The North Sports Report enjoyed the hospitality, excitement and great football at Maplewood, Cane Ridge, and Overton last week.

The regular season starts this Friday, August 17 at 7:00pm:

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel to the neighboring Maplewood Panthers in what they call the Dickerson Road Bowl;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to face Hillsboro Burros to see which of the Hills is king of the mountain;

  • Antioch Bears host LaVergne;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Sycamore;

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Tullahoma;

  • Overton Bobcats head down the road to take on Father Ryan;

  • Stratford Spartans head to Sumner County to challenge JPII; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras drive up I 24 to Clarksville to face Rossview

The MNPS home games are: at Maplewood; at Cane Ridge; at Hillsboro; at Antioch; and at Glencliff. It is a great time to start a Friday night tradition. Take your family to a game! It is a great family night, for the great families of Nashville.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Beauty and Grace of Public Education


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

London Calling… Glencliff Grad Goes Global

Only one American will referee Women’s basketball during the Olympic Games in London. Glencliff graduate Felicia Grinter is in London as one of the world’s elite basketball referees. That is too cool!

Olympian Alumni Alert

Speaking of world class performances, 2009 Pearl-Cohn graduate Michael Murray is headed to London to compete in the 2012 Paralympics, representing the United States of America! The crowd will be chanting U-S-A as he walks into the stadium for the opening ceremonies and as he takes the track to compete with the world’s best (correction: as one of the world’s best) in the 1500 meters. Below is an email forwarded to The North Sports Report. Every time I read this email, I get chills!

Michael Murray, 2009 Pearl-Cohn graduate and the son of two metro school employees (Kathryn Murray-Mays-teacher at the Academy @ Hickory Hollow and Michael Mays-maintenance dept-painter) is headed to London!!!

Michael Murray has made history by becoming the first American runner, with an intellectual disability, to go to the Olympics!!! Michael is a member the USA Paralympics team and will be running the 1500m in London in September. This is the first time, in over a decade, the Olympic committee has allowed T-20 athletes to compete.

Michael competed at the trials in Indianapolis in early July. He was selected to be a member of the 2012 Paralympics team to compete in London!!!!! Currently he is in San Diego (Chula Vista) training at the Olympic training facility. Michael will return home August 10th and leaves for London August 17th. He will actually compete September 3rd(10:31am) and 4th(7:19pm) all London times. London times are 6 hours ahead of us. His race can be viewed on http://www.paralympic.org/MediaCentre.

Note: Michael is on several websites. Athletes Without Limits (www.athleteswithoutlimits.org) ,Running Journal:(http://Running.Net), USA Paralympics (http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/MU/Michael-Murray.aspx), Nashville Illusions Track Club (http://nashvilleillusionstrack.com/runners.html)
Congratulations to Michael and his parents, and good luck in London! U-S-A…U-S-A!

Historic Visit... Cohn

The North Sports Report is visiting alumni rooms in the never ending quest to know more about the history of our schools. Recently, Cohn High School great Farrell Owens gave a tour of the Cohn Alumni area at the Cohn School. Did you know that Cohn was named for Corinne L. Cohn, the “only lady on the school board” at the time? She brought the idea of junior high schools and a three tier grade configuration that remained in place in Nashville’s schools for many years. Did you know Cohn’s football field, Sykes Field, was located where Cockrill Elementary school is now, and the Cohn Marching Band would parade several blocks to the games on Friday nights? By the way, Sykes Field was probably misspelled since it was named after Jonas H. Sikes, Cohn’s first principal.

Cohn's Hume Award Winners
Honoring Cohn's Hume Award Winners
Sykes Field Plaque
“It was on this turf, nourished by their blood, sweat and tears, that boys learned lifetime values of hard work, discipline, and teamwork. They were molded into young men who represented themselves and their school in frequent victory and rare defeat with honor and pride”

The more you learn…the more you know!

Jam Jam Jamboree, a.k.a. Footballapalloosa

The MNPS Football Jamborees start August 9 and will feature all 13 MNPS high school football teams. Go support your favorite team.
August 9, 2012 7:00pm at Maplewood

Maplewood Panthers vs. Hillwood Hilltoppers

Pearl-Cohn Firebirds vs. Hunters Lane Warriors

August 10, 2012 6:00pm at Cane Ridge

Cane Ridge Ravens vs. DCA

McGavock Raiders vs. Stratford Spartans

Whites Creek Cobras vs. Antioch Bears

August 11, 2012 7:00pm at Overton

Overton Bobcats vs. Hillsboro Burros

East Nashville Eagles vs. Glencliff Colts

Still deciding which team to follow this season? Go all three nights and pick your favorite.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for lifetime values of hard work, discipline, and teamwork


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Tennis anyone? …Or … Does love mean nothing to you?

The national story of the summer in the tennis world has been the incredible rise of Hillwood Alum Brian Baker who earned his way through qualifiers to play at The French Open and at Wimbeldon. The former Hilltopper played his way to the round of 16 at Wimbeldon. Next stop for Brian is the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Alumni Alert – It’s the Principal

The new Principal at Gower Elementary School is one of the all-time greatest athletes in MNPS history. Barbara Frazier was a member of the first 5 on 5 Girls basketball state championship team at Pearl High; a state champion in several events in track and field; the first MNPS alum to be a member of the world famous Tigerbelles track team at Tennessee State; a member of the Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame; and a member of the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame. Oh … and a Superstar Principal!

Fall Sports …Get the Party Started

Even before school starts, practice for the fall sports is in full swing. Last year, MNPS teams and athletes made runs at state championships, and this year is shaping up to be even better. If you have a school nearby, make sure you go to the competitions. If you aren’t affiliated with any particular school, pick a school and follow it. Fall sports include: Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Football, Cheerleading, and Cross Country. Not only will you enjoy the competition, your presence and support benefits the student-athletes in ways and to an extent that are immeasurable. Go to a game!

NIL Reunion Picnic

Like an alumni association/historical society of legendary athletes, coaches, and fans, the Nashville Interscholastic League held its annual reunion picnic this week to celebrate the governing body for high school sports in Nashville until the mid-1980’s. The North Sports Report attended and rubbed elbows with the greats: Farrell Owens of Cohn; DuPont’s Bobby Gaines; McGavock’s John Griffith; and legendary Coaches Ken Redmond, Jerry Pigue, Wes Elrod, Tommy Frensley, Tommy Griffith, and Charlie Anderson. The highlight for the North Sports Report was visiting with Hillsboro football great Donny Sherman, Stratford basketball star Mike Jackson, and the incomparable Charles Davis of McGavock. Wow… great memories of the sports heroes of bygone days. If you don’t recognize these names and want to know more about the history of high school sports in Nashville, do a little research at www.highschoolglorydays.com.

The Future of the North Sports Report

Will the North Sports Report be back for the 2012-13 school year? Answer: Ohhhh Yeeeeessss! And you can follow MNPS related Sports Reports on Twitter @TheFansInc.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Legendary Athletes, Coaches and Fans


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    State Champions Galore – MNPS Total Track Domination

    In all, MNPS finished the track and field season with one team state championship, 7 relay state championships, 4 individual girls state champions, and 4 individual boys state champions. MNPS was on the fast track. Here are the details.

    MLK’s Girls Track Team won its third straight state championship last week. Their performance in the A/AA State Track Meet can only be described as dominating. MLK finished with 105 points, and no other team earned more than 61.

    East Lit (5th) and Stratford (10th) both finished in the top 10 in A/AA.

    In the AAA Girls track meet, Hillsboro finished 3rd and Antioch placed 4th in the state.

    MNPS particularly dominated the Girls’ relay events, displaying the teamwork, precision and speed of champions.


    • 4x100 – MLK, State Champion

    • 4x200 – MLK, State Champion; Stratford, 2nd place

    • 4x400 – MLK, State Champion; Hume-Fogg, 3rd place

    • 4x800 – MLK, 3rd place.


    • 4x100 – Antioch State Champion

    • 4x200 – Antioch State Champion

    • 4x400 – Antioch State Champion

    The Girls’ individual results reveal several state champions:


    • 100 – Berryhill, MLK, 3rd place

    • 400 – Owens , MLK, 2nd place; Rucker, East Lit, 3rd place

    • 100 Hurdles – Hagans, Maplewood, State Champion

    • 300 Hurdles – Cunningham, MLK, 3rd place

    • Long Jump – Curbeam, East Lit, State Champion

    • Triple Jump – Curbeam, East Lit, 2nd place; Butler, MLK, 3rd place

    • Discuss – Jones, Stratford, 2nd place


    • 100 – Pate, Hillsboro, State Champion

    • 200 – Pate, Hillsboro, State Champion; Jackson, Cane Ridge, 3rd place

    • 400 – Johnson, Antioch, 2nd place

    • 100 Hurdles – Eady, Hillsboro, 3rd place

    • Long Jump – Johnson, McGavock, 3rd place

    The Boys state track meet was another great performance by MNPS. MLK’s boys track team placed runner-up (by less than one point), and Maplewood finished 6th.

    The Boys’ individual and relay results reveal several state champions:

    • 4x100 Relay – Maplewood, State Champion

    • 4x200 – Maplewood, 3rd place

    • 4x400 – MLK, 2nd place


    • 100 – Scruggs, Stratford, 3rd place

    • 200 – Scruggs , Stratford, 3rd place

    • 800 – Klockenkemper, MLK, 2nd place; McCutcheon, Hume-Fogg, 3rd place

    • 1600 – Klockenkemper, MLK, State Champion

    • 3200 – Klockenkemper, MLK, 3rd place

    • 300 Hurdles –Wooten, MLK, State Champion

    • High Jump – Nightinggale, East Lit, State Champion

    • LongJump – Harris, Pearl-Cohn, 3rd place

    • Shot Put – Cain, Whites Creek, 3rd place


    • 800 – Prince, Antioch, State Champion

    • 110 Hurdles – Collins, Cane Ridge, 3rd place

    • Long Jump – Burns, Hillsboro, 3rd place

    Congratulations to all MNPS Track & Field student-athletes.

    Point Guard Signings

    The North Sports Report received word that two MNPS superstar point guards will take their hoops talents to the next level. Hunters Lane point guard Billy Hughes signed with Chattanooga State and Hume-Fogg’s Will Harris signed with Maryville. Remember the point guard credo – handle it…dish it…score when you need to.

    Alumni Alert

    Hillwood Hilltopper tennis alumnus Brian Baker made his French Open debut with a victory on the red clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Let me repeat that to be sure you get it. Former Hillwood tennis ace Brian Baker is playing tennis this week in the French Open! That is grand-slam-diggity!

    Cap and Gown

    It was with pride that the North Sports Report witnessed several great MNPS student-athletes cross the graduation stage and turn the page to their future. We are proud of your accomplishments, and we have enjoyed watching you grow, learn and excel. The North Sports Report looks forward to including news about you in the alumni alerts.

    Next Season is Upon Us

    Fall sports season starts in just a few short months. Go ahead and mark your calendar to attend MNPS athletic events next year. It is a great evening of athletic entertainment, and the students will love to see you there. MNPS has the finest student-athletes in the country, and they deserve the support of great sports fans. You can make a real difference simply by being a fan.

    For returning student-athletes – don’t waste your time this summer. Show up in shape and dominate the state.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for the Finest Student-Athletes


      Mark North

      Board Member &

      Sports Fan Mark North

      All Mid-State Teams Announced – Basketball and Wrestling

      McGavock senior Wrestler Carlos Garcia was named First Team All-Midstate by The Tennessean after posting an astonishing 48-4 record. Garang Madut, a Glencliff junior, pinned down second team honors.

      Hunters Lane basketball star DeAndrea Sawyers scored 18.5 points per game on her way to being named to the All-Midstate Girls Basketball second team, and Maplewood junior Jason Stone garnered second team All-Midstate Basketball honors for his efforts this season.

      Congratulations to all the MNPS Winter sports student-athletes!

      Sports Celebrity Shout-out – Tribute to MNPS

      Early this week, sportscaster Grant Boone appeared on talk radio describing his experience in the broadcast of this year’s Final Four (he teamed with Shaq to call a legend’s game) and The Masters golf tournament (a tradition like no other). He pointed out that the stage was set for success by his MNPS days at “Neely’s Bend Junior High [now middle school], Madison High School and as a member of the first class of Hunters Lane.” Heard the shout-out…Woop Woop!

      MNPS Sports Hall of Fame Luncheon

      Congratulations again to Maplewood’s Avion Black and Donna Vaughn Howell, Madison’s Chuck Boyd, Pearl’s James Douglas and Fred Sumrall, Cohn’s Tom Wells and Coach Charlie Anderson, and McGavock’s Reggie Whittemore who were all inducted into the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame during a lovely luncheon April 10 at LP Field. Several media outlets ran excellent articles on the event and inductees, including The Tennessean (headlining Avion Black), The Nashville City Paper (featuring James Douglas) and www.sportsnashville.net (featuring outstanding photographs of the event). Honoring sports legends makes me smile…I can’t help it.

      Scholar-Athletes – The FANS Award

      Also in attendance at the Hall of Fame luncheon were the inaugural recipients of The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools (FANS) Award given to a female senior scholar-athlete who best exemplifies scholarship, sportsmanship, leadership, individual performance and value to the team. The recipients were:

      • Eboni Curtis – Antioch;

      • Jasmine Rucker – Cane Ridge;

      • Vivian Aluoch – East Lit.;

      • Carol Tran – Glencliff;

      • LaSabre Reynolds – Hillsboro;

      • Jackie James – Hillwood;

      • Kolby Forbes – Hume Fogg;

      • Rontavia Hayes – Hunters Lane;

      • Roneisha Crawford – Maplewood;

      • Jasmine Owens – MLK;

      • Eva Burelos – McGavock;

      • Rashida Ademosu – Overton;

      • June Jackson – Pearl-Cohn;

      • Antonia Harris – Stratford; and

      • DeShawn Woodruff – Whites Creek.

      If you are looking for greatness, just read that list again. Greatness!

      Oops…I Seemed to Have Dropped Some Names

      It has been a great week for celebrity sightings for the North Sports Report. In the past few days, I had lunch or dinner – or just ran into – the following sports celebrities: former Titan Neil O’Donnell; the original owner of the Nashville Sounds, Larry Schmittou; one of the greatest all-time women’s basketball players Pam Chambers; Lipscomb University Athletic Director Phillip Hutcheson; Howard School football alumni (and Metro Trustee) Charlie Cardwell; Pearl High great (and Criminal Court Clerk) Howard Gentry; the very first Hunters Lane basketball star (class of 1987) Ivy Dobson; the ESPN brain trust –Vin Cannamela and Jeremy Shaap; Glencliff great (presently directing MNPS Athletics Department) Roosevelt Sanders; Hume Fogg basketball great from the class of 2006 Kirtiss Brown; Maplewood/Alabama Crimson Tide/NFL legend E.J. Junior; Litton/Austin Peay/NFL great Bonnie Sloan; and others.

      Although the North Sports Report calls that “hanging out with sports legends,” others might call it stalking. It was a good week!

      -- Mark North

      MNPS: The First Choice for Setting the Stage for Success


      Mark North

      Board Member &

      Sports Fan Mark North

      Cane Ridge Bowler on a Roll

      The Tennessean named Aaron Ruiz to the All-Midstate Bowling team for the second year in a row. The Cane Ridge sophomore followed his 2011 Bowler of the Year award with his awe inspiring 2012 season. Aaron averaged a state best 227 this season. Be sure you understand… Cane Ridge Ravens sophomore Aaron Ruiz is the best bowler in the state of Tennessee. Any questions?... That’s what I thought.

      Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame

      Some of the greatest athletes in Nashville’s history will be on hand April 10 when eight legends are inducted into the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame. The 2012 induction class includes legendary basketball coach Charlie Anderson; Maplewood football hero Avion Black who ranks as one of the best punt-returners in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference while at TSU before a stellar NFL career; Madison High School all-around athlete Chuck Boyd who some say was the fastest football player in the SEC while at Vanderbilt; James Douglas, a key member of the great Pearl High School basketball teams of the sixties before an outstanding career at Memphis State; Pearl High football legend Fred Sumrall who starred at TSU before his talents and hard work took him to the NFL’s Washington Redskins; Donna Vaughn Howell a member of the All-Decade team for her basketball prowess at Maplewood; Cohn High School football star Tommy Wells who went on to play at Georgia Tech and even with the Dallas Texans of the old AFL; and McGavock baseball great Reggie Whittemore who led Lipscomb University’s baseball team to two NAIA National Championships and now shares his passion for the game as Executive Director of RBI-Nashville.

      Honoring the past, supporting the present and building for the future…MNPS athletic greatness!

      Another Referee Story

      The North Sports Report is continually having run-ins with referees. Uh…I mean meeting referees in a sportsmanlike manner at places other than at the games. Recently, I met TSSAA basketball referee Anthony Hall as he made a presentation at a Youth Summit. Mr. Hall is a Family Involvement Specialist for Metro Nashville Public Schools, and seemed to be a fan favorite among some students who vividly remembered games he officiated.

      -- Mark North

      MNPS: The First Choice for Awe Inspiring Seasons


      Saturday, March 31, the Cameron High Alumni Association is hosting its inaugural Taste of Cameron Fundraising event. The event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., in the Cameron gym.


      Mark North

      Board Member &

      Sports Fan Mark North

      Study History…Learn about MNPS Sports Stars of the Past

      Mike Organ, Tennessean sportswriter and DuPont High School alumnus, is the mastermind behind www.highschoolglorydays.com, a website dedicated to historic photos and newspaper clippings of high school sports in Middle Tennessee. If you are nostalgic or want to study the history of sports at your school, this website is a pretty good place to start. You can locate your school (remember…some of the middle schools were once high schools and have rich and storied sports traditions), and study about some of the great sports heroes, coaches, school leaders, civic giants (including at least two Mayors of Nashville), and maybe even a North Sports Reporter. By the way, the glory days for MNPS athletics include today and tomorrow!

      MNPS Alumni Trivia

      The North Sports Report visited with state champion football coach and ACT prep tutor Maurice Fitzgerald recently. Of course, Coach Fitzgerald’s Pearl-Cohn team won a state championship, but do you know at which MNPS high school Coach Fitzgerald starred as a student before a stellar football career at Tennessee State? This week’s trivia question is: Where did Coach Maurice Fitzgerald attend high school? The answer is at the bottom of this post.

      Spring Sports – Meteorological Mayhem aka Rain Delays

      Springtime in Nashville necessarily involves afternoon showers that inevitably douse tennis matches, soccer matches, baseball and softball games, and track meets. Rain will mess up your schedule? Last week, the North Sports Report witnessed the world’s longest soccer game (or at least it seemed like the longest since lightening flashed with 26:51 left in the first half, delaying the game for what seemed like decades). Somehow, the storm ended in time to resume the game before curfew, and enough fans remained on site to provide ample excitement. The evening reminded me that:

      1. time flies when an exciting game is being played;

      2. time crawls when you are sitting in a car in the rain wishing for an exciting game; and

      3. it is worth sitting through a rain delay to watch great high school sports.

      Softball Season

      The North Sports Report talked strategy with famed Cane Ridge Ravens Softball Coach Lance Lott during a summit at Pearl-Cohn High School. It should be a great season for all the MNPS Softball diamond girls.

      While at the same summit, Pearl-Cohn’s Principal Dr. Milton Threadcraft showed me the Firebird’s softball schedule and promotional poster featuring Deidra Truitt, Brittany Grayson, Adrienne Lavender, Savannah Miller, and June Jackson. Awesome!

      Pearl-Cohn Softball Team

      Alumni Trivia Answer

      Where did Coach Maurice Fitzgerald attend high school? Answer: Hume Fogg!

      -- Mark North

      MNPS: The First Choice for Storied Sports Traditions


      Michael Murray, a 2009 graduate of Pearl-Cohn High School and son of an MNPS teacher, recently competed in Track and Field at the Global Games in Liguria, Italy. Next up, he competes in November at the Pan Am games in Guadalajara and hopes to represent the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games! Good luck!


      Nashville School of the Arts’ alum William Wingfield will be teaching dance master classes Tuesday, Oct. 11, at NSA.  William was a finalist and fan favorite on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance. He has also performed on Broadway, he danced with Celine Dion for three years, taught Alvin Ailey classes, danced on the Academy Awards, and, literally, danced around the world.

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