Tag Archives: Eagleville

If you build it, they’ll name it for you: Mt. Pleasant to honor longtime coach Saturday

By Maurice Patton

MT. PLEASANT — Having a field named in his honor was the furthest thing from Eddie Bassham’s mind when he accepted the baseball coaching assignment at his alma mater, Mt. Pleasant High School, in 1976.

He was just glad to be out of the local box factory.

But just like he grinded his way to a college degree that allowed him to teach and coach, Bassham grinded through a career that included more than 600 victories, three state tournament championship game appearances – and, as of Saturday, a field he helped construct that will bear his name.

“So many times, people sadly don’t get their recognition till they die,” said Wayne Lindsey, a member of the Tigers’ 1998 Class A runner-up squad and current member of the Maury County Board of Education. “We all hope we have Coach around for a long time, but probably what I’m most proud of is that it was able to happen where he gets to enjoy it with his kids and his family.

“Anybody that’s spent any time around here, there was never any question that if a name got stuck on that field, there was no debate what name it needed to be. There’s nobody more deserving.”

Eddie Bassham, who posted more than 600 coaching victories over three stints atop the Mt. Pleasant baseball program, will be recognized during a ceremony Saturday as the school’s field will be named in his honor. (Courtesy photo)

While the honor was well earned, a sticking point was Bassham continuing to earn it.

A Maury County Schools guideline for naming facilities for individuals requires that they be retired for a minimum of five years. Bassham is currently retired for the third time, replaced last summer by Kennedy Mathis after previously vacating the Mt. Pleasant helm in 2004 and 2015 – and subsequently returning.

The school board voted last June to waive that requirement.

“The last time they called (in March 2019), my wife kinda questioned my mentality,” the 70-year-old Bassham recalled recently. “But I saw the situation they were in. I knew, some of the kids that were playing, their fathers played for me. So I said I’d go over and do what I could to help ’em out.

“It makes you realize just how old you’ve gotten, but it’s an honor and a joy to be able to do that. I still have a good relationship with all those guys. A few of them came and helped during those two years. Their kids were there. It was good to be able to do that.”

Staying close to the game he grew up playing and loving drove him to re-enter the classroom once he took a hiatus after his high school graduation.

“I graduated from Hay Long (the predecessor to Mt. Pleasant) in 1968,” he said. “I had the opportunity to play ball out of high school, but I turned it down and took a job working at the box factory, Ohio Valley. After two or three years, I became a machine operator and they put me on evenings. I went in one night and told (wife) Lynn I wasn’t going to do this all my life, I was going back to school and go to coaching.

“I went out to Columbia State. I’ll never forget it. I talked to Coach (Dave) Hall and Coach (John) Painter, and as I went out the door, Coach Hall said ‘he’ll never make it’. I was already married, working 40 hours a week. But that kinda pushed me or helped me – ‘yes, I am going to make it’. It kinda helped me carry through because it got rough at times, working till midnight and getting up at 5:30 or so in the morning, especially when I got to driving over to Murfreesboro, still working those eight-hour shifts as well.

“But I toughed it out and I made it, and I’m glad I did. I was blessed with the opportunity – Coach (Billy Joe) McHaffey was leaving that year, and I went over and talked to Mr. (Jack) Lightfoot, the principal at the time, and he hired me right out of college. I finished up college and started here that same year.”

Over the next 30 years, Bassham put together a program that often found itself among the best in the state, advancing to the Class A state finals in 1989, 1998 and 2004.

“We had some really good runs those years – other years as well, but those years especially,” he said. “We had some good pitching, some overall good teams. Ezell-Harding in ’89, Goodpasture in ’04, those teams could beat anybody. They were really good baseball teams.

“Now, Coalfield in ’98, we felt that was the year we had a really good chance of winning it. … I think that year we really had the best team in it. It just didn’t fall for us.”

Goodpasture was coached by former Columbia Academy standout and current Bulldogs coach Richie Estep.

“I remember that ’04 year; they were (38-2-1), we were like 40-5. We knew it was going to be a showdown,” he said.

“I’m thrilled that they’re doing that. He put in many years there, he’s worked very hard. He deserves every bit of (the recognition).”

The field that will bear Bassham’s name isn’t the one where he spent the largest part of his career. Prior to the construction of the current on-field facility, the Tigers played their games at the city park – much to the inconvenience of the home team and that of the nearby residents.

“That field was kind of small. We had some (drainage) problems. We got to banging so many houses over there, the city got complaints. The field had gotten old, the lights,” he said. “There were a number of factors. We decided we needed our own facility.”

Bassham acknowledged the efforts of a number of individuals and businesses that were instrumental in bringing the new field to fruition by 2002 – including Bob Murray, Gene Sullivan, Wayne Shearer, Mack Emmitt, Tomlin Construction, Bill Lovell Electric and others.

“I know for two years solid we came over every weekend,” he said. “We’d plan the project for the day, the ladies would provide food and we’d stay all day on Saturday and some would come back on Sunday. We didn’t hire any companies or anybody; with the city itself, with the community, it all came together as it did.

“We’re certainly proud of it.”

Meanwhile, the community – and his family — is proud of him. In fact, there will be three generations of Basshams on the field Saturday.

Eagleville, the Tigers’ opponent for Saturday’s 3 p.m. game, is coached by 1995 Mt. Pleasant graduate Brandon Bassham. His son, Keydon, is a junior outfielder/pitcher for the Eagles.

Preceding the game, a 1 p.m. reception will take place in the school cafeteria. The dedication ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. on the field. All former players will be admitted for free.

“To be a part of it, having my team come over and play that day, with my son on the team as well – we get to be here as a family and see that, and I’m very grateful and appreciative,” Brandon said. “I’m glad we can play a part in it.

“It’s well deserved – over (600) wins, three state runner-up finishes in 15 years speak for themselves. Working on the field. Just the mentor he is. When I’m with him, players from way back come up and speak to him. He may not know the name, but he knows the face and when they played. You’re talking about over 40 years ago for some of those guys. That just speaks for who he is.

“That’s what makes me the most proud.”

Listen to an interview with Eagleville coach Brandon Bassham:

Pair of Tigers earn all-state gridiron recognition in 1A

SM-Tn Sports

Ethan Beasley completes his Mt. Pleasant football career with a third Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state honor, as the senior defensive lineman was named to the organization’s Class 1A team this week.

Beasley, along with Tigers sophomore punter Jackson Collier, is among eight Region 5-1A performers listed on the all-state squad. Joining them are Huntland’s Kolbi Stewart, Moore County’s Kyler Parker and Kaden White, and Gus Hill, Zayshon Pullen and K.J. Jackson from the state champion Fayetteville Tigers.

In Class 2A, Eagleville receiver Kaden Snitzer and defensive back Marcus Collins from Region 5-2A were honored.

An all-state selection as a freshman in 2017 and again last year, Beasley finished with 71 total tackles (12 for loss), two sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 6½ games because of injuries and pandemic-related schedule limitations – providing a bright spot in Mt. Pleasant’s 1-8 campaign.

Collier averaged 35 yards per punt this fall while handling all the Tigers’ kicking chores – achieving touchbacks on 85 percent of his kickoffs and converting 90 percent of his extra-point attempts, along with his lone field goal try.

TSWA all-state teams for Class 3A and Class 4A were announced Tuesday, with Class 5A and Class 6A announced on Monday. Division II-A, DII-AA and DII-AAA teams will be available on Thursday.

The Class 2A and Class 1A teams are listed below.


QB – Jacob Dooley, Waverly, Jr.; Luke Myers, South Greene, Jr.*; RB – Jordan Cason, Watertown, Sr.; Khalik Ganaway, Peabody, Jr.*; Dylan Roebeck, Bledsoe Co., Sr.; WR – Quanterrius Hughes-Malone, Watertown, Sr.; Kaden Snitzer, Eagleville, So.; Brady Stanfield, Waverly, Sr.; OL – Neil Brown, Union City, Sr.; Malachi Hayden, Meigs Co., Sr.; Shelton Hopkins, Peabody, Sr.; Jackson Kelley, Rockwood, Sr.; Blake Minnis, Peabody, Sr.; ATH – Will Meadows, Meigs Co., Sr.*; K — Jay Higgins, South Greene, Jr.


DL – Jason Baskerville, Peabody, Jr.; C.J. King, Oneida, Jr.; Luke Lewis, Riverside, Sr.; Kaigan Thomas, Bledsoe Co., Jr.; LB – London Burkett, Peabody, So.; Tucker Johnson, Adamsville, Sr.; Hagan Lowe, Meigs Co., Sr.; Cameron Rankins, Trousdale Co., Sr.; DB – Marcus Collins, Eagleville, Jr.; Xadrian Fickey, Rockwood, Jr.; Taye Hutchins, Marion Co., Sr.; Carson Vandiver, Peabody, Sr.; ATH – Jordan Carter, Watertown, Sr.; P – Kolby Morgan, Oneida, Sr.


QB – Emmett Hegland, Midway, Jr.; Kyler Parker, Moore Co., Sr.*; RB – Hunter Frame, South Pittsburg, Sr.*; K.J. Jackson, Fayetteville, Fr.; Kolbi Stewart, Huntland, Sr.; WR – Caleb Goodman, Midway, Jr.; Jordan King, Jellico, Sr.; Devin Ramsey, Unaka, Jr.; OL – Colton Alexander, Greenback, Sr.; Gus Hill, Fayetteville, Jr.; Jesse Mounts, West Carroll, Sr.; Bryson Ridge, Coalfield, Jr.; Jared Stone, South Pittsburg, Sr.*; ATH – Seth Lowe, Coalfield, Sr.; K – Cooper Keown, South Pittsburg, Fr.


DL – Ethan Beasley, Mt. Pleasant, Sr.; Radshun Cheirs, Lake Co., Sr.; Gio Davis, South Pittsburg, Jr.; Isaac McKinney, Coalfield, Sr.; LB – J.J. Beene, South Pittsburg, Sr.; Braden Matoy, Greenback, Jr.; Brandon Nation, Oliver Springs, Sr.; Kade Wood, Huntingdon, So.; DB – Gavin Hill, Oliver Springs, Sr.; J.T. Morgan, Lake Co., Sr.; Zayshon Pullen, Fayetteville, Sr.; Kaden White, Moore Co., Sr.; ATH – Cody Wildridge, West Carroll, Sr.; P – Jackson Collier, Mt. Pleasant, So.

*Mr. Football finalist; automatic all-state selection

All-Region 5-2A picks named

Coaches from Region 5-2A have announced their postseason all-region team and superlative awards.

Most Valuable Player – Blake Carroll, Lewis Co.

MVP Offensive Line – Trezden Sparkman, Lewis Co.

MVP Offensive Back – Marcus Collins, Eagleville; Max Kirby, Forrest

MVP Receiver – Kaden Snitzer, Eagleville

MVP Defense – Kael Feichtinger, Lewis Co.; Noah Hill, Forrest

MVP Defensive Line — Skyler Ratliff, Loretto; Damian Stingley, Eagleville

MVP Linebacker – Ethan McCain, Lewis Co.; McCalister Wilson, Forrest

MVP Defensive Back – Micah McClendon, Forrest; Sloan Moseley, Lewis Co.

MVP Kicker – Austin Abbott, Summertown

MVP Punter – Christian Hammond, Forrest

Coach of the Year – Bobby Sharp, Lewis Co.

Staff of the Year – Lewis Co.

All-Region — Maki Fleming, Dallas Grooms, Chris Martin, Zander Monroe, John Stanley (Community); Donovin Darnell, Oscar Guerra, Brody McLemore, Wyatt McLemore, Dylan Pratt, Mason Russell (Eagleville); Braden Bowyer, Brenton Burchell, Brayden Jones, Hunter Pendley, Layne Strasser, Joseph Whitaker (Forrest); Lincoln Brewer, Ian Carroll, Ethan Fransen, Eli Hankins, Tyler Ray, Clydarius Sparkman, Jayden Stewart (Lewis Co.); Ian Brown, Nathan Galloway, Caden Porter, Clint Seymore, Isaac Tucker (Loretto); Luke Chapman, Javen Edmiston, Eli Powell, Colton Shaffer (Summertown)

Honorable Mention — Hunter Huggler, Jordan Land, C.J. Rivera (Community); Paxtin Stingley, Dawson McCrary, Jacob Mullins, Rylan Randall (Eagleville); Riley Durbin, Boston Follis, Aden Freeman, Tayton Swift (Forrest); Bryson James, Riley Runions, Kade Shelton, Robert Young (Lewis Co.); Oakley Allen, Carter Daniel, Omoro Joyner, Tabias Sirmones (Loretto); Michael Abbott, Jeremiah Chism, Dillon Flores, Justice Gray, Aniken Johnson (Summertown)

All-Academic — Chris Martin, McCade Miller, Zander Monroe, C.J. Rivera (Community); Layne Bowman (Forrest); Alex Fall, Kyle Larue, Tylan Woodie (Lewis Co.); Samuel Evers (Loretto)

Saturday on the hardwood

Grace Chr. boys 71, Zion Chr. 52

Z 9 11 17 15 — 52
G 16 20 16 19 — 71

Zion Chr. (52) – Matthew Terry 5, Jaron Keyser 3, Hayden Headley 19, Wesley Riggins 6, Ethan Yates 8, Colton Bragan 2, Connor Matheny 9

Grace Chr. (71) – Dean Bechman 31, Ashton Kelley 3, Will Beasley 6, Jackson Hiett 6, Jordan Carter 15, Hudson Barton 3, Nate Westmoreland 2, Jackson Sleeper 2, Trace Phillips 3

3-pointers – Zion Chr. 4 (Keyser, Headley 3), Grace Chr. 12 (Bechman 5, Kelley, Hiett 2, Carter 3, Phillips)

Grace Chr. girls 59, Zion Chr. 18

Z 7 6 3 2 — 18
G 17 12 22 8 — 59

Zion Chr. (18) – Halle Adcox 3, Deanna Trousdale 7, Becca Hazard 8

Grace Chr. (59) – Natalie Kaye 12, McKenzie Kaye 4, Campbell Spencer 7, Larkin Meyers 13, Adyson Wolf 8, Aubrey Black 2, Charlie Black 7, Avery Thorne 3, Ava Granzon 3

3-pointers – Zion Chr.1 (Adcox), Grace Chr. 6 (M. Kaye, Spencer, Meyers 3, Thorne)

Summertown girls 87, Eagleville 26

E 4 12 10 0 – 26
S 22 24 21 20 – 87

Eagleville (26) — Anna Grace Clement 8, Haylee Ferguson 8, Kylie Vaughn 6, Summer Cooper 3, Cadence Chapman 1

Summertown (87) — Hailey Jones 19, Rylee Long 13, Ansley Burleson 13, Kaley Campbell 11, Emily Brazier 9, Karlie Campbell 8, Jenna Brazier 6, Braley Burleson 6, Katie Burdette 2

3-pointers – Eagleville 5 (Ferguson 2, Vaughn 2, Cooper), Summertown 15 (Jones 3, A. Burleson 3, J. Brazier 2, Kar. Campbell 2, B. Burleson 2, Kal. Campbell, E. Brazier, Long)

Lions open season with loss as Raiders celebrate Senior Night

By Maurice Patton

SPRING HILL – Senior Night festivities aren’t common occurrences in December, but Beau Moss wasn’t taking any chances.

“We were worried,” the Spring Hill wrestling coach admitted, regarding the possibility of the Raiders’ season ending abruptly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We wanted to get it in early. I’m glad we did.”

Isaiah Brooks, Kemonta Fry, Jeffrey Jessup and Isaac Juarez were recognized along with their parents prior to the Tuesday tri-match between Columbia Central, Eagleville and the hosts. Eagleville somewhat spoiled the merriment, defeating the Raiders 53-27 after downing Central 66-11, but Spring Hill ended the night on a high note with a 54-18 win over the Lions.

“We wrestled Eagleville Saturday (at the Brentwood Duals). I think we’re in better shape,” Moss said. “We wrestled them better than we did Saturday. We’re still giving up four (weight) spots, but we’re getting into our weights. We’re still settling in.”

Spring Hill’s Scott Carter (right) controls Eagleville 152-pounder Justin Dennis during Tuesday’s wrestling match. Carter recorded a 6-2 decision. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

In just over a week, Spring Hill has managed to wrestle 11 dual matches – dropping a pair on Dec. 1 against Summit and host Franklin, facing Watertown and host Cascade two days later and getting in five matches Saturday at Brentwood.

Brooks looked sharp in his only match of the night, pinning Eagleville’s Zach Lewis in 1:08 at 120 pounds, while Brady Morrison won twice by pin – in 52 seconds against Eagleville’s Kaleb Snitzer and in 1:56 against Central’s Jovontris Sharp at 132.

The Lions, making their season debut, got a pair of victories from Tay Cofer, who defeated Eagleville’s 152-pounder Justin Dennis by technical fall (17-2) and Jessup on a third-period pin at 160. Central 285-pounder Keimauri Smith also picked up two pins, against Eagleville’s Joseph Williamson and Juarez.

“We’re just happy we’re wrestling and getting to compete,” second-year Central coach Dane Peoples said. “This was our first competition, we had some success and won some matches. We just need to get in the (wrestling) room.

“Three months ago, we didn’t think we were going to wrestle.”

Columbia Central’s Jovontris Sharp gets the explanation of a call from Matt Stoltz during Tuesday’s wrestling tri-match at Spring Hill. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

In girls matches, Central’s Brianna Gaytan pinned Spring Hill’s Rose Dawson and Central’s Savannah Honea decisioned Spring Hill’s Natalie Turpin 8-4.

Columbia Central resumes action Thursday against visiting Marshall County. Spring Hill will be in the duals tournament Saturday at Independence.

Eagleville 66, Columbia Central 11: 106 – Tanner Hatchell (E) by forfeit; 113 – Jacob Pennington (E) by forfeit; 120 – Zach Lewis (E) by forfeit; 126 – double forfeit; 132 – Kaleb Snitzer (E) p. Jovontris Sharp, 2:17; 138 – Gabriel Pennington (E) by forfeit; 145 – Erik Johnson (E) by forfeit; 152 – Tay Cofer (C) tf. Justin Dennis 17-2; 160 — Donevin Darnell (E) p. Nathan Neely, 3:41; 170 – Dax VanEkelenburg (E) p. Jeremy Bendermon, 2:20; 182 – Elijah Barrett (E) by forfeit; 195 – Matthew Garber (E) by forfeit; 220 – Oscar Guerra (E) p. Jaylan McCoy, 2:43; 285 – Keimauri Smith (C) p. Joseph Williamson, 2:15

Eagleville 53, Spring Hill 24: 113 – Jacob Pennington (E) by forfeit; 120 – Isaiah Brooks (SH) p. Zach Lewis, 1:08; 126 – Johnathan Childs (SH) by forfeit; 132 – Brady Morrison (SH) p. Kaleb Snitzer, 0:52; 138 – Gabriel Pennington (E) p. Landon Bingham, 0:23; 145 – Erik Johnson (E) tf. Josh Duncan 18-3; 152 – Scott Carter (SH) d. Justin Dennis 6-2; 160 – Donevin Darnell (E) p. Kemonta Fry, 1:08; 170 – Jeffrey Jessup (SH) p. Dax VanEkelenburg, 2:38; 182 – Cayden Buchanan (SH) p. Matthew Garber, 2:50; 195 – Elijah Barrett (E) by forfeit; 220 – Oscar Guerra (E) by forfeit; 285 – Joseph Willliamson (E) p. Isaac Juarez, 4:49; 106 – Tanner Hatchell (E) by forfeit

Spring Hill 54, Columbia Central 18: 120 – Isaiah Brooks (SH) by forfeit; 126 – Johnathan Childs (SH) by forfeit; 132 – Brady Morrison (SH) p. Jovontris Sharp, 1:56; 138 – Landon Bingham (SH) by forfeit; 145 – Josh Duncan (SH) by forfeit; 152 – Scott Carter (SH) by forfeit; 160 – Tay Cofer (SH) p. Jeffrey Jessup, 4:30; 170 – Nathan Neely (C) by forfeit; 182 – Cayden Buchanan (SH) p. Jeremy Bendermon, 0:36; 195 – Duccio Bianchi (SH) by forfeit; 220 – Jaylan McCoy (C) by forfeit; 285 – Keimauri Smith (C) p. Isaac Juarez, 0:40; 106 – double forfeit; 113 – double forfeit