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safety   zoning  

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.

Middle School Athletics

Middle school sports provide great after-school opportunities for students. It keeps them busy; teaches them discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, and structure; and promotes school spirit.

Congratulations to the Middle School City Champions for the fall sports:

  • Volleyball – JT Moore Middle

  • Girls’ Soccer – Meigs Middle

  • Football – Smithson-Craighead Middle

Congratulations to all our middle school student-athletes!

Middle School Pep Rally … Putting the Pep in the Rally

Last week’s pep rally at Head Middle School featured TSU’s marching band. The Aristocrat of Bands made its annual visit to Head and added its incomparable flair to the school’s pep rally extravaganza. The band at TSU is a great community partner and a source of pride for all Nashville.

News from the TSSAA…Award Winning Administrators

The TSSAA awarded Athletic Director of the Year for the Middle Tennessee Region to Chip Sullivan of Hunters Lane and the Principal of the Year to Hillwood’s Dr. Steve Chauncy. Congratulations!

News from the TSSAA…District Realignment

The TSSAA changes the districts every four years and have announced the proposed changes to the Districts for 2013-2017. The biggest news is that Hillsboro will join District 12AAA.

District 12AAA will feature:

  • Antioch Bears

  • Cane Ridge Ravens

  • Glencliff Colts

  • Hillsboro Burros

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers

  • Hunters Lane Warriors

  • McGavock Raiders

  • Overton Bobcats

In the football playoffs, Glencliff, Hillsboro and Hillwood will compete in the 5A classification while the other District 12AAA teams will compete in 6A.

District 10AA will feature:

  • East Nashville Eagles

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights

  • Lipscomb

  • Maplewood Panthers

  • MLK Royals

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds

  • Stratford Spartans

  • Whites Creek Cobras

In the football playoffs, East and Stratford will compete for the 3A championship; while Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, and Whites Creek will compete for the 4A championship.

The realignment will be approved within the next week or so, and the new districts begin play in the fall of 2013.

-- 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.

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.

Mascots are Super Cool …or…What’s in a Name?

The North Sports Report has always secretly wanted to be a team mascot. (Oops, not a secret anymore). Anyway, I really enjoyed the antics of the Overton Bobcat Friday night. Decked out in his Breast Cancer Awareness pink shirt, the Bobcat was the ultimate embodiment of school spirit. After several inquiries, I discovered the Bobcat does not yet have an official name, and Principal Pelham is considering assigning that question to Overton students during basketball season. When presented with my two suggested names (Johhny O’Cat; or Robert), Principal Pelham displayed the patience and understanding of a hall of fame school administrator, and replied: “I think we’ll let the students decide.” Wise decision Dr. Pelham.

Overton Bobcat

Freshman Football Championship

Congratulations to the Pearl-Cohn Freshman football team who prevailed in a hard fought championship game against the runner-up Antioch Bears. I have a feeling the next few years will see many North Sports Reports about these two teams. Congratulations to all our freshmen who participated in fall sports!

Football Friday…Regular Season Finale October 26, 2012

It does not get any bigger than this week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week. The biggest game of the year, bar none, will be played in southeast Davidson County when the Antioch Bears take the short jaunt down the road to face the home-standing Cane Ridge Ravens for the District 12AAA championship. Let’s check the Big Game Checklist for confirmation… Rivalry…check; schools are nearby neighbors…check; Playoff position on the line…check; championship on the line…check; two hungry teams…check. Don’t miss this one!

In other action:

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Hillwood Hilltoppers with both teams having a shot at the playoffs;

  • East Nashville Eagles host Whites Creek Cobras;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel to Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros play at home against Centennial;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host CPA; and

  • Stratford Spartans travel to Lipscomb.

Overton Bobcats and Maplewood Panthers have completed the regular season and hope to play in the playoffs next week.

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Ultimate Embodiment of School Spirit


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shout Out on National TV from an NFL Star

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

TSSAA Reclassification

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

Football Friday: October 19, 2012

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

In other action:

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

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

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

  • Antioch Bears host Columbia; and

  • McGavock Raiders host Goodpasture.

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

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

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

Enjoy a game this week!

-- Mark North

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


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Monday Night Boogie

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

Over the River and Through the Woods…Cross-Country

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

Football Friday…October 12, 2012

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

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

In other action:

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

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood;

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

  • Stratford Spartans host Maplewood Panthers;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb; and

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

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

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Digging Deep and Finishing Strong


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hillsboro Hoopster Commits to Big Blue Tigers

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

Alumni Alert – Maplewood Graduate Earns OVC Special Honors

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

Football Time

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

Football Thursday October 4, 2012

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

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

In other action on Thursday:

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

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Glencliff Colts; and

  • Maplewood Panthers travel to CPA.

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

Football Friday October 5, 2012

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

In other action on Friday:

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

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood; and

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Centennial.

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Bright College Futures


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

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

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

Alumni Alert – Volunteer to Save the Day

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

Soccer Season Version of Magnet Madness

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

Football Friday September 28, 2012

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

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

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

In other action:

  • Glencliff Colts host Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • East Nashville Eagles travel to CPA;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel to Independence;

  • Overton Bobcats welcome Hillwood Hilltoppers;

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

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Lipscomb.

Antioch Bears and Stratford Spartans do not play this week.

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

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

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


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

It’s the People that You Meet

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

Middle School Venue – Isaac Litton Middle

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

Litton Football Score Board

Alumni Alert – Recent Grads…Off to a Great Start

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

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

Football Friday September 21, 2012

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

In other action:

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

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

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Hillsboro Burros;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers welcome visiting Station Camp;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors head over to face Overton Bobcats;

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

  • Stratford Spartans travel to Lawrence County.

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

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Wisdom of Great Leaders


Middle School Sports – Fantastic

The North Sports Report attended a middle school football game last week.  The discipline, team structure, positive peer and adult relationships, school spirit, and parental support make middle school athletics a top-notch after-school program.  The crowd of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members all join together to cheer for their school and boost their student-athletes.  Priceless!

Alumni Alert – Center of Attention

Maplewood graduate James Stone will be the national center of attention when ESPN College GameDay broadcasts from Knoxville this Saturday.  James is the starting center for the Tennessee Vols and will anchor the offensive line in the national game of the week.  Don’t forget Hillsboro graduate and Tennessee defensive back Eric Gordon and Pearl-Cohn alumnus Antonio Richardson.  Look for MNPS graduates in the spotlight on Saturday.

Football Friday

Wow! Last week’s game at Hillsboro was tremendous!  First of all, MNPS football games provide the most entertaining public address announcers in America.  Every first down was announced as a “Smoothie King First Down.  Smoooooth!” and every hard tackle was followed by an exclamatory “Dang Dude!”  Entertaining… to say the least.

The large, enthusiastic crowd witnessed another great game of the week.  Hillsboro’s Robert Kelley scored four touchdowns, and Hillsboro kicker Joseph Occhipinti is as advertised.  The North Sports Report could not believe its eyes when Occhipinti, kicking off from the 40 yard line, put the ball over the cross bar and through the uprights.  He kicked the ball over 70 yards – an almost unimaginable super-human feat.  Unbelievable?…yes. But I saw it with my own eyes.  Dang Dude!

Game of the Week: September 14, 2012

The North Sports Report is heading to Homecoming at Hunters Lane as the Hunters Lane Warriors welcome the Hillwood Hilltoppers.  The lights will shine bright on Jerry Pigue Stadium as the Warriors hope to stem the momentum of the surging Hilltoppers. 

Other action this week includes big district games and intraMNPS rivalries:

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Antioch Bears;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Overton Bobcats;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds head to the TPS campus (also the site for Nashville School of the Arts) to face the home-standing East Nashville Eagles;

  • Whites Creek Cobras welcome Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel to Franklin;

  • Maplewood Panthers play at Lipscomb; and

  • Stratford Spartans host CPA;

The MNPS home games are at Hunter Lane; at Antioch; at Cane Ridge; at East Nashville (TPS campus); at Whites Creek; and at Stratford.

This is the perfect week to go to a game near you!  Enjoy the beauty of MNPS athletics.

MNPS: The First Choice for Discipline, School Spirit, and Parental Support

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Bulldogs…Ready to take the field Haynes Middle Design Center’s sideline during its game with Bailey STEM Magnet Middle
Middle School Football action…Fantastic!


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Middle School Sports – Game Time

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

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

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

Alumni Alert

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

Football Friday Night…Last Week’s Game

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

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

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

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

In other action:

  • Antioch Bears travel to Centennial;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens head to Ravenwood;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Lebanon;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Father Ryan;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel south to Brentwood;

  • Maplewood Panthers go to Riverdale;

  • McGavock Raiders are at home against Franklin;

  • Overton Bobcats take a short trek over to Lipscomb;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to BGA;

  • Stratford Spartans play at Brentwood Academy; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Davidson Academy.

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for High-Flying Monster Spikes


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Superstar is an Understatement

Lorenzo Butler, mild mannered McKissack Middle School seventh grader, transformed into a true life superhero at the Little League World Series last week. If you missed his game-ending double play (tag ‘em out, throw ‘em out) or his diving stop and throw from his back for the out, or his record breaking three three-run homers in the U.S. Championship game, or his towering home run in the World Series Championship…wait – if you missed all that, you need to come out from under your rock and notice that an international baseball sensation is among us.

Lorenzo was even trending on Twitter. Do you know what that means? Me neither… but apparently, he is one of the most popular athletes in America. It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s our own McKissack Middle School student-athlete Lorenzo Butler! Seriously, his play last week might be the most clutch performance of any athlete, in any sport, at any level this year.

Big Foot Sighting… Kickin’ Like a Burro

The Nashville City Paper, in a piece by famed sports writer Harold Huggins, noticed Hillsboro’s place kicker and punter Joseph Occhipinti:
Joseph Occhipinti had another excellent night. Occhipinti kicked a 29-yard field goal, went 2-of-2 on extra points, had 48 and 45-yard punts. All five of his kickoffs went for touchbacks… So far this season, he is 10-of-10 on kickoffs for touchbacks and in the season opener… two of his five kicks went completely out of the end zone.
Now, that’s called having a leg up on the competition.


Girls Soccer season is in full swing. The North Sports Report stopped by the fields at MetroCenter this week to catch the East Nashville vs. Hume-Fogg game. The teamwork, precision and athleticism of high school soccer is fantastic. Go see a game soon!

Friday Night Football Action

The North Sports Report enjoyed the festive atmosphere at Buster Boguskie Field on the campus of Stratford High School last week. A great crowd grooved with two terrific marching bands and witnessed a tense, nail-biting, two point margin game that wasn’t decided until a last second field goal sailed just wide of the left upright. Congratulations to Whites Creek Cobras and Stratford Spartans on a great game.

Buster Boguskie Field 
Home of the Stratford Spartans

Football Friday – August 31

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week sees the Antioch Bears travel across town to visit the Hillwood Hilltoppers in an early-season District 12 match-up.

In other action:

  • Cane Ridge Ravens battle at Hunters Lane Warriors’ Jerry Pigue Stadium;

  • East Nashville Eagles host Lipscomb;

  • Nick Coutras Stadium will host the home-standing Overton Bobcats vs. Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Ravenwood;

  • Whites Creek Cobras visit Maplewood Panthers; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds welcome Stratford Spartans.

The MNPS home games are at Hillwood; at Hunters Lane; at East Nashville (played at TPS campus); at Overton; at Hillsboro; at Maplewood; and at Pearl-Cohn. There is certainly a game near you. Enjoy the beauty of Friday night high school football – it’s a great family night out, and the students would love to see you there.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for World Class Clutch Performances


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Well-Deserved Publicity on the Way to State Championships

Did you catch The Tennessean’s High School Sports primer this week? The North Sports Report noticed the daily’s shout out to defending Cross Country State Champion Sam Klockenkemper from MLK as a “Top Runner” who is looking to repeat. Also, Hume- Fogg’s Boys team is mentioned as a state contender, and MLK’s and Hume-Fogg’s Girls teams are state contenders. Put it on your calendar…November 3 at the Steeplechase course…MNPS bringing home the Cross Country championships!

Can you dig it? Hume-Fogg’s Volleyball team is also a state contender according to The Tennessean.

MNPS has several other teams in all fall sports that are flying under the radar toward state championships. Stay tuned as the season progresses.

North Sports Report Game of the Week August 24, 2012

The North Sports Report will head to Buster Boguskie Stadium, the home of the Stratford Spartans to witness the clash of the Spartans and the Whites Creek Cobras. This early season showdown of legendary programs will set the tone of the season for both teams. I will see you there.

Other games this week:

  • Antioch Bears head north to face Station Camp;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens look to keep the momentum as they travel to Father Ryan;

  • East Nashville Eagles soar to JPII;

  • Glencliff Colts hit the road to Westmoreland;

  • Hillsboro Burros take their undefeated record to FRA;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Nashville Christian;

  • Hunter Lane Warriors host Oakland;

  • Maplewood Panthers travel to Brentwood Academy;

  • McGavock Raiders head east to face Mt. Juliet;

  • Overton Bobcats’ home opener includes a visit from Centennial; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds go to Rutherford County to play Blackman.

The MNPS home games are at Stratford; at Hunters Lane; and at Overton. Go to a game this week. The incomparable excitement of Friday Night Football is ageless and timeless. Enjoy a family night out at your local school.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Excitement of High School Sports


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Alumni Alert – USA Olympic Basketball Coach

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

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

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

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

History…Isaac Litton High School

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

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

Football Starts this Friday…They call it Week Zero

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

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

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

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;

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

  • Antioch Bears host LaVergne;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Sycamore;

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Tullahoma;

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

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

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

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

-- Mark North

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


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

London Calling… Glencliff Grad Goes Global

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

Olympian Alumni Alert

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

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

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

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

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

Historic Visit... Cohn

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

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

The more you learn…the more you know!

Jam Jam Jamboree, a.k.a. Footballapalloosa

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

Maplewood Panthers vs. Hillwood Hilltoppers

Pearl-Cohn Firebirds vs. Hunters Lane Warriors

August 10, 2012 6:00pm at Cane Ridge

Cane Ridge Ravens vs. DCA

McGavock Raiders vs. Stratford Spartans

Whites Creek Cobras vs. Antioch Bears

August 11, 2012 7:00pm at Overton

Overton Bobcats vs. Hillsboro Burros

East Nashville Eagles vs. Glencliff Colts

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

-- Mark North

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


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

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

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

Alumni Alert – It’s the Principal

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

Fall Sports …Get the Party Started

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

NIL Reunion Picnic

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

The Future of the North Sports Report

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

-- Mark North

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


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Study History…Learn about MNPS Sports Stars of the Past

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

    MNPS Alumni Trivia

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

    Spring Sports – Meteorological Mayhem aka Rain Delays

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

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

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

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

    Softball Season

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

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

    Pearl-Cohn Softball Team

    Alumni Trivia Answer

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

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Storied Sports Traditions


    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

    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


    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


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    It's postseason time as our MNPS teams look to advance and win championships. As the careers of seniors wind down, the excitement mounts and they compete for championships in all fall sports.

    Football -- 1st Round

    • District Champion Antioch Bears host Station Camp and look to avenge an early season loss to the Sumner County school.

    • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to face Smith County in a first round matchup of these two teams for the third year in a row.

    • Overton Bobcats host Siegel from Rutherford County.

    • District Champion Maplewood Panthers host Creek Wood.

    • Glencliff Colts travel north to face Gallatin.

    MNPS home games start at 7pm on Friday at Maplewood, Antioch and Overton.

    Pick a game and enjoy.

    Girls' Soccer

    The Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights completed a thrilling ride to the state quarterfinals in Chattanooga this week with a hard fought 3-1 loss to nationally ranked CAK. With 11 seniors, Hume-Fogg allowed only 2 goals in regular season district play, won the district tournament championship and out scored perennial power Page in a pressure packed shootout to advance to the state. Congratulations to Coach McClain, Coach Edwards and all the girls on a great season.

    Cross Country

    The state girls and boys cross country meet is this weekend. We have several runners competing from MNPS schools, and I will update the results next week.

    Good luck to everyone.

    -- Mark North

    MNPS: The First Choice for Student-Athlete Competition


    NFL Grassroots ProgramWe're deep into the football season, and several Metro schools will enjoy it even more thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of field and stadium improvements. The money comes from the people who know fields and stadiums best - the Tennessee Titans and the National Football League. 

    Some $200,000 were spent on upgrading the bleachers, fences, scoreboards, goal posts and more at Bailey, Neely's Bend, Joelton and Apollo Middle Schools. Cane Ridge High School received enough money for new sod on the field and new lighting.

    The money is part of a grant from the NGL Grassroots Program, which brings together the league's Youth Football Fund with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. More information is available on the Youth Football Fund website.

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