Board Member &
Sports Fan Mark North
MNPS: The First Choice for Setting the Stage for Success
MNPS: The First Choice for Awe Inspiring Seasons
MNPS: The First Choice for Storied Sports Traditions
It’s Official…Referees Deserve Kudos
The North Sports Report recently ran into TSSAA referee and Baxter ALC Principal Billy Fellman and was reminded that referees, umpires, and officials of all monikers deserve our gratitude for handling the difficult, pressure-packed, and often thankless job to officiate games. How important are the officials? Remember the old saying: “Without the referees, it would just be recess.” Wear the stripes proudly!
Award Season – A View from the Red Carpet
The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame held its annual banquet at the Airport Marriott. With the honorees all donning black tie tuxedos, it is the most regal, celebrity-laden event of all sports related award galas. From media celebrities like George Plaster to college coaching legends Johnny Majors and Watson Brown to MNPS coaching royalty Wes Elrod and Jerry Pigue, to MNPS Sports Hall of Fame members Walter Overton (Pearl) and Bonnie Sloan (Litton), to over sixty mid-state football player honorees and their families, this is a can’t miss event. Even the NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry, fresh off his appearance at the Super Bowl delivering the Lombardi trophy to the stage, was in attendance. I am not kidding…the North Sports Report shook the hand that caught passes from Unitas.
The real stars, of course, were the student-athletes honored that night with the Charles W. Hawkins III Scholar Athlete Award. Those awards went to DeMarco Moore (Antioch); Jamaris Pye (Cane Ridge); Calvin Canada (East Lit); Justin Farr (Glencliff); Ben Ross (Hillsboro); Andrew Chomic (Hillwood); Victor Fletcher (Hunters Lane); Dustin Binkley (Maplewood); Caleb Azubike (McGavock); Ike Amadi (Overton); Demario Donnell (Pearl-Cohn); George Gutierrez (Stratford); and Ashuntae Bass (Whites Creek).
DeMarco Moore of Antioch also won the Jim Barrom Spirit Award for exemplifying the “highest qualities of sportsmanship.”
Oh, I almost forgot…the Hunters Lane Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. As always, the MNPS ROTC students were outstanding.
Madison High School legend Houston Ragan was honored with the Bonnie Sloan Courage Award presented annually to a person who “overcame obstacles and fought back to succeed.” The award is named for Litton great Bonnie Sloan, the first deaf player in the NFL. If you don’t know the story of Houston Ragan, go visit him at Maplewood High School where he serves as one of the best school counselors in the state.
The North Sports Report had the unparalleled privilege to present the Bonnie Sloan Courage Award, and shared the stage with Bonnie Sloan, Houston Ragan and NFL great Raymond Berry. “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong”…It was me.
Stop and Make the Call
Houston Ragan coached me at Madison High many (I dare say many, many) years ago. I cannot express how gratifying it is to have the opportunity to thank him for the influence he had on me. If you have a coach, teacher, family member or anyone else who inspired you by their example, call them and say thank you. Great people like Houston Ragan don’t always appreciate the positive impact they have on people’s lives, so call and tell them … and I mean today!
Among the stars of the hardwood at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena were McGavock star Ndidi Madu of the Florida Gators and Hillsboro star Isabelle Harrison of the SEC Tournament Champion Tennessee Lady Vols.
MNPS: The First Choice for Exemplifying the Highest Qualities of Sportsmanship
Fast Times at Stratford – Nationally Ranked Sprinter
Stratford Spartan sprinter Justin Scruggs is currently ranked second in the nation in the 60 meters. That’s right, I said in the nation…the USA. Justin ran the 60 meters in 6.82 seconds, earning an invitation to the 2012 New Balance Indoor Track Invitational in New York City next month. More powerful than a locomotive, rumor has it he is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. SuperSpartan!
High School Wrestling – State Championships
McGavock grappler Carlos Garcia earned his way to the finals in the state championships in Franklin last week, taking home the silver medal, the best finish of any McGavock wrestler in over 15 years. Other top finishers in the grueling state wrestling championships were Trevion James (Antioch) and Trenton Bell (Hunters Lane).
Middle School Wrestling
Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School Bulldogs are Wrestling City Champions. Congratulations to Itae Barretero, Anthony Bassham, Montez Booker, Troy Clay, Eric Foster, James Hughes, Latraus Perry, Darius Roberts, Gregory Smith, Dandre Whitley, Jondae Williams and Coach Gardner – the grapplin’ Bulldogs!
Watching Hoops with Dignitaries
Football coaches are a veritable fountain of knowledge and wisdom as I learned watching high school and middle school basketball games this week with Hillwood High School football coach Bubba Spears and Goodlettsville Middle School football coach David Brooks. I even spent time in the stands visiting with some of Tennessee’s top Principals including Antioch’s Brian Mast, Hunters Lane’s Susan Kessler, Glencliff’s Clint Wilson, Hillwood’s Steve Chauncy, Overton’s Shuler Pelham, and Stratford’s Michael Steele. Needless to say, the North Sports Report tried to be on its best behavior.
Brush with Fame
The North Sports Report ran into Whites Creek and Vanderbilt football and basketball great Jamie Graham at a basketball tournament game this week at Antioch. After graduating from Vanderbilt, Jamie is working toward an advanced degree and playing defensive back at UCLA.
Principal with his Grill On
When the North Sports Report saw Stratford Principal Michael Steele cooking the concessions stand cheeseburgers as Stratford hosted tournament games this week, I immediately ordered The Principal Combo…cheeseburger, chips, and a Diet Coke. Just so you know – that is the North Sports Report’s idea of fine dining.
Congratulations to District Champions Hunters Lane Warriors, Overton Lady Bobcats and Hillsboro Lady Burros!
Advancing to represent MNPS in the regional tournaments in Girls’ Basketball are: MLK Lady Royals; Hume Fogg Lady Blue Knights; Overton Lady Bobcats; Hillsboro Lady Burros; Hunters Lane Lady Warriors; Antioch Lady Bears; and Cane Ridge Lady Ravens.
In Boys Basketball, those teams advancing are: Hunters Lane Warriors; East Literature Eagles; Antioch Bears; Hillsboro Burros; Maplewood Panthers; McGavock Raiders; and Cane Ridge Ravens.
Field of Dreams
Stratford’s football field was featured on a recent episode of “The Bachelor” as one of the reality show’s contestants impressed everyone with her relation (granddaughter) to the field’s namesake – MNPS Sports Hall of Fame member and local sports legend Harold “Buster” Boguskie. Even during tournament time, the North Sports Report is never too busy to catch an episode of “The Bachelor.” What?...
MNPS: The First Choice for Local Sports Legends