6 p.m. starts unless otherwise noted *district game
Athens (Ala.) Bible School at Columbia Acad. Collinwood at Hampshire
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.
Columbia Central at Ensworth Providence Chr. at Columbia Acad.*
Hollow Rock-Bruceton at Hampshire Page at Independence* Richland at Wayne Co. Shelbyville at Summertown
Mt. Pleasant boys at Summertown
Area wrestling schedule
Independence at Fairview, 5:30 p.m. Dickson Co., Spring Hill, Summit at Franklin, 6 p.m.
Independence at Father Ryan, 5:30 p.m.
Ravenwood at Independence, 5:30 p.m. Spring Hill at Cascade, 5:30 p.m.
Independence at Huntsville (Ala.) Tournament
Independence at Huntsville (Ala.) Tournament Spring Hill at Brentwood Duals Summit at Centennial Tournament Summit at Mt. Juliet Duals
Amongst a collection of some of the top minority baseball prospects in the country, Tears took a called strike three to lead off the game for the Larry Doby team – named for the first African-American to play in the American League – and drew a walk to load the bases in the top of the third inning, then later re-entered the game and grounded out to second base in the eighth.
“I had some good at-bats, went deep in (pitch) counts,” Tears said after the Jackie Robinson team won a 6-4 decision. “I hadn’t seen live pitching since early October, so I wasn’t terribly disappointed with my performance.
“It was mainly just about having fun. I’ve never been a part of anything like this, with all the best minority players in the country, all playing against each other. I love it.”
Tears was one of two UT 2021 recruiting class members participating in Saturday’s showcase event, along with infielder Christian Moore. Vanderbilt had a trio of representatives in the contest – 2021 commitment Kenneth Mallory and ’22 commits R.J. Austin and Andruw Jones Jr.
Also playing was Knoxville Catholic junior outfielder/pitcher Kaden Martin, the son of former UT quarterback and current Volunteers receivers coach (and Mobile native) Tee Martin. The younger Martin, playing with Tears, went 2-for-2 with a double.
“This is great for our kids,” said Rodrick Tears, Kavares’ father. “These kids can play.”
More than a dozen scouts from across Major League Baseball were on hand for the contest, along with representatives from various college baseball coaching staffs.
“I think it was a great weekend for the guys,” said veteran Georgia high school baseball coach Alexander Wyche, founder/CEO of Minority Baseball Prospects. “For the first year, getting these kids from all around the country, we couldn’t have asked for a better event. It’s great to give these guys an opportunity. We’re really pleased with it.”
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. E-mail: email@example.com; Twitter: @mopatton_sports.
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.”
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.
Three Summertown athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday as the NCAA fall recruiting period officially opened.
Claire Woods, a three-sport athlete for the Lady Eagles, inked a softball scholarship with Middle Tennessee State, while multi-sport classmates Hailey Jones and Kaley Campbell signed with North Alabama and Austin Peay, respectively — Jones for softball, Campbell for golf.
Woods, a pitcher/third baseman, joins the Lady Raiders as the top-ranked signee in their fall recruiting class, listed at No. 117 overall in the Extra Inning Softball top 200. She is listed as the 64th-best pitcher in the country in the Extra Elite Player Rankings, making her No. 6 among Conference USA signees and second in Tennessee.
At the time of her verbal commitment, Scout Softball had Woods ranked as the third-best uncommitted pitcher in the nation.
Through three seasons at Summertown High School, Woods has a 1.10 ERA with 307 strikeouts in 255 innings pitched. In addition to her work in the circle, Woods boasts a .459 batting average with 14 homers. She was named All-District Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and District MVP as a sophomore. Woods qualified for the Small Class State Championships in cross country and also lettered in basketball for two years.
“We think she may be the best pitcher we’ve recruited here,” MTSU coach Jeff Breeden said in announcing his recruiting class, which also includes Siegel infielder Claire Czajkowski, Macon County utility player Abby Shoulders and Anyce Harvey, an outfielder from Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.).
“She throws in the mid-60s, and she’s thought in the travel ball circles to be in the top five percent of pitchers in America. We’ll give her an opportunity, and we’ll see how far she can take us.”
Jones started as a freshman on Summertown’s 2018 Class A state title team and was a starter on the 2019 team that finished as state runner-up. She’s also been a key performer on the Lady Eagles’ consecutive Class A state championship volleyball teams, and plays basketball as well.
Campbell earned four straight individual and team region golf titles, with Summertown taking home three Small Class state titles during her tenure. She claimed the 2018 Small Class individual title, shooting a two-day 148 to win by six strokes.
On the junior golf circuit, she was the 2019 SNEDS Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year in the Girls age 16-18 category, winning five of seven tour events in which she participated that summer.
“Kaley is a consistent player that brings a calming presence to those around her,” APSU coach Jessica Combs said. “She never stops grinding on or off the golf course, whether it’s battling an injury or needing to birdie the last hole to win. We are so excited to have her on the team, and I’m looking forward to watching her improve during her time in Clarksville.”
In addition to being a four-time All-State performer on the course, she also helped lead the Lady Eagles to the 2018 Class A softball state title and a runner-up finish in 2019. She was selected as the 2018 Middle Tennessee Class A/Division II Miss Softball by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association, and was a member of the 2018 Class A basketball state runner-up squad. Following a knee injury that cut her junior season short, she is expected to return to the court this season.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Southern Middle Tennessee Sports
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