Category Archives: high schools

Winter sports upcoming

Area basketball schedule

6 p.m. starts unless otherwise noted
*district game

Monday

Athens (Ala.) Bible School at Columbia Acad.
Collinwood at Hampshire

Tuesday

Columbia Acad. at Fayetteville
Dickson Co. at Spring Hill*
East Hickman at Santa Fe
Forrest at Columbia Central
Hampshire at Zion Chr.
Ravenwood at Independence*
Richland at Cornersville
Rockvale girls at Summit
Tullahoma at Summertown
Wayne Co. at Mt. Pleasant
Nolensville boys at Summit, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday

Columbia Central at Ensworth
Providence Chr. at Columbia Acad.*

Friday

Hollow Rock-Bruceton at Hampshire
Page at Independence*
Richland at Wayne Co.
Shelbyville at Summertown

Saturday

Mt. Pleasant boys at Summertown

Area wrestling schedule

Tuesday

Independence at Fairview, 5:30 p.m.
Dickson Co., Spring Hill, Summit at Franklin, 6 p.m.

Wednesday

Independence at Father Ryan, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday

Ravenwood at Independence, 5:30 p.m.
Spring Hill at Cascade, 5:30 p.m.

Friday

Independence at Huntsville (Ala.) Tournament

Saturday

Independence at Huntsville (Ala.) Tournament
Spring Hill at Brentwood Duals
Summit at Centennial Tournament
Summit at Mt. Juliet Duals

schedules subject to change without prior notice

Rollin’ Raiders win District 8 team bowling championship

By Maurice Patton

Spring Hill and Lawrence County’s bowling teams ended Monday the same way they started – facing each other at Tenn Pin Alley.

But after losing a one-game rolloff to establish seeding in the District 8 Tournament, the Raiders won the matchup that counted – claiming the first boys/co-ed team title in the program’s history by a 15.5-11.5 margin.

“Everybody woke up,” said Spring Hill senior Nick Erdman, who rolled a team-high 711 series in the finals. “We were tired, sore (for the morning match). We weren’t loosey-goosey. We weren’t loud. There wasn’t a lot of support for each other. We weren’t as involved as we were in the finals.

“We were yelling, encouraging each other. That definitely helped us out. We wanted it, really bad.”

Members of the Spring Hill boys/co-ed bowling team pose with their District 8 championship plaque following Monday’s win over Lawrence County in the tournament finals at Tenn Pin Alley. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

Both teams went undefeated in district play, but their contest was canceled because of COVID and the schedule did not allow for a makeup match. Lawrence County took the top seed with the rolloff victory, then defeated No. 8 seed Summit (16-11) and No. 4 Columbia Central (17-10) to advance to the finals.

“I can’t complain,” Central coach Randy Cook said regarding his team, which defeated fifth-seeded Marshall County in the quarterfinals. “They hung in there. They were over 3,000 (pins) in both matches.

“It’s been a learning experience. I can’t complain. It’s just a matter of getting them more consistent, which means practice.”

Spring Hill downed No. 7 seed Santa Fe 22.5-4.5 in the opening round and No. 6 seed Franklin County – an upset winner over Tullahoma in the quarterfinals – to set up the rematch.

“We really didn’t care (about the rolloff),” Raiders coach Don McKinnon said. “We knew we’d make it through and meet them again, and we made it count.”

Behind Erdman, an individual state qualifier a year ago, Spring Hill got a 648 series from junior Jeremy Gearlds, a 631 from junior Tyler Williams and a 630 from junior David Yauger.

“We were up 131 points after the second game; we only needed four points at that point to win the match,” McKinnon said. “We only needed to win one game, and we won two.”

Both Spring Hill and Lawrence County will advance to the Region 4 semifinals, which are currently scheduled to be held in January, ahead of the Division I state tournament, set for Jan. 21-23 in Smyrna.

Erdman expressed appreciation for McKinnon and assistant Derrick Reynolds following the championship victory.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” he said.

In girls competition, top seed Tullahoma defeated Lawrence County 22-5 for the title.

Henson ‘drops hammer’, claims DII-A state cross country title

By Maurice Patton

After winning the TSSAA Division II-A boys cross country state championship, Connor Henson didn’t go to Disney World.

But it was close.

“We’re going to Dollywood for a weekend getaway. Then it’s back to work,” said the Columbia Academy junior, who was dominant in Friday’s title race – running a 16-minute, 8.33-second time over the 5K Sanders Ferry Park course at Hendersonville to finish 39 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Harding Academy’s Andy Henton (16:47.41).

“I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous for this one. I knew I’d have a lot of supporters come out and I had a big target on my back. There were multiple guys that it could have gone either way if I’d had a bad day. But I knew I was going to have a good day.”

Columbia Academy junior Connor Henson ran a 16:08.33 Friday to win the Division II-A state cross country boys meet at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park, outdistancing the competition by nearly 40 seconds. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Henson finished 10th in the Division I Class A state meet as a freshman, then placed sixth in last year’s DII-A competition.

“Last year we learned a lot,” Henson’s father, CA coach Brady Henson, said. “We felt like he was really strong, and we just felt like it unraveled at the last meet. This year, watching his poise and sticking to a game plan was just an unbelievable thing, to see it all come together.

“He executed the game plan we had for him and it was to win the last half of the race – hold steady with whoever was leading the first half take over and apply pressure for the rest of the race.”

The younger Henson said it played out just that way.

“After the first half, I dropped the hammer,” he said. “I said to myself, if they’re going to win, they have to go with me. I really wanted to put the race away. When I crossed the line, I didn’t know how close he was because I didn’t look back like I usually do.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more. I’m going to celebrate and enjoy this one and then get back to work. I’m not going to get cocky or complacent. Hopefully I can continue this into track and it’ll be the first of many. It’s a really addictive feeling.”

William Craig closed his high school cross country career with a Top 20 finish at the TSSAA Division II-A state meet, running a 17:45.29 Friday to finish 18th for Zion Christian. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Zion Christian senior William Craig placed 18th with an 17:45.29.

Led by junior Annabelle Cothran’s eighth-place individual finish, Columbia Academy’s girls finished fifth in the DII-A team competition.

“I had hoped for a top five (team) finish,” Henson said. “I felt like our team was strong enough to get there and finish fifth. I didn’t think we ran one of our better races at regionals, but I didn’t think we ran one of our better races (Friday).”

St. George’s won the team championship, with Knoxville Webb taking runner-up honors followed by University School of Nashville, Christ Presbyterian Academy and CA.

Annabelle Cothran’s eighth-place finish at Friday’s Division II-A girls state cross country meet helped Columbia Academy to a fifth-place team result. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Cothran’s 20:48.13 – two minutes off the pace of Webb-Bell Buckle’s Anna Faith Cheeseman (18:45.90), who won the race – was followed by CA eighth-grader Presley Miller (17th place, 21:49.67) and sophomore Jaelyn Hickerson (27th, 22:43.73). Lila Pulley (47th, 24:35.09), Kaitlyn Oakley (57th, 25:42.85), Caroline Graham (63rd, 27:14.83) and Sadie Gray (64th, 27:19.10) rounded out the Lady Bulldog lineup.

“I think Annabelle was exactly where we thought she’d be,” Henson said. “Her field scattered out early on; the top three went out, and then she hung back with the next four and they got each other through the race. We were very pleased with the effort she gave us.

“Presley has really solidified this team for the next couple of years. She did an amazing job in middle school, we felt she was strong enough to compete at the high school level and she truly did.”

Lady Eagles place third at state cross country meet

SM-Tn Sports

Buoyed by Top-15 finishes Thursday by Jayne and Julia Halterman, Independence’s girls placed third at the TSSAA Cross Country Large Class State Championships.

Running on the 5K course at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park, Jayne Halterman ran an 18-minute, 32.29-second time to place 11th – two minutes behind individual champion Jenna Hutchins of Science Hill (16:30.84). Julia Halterman crossed the finish line in 18:38.02 to finish 13th.

Senior Emma Wilson (19:48.42) finished 33rd, with sophomore Emma Pearson (19:48.94) one spot back. Samantha Ude (21:02.09, 81st) and Joanna Halterman (21:46.65, 104th) rounded out the Lady Eagles’ effort.

Brentwood won the girls team title, followed by Farragut and Independence.

Lebanon’s Aiden Britt ran a 15:29.69 to win the boys individual championship. Spring Hill’s Michael Gerhart placed 31st with a 16:49.92, with Independence’s Nate Martinez running a 17:43.83 to finish 100th.

Hardin Valley Academy won the team championship, followed by Franklin and Houston.

In the Small Class girls competition, Forrest’s Jaedyn Stalnecker finished third with a 20:22.07, behind Fairview’s Alyssa Andrea (20:04.62) and Signal Mountain’s Kelsey Thompson (20:14.71).

Summertown freshman Alivia Riggs placed 21st with a 22:27.98, with senior teammate Claire Woods running a 25:32.28 to finish 95th.

Signal Mountain took team honors, followed by Merrol Hyde and Gatlinburg-Pittman.

Among the boys, Camden’s Will Douglas turned in a winning time of 16:01.78. Signal Mountain won the team title, ahead of Merrol Hyde and Alcoa.

Santa Fe’s top individual finisher was Josh Martin, who ran a 19:38.75 for 83rd place. He was followed by Ryan Seltz (20:15.59), Samuel Trout (20:39.85), Shayne West (21:49.70), Bowman Ruch (22:09.53), Jackson Irwin (23:25.01) and Elijah Crumley (28:33.11).

Division II competition will take place Friday at Sanders Ferry Park, with the Class AA girls running at 10 a.m., the Class AA boys at 10:40 a.m., the Class A girls – with Columbia Academy – at 2 p.m. and the Class A boys at 2:40 p.m. CA’s Connor Henson and Zion Christian’s William Craig will both be in the final race.

Columbia Academy’s Kimes signs bowling scholarship

SM-Tn Sports

Austin Kimes became the first Columbia Academy student to sign a college bowling scholarship Thursday when he did so with Martin Methodist College.

Kimes, whose average is currently among the top five individual bowlers in Division II, selected the RedHawks over Tusculum, Campbellsville and Pikeville, citing a longtime connection with the Pulaski NAIA program – including a training relationship with MMC coach Bob Learn, a five-time winner on the PBA Tour and a current Spring Hill resident who now bowls on the PBA50 tour.

“My cousin (former Columbia Central bowler Chelsea Hinton) has been there for two or three years,” he said. “And their linking to the Tennessee program just sealed it.”

Kimes comes from a long family tradition of bowling, and has competed in the Junior Gold Nationals over the last couple of years.

“I started as a hobby, but I realized I could do it in high school, and then in college,” he said. “Obviously the big dream and goal now is to bowl professionally.”

Having bowled at Columbia Academy since eighth grade, Kimes hopes to start his own tradition with Thursday’s signing.

“I didn’t really take that into account until this year,” he said of becoming the first Bulldog bowling signee. “It’s cool to be the first. Hopefully I won’t be the last.”

Locals chasing championships at state cross country meet

By Maurice Patton

Three local teams and six individuals will be among the athletes participating in the TSSAA Cross Country State Championships beginning Thursday at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park.

Of those, Columbia Academy junior Connor Henson may have the best chance of bringing home a title. Henson won last week’s Division II-A Middle Region meet, posting a time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds over the same 5K course he’ll encounter Friday.

“It’s a big race. It’s what we’ve prepared for all season,” he said. “My only goal is to go out and win. I could care less, if I go under 16 or if I run 18. Whatever it takes to get the win, I’ll be satisfied.”

As a sophomore, Henson ran a 17:00.63 at the Iroquois Steeplechase to place sixth in DII-A, after finishing 10th in the Small Class state meet his freshman year with a 17:51.25.

“That was my worst performance (of the year); I’ve learned a lot from it,” Henson said of his 2019 state competition.

“This will be my third time on this course. I ran a 16:24 the first time. I know I’m in shape to run under 15:40. I’m not saying that means I’m going to do that, but I have my race plan my coaches and I have discussed. I’m out there on my own. I just have to be ready for anything.”

Henson and Zion Christian senior William Craig, who placed seventh in the DII-A Middle Region meet with a 17:58, will run at 2:40 p.m. Friday in the final race of the two-day championships.

Columbia Academy’s girls will run at 2 p.m. Friday, after the Lady Bulldogs finished third in the regional with three Top 10 runners – junior Annabelle Cothran (third place, 21:15), eighth-grader Presley Miller (fourth place, 21:16) and sophomore Jaelyn Hickerson (ninth place, 22;24).

On Thursday, Independence’s girls will run in the 10 a.m. Division I Large Class meet.

“It’s hard to get a read on the field, but we’re glad to have the opportunity to compete,” veteran Lady Eagles coach Luke Finley said. “We haven’t seen a lot of the teams from East or West Tennessee; a lot of teams haven’t been 100 percent when they’ve gone out and run. They haven’t had their full seven together. It’s kind of a Pandora’s box. We know a little less than we typically do, so you expect a little unpredictability.

“All you can do is go run your race.”

Freshman Jayne Halterman will set the pace for Independence, coming off a second-place regional finish at Sanders Ferry with an 18:09.33. Junior Julia Halterman finished fourth (18:23.62), with senior Emma Wilson (19:34.03) placing 10th.

“Our freshman has moved into that No. 1 role,” Finley said. “She’s running with some confidence. Freshmen, feeling their way into high school competition, have a pretty big learning curve, but she’s handled it well. She’s been consistent, pretty even keeled. Julia’s the older sister, she’s been around. Emma’s our only senior; she’s that ‘maternal’ figure. She’s been around a bit longer, she’s seen all this before. She holds it all together.”

Spring Hill’s Michael Gerhart (16:37.50) and Independence’s Nate Martinez (16:38.00), who placed eighth and ninth in last week’s regional meet, will run in the 10:40 a.m. boys Division I Large Class race.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, Summertown’s Alivia Riggs and Claire Woods will be among the girls Division I Small Class competitors, with Santa Fe’s boys team in the 2:40 p.m. competition.

Riggs finished sixth at Henry Horton a week ago, running a 22:55, with Woods finishing in 23:25 for 10th place.

Ryan Seltz (19th, 20:08) and Josh Martin (20th, 20:10) led the way for the Wildcats in the boys regional.

Thursday: 10 a.m. — Division I Large Class Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division I Large Class Boys; 2 p.m. — Division I Small Class Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division I Small Class Boys

Friday: 10 a.m. — Division II Class AA Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division II Class AA Boys; 2 p.m. — Division II Class A Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division II Class A Boys