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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.

Who Says Nobody’s Perfect? News from the Alley

Cane Ridge Super-Bowler Aaron Ruiz had the state’s highest per game average last season, and he added to his accomplishments this week with a perfect 300 game. What? Are you kidding me? Seriously…strike after strike after strike after…well, you get the idea. We have a legend of the alley at Cane Ridge. Roll on, Ravens!

Cross-Country: Region Champs…Taking on the State

The North Sports Report was eavesdropping on a conversation at a football game recently and overheard several coaches and administrators describing a young cross country star from Cane Ridge High School: “She finishes her race, goes to visit with her family and friends, gets out a snack, sits down, and then the second place runner comes into view.” Exaggeration? Nope! Unbelievable? Believe it! Cane Ridge Sophomore Bailee Dean won the Region Championship by over 53 seconds. I would say the competition was eating dust, but she was so far in front, the dust settled before second place could dine on it.

In Boys’ individual competition, MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper (the defending state champion) won the Region championship.

The State Championship Meet is Saturday November 4 at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase course here in Nashville. MLK’s Boys and Girls teams and Hume-Fogg’s Boys and Girls teams qualified for the state. Glencliff’s Dag Bahiru and Hillsboro’s Gabriela Herrera also qualified for the state meet.

Good luck to all the runners!

Football Friday Night…It’s Playoff Time

The regular season ended for the North Sports Report in grand style. While at Cane Ridge for the rivalry game with Antioch, I visited dignitaries like school board chair Cheryl Mayes, benefited from the hospitality of Principal Wall, and rocked to the halftime show provided by the greatest college marching band on the planet, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands! Oh, and it was a great football game too.

TSU Band at Cane Ridge Game
TSU’s Aristocrat of bands prepares to take the field at Cane Ridge High School

This week begins the Road to Cookeville. I40 East? No, the TSSAA State Football Playoffs, and MNPS has six teams looking to advance.

Have you seen Antioch stars Raekwon Hosey, Moses Cornelius, and Tyler Bumbalough, or Hillsboro tailback Robert Kelley and kicker/punter Joseph Occhipinti? The first round of the playoffs is your chance as the Antioch Bears host the Hillsboro Burros in the only playoff game with two MNPS teams facing each other.

In other playoff action:

  • Maplewood Panthers host Crockett County;

  • District Champion Cane Ridge Ravens host Riverdale;

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Dickson County; and

  • Overton Bobcats travel to Arlington.

The MNPS home playoff games are at Antioch; at Maplewood; and at Cane Ridge. Support a team this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Perfection


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

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


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



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

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

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