2015 A-AA Track and Field Champions Pearl-Cohn Firebirds

2015 A-AA Track and Field Champions Pearl-Cohn Firebirds

The 2015 Spring Fling Track Meet at the TSSAA State Championships was dominated by Middle Tennessee Teams. Mid-State teams won 3 Team Championships and finished 2nd in 5 more giving Middle Tennessee 8 of the 12 team trophies.

It all began on Monday for the girls when Ensworth’s sophomore sensation Tyra Gittens easily won the pentathlon (her 2nd), while teammate Sara Shipp got 2nd. St. Cecilia’s Adreanna Parlette would finish 5th and Harpeth Hall’s Anna Kate Rader 9th.

In the A-AA pentathlon East Nashville’s junior Grenetria Shell won and her teammate Micquana Webster got 4th.

Brentwood’s Rachel Jantzi took 3rd in the AAA Pentathlon.

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Brentwood's Jenny Roy is nominated in Volleyball and Basketball. Photo by Mike Strasinger

Brentwood’s Jenny Roy is nominated in Volleyball and Basketball. Photo by Mike Strasinger

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The inaugural WillCo Awards, celebrating excellence in Williamson County Schools high school athletics, are set for May 21 at the Franklin Theater.

Maurice Patton

Maurice Patton

Three athletes from each of the 22 sports in which the WCS Sports Conference compete have been selected as finalists, based on nominations and balloting by the county’s principals, athletics directors and coaches. Along with the individual sport recognitions, there will be coach and male and female athlete of the year awards.

Additionally, honors for sportsmanship, courage and sponsors will be presented as will the Director’s Cup, an all-sports award contested by the conference schools in Division I (Brentwood, Centennial, Franklin, Independence, Ravenwood and Summit) and Division II (Fairview and Page).

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The 2015 Moss-Oliver Award Winers -MBA's Jermaine Francis and MLK's Molly Kafader - Photos by Mike Strasinger

The 2015 Moss-Oliver Award Winers -MBA’s Jermaine Francis and MLK’s Molly Kafader – Photos by Mike Strasinger

Nashville, Tn

MLK’s Molly Kafader and MBA’s Jermaine Francis won the 2015 Moss-Oliver Awards given out today by the Nashville Civilian Club following another amazing lunch at Swett’s Restaurant. The awards go to the best of the best all around high school basketball players in Nashville. Each school in Nashville nominates a candidate and then a committee narrows the field down to three finalists and eventually a winner.

This year’s girls winner is MLK’s Molly Kafader. Molly is a senior at MLK and was a 4-year starter for the Royals. She helped them win a state championship this year. Molly will be going to Tennessee Tech in the fall. She has a 3.5 GPA, scored 27 on the ACT, ands A/B Honor Roll for four years. Molly has been active in the community a s a member of the 1st Lutheran Church, volunteers at bible school, and helps with the Special Olympics and the Second Harvest Food Bank. Molly was a 2-year team captain for the Royals, made all-district the last two years, scored over 1,000 career points, and was named to the State All-Tournament Team.

The other two girls finalists were CPA’s Caitlin Nichols and USN’s Annie Weimerskirch.

The 2015 Boys Moss-Oliver Winner is MBA’s Jermaine Francis. Jermaine is a 2-year starter for the Big Red and team captain. Jermaine has a cumulative GPA of 4.4 and scored a 33 on the ACT. Jermaine will be going to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Jermaine is a National Latin Exam Gold Medalist and a National Merit Commended Scholar. He received the “Best Boy” Award at MBA the last two years. That is the highest honor bestowed at MBA and is determined by the vote of his classmates and the entire faculty. Jermaine is involved in the Preston Taylor Tutoring Program and works in the “MBA Under the Bridge” Feeding the Homeless Initiative. He was named to this year’s al region team and by team vote was named Team MVP.

The other two boys finalists were Pearl-Cohn’s Justin Williams and NCS’s Zachary Varner.

The 2015 Moss-Oliver Finalists, L to R, Pearl-Cohn's Justin Williams, NCS's Zachary Varner, MBA's Jermaine Francis, MLK's Molly Kafader, USN's Annie Weimerskirch, CPA's Caitlin Nichols

The 2015 Moss-Oliver Finalists, L to R, Pearl-Cohn’s Justin Williams, NCS’s Zachary Varner, MBA’s Jermaine Francis, MLK’s Molly Kafader, USN’s Annie Weimerskirch, CPA’s Caitlin Nichols


Havenwood's Matt Rainey (center) runs for a new meet record in the 800. Photo by Mike Strasinger

Havenwood’s Matt Rainey (center) runs for a new meet record in the 800. Photo by Mike Strasinger

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Maurice Patton

Maurice Patton

Erasers were in short supply at Tuesday’s Great 8 Invitational track meet at Vanderbilt.

Five meet records were set throughout the night, with Ravenwood senior Matt Rainey leading the way.

Rainey won the 800 meters with a 1:52.34, beating the previous mark of 1:52.41 set by G.J. Hudgens of Christ Presbyterian Academy in 2005. The effort was the 11th-best in the nation by a high school athlete.

“I was just trying to get a (personal record),” said Rainey, who ran a 1:53.70 at last year’s Great 8. “But this is always the perfect place to run a fast time. I wanted to take advantage of the surface and the weather and the competition.

“For me, it was just a matter of going out fast enough to give myself the opportunity to carry myself through the second lap and not get boxed in.”

Father Ryan’s Ben Weisel ran a 4:14.78 in the 1600 meters, wiping out the previous record of 4:15.84 set by Brentwood’s Ford Bell in 2010.

Father Ryan's Ben Weisel

Father Ryan’s Ben Weisel

On the girls’ side, Murfreesboro Central Magnet freshman Taylor Cuneo ran the first Great 8 sub-11 in the 3200, finishing in 10:55.67 – nearly 16 seconds ahead of the 11:11.14 posted by Brentwood’s Hannah Caldwell last year.

“Hannah’s a close friend of mine, so I knew what the record was,” Cuneo said. “I had high hopes of running a sub-11.

“This is probably the most competitive meet I’ve been in, but I’ve been training really hard for this and the weather was perfect.”

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MNPS HOF Class of 2015 - Left to Right - Frank Pillow, Jr., Preston Brown, John Henderson, Mike Jackson, Joe Allen- photo by Mike Strasinger

MNPS HOF Class of 2015 – Left to Right – Frank Pillow, Jr., Preston Brown, John Henderson, Mike Jackson, Joe Allen- photo by Mike Strasinger

The 2015 MNPS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place today at the club level of LP Field. The event sponsored by Mark North/The FANS was emceed by the “Voice of the Vanderbilt Commodores” Joe Fisher.

The Class of 2015:

Joe Houston Allen, Forrest High School, Class of 1954 – Joe Allen taught math at both Donelson and McGavock .Coach Joe Allen coached sports for boys and girls throughout his career. Coach Allen’s record for boys basketball includes more than 500 wins. He had nine all-state players, one Moss-Oliver winner, 75 players who receiver college scholarships, and 1 NBA player (Charles Davis). The gym floor at McGavock High School was named in his honor in 2008. Allen has also served as a TSSAA volleyball official.


Preston Brown, Maplewood High School, Class of 1976 – Peston Brown was a standout in track and football at Maplewood,and then a premier football payer at Vanderbilt. When his high school career ended, he held the single season rushing record of 1,974 yards and the career record of 3,463 in just 3 years of play. In Football he won many awards including All-City, All, Metro, All-State, and NIL Offensive Player of the Year and NIL MVP. Brown didn’t run track until his senior year, but then led Maplewood to the State Title, anchoring the 440 yard relay, and winning the 100 yard dash and the 220 yard dash. His time of 9.4 seconds in the 100 qualified him for the Junior Olympics.

Brown played football at Vanderbilt and was named Third-Team All-American. His 100 yard kickoff return against Ole Miss still stands as a school record. Drafted by the New England Patriots in the 4th round, Brown played four years in the NFL.

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Hillsboro's Janel Pate

Hillsboro’s Janel Pate

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Maurice Patton

Maurice Patton

It was a good day for breaking records Saturday at the Doug Hall Relays, with three meet marks going down at the 29th edition of the event at Montgomery Bell Academy.

On the boys’ side, Brentwood’s 4×800-meter relay foursome of Ryan Lee, Chase Puskar, Waqqas Fazzili and Gavin Hasty ran an 8:00.52 to beat the previous best of 8:06.38, set last year by Father Ryan’s Sean Vance, Alex Reiter, William Webb and Ben Weisel.

“It surprised me when they announced it as a record,” veteran Brentwood coach Ronnie Seigenthaler said. “We’ve been coming here for a long time, and one of our strengths has been the 4×800. It’s good for these guys that they were able to break it.”


USN’s Dylan Groos

University School of Nashville set a new standard in the middle distance medley relay, as George Niarhos, Gabriel Faulcon, Simpson Tanner and Dylan Groos combined for a 3:30.56 to barely beat the previous record of 3:31.90 set by Hillwood’s James McGowan, Edwin Locke, Ralph Thompson and Willie Woolery in 1989.

“I thought they could run in the low 3:30s,” USN coach Zaf Ahmed said of his foursome, which includes a pair of Ivy League signees (Tanner to Dartmouth, Groos to Brown). “But I didn’t really think they’d get the record.”

Ravenwood's Amber Tanner

Ravenwood’s Amber Tanner

Ravenwood set a new record in the girls’ 4×400, with Madeline Ballard, Caroline Groves, Riley White and Amber Tanner teaming for a 3:58.54. The previous record of 4:01.11 was set by Ensworth’s Anna Bowers, Cosley Pulliam, Faith Sanford and Chela Green in 2006.

“All three of them ran amazingly,” Tanner said of the early Lady Raptor legs. “They came through so strong that (finishing) wasn’t really that hard). I wasn’t surprised at all.”

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Maurice Patton

Maurice Patton

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The Metro Nashville Basketball Coaches Association announced its all-Metro teams during a Wednesday night banquet.

Class AA Boys: East Nashville – Thomas Booker, Leonardo Holmes, Toree McGhee; Hume-Fogg – Andrew Rucker; Maplewood – William Alexander; Martin Luther King – Jalen Duke; Pearl-Cohn – Antwan Jennings, Jordan Sandifer; Stratford – Derrick Woods; Whites Creek – Roderick Waters. Coach of the Year – Raymond Pratcher, Pearl-Cohn.

Class AA Girls: East Nashville — Le’Jzae Davidson, Erica Overton-Haynes; Maplewood – Destiny Hayes; Martin Luther King –Molly Kafader, Jordan Majors, Briana Smith; Pearl-Cohn – Janiah Sandifer; Stratford – Lamontazia Blair; Whites Creek – Zoe Johnson. Coach of the Year – Lindy King, Martin Luther King.

Class AAA Boys: Antioch – Damion Baugus; Cane Ridge – Demarco Churchwell, Kyree Elder, D’Monte Evans; Glencliff – Anthony Francis; Hillwood – Kevontae Davis, Donovan Donaldson; Hillwood – D’Marco Steele; Hunters Lane – Jordan Buckner; McGavock – Chris Claybrooks; Overton – John Ford. Coach of the Year – Rodney Thweatt, Hillsboro.

Class AAA Girls: Antioch – Areyanna Majors; Cane Ridge – Gabby Bell, Shakayla Griffin, Maya Perry-Grimes; Glencliff – Asia Ragland; Hillsboro – Dorie Harrison; Hillwood – Erika Zachery; Hunters Lane – Nechelle Turner; McGavock – Deann Whitlow; Overton – LaShae Brown, Martoria Patton, Jada Stewart. Coach of the Year – JoAnne Tribue, Cane Ridge.

Doug Hall Relays To Run on Saturday

Doug Hall Relays To Run on Saturday

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Maurice Patton

Maurice Patton

Two dozen boys and girls track teams will be competing in the 29th annual Doug Hall Relays this weekend at Montgomery Bell Academy.

The meet traditionally serves as the unofficial kickoff to the Midstate track and field season, as it’s typically the largest to this point of the schedule.

“If it’s not the biggest (this year) that it’s ever been, it’s certainly close,” veteran meet director Jim Barr said. “We’ve tried to keep it at about 18 over the years. We’ve had some come and go, and we still have people wanting to get in. But we don’t really want to drag it out.”

The Doug Halls are strictly team-based competitions, with all events contested relay-style, including all field events and the hurdle shuttle relay. The meet honors the memory of longtime Metro coach Doug Hall, who died in November 1986 – just months before the inaugural meet in April 1987.

Brentwood Academy swept the boys and girls titles last spring – marking the ninth meet championship for the Lady Eagles and the seventh for the boys. Both teams return this year, along with girls runner-up Centennial and the host Big Red, which placed second on the boys side a year ago.

Other teams scheduled to compete include Brentwood, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Ensworth, Father Ryan, Franklin, Franklin Road Academy, Harpeth Hall, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Hume-Fogg, Lipscomb, Martin Luther King, McGavock, Murfreesboro Central, Overton, St. Cecilia, University School and Whites Creek.

Varsity competition begins on Friday afternoon, with the boys discus and pole vault events taking place at 3 p.m. The schedule resumes Saturday at 8 a.m. with the girls pole vault and continues with additional field events at 9:30. Running events start at 11 a.m. Official opening ceremonies will be held at 1:15 p.m., with awards presentations scheduled for approximately 4:50 p.m.

Also, 10 Midstate teams will participate – as well as nine college programs — in the Boston/Moon Relays at Tennessee State this weekend. Competition begins at 3 p.m. Friday and resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday. Among the high school participants are Stratford, Hunters Lane and Kenwood.

Looking ahead, the Great 8 Invitational is set for Tuesday at Vanderbilt. Field events are set to begin at 6 p.m. with running scheduled for 6:30.