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Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hoops Night Out

The North Sports Report enjoyed a fabulous mid-week hoops experience at Glencliff this week as the Colts hosted the Hillwood Hilltoppers. The gym and new floor design at Glencliff are gorgeous. The floor was recently dedicated to Coach Glenn Falls, Glencliff’s longtime great basketball and volleyball coach. The North Sports Report had the honor of watching the games, played on Glenn Falls Court, sitting next to Glenn Falls. He spoke glowingly about the past and present Glencliff players with stories of outstanding defensive performances in state tournament games of the past to the college and career plans of present players. That was a treat! By the way, the hot dogs at the Glencliff concessions stand were out of this world! You should go to a game this week, catch-up with old friends, enjoy a good dog, and support our student-athletes.

Also spotted in the crowd was Hillwood Football Coach Bubba Spears cheering on the Hilltopper hoopsters.

Glenn Falls Court at Glencliff High School
Glenn Falls Court at Glencliff High School

Bowling State Tournament…Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

The State Bowling Championship Tournament starts Thursday January 24 and runs through Saturday at the Smyrna Bowling Center. The schedule and brackets are available at www.tssaa.org.

MNPS student-athletes qualifying for the boys’ state tournament (along with their season average) are:

Matt Holland, McGavock (196.06); Aaron Ruiz, Cane Ridge (244.33-the top qualifier in the state); Andre Rucker, MLK (188.0); Steven Smith, Hillsboro (180.58); Jonathon Davis, East Nashville (202.60); Louis Dunn, Hillsboro (178.22);

MNPS student-athletes qualifying for the girls’ state tournament (along with their season average) are: Kaitlin Cashion, MLK (156.0); Summer Earnest, Hume-Fogg (139.86); Reanna Evans, Hunters Lane (119.0); Eunicia Turner, East Nashville (127.29); Kelsie Holland, McGavock (125.70);

Congratulations on a great season and good luck in Smyrna this week!

Hancock-Nipper Award Winner

Congratulations to Cane Ridge Ravens’ Raymond Caruthers who earned a prestigious Hancock-Nipper Award. Presented by the Nashville Civitan Club, the Hancock-Nipper Awards are presented to football players who “displayed outstanding sportsmanship for Nashville teams that won region or state championships” according to the venerable sportswriter Harold Huggins of The Nashville City Paper.

Congratulations to Raymond and all our MNPS student-athletes.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Outstanding Sportsmanship


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


Retro Classic bannerLooking back to help the future: Six high school basketball teams are taking part in The FANS Retro Classic this weekend that benefits The FANS, Inc., a foundation raising money for Metro Schools athletic programs.

So what makes these games so special? Teams will be wearing old school uniforms to honor high school teams of the past!

Hume-Fogg and Hunters Lane will wear Madison High polka dots, Maplewood and Stratford will wear uniforms to honor Isaac Litton High, McGavock will honor DuPont High, and Glencliff will honor Cameron High.

Will the uniforms look exactly like you remember them? Of course not, but that's not really the point, is it?

The point is that schools of today are willing to honor the past, and together we can build a bright future. Here are the details:

Friday, January 4, 5:00 p.m.

Hume-Fogg vs. Maplewood (Girls)

Hume-Fogg vs. Maplewood (Boys)

Saturday, January 5

McGavock vs. Stratford (Boys)

Hunters Lane vs. Glencliff (Boys)

Historic Location

The historic Isaac Litton High School Gym.


Tickets are $6 each night and are available at the door. This event might sell out, so get there early.


Please park at Litton Middle School, 4601 Hedgewood Drive (turn on Richmond from Gallatin Road).


Proceeds from The FANS Retro Classic go to The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools, Inc. for the benefit of athletic programs in Nashville's public schools.

If you are unable to attend but want to help, you may donate online at
www.thefansinc.com or send a check The FANS, 1215 Gallatin Pike, S., Madison, TN 37115.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

I Saw the Light

Friday was one of those days…the horrific tragedy in Connecticut …unspeakable terror…dominated the news, monopolized our thought, exponentially multiplied our fears, and left each of us searching for elusive answers. Social media constantly reiterated the questions – Where did we go so wrong? Why would someone inflict such horror? What in his background would make him act in such a way? How can such evil exist? Why?


With that backdrop, I planned to attend a high school basketball game as I do every Friday evening. This week, I was heading to Green Hills for the Hillsboro Burros’ showdown with the Hunters Lane Warriors. It would be my first chance to see Burros star Jamonte Davis, a 6-7 (or 6-8 depending on which recruiting service you subscribe to) forward whose complete game, including mastery of the lost art of the mid-range jump shot, has catapulted him to national recognition as a college prospect. I knew he would be tested by Hunters Lane’s scrappy, tenacious zone defense.

My daughter, home from college, accompanied me to the game, an unexpected and particularly heartwarming treat considering the events of the day. She warned that she might not pay too much attention to the game because she concentrates on and enjoys the spectacle that surrounds the actual game. True enough…and I responded that I try to notice things other people overlook and provide a different perspective through the North Sports Report. Sitting together, we watched the game in our own ways, occasionally sharing our unique commentary.

During a break in the action, late in the game, the Hillsboro cheerleaders tossed souvenirs into the crowd. You know the routine…cheerleaders throwing little basketballs and rubber bracelets all along the sideline, and every fan standing, hoping to catch a keepsake. Just like every fan at a baseball game wants to catch a foul ball, everyone in the gym wants to catch some cheerleader-thrown gift. Did I stand and wave, encouraging a toss toward me? Of course I did. Did any souvenirs land within my reach? Of course not. So, we sat back down as action resumed on the court.

Then it happened.

A Hillsboro student, sitting three people down from me, leaned over and tapped my arm. As I turned, she handed me a rubber Hillsboro souvenir bracelet the cheerleaders had thrown into the crowd. What? I had never met the young lady, and she didn’t know me from the man in the moon. What makes a high school student give a gift to a stranger? Why so nice to me? How can such grace and beauty exist? Who gets the credit…her parents? …a teacher? Where did we go so right?

I have no answers, but the cynical veil of despair was lifted. A bright light… I swear I saw a bright light…shone down on that child like a spotlight. Or, was it shining up, emanating from her kind heart? Looking around the gym, I saw light shining on everyone. I could actually see the beauty and grace in every spectator, shining through like a beacon of hope to the world. Was her light of kindness contagious, or were my eyes simply opened to the light of kindness that shines from all those around me?

I still have no answers, and that light doesn’t change the past or hide the horrors of tragedy. It does, however, expose the hope for healing and for the future.

As the New Year approaches, may we open our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us; and more importantly, shine our own light of grace, beauty and kindness in whatever small way we can.

Oh, and Go to a Game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Hope for the Future


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.

Hume Award – Spotlight on Scholar-Athletes

The Hume Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious awards any student-athlete can receive, will be awarded next week to a scholar-athlete/football player “on the basis of scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team.” The Hume Award, named for local civic leader, attorney and Chair of the Nashville City Board of Education William Hume, was first awarded in 1944 to Eddie Lawrence of West High School. Last year’s winner was Maplewood Panther Dustin Binkley.

This year’s five Hume Award finalists are: Christian Molina, Antioch; Michael Collins, East Nashville; Joseph Occhipinti, Hillsboro; Tracey Bowler, McGavock; and Brandon Orr, Overton. Congratulations to all our scholar-athletes.

Hume Award Trivia

Which High School Principal’s stellar athletic and academic career made him a Hume Award finalist? Answer: Overton’s Dr. Andrew Shuler Pelham.

All-Star Game Features MNPS Gridders

The Toyota East/West All-Star Football game will be played Saturday December 8 at 1:00pm on the campus of Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Rosters for this game may be updated to add players, but my last check of the roster shows that the West team includes DeAnthony Patrick and DeQuan Mays of McGavock; and Michael Cain of Whites Creek. The game will be televised across the state on local PBS stations.

Grapple with This – Pre-season Recognition

The Tennessean’s high school wrestling preview highlighted Glencliff Colts wrestler Garang Madut as one of the mid-state’s “Wrestlers to Watch” this season. Good luck to all our wrestlers who will go to the mat for their schools this season!

Hoop Dreams

High school basketball games are scheduled several nights every week, and you should check the paper each week for a game near you. The North Sports Report will keep you abreast of the games scheduled on Fridays.

Basketball Games November 30, 2012

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the week has the high flying East Nashville Eagles visiting the mighty Maplewood Panthers. Tip-off at 6:30.

In other action:

  • Whites Creek Cobras travel to nearby rival Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Mt. Juliet;

  • McGavock Raiders welcome visiting Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • MLK Royals travel down the road to Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;

  • Overton Bobcats host Brentwood;

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights visit CPA; and

  • Stratford Spartans hit the home hardwood against Lipscomb.

The MNPS home games this Friday are: at Maplewood; at Hunters Lane; at Hillwood; at Hillsboro; at McGavock; at Pearl-Cohn; at Overton; and at Stratford. Oh, and Antioch Bears play at home on Thursday night November 29. There is a game near you – go support the schools and students this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Flair of School Spirit


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.

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.

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


Glencliff High School has named two new basketball coaches. John Filson has been named the new head girls basketball coach and Doug Kiel has been named the new head boys basketball coach.

Filson worked as a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Glencliff High before assuming his new position. Before coming to Metro Schools, Filson worked at LaVergne Middle School, Hunters Lane and Holloway High Schools. He also serves in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Filson is a graduate of Belmont University.

Kiel recently served as a mathematics teacher and boys assistant basketball coach at Mt. Juliet High School. He also worked for Lebanon and Warren County High Schools, where he was a teacher and head boys’ basketball coach. His coaching expertise has led 97% student-athletes to college, and he attended five region and three region semi-finals games. Kiel has a bachelor’s from Western Kentucky University and master’s from Tennessee Technological University.


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

    Tee Time in Elementary School –K through Fore

    The North Sports Report peeked in on the PE class at Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center last week to witness the First Tee golf curriculum in action. MNPS youngsters are starting early and receiving lessons in a sport to enjoy for a lifetime. For interscholastic high school golf … I saw the future, and it looked a lot like total golf world domination for MNPS! Easy as 1…2…3…Fore!

    Moss-Oliver Award

    Hume Fogg hoops star Sam Smith took home the coveted Moss-Oliver Award for excellence on and off the court. Other MNPS finalists included Nick Drake from East Literature and Kovona Harris from Hunters Lane.

    Sam will be taking his talents to the blustery shores of Lake Michigan in the fall to attend Northwestern University. According to Principal Dr. Paul Fleming, Sam is the first Hume Fogg student to receive the Moss Oliver Award since before the turn of the century.

    Congratulations to all MNPS student-athletes who excel in the classroom!

    Soccer Superstar

    Did you catch the article in Wednesday’s Tennessean about Overton Bobcat soccer sensation Shpend Rexpehi? His all-around game has earned the respect of coaches around Middle Tennessee and the attention of sports writer Chip Cirillo. Shpend’s quiet leadership skills motivate the Bobcats toward another trip to the state tournament.

    In one week, the pressure packed soccer district tournaments begin. They’ll be kickin’ it!

    Senior Nights – Spring Season

    Senior Nights have an extra sense of finality in Spring. It’s not just the end of a sport season and high school career…it’s THE end. The North Sports Report attended a Senior Night this week, and came away with an even deeper appreciation for the camaraderie that develops among the parents through a season. I’ll stop there … the North Sports Report refuses to get teary-eyed before graduation.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Excellence On and Off the Court


    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

    Fast Times at Stratford – Nationally Ranked Sprinter

    Stratford Spartan sprinter Justin Scruggs is currently ranked second in the nation in the 60 meters.  That’s right, I said in the nation…the USA.  Justin ran the 60 meters in 6.82 seconds, earning an invitation to the 2012 New Balance Indoor Track Invitational in New York City next month.  More powerful than a locomotive, rumor has it he is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  SuperSpartan!

    High School Wrestling – State Championships

    McGavock grappler Carlos Garcia earned his way to the finals in the state championships in Franklin last week, taking home the silver medal, the best finish of any McGavock wrestler in over 15 years.  Other top finishers in the grueling state wrestling championships were Trevion James (Antioch) and Trenton Bell (Hunters Lane).

    Middle School Wrestling

    Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School Bulldogs are Wrestling City Champions.  Congratulations to Itae Barretero, Anthony Bassham, Montez Booker, Troy Clay, Eric Foster, James Hughes, Latraus Perry, Darius Roberts, Gregory Smith, Dandre Whitley, Jondae Williams and Coach Gardner – the grapplin’ Bulldogs!

    Watching Hoops with Dignitaries

    Football coaches are a veritable fountain of knowledge and wisdom as I learned watching high school and middle school basketball games this week with Hillwood High School football coach Bubba Spears and Goodlettsville Middle School football coach David Brooks.   I even spent time in the stands visiting with some of Tennessee’s top Principals including Antioch’s Brian Mast, Hunters Lane’s Susan Kessler, Glencliff’s Clint Wilson, Hillwood’s Steve Chauncy, Overton’s Shuler Pelham, and Stratford’s Michael Steele.  Needless to say, the North Sports Report tried to be on its best behavior.

    Brush with Fame

    The North Sports Report ran into Whites Creek and Vanderbilt football and basketball great Jamie Graham at a basketball tournament game this week at Antioch.  After graduating from Vanderbilt, Jamie is working toward an advanced degree and playing defensive back at UCLA.   

    Principal with his Grill On

    When the North Sports Report saw Stratford Principal Michael Steele cooking the concessions stand cheeseburgers as Stratford hosted tournament games this week, I immediately ordered The Principal Combo…cheeseburger, chips, and a Diet Coke.  Just so you know – that is the North Sports Report’s idea of fine dining.

    District Champs…Hoops

    Congratulations to District Champions Hunters Lane Warriors, Overton Lady Bobcats and Hillsboro Lady Burros!

    Advancing to represent MNPS in the regional tournaments in Girls’ Basketball are: MLK Lady Royals; Hume Fogg Lady Blue Knights; Overton Lady Bobcats; Hillsboro Lady Burros; Hunters Lane Lady Warriors; Antioch Lady Bears; and Cane Ridge Lady Ravens.

    In Boys Basketball, those teams advancing are: Hunters Lane Warriors; East Literature Eagles; Antioch Bears; Hillsboro Burros; Maplewood Panthers; McGavock Raiders; and Cane Ridge Ravens. 

    Field of Dreams

    Stratford’s football field was featured on a recent episode of “The Bachelor” as one of the reality show’s contestants impressed everyone with her relation (granddaughter) to the field’s namesake – MNPS Sports Hall of Fame member and local sports legend Harold “Buster” Boguskie.  Even during tournament time, the North Sports Report is never too busy to catch an episode of “The Bachelor.”   What?...

    MNPS: The First Choice for Local Sports Legends


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Tournament Basketball

    Few things can compare to the excitement of basketball tournaments. The tension and emotion is amplified knowing that every game is one team’s last. The seniors on both teams take the court knowing that this could be their last game, and thus the end to an important chapter in their young lives. The effort is extraordinary from tip-off to the final buzzer in every game….Fantastic!

    MNPS schools hosting tournaments this week include: Stratford High School, Antioch High School, Antioch Middle School, and McKissack Middle School (played at Pearl-Cohn).

    Extraordinary Hoops Venue … The Creek

    Every high school gym has its own personality – its own character. The North Sports Report had the privilege of attending a couple of games at Whites Creek recently, and the production value of “Basketball Night at the Creek” is off the charts.

    The atmosphere is electric with the championship banners, the Cobra painted at mid-court and on the wall, and the framed jerseys of bygone sports heroes like Vanderbilt star and Super Bowl champion Shelton Quarles. The Whites Creek marching band rocking in the bleachers, the top-notch cheerleading squad, a regal Coming Home ceremony (like homecoming except for basketball), the expert public address announcer, and exciting basketball all add up to a superior spectator experience. Sitting in the stands, I had a flashback to my youth and could vividly picture Cobra great Jackie Cowan, one of the all-time great women’s basketball players in MNPS and Vanderbilt history, running the floor and dominating play. Basketball Night at the Creek is one of those must see experiences for all sports fans.

    Shout Out

    Last week, I ran into longtime Hume Fogg girls basketball coach Angela Hubbard who mentioned that she enjoyed reading the Sports Report each week … Result: The North Sports Report made it a point to attend her next game (which they won in overtime) and gives a shout out here. Woop Woop for Coach Hubbard!

    Keeping up with the Firebirds

    Mike Strasinger of www.sportsnashville.net wrote a tremendous tribute to Pearl-Cohn’s football program and Coach Tony Brunetti for his untiring efforts to encourage opportunities for Pearl-Cohn student-athletes to obtain college scholarships. It takes more than X’s and O’s to be a successful coach…it takes undying dedication to and love for your players. Coach Brunetti’s efforts for his players display that dedication and love to the nth degree.

    Every Day I’m Grapplin’…Update from the Mat

    The State Wrestling Championships will feature several MNPS grapplers this week in Franklin. According to the TSSAA website, the wrestling championships will include:

    • Salih Musa (Overton);

    • Breon Blackwell (Antioch);

    • Hamadi Hassan (McGavock);

    • Adrian Whitworth (Overton);

    • Chris Ocon (Overton);

    • Clarence Mathis (Antioch);

    • Carlos Garcia (McGavock);

    • Kevin Braziel (McGavock);

    • Roland Bituli (Hillwood);

    • Ronquai Love (MLK);

    • Trenton Bell (Hunters Lane);

    • Carlos Harrison (McGavock);

    • Trevion James (Antioch);

    • Shad Haji (Glencliff)

    • Garang Madut (Glencliff)

    • Keith Harris (MLK); and

    • Nolan Sexton (McGavock).

    Congratulations and good luck to all MNPS wrestlers!

    TSSAA Honors MNPS Great

    Legendary Coach and administrator James Armstrong has been named to the 2012 class of the TSSAA Hall of Fame. Coach Armstrong’s influence on countless student-athletes, on high school athletics in Middle Tennessee and on the entire Nashville community cannot be overstated. Congratulations to Coach Armstrong for this well-deserved and long overdue honor.

    Spring Sports

    It’s still cold, but practice for Spring Sports started this week. From now until graduation, MNPS student-athletes will be taking it to the track, diamond, court, and pitch (i.e. soccer field) as they look to dominate again this year in Track, Softball, Baseball, Tennis, and Boys’ Soccer. Spring Sports Fever…Catch it!

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Extraordinary Effort



    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Signing Day…Scholarship Celebration

    Celebrations were held in the cafeteria, auditorium, library and gymnasium in schools all across Nashville as student-athletes signed their scholarship papers to attend college. The North Sports Report attended the signing celebration at Hillsboro. As I watched the proud parents and the student-athletes officially accept scholarship offers amid the cheers, balloons, media attention etc., it dawned on me that I was witnessing the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice by the student and the parents – not to mention, the teachers, youth league coaches, middle school coaches, extended family and friends. I know the student-athletes deserve the accolades, but those parents have traveled from field to field, sat through terrible weather, nursed bruised egos after losses, cleaned the uniforms, encouraged, insisted on the completion of homework, chauffeured to practice, and on and on and on. Parents…that signing party was for you too.

    See photos from Signing Day 2012!

    Student-Athletes who signed on February 1 included:

    Eric Miles (Antioch) Carson Newman
    Amiri Hawkins (Hillsboro) Univ. of Tennessee Martin
    Ben Ross (Hillsboro) Carson Newman
    Ladarius Vanlier (Maplewood) Tennessee Tech
    Steven Johnson (Maplewood) Lindsey Wilson College
    Caleb Azubike (McGavock) Vanderbilt
    Presley Gamble (McGavock) Southern Virginia
    Zabian King (Overton) Arkansas Tech
    Elijah Annor (Pearl-Cohn) Austin Peay
    Larry Brown (Pearl-Cohn) Bethel
    Darrius Darden-Box (Pearl-Cohn) Southeast Missouri State
    DeMario Darnell (Pearl-Cohn) Tennessee Tech
    Ryan Deisling (Pearl-Cohn) Jackson State
    Terrence Haynes (Pearl-Cohn) Highland Community College
    Carl Jones Jr. (Pearl-Cohn) N.C. Central
    Trevon Miles (Pearl-Cohn) Highland Community College
    Jordan Payne (Pearl-Cohn) Bethel
    Ronald Stayton-Williams (Pearl-Cohn) Fayetteville State
    Tyler Wilson (Stratford) Carson Newman
    Girls Basketball
    Keira Holt (Hillsboro) Wilberforce University
    Girls Soccer
    Sloane Logan (Overton) Georgia Southwestern State

    Congratulations to all MNPS Seniors and to everyone that helped them reach for the stars.

    Middle School Hoops Tournaments

    The second season starts soon. At the outset of basketball tournaments, every team has a chance to win the championship. The Eastern Division and Western Division Middle School tournaments start February 9, and the first games will be played on the home court of the higher seed team with the winners advancing to Pearl-Cohn High School for the Eastern Division and Antioch Middle School for the Western Division (seems geographically backward, but that’s the information I have) the next week. The Middle School City Championship Basketball Tournament will be played at Pearl-Cohn High School February 23 and 24. Make your plans to attend the high-flying hoopapalooza that is the Middle School Division and City Basketball Tournaments.

    Spartan Pride…New Coach Named

    The Stratford Spartans football team will take the field this fall under the leadership of new coach Aaron Pitts. Coach Pitts is up to the task of continuing the Stratford tradition of great players and teams and legendary coaches. From his history as a “passing game” specialist, opposing defenses better be ready for an exciting brand of Stratford football. Good luck Coach Pitts and all our MNPS coaches.

    Brush with Fame

    The North Sports Report ran into Pearl High football legend, TSU great, former Philadelphia Eagle, and present-day tailor to the stars Randolph Williamson this week. Randolph is another example of MNPS sports legends returning to Nashville, starting a successful business and inspiring a new generation.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Inspiring a New Generation



    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Update from the Alley…Bowling Alley that is

    Aaron Ruiz, a sophomore at Cane Ridge, enters the state Bowling Championships this week with the highest average in the state – an average of 227.00. What? That’s right, a state leading average of 227!

    Darius Holland of Maplewood bowled one of the all-time greatest games in TSSAA high school bowling history in the district tournament. His almost perfect 288 assures his place in the TSSAA record books.

    Several MNPS bowlers will be knocking them down at this week’s state championships in Smyrna. The state qualifiers include: Aisha Lee (East Lit); Summer Earnest (Hume Fogg); Chasity Towns (Hunters Lane); Raven Gore (Maplewood); Brandi Caruso (Overton); I’eshia Davis (Stratford); Aaron Ruiz (Cane Ridge); Canaan Morse (Hillsboro); Trevor Owen (Maplewood); Colin Beason (MLK); Andre Rucker (MLK); Matt Holland (McGavock); Brent Morphis (McGavock); Anh Nguyen (Overton); and Andrew Sawyer (Overton).

    Good luck to all MNPS bowlers.

    College Choices … Seniors Begin the Next Chapter

    When The City Paper reported this week that Maplewood’s Ladarius Vanlier chose to attend Tennessee Tech this fall and return to play on the field of his final high school game, it reminded me that we have many young adults in our schools completing college applications, receiving acceptance letters, earning scholarships of all types, and preparing to leave the nest to take what they have cultivated through their life in our schools toward greater and higher accomplishments.

    We are proud of the Class of 2012!

    Spelling Test

    Have you ever noticed how many cheers involve spelling? It’s true – some of the greatest cheers at high school and middle school sporting events require a working knowledge of how to spell certain key words.

    Quiz: Which of these “spelling” cheers is the North Sports Report’s favorite?

    1. The ever popular free throw cheer: “R-E…R-E-B… R-E-B-O-U-N-D…Rebound”

    2. The edgier and more controversial: “M-I-S-S…M-I-S-S…Miss it”

    3. The rough and tumble: “Let’s get a little bit rowdy: R-O-W-D-Y”

    4. The long word spelling: “Be aggressive: B-E…A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E”

    5. Tri-word spelling: “Go…G-O; Fight…F-I-G-H-T; Win…W-I-N: Go, Fight, Win”

    6. Or, simply: “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y”

    The correct answer is: All of the above.

    Sportsmanship Award

    The prestigious Hancock-Nipper Football Sportsmanship Awards were presented by the Nashville Civitan Club last week and included Maplewood Panthers Football Coach Arcentae Broome; Antioch Bears star Eric Miles; and Maplewood Panthers hero Wagner Serrano. Congratulations to all MNPS student-athletes who exemplify the high standards of sportsmanship.

    To read all about it and find a great picture of the recipients, check out www.sportsnashville.net.

    Alumni News

    University of Georgia basketball star and MLK alumnus Gerald Robinson not only leads the basketball team at Georgia, he is also pursuing his master’s in Adult Education after earning his undergraduate degree in Speech Communication last Summer. MNPS alumni are awesome!

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for V-I-C-T-O-R-Y



    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Athletics at its Finest

    Nothing compares to middle school wrestling. The North Sports Report was in attendance when the Head Magnet Middle School Tigers grappled with the Thurgood Marshall Middle School Mariners. Have you been to a middle school wrestling match lately? It is a beautiful sporting event. Seriously, it might be the essence of athletic competition. Observation: If you sit near the mother of a middle school wrestler during her son’s match, you will be witness to the most fervent sports fan on Earth. I’m just saying…

    AP Rankings Include MNPS

    According to www.sportsnashville.net, the Hunters Lane Warriors (8th in AAA) and East Lit Eagles (7th in AA) boys basketball teams both appear in this week’s top ten in Tennessee.

    Weather Delayed Rivalry

    As the weather turns bitterly cold, the hoops heats up. The much anticipated battle between the girls hoopsters from neighborhood rivals Cane Ridge and Antioch – both undefeated in the district and playing for first place – postponed because of Friday’s weather-related school closings, did not disappoint Tuesday night and resulted in a barn-burning hoop-a-rific prelude to tournament time.

    Brush with Fame…aka Dining with Old Timers

    The North Sports Report lunched this week with MNPS sports legends Junior Ward (East High); Walter Overton (Pearl High and 2011 inductee to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame); Mike Tribue (Donelson High); and Jerry Pigue (Central High and longtime MNPS football coach).

    Save the Date x 2

    The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor several MNPS student-athletes, former coaches and alumni at its annual awards banquet March 5, 2012 at the Airport Marriott.

    Also, the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame will induct another group of all-time greats at the 8th annual induction ceremony and luncheon at LP Field on April 10, 2012.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for the Essence of Athletic Competition



    Two Rivers Middle School CheerleadersTeam of the Week: Two Rivers Middle School Cheerleading

    At halftime of a great middle school basketball game last week, the cheerleading squad for Two Rivers Middle School took the court for their “Victory” halftime cheer. A couple of the team members are accomplished gymnasts and flipped their back handsprings while others ran on the court waving pom-poms to announce their arrival as the halftime performance. Amanda Cooper, an eighth grader in her second year on the squad, took her place in the formation alongside her teammates and helped the team to an extraordinary performance. I couldn’t help but notice that Amanda has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair, and is rolled into formation. Undaunted, Amanda and the squad perform flawlessly.

    Amanda, Two Rivers Middle CheerleaderThe most unique thing about this team of extraordinary athletes … no one seemed to consider it the least bit unusual. The team members, the opposing team, the coaches, and even the fans recognized the squad for what it is – a great cheerleading team. Period.

    Middle school students are fantastic, and middle school athletics exemplify the beauty of public education, teamwork and school pride and spirit. Thank you and congratulations to Principal Bill Moody, Coaches Anna Bateman and Ana Del Rio, parent volunteer Jennifer Morrison, and the Two Rivers Middle School Cheerleaders for a job well done.

    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Update from the Alley

    MNPS bowlers are working the lanes toward the State Bowling Championships on January 26-28 in Smyrna. According to the TSSAA website, Hunters Lane’s girls took home the team district title while East Lit. and Hume Fogg girls bowled to a second place finish in their respective districts. Maplewood, Overton, and MLK boys bowling teams each finished as runner-up in their respective districts.

    Encounter with a Champion

    On a recent visit to Stratford High School, I met senior Spartan Tyesha Jones, track and field superstar in the Discus. The two-time defending state champion is gearing up to toss that disk toward a threepeat. She can throw a discus farther than you can throw a frisbee.

    That brief visit has me looking forward to Spring and continued domination of the track by MNPS. Reminder: MNPS has the defending team track and field state champions in both girls track (MLK) and boys track (Stratford).

    See pictures of Tyesha and Stratford's State Championship Track & Field Team

    Middle School Wrestling – Save the Date

    It looks like MNPS middle school grapplers will go to the mat for the City Championship Wrestling Tournament on Saturday February 4 beginning at 9:00am at East Literature. Come out and catch the action.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Flawless Performances



    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Hoops in High Gear

    During the break, the North Sports report attended the East Literature basketball tournament and Hillsboro’s visit to Hunters Lane. Amid the constant chants of “D-up, D-up, D-up” from the round-ball faithful, I witnessed some nail-biting action, dominant performances, slick no-look passes and thunderous dunks. Now, when I say “thunderous dunks,” I mean high-flying, rim-rattling, backboard-swaying, Sports Center highlight worthy, slam-bam jams. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

    Center of Attention (aka Games are Won in the Trenches)

    When you check the football box scores in the morning paper, it never includes the most important player on the field – the Center. It might be cliché to say no play would begin without the center, but a successful team relies on the grit, determination, and skill of the center of the offensive line, and MNPS has some of the best in the state.

    If you only checked the box score, you would have missed that the winning team of the Toyota East West All-Star Game was anchored by center Carl Jones, Jr., a senior at MLK and a member of the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds. Congratulations to all MNPS linemen who toil in the trenches while others get the glory.

    All-Midstate Teams Announced

    The Tennessean’s All-Midstate teams for the fall sports included several MNPS students:

    First Team:

    • Caleb Azubike, McGavock (Football)

    • Ladarius Vanlier, Maplewood (Football)

    Second Team:

    • Demario Donnell, Pearl-Cohn (Football)

    • Denzel Jones, Maplewood (Football)

    • Sam Klockenkemper, MLK (Cross-Country)

    • Randall Smith, Maplewood (Football)

    Third Team:

    • Dustin Binkley, Maplewood (Football)

    • Michael Cain, Whites Creek (Football)

    • Gabriela Herrera, Hillsboro (Cross-Country)

    • Elise Norton, MLK (Soccer)


    On a side note – and in my entirely biased opinion – it appears to me from attending many MNPS sporting events this fall that the local morning paper overlooked several other deserving MNPS students and coaches in its post-season honors. Congratulations to everyone who competed in athletics this fall.

    Loss of a Legend

    Tom Squires, a 2008 inductee to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame, Madison High School alumnus, and local sports-writing legend passed away this week at the age of 63. His contribution to high school athletics in Nashville is immeasurable. We send our condolences to his wife Brenda, son Chandler and all his family and friends.

    Alumni Alert #1

    Hunters Lane alum Grant Boone standing alongside Gary Danielson and Vern Lundquist in the CBS Sports booth.Did you see Hunters Lane alumnus Grant Boone on the CBS broadcast of the Sun Bowl? Grant was a member of the first class of Hunters Lane High School and has gained a reputation as one of the best up-and-coming play-by-play announcers in the country. CBS called him to fill-in for announcer Verne Lundquist whose illness made him questionable for the game. Although Lundquist recovered to handle his duties, Grant received some air time during the broadcast. Alumni Alert trivia: Grant Boone is the nephew of crooner Pat Boone and attended Madison High School until Hunters Lane opened for the 1986-87 school year.

    Alumni Alert #2

    Whoa! How about that tackle by Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins near the end of Sunday’s game with the Titans? That’s right… Glencliff Colt Tim Dobbins is headed to the NFL playoffs this week. Tim attended Iowa State and played for the Cyclones after graduating from Glencliff.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Thunderous Dunks


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Wrestling Roundup

    McGavock’s 39th annual invitational wrestling tournament featured a star studded field from across the state. McGavock’s team finished third, and MNPS grapplers took home several individual honors.

    Garang Madut (Glencliff), Carlos Garcia (McGavock), Ronquai Love (MLK), Jamal Donoso (Glencliff), and Nolan Sexton (McGavock) each won the tournament championship in their respective weight classes.

    Gerald Hold (Hillsboro), M. Johnson (Cane Ridge), Carlos Harrison (McGavock), Trevion Jones (Antioch), and Jordan Bradley (Hunters Lane) each placed second.

    Danny Erazo (Glencliff), Clarence Mathis (Antioch), Brayan Garcia (Hillsboro), Justin Holland (Hunters Lane), Jahmare Anthony (Hillwood), and Keith Harris (MLK) each finished third.

    Congratulations to all our MNPS grapplers!

    All Star Game Honors

    Caleb Azubike of McGavock (a Vanderbilt commitment) was named the Defensive MVP of The Toyota All Star Classic while leading the West All-Stars to victory in the annual match-up of top-level high school gridders from across the state. Another MNPS student-athlete, Ladarius Vanlier of Maplewood, was the leading rusher for the West squad.

    Hoops Weekend

    Go see the great match-ups this weekend on the hardwood:

    Friday December 16:

    • East Lit Eagles travel to MLK Royals;

    • Glencliff Colts go to Father Ryan;

    • Hunters Lane Warriors host Hillsboro Burros;

    • Hillwood Hilltoppers head over to West End to play MBA (boys game only);

    • Hume Fogg Knights travel to Whites Creek Cobras;

    • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host Maplewood Panthers;

    • Stratford Spartans travel to CPA;

    • And in the battle of the Overtons: Memphis Overton (or as we call them, Overton the Less) visits MNPS to play the real Overton Bobcats.

    MNPS home games are at MLK, Hunters Lane, Whites Creek, Pearl-Cohn, and Overton.

    Friday and Saturday:

    • Antioch Bears will play out in Wilson County in the Mt. Juliet Classic tournament; and

    • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Sumner County for the Hendersonville Christmas tournament.

    Saturday December 17:

    • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Nashville Christian; and

    • Hillsboro Burros (boys’ team) will play in the Independence Classic tournament in Williamson County

    Pick some games and enjoy the hoops.

    Exam Week Advice (or I heard this from a Coach)

    Show your poise and composure; be prepared; always improve; and never give up.

    Good luck on exams and have a safe and happy holiday break.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Perseverance


    Maplewood Panther

    The Maplewood

    Panther (not

    Mark North)

    Hume Award

    Thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Nashville for hosting the 68th annual Hume Award luncheon last week at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. Awarded since 1944 to a football player from Nashville public schools based on “scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team,” the Hume Award is one of the most prestigious honors for student-athletes.

    The luncheon recognized this year’s Hume Award recipient, Dustin Binkley from Maplewood, as well as finalists DeMarco Moore from Antioch, Maurice Cooper from Hillsboro, Caleb Azubike from McGavock, and Ike Amadi from Overton.

    Other Hume Award nominees included Jamaris Lavay Pye (Cane Ridge), James Franklin Patterson (East Lit.), Travelle Ervin Deion Pointer (Hillwood), Scottie McCrae Peace (Hunters Lane), Ryan Andrew Deising (Pearl-Cohn/MLK), George Enrique Gutierrez (Stratford), and Michael R. Woodside Jr. (Whites Creek).

    Hume Award trivia – Overton Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham was a finalist for the Hume Award in 19….well, let’s just say many years ago.


    McGavock Raiders host the 39th annual McGavock Invitational Wrestling tournament this weekend. Wrestlers from across the state, including MNPS wrestlers from McGavock, Cane Ridge, Antioch, Hunters Lane, Hillsboro, MLK, Hillwood, Whites Creek and Glencliff will grapple Saturday beginning at 9:00am. The Junior Varsity tournament starts Friday at 4:30pm and also includes wrestlers from Hume Fogg and East Lit. Admission is $5.00 for the JV tournament on Friday evening and $8.00 for Saturday’s main event.

    If you’re not pinned down this weekend, come to McGavock and watch our wrestlers go to the mat for MNPS.

    State Championship Game

    Blue Cross Blue Shield Bowl
    Sunny weather, not-so-sunny outcome.

    It was a great Saturday afternoon for the trip to Cookeville for Maplewood’s Championship game appearance. Tennessee Tech played the gracious and hospitable host for a sunny and beautiful Championship Saturday. The team fought hard to the end and brought home the silver football trophy; the band rocked the house; the cheerleaders and Panther mascot displayed the Panther pride; the fans traveled well and included Nashville elected official Howard Gentry, at least five MNPS high school principals, several central office administrators including associate superintendents Lora Hall and Jay Steele, Director of Schools Jesse Register, and Board Chair Gracie Porter. We are proud of the Panthers.

    Travel tip: Ralph’s Do-Nut Shop. When you travel to Cookeville to tour Tennessee Tech on a campus visit, or for next year’s state championships, or any time you drive east on Interstate 40, do not miss the donuts at Ralph’s Do-Nut Shop. I recommend the “Butter Twists.” Tell the folks at Ralph’s the North Sports Report sent you.

    Ralph's Donut Shop

    Tell Ralph 'North Sports Report' sent you.

    Brush with Fame/Alumni News

    I ran into TSSAA administrator, baseball great, and Madison High School Alumnus Gene Menees in Cookeville. Gene is still one of the most popular players in Nashville Sounds’ history. Everyone from Nashville of a certain age remembers the familiar Greer Stadium call when he was introduced … “Now batting, second baseman, Geeenoooo Meneeeeeeees!” Priceless.


    An exciting slate of basketball games awaits MNPS fans this Friday night December 9.

    • Antioch Bears travel to Hillwood Hilltoppers;

    • Overton Bobcats visit Cane Ridge Ravens;

    • East Lit. Eagles travel to CPA;

    • Hunters Lane Warriors host Glencliff Colts;

    • McGavock Raiders head to Green Hills for a showdown with Hillsboro Burros;

    • MLK Royals travel to Stratford Spartans;

    • Maplewood Panthers host Whites Creek Cobras; and

    • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host David Lipscomb.

    The MNPS home games are at Hillwood, Cane Ridge, Hunters Lane, Hillsboro, Stratford, Maplewood, and Pearl-Cohn. Pick a game and enjoy!

    -- Mark North, Board of Education Vice-Chair & District 3 Representative

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


    Mark North

    Board Member &
    Sports Fan Mark North

    Championship Week

    The opportunity to compete is the priceless reward for participating in interscholastic athletics, and the great benefits of athletics derive from the competing. You cannot ask for more than the opportunity to compete for a championship. I might get carried away here, but I think a great quote from American history is apropos.
    “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 and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
    If that doesn’t fire you up for championship week, you better check your pulse. The Maplewood Panthers football team takes its great enthusiasms and great devotions to Cookeville this Saturday, December 3rd at 3:30 to compete for the 4A State Championship.

    Everyone should take the short drive east to cheer for the Panthers as they bring the golden football trophy back to MNPS. Go Panthers!

    Madness at Municipal Auditorium

    I had a great time last night at the basketball games between MLK and Hume Fogg at what those schools have termed “Magnet Madness.” I witnessed some impressive individual performances – including a 30 point outburst by Jordan Majors for the MLK girls’ team and premier post play by Hume Fogg boys’ center Sam Smith; enthusiastic fan base and student sections; extraordinary teamwork; and a stunning comeback. The atmosphere was electric, topped off by the Hume Fogg Jazz Band that entertained during breaks in the action with everything from Purple Haze to Sweet Georgia Brown to the Theme from The Simpsons. High school basketball is really entertaining.


    According to www.sportsnashville.net, the Metro Nashville Football Coaches Association has named its All City team for this year. The All-City team is:

    • Antioch – Darius Williams, Christian Molina, Demarco Moore, Aaron Kabelu, Tyler Bumbalough, Tyrone Smith;

    • Cane Ridge – Jesse Williams, Malachi Tullis;

    • East Lit – Michael Leater, Antonio McKissack, Kendall Trice;

    • Glencliff – Treon Hill, Montez Brown, Justin Farr, Jason Marrow;

    • Hillsboro – Patrick Segovia, William Cooper;

    • Hillwood – Anthony Johnson, Jahmare Anthony;

    • Hunters Lane – James Maney, Howard Cliffe;

    • Maplewood – Ladarius Vanlier, Randall Smith, Navonte Parks, Steven Johnson, Christopher Lee Denzel Jones;

    • McGavock – Caleb Azubike, Tony Mason, Nolan Sexton;

    • Overton – Rick Thomas, Ike Amadi, Geremy Henderson, Brandon Scruggs, Zabian King;

    • Pearl-Cohn – Trevon Miles, Darrius Darden-Box, Dedric Wilson, Demario Donnell, Larry Sims, Andre McDonald;

    • Stratford – Tyler Wilson, Derrick Howell, Oliver Lewis;

    • Whites Creek – D’Harius Brown, Kenneth Marlowe, Michael Cain.
    Congratulations to everyone who competed.

    Alumni News

    Hume Fogg Class of 2010 alumna Claiborne Willis, a member of the Centre College Women’s Soccer team, was named Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference after she scored three goals in a game for her first collegiate hat trick. We are proud of our MNPS alumni!

    Pick a team and support it, and I hope to see you in Cookeville on Saturday.

    -- Mark North

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


    Mark North

    Board Member &
    Sports Fan Mark North

    A Pep Rally to Remember

    Can you imagine if the greatest marching band on the planet showed up for your middle school’s pep rally? It happened last week at Head Middle School when The Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University performed, adding ample pep to the rally. Seriously… you can’t beat that.

    Bowling – News from the Alley

    I spent Monday afternoon at Madison Bowl with student athletes from ten high school bowling teams – boys and girls teams from East Lit Eagles, Hunters Lane Warriors, Maplewood Panthers (Alleycats), Stratford Spartans, and Whites Creek Cobras. Bowling does not receive much media attention, but I noticed that high school bowling has great coaches, intense head to head competition, pressure packed performances, team spirit and sportsmanship – all while staying out of the gutter.

    How to read the box score (or things that fascinate only me):
    The Tennessean prints the bowling results on its sports page, but the box score always confused me more than anything. With the help of Maplewood Coach Mark Hayes, I now understand how to read the scores and will try to explain it for you. Each team has six players who each compete against an individual player from the other school. The team receives one point for each player that wins their respective head to head game for a total of six points. Also, the team that has the highest total score (total number of pins in the six games) receives two points for a total of eight available points. The teams repeat the same formula for two more games so that each player plays a total of three games. At the end of the three games, the team with the highest total pin count receives an additional three points. So… the total number of team points in a high school bowling match is 27.

    In addition to the final team score, the box score in the newspaper includes the total pins for each team from the 18 games of the match and the name of the player with the highest single game score. For example, here is the box score from Tuesday morning’s Tennessean for the boys match between Maplewood and East Lit:

    Maplewood 21, East Literature 6
    Total Pins – Maplewood 2,701, East Literature 2,463
    High Pinfall – Owen (M) 208
    Now you know.

    Football Playoffs

    Maplewood cruised to a 31-0 shutout victory in the state quarterfinals last Friday. The Panthers dominated despite a first quarter injury to leading rusher Ladarius Vanlier. Denzel Jones rushed for 116 yards and defensive back Kenny Robertson had two interceptions, leading Maplewood to the state semifinals.

    Coach Arcentae Broome has the team primed for a semifinal showdown against Covington on the day after Thanksgiving at Maplewood. This Friday, everyone is a Panther fan, so come out to Maplewood and work off that excess turkey by cheering the team to a berth in the state championship game. I’ll see you Friday night at 7:00pm.

    Congratulations to the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds on a great season and a long run to the state quarterfinals.

    Alumni News

    Burro Bob (the Hillsboro mascot) was smiling proudly Saturday night when Hillsboro alumnus (and current Tennessee Volunteer) Eric Gordon stepped up and volunteered at the most critical time, intercepted a pass and took it ninety yards for the game winning overtime touchdown. No matter your collegiate allegiance, we are always proud of our MNPS success. Congratulations!

    Go see a game . . . you’ll love it.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Clutch Performances


    Mark North

    Board Member &
    Sports Fan Mark North

    Middle School Sports

    Middle School athletics provide after-school opportunities to exercise; hone skills; and build characteristics of teamwork, sacrifice, dedication and perseverance – not to mention a sense of pride, appreciation, and enthusiasm for your school and your classmates.

    Fall Sports: Middle school soccer coaching legend David Allen led Meigs to its seventh straight Girls Soccer City Championship. Coach Allen also coaches Hume-Fogg’s Boys Soccer team and was named high school Coach of the Year by The Tennessean a couple of years ago. Congratulations to Coach Allen and the Meigs girls soccer team.

    In the other fall sports, Smithson-Craighead enjoyed an undefeated season on its way to the City Championship in Football. Meigs spiked its way to reign as Volleyball City Champions – Can you dig it?

    Congratulations to all students, parents and coaches for another successful fall sports season.

    Basketball and Wrestling: Winter Sports start next week. You can find a middle school basketball game almost every Tuesday and Thursday until February. I will gather some Wrestling schedules and provide an update next week.

    Cheerleading: The next time you attend a middle school sporting event, make sure you notice the athleticism, coordination, and teamwork of some of the hardest working teams in sports – the cheerleaders.

    High School Basketball

    Last Thursday’s Metro Basketball Jamboree at Hunters Lane reminded me that nothing compares to the sound of a high school gymnasium during basketball season – the buzz of the crowd, the cheerleaders, the ball bouncing on the hardwood …. Walking into a gym on game night just makes me smile. I can’t help it.

    Brush with Fame: I recognized one of the basketball referees as former professional wrestler George Gulas, son of famed promoter Nick Gulas and longtime tag team partner of legendary wrestler Tojo Yamamoto. That took me back to my childhood.

    Football Playoffs

    Pearl-Cohn Firebirds scored on a kickoff return and defeated Harpeth to advance to the state quarterfinals this Friday. The Firebirds travel to CPA for a rematch of a late season barnburner. Go Firebirds!!!

    Maplewood Panthers sealed a victory over Liberty Tech with a late-game interception return for a touchdown. The Panthers host White House Friday night in quarterfinal action “amongst the maple trees.”

    Pick a team and follow it.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Teamwork


    Mark North

    Board Member &
    Sports Fan Mark North

    Cross Country – State Champion

    MNPS has its first State Champion of the school year – Sam Klockenkemper of MLK won the State A/AA Cross-Country individual championship with a dominating performance at the Steeplechase course here in Nashville.

    MNPS had several runners competing and earning medals before a spirited pro-MNPS crowd.

    In team competition, Hume-Fogg’s Boys finished third in the state.

    Congratulations to all the runners and coaches.


    Last week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week – Maplewood Principal Ron Woodard played the gracious host for the first round playoff game. The Maplewood Panthers football team was not as hospitable to the visitors as MNPS leading rusher and Mr. Football finalist Ladarius Vanlier carried the ball for 316 yards and four touchdowns … he had two more touchdowns called back because of penalties. Awesome!

    Different perspectives appreciate different things: Several television photojournalists at the game noticed and commented about the improved lighting from the new stadium lights. That brightened everyone’s night.

    Brush with fame – two Campbells: I enjoyed visiting and watching the game with math teacher extraordinaire and former Hunters Lane football coach Richard Campbell and Stratford Spartan legend running back Joe Campbell – two great men who have had great careers following their playing days at Stratford.

    Maplewood hosts Liberty this Friday night at 7:00pm. Everyone come out and cheer for the Panthers.

    In other action, Pearl-Cohn Firebirds defeated top seeded Smith County and will continue on the road toward the championship next week at Harpeth. It looks like Pearl-Cohn will play away games all the way to Cookeville for the Championship game. Go Firebirds!

    Congratulations to Antioch Bears, Glencliff Colts and Overton Bobcats on great seasons, and good luck to all the seniors who played their last high school game Friday night.

    MNPS Statistical Leaders – Regular Season Final Stats
    Rushing Ladarius Vanlier, Maplewood 1,590 yards 17 touchdowns
    Passing Presley Gamble, McGavock 1,374 yards 14 touchdowns
    Receiving Tony Mason, McGavock 523 yards 6 touchdowns
    Tackles Jahmare Anthony, Hillwood
    Rick Thomas, Overton
    115 tackles
    115 tackles
    Interceptions Tyler Bumbalough, Antioch
    Anthony Johnson, Hillwood

    5 interceptions
    5 interceptions


    It is hoops time! The MNPS Basketball Jamboree begins Thursday night November 10 at Hunters Lane where the girls and boys teams from Whites Creek Cobras, McGavock Raiders, Maplewood Panthers and host Hunters Lane Warriors will compete against Harpeth Hall, Nashville Christian and CPA.

    On Friday night November 11, Stratford Spartans, Hillsboro Burros, MLK Royals, Hume-Fogg Blue Knights, Hillwood Hilltoppers and host Glencliff Colts will play at Glencliff.

    Saturday night is all right for hoops at Cane Ridge High School where the jamboree will feature Overton Bobcats, Pearl-Cohn Firebirds, Antioch Bears, East Lit Eagles, and host Cane Ridge Ravens.

    The Jamborees tip-off at 5:00pm each night. Get your first glimpse of the MNPS hoopsters as they put the jam in jamboree.

    Pick a team and follow it.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for the Competitive Spirit

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