As in most years, the 2020 area high school sports landscape was filled with scholarship signings, coaching changes, championship victories – and, oh yeah, a global pandemic that threatened all of it.
Southern Middle Tennessee Sports was on hand to bring it all to our readers.
As we head into 2021, let’s take a quick look back at the 2020 stories that were most significant to you all:
June 8: Palmer leaves Summit for Alabama job
Just a little more than one week after officially taking over at the offensive coordinator at Summit, Justin Palmer informed the school he would be stepping down to take a position in Alabama.
Although not official until a board meeting on Thursday, Palmer has accepted the position of head coach at Class 5A Cordova.
June 15: Central football sidelined following positive COVID test
A positive COVID-19 test for a Columbia Central football player has resulted in the suspension of practice until the end of the two-week Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association-mandated dead period, which begins June 22.
“As we know at this time, no other programs are impacted as a result,” Maury County Public Schools athletics director Chris Poynter said Monday in announcing the development. “My heart goes out to the families and to the young man who has it. We’re praying for him, for a speedy recovery, and that no other student-athletes are impacted as a result.”
Aug. 17: TSSAA adds fourth class for basketball, baseball, softball
New classes. Same concerns.
As the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association adapted a four-classification system for Division I basketball, baseball and softball for the 2021-22 and ’22-23 school years during Monday’s Board of Control meeting, the format suddenly didn’t seem to be the remedy to disparity that many had expected.
Aug. 25: Loretto’s Lamm headed for state coaches’ hall of fame
Four longtime high school coaches, including Loretto’s Gary Lamm, and two-time national championship coach Tim Corbin comprise the 2020 Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame class.
The five will be inducted at a Jan. 16 ceremony as part of the TBCA annual convention, which will take place at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin.
Sept. 14: Mt. Pleasant football hit with COVID-19; Cornersville contest postponed
The Mt. Pleasant Tigers’ football team has postponed their upcoming Friday night region game against Cornersville due to a positive COVID-19 test of at least one player.
Mt. Pleasant Athletics Director Eric Hughes confirmed to SM-Tn Sports on Monday afternoon the Tigers would not play on Friday or against Wayne County next Friday night. Practice has also been canceled to allow for a deep cleaning of the football facilities.
Oct. 23: ‘It’s gotta be the shoes!’ Class A MVP brings the heat with hits, style
While the video game ‘NBA Jam’ preceded Miya Cole Brown’s birth by a decade or more, the iconic colored shoes of a player who scored three baskets in a row and was deemed ‘on fire’ still resonates through pop culture.
On Friday, the Summertown senior outside hitter was most certainly ‘on fire’ as she led her team to a second straight state volleyball championship, whilst being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Nov. 8: Summertown’s Mote out as football coach after six years
Summertown principal Lain Hinson confirmed this weekend that Leslie Mote has been dismissed after six seasons as the school’s football coach.
Hinson declined further comment on the move, which ends the tenure of the only varsity coach in the program’s history.
Nov. 11: Tears makes it official with Vols, set for national contest
It wasn’t news that Kavares Tears signed a college baseball scholarship Wednesday with the University of Tennessee – the Columbia Academy standout announced his intentions to do so nearly three years ago – but there was news.
The left-handed Tears, who pitches and plays outfield and first base, has been selected to participate in the inaugural Minority Baseball Prospects All-American Game, which will take place Nov. 21 at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Nov. 20: Bradley relieved of coaching duties at Mt. Pleasant
Bronson Bradley confirmed Friday afternoon that he has been dismissed as football coach at Mt. Pleasant after seven seasons – four of which he guided the Tigers to the state playoffs.
In the midst of a global pandemic, Mt. Pleasant finished 1-8 this fall, the second one-win campaign since Bradley took the helm prior to the 2014 season.
Dec. 5: Defense dominates as Summit seals state title
Brady Pierce saw the ball coming the whole way, stepped in front of a Mitchell Gibbons pass and took it 29 yards to the end zone — putting the exclamation point on Summit’s state championship run Friday night as the Spartans won the Class 5A title, defeating Oak Ridge 28-7.
The pick-6, a receiving touchdown, 142 all-purpose yards and six tackles — not to mention a punt that pinned the Wildcats inside their 5-yard line — weren’t enough to garner the game’s Most Valuable Player award, but Summit quarterback Destin Wade knows how much his best friend means to the team.