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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

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

All Mid-State Teams Announced – Basketball and Wrestling

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

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

Congratulations to all the MNPS Winter sports student-athletes!

Sports Celebrity Shout-out – Tribute to MNPS

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

MNPS Sports Hall of Fame Luncheon

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

Scholar-Athletes – The FANS Award

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

  • Eboni Curtis – Antioch;

  • Jasmine Rucker – Cane Ridge;

  • Vivian Aluoch – East Lit.;

  • Carol Tran – Glencliff;

  • LaSabre Reynolds – Hillsboro;

  • Jackie James – Hillwood;

  • Kolby Forbes – Hume Fogg;

  • Rontavia Hayes – Hunters Lane;

  • Roneisha Crawford – Maplewood;

  • Jasmine Owens – MLK;

  • Eva Burelos – McGavock;

  • Rashida Ademosu – Overton;

  • June Jackson – Pearl-Cohn;

  • Antonia Harris – Stratford; and

  • DeShawn Woodruff – Whites Creek.

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

Oops…I Seemed to Have Dropped Some Names

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

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Setting the Stage for Success


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Fast Times at Stratford – Nationally Ranked Sprinter

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

High School Wrestling – State Championships

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

Middle School Wrestling

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

Watching Hoops with Dignitaries

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

Brush with Fame

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

Principal with his Grill On

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

District Champs…Hoops

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

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

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

Field of Dreams

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

MNPS: The First Choice for Local Sports Legends


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Tournament Basketball

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

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

Extraordinary Hoops Venue … The Creek

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

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

Shout Out

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

Keeping up with the Firebirds

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

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

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

  • Salih Musa (Overton);

  • Breon Blackwell (Antioch);

  • Hamadi Hassan (McGavock);

  • Adrian Whitworth (Overton);

  • Chris Ocon (Overton);

  • Clarence Mathis (Antioch);

  • Carlos Garcia (McGavock);

  • Kevin Braziel (McGavock);

  • Roland Bituli (Hillwood);

  • Ronquai Love (MLK);

  • Trenton Bell (Hunters Lane);

  • Carlos Harrison (McGavock);

  • Trevion James (Antioch);

  • Shad Haji (Glencliff)

  • Garang Madut (Glencliff)

  • Keith Harris (MLK); and

  • Nolan Sexton (McGavock).

Congratulations and good luck to all MNPS wrestlers!

TSSAA Honors MNPS Great

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

Spring Sports

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Extraordinary Effort



Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Athletics at its Finest

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

AP Rankings Include MNPS

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

Weather Delayed Rivalry

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

Brush with Fame…aka Dining with Old Timers

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

Save the Date x 2

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

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Essence of Athletic Competition



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

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

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

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

Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Update from the Alley

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

Encounter with a Champion

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

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

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

Middle School Wrestling – Save the Date

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Flawless Performances



Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Wrestling Roundup

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to all our MNPS grapplers!

All Star Game Honors

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

Hoops Weekend

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

Friday December 16:

  • East Lit Eagles travel to MLK Royals;

  • Glencliff Colts go to Father Ryan;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors host Hillsboro Burros;

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

  • Hume Fogg Knights travel to Whites Creek Cobras;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host Maplewood Panthers;

  • Stratford Spartans travel to CPA;

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

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

Friday and Saturday:

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

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

Saturday December 17:

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Nashville Christian; and

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

Pick some games and enjoy the hoops.

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

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

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

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Perseverance


Maplewood Panther

The Maplewood

Panther (not

Mark North)

Hume Award

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

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

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

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


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

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

State Championship Game

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

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

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

Ralph's Donut Shop

Tell Ralph 'North Sports Report' sent you.

Brush with Fame/Alumni News

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


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

  • Antioch Bears travel to Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Overton Bobcats visit Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • East Lit. Eagles travel to CPA;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors host Glencliff Colts;

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

  • MLK Royals travel to Stratford Spartans;

  • Maplewood Panthers host Whites Creek Cobras; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host David Lipscomb.

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

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

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

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