by Donovan Stewart – The Examiner.com
Maurice Fitzgerald got the head football coaching itch again and had to scratch it.
Fitzgerald hadn’t been a high school head football coach in eight years after resigning at Pearl Cohn after the 2005 season.
Now Fitzgerald has been named the new head football coach at Stratford replacing Brian Harrell who resigned after posting a 7-23 record in three years and the Spartans are coming off a 2-8 season.
“We are excited that a coach like coach Fitzgerald was available,” Stratford principal Michael Steele said.
“Stratford is ready to be a great program once again and Coach Fitzgerald is the coach to turn this program around.”
He was an assistant last season at nearby Overton high school last year and had also been the head middle school football coach at both Bridges Academy and Smithson Craighead Academy since leaving Pearl Cohn.
Fitzgerald was the head coach at Pearl Cohn for 17 seasons (1989-2005) and led the Firebirds to back to back Class 4A state titles in 1996 and 1997.
The Firebirds also won more than 10 games in 1998 and were 36-7 during those three seasons.
Fitzgerald was 105-77 in his tenure at Pearl Cohn and the Firebirds made 10 playoff appearance during that time.
Stratford will try to end an eight year playoff drought in 2015 as they haven’t made the playoffs since 2006.
Currently there are 18 schools looking for a head coach, they are: Cleveland, Grundy County, Christian Brothers, Chattanooga Central, Jellico, Warren County, Summertown, Creekwood, Antioch, Southwind, Sequatchie County, Cheatham County, Volunteer, Whites Creek, Powell, Unicoi County, Claiborne County and Germantown as schools on the market for a new head coach.
Contact Donovan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew
Possibly one of the more significant developments of the early Midstate wrestling season took place off the mat.
Doug Newman, a member of the Tennessee chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, confirmed Wednesday he is no longer coaching at Stratford after overseeing the program’s return in 2010.
“Me and the principal (Michael Steele) didn’t see eye to eye,” said the 67-year-old Newman, who previously coached at Goodlettsville, Hunters Lane and Hillwood before retiring from Metro Schools in 2000 and spending 10 years in Georgia. “It’s been several things over the last year. His vision of what the wrestling program was going to be and my vision didn’t seem to coincide.
“It wasn’t really my decision, but I agreed with it once he said he wanted to go in another direction.”
Stratford had three Class A/AA state tournament medalists last season – senior Carlos Aguila, who placed fifth at 132 pounds, and sophomores Eric Foster (fifth place, 120) and James Hughes (third place, 170) – just three years after Newman restarted the Spartan program.
“When I came back in 2010, so many (Metro) programs had been dropped,” Newman said. “Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, Stratford – five or six had gone by the wayside. When I came back and got hired (as a teacher), I told the principal I’d like to try to revive the program, and he thought that’d be a good idea.
“We had no place to practice. The old wrestling room had all sorts of problems. We moved into the old wood shop and tried to work it out there. We just struggled to find adequate space and time for practice. We finally got the old wrestling room into shape, got the floor painted, got a new mat, and last year, the kids bought into my style of wrestling.”
Chester Burns, who had served as assistant under Newman, will take over the top spot for the Spartans.
“I appreciate Stratford giving me the opportunity to revive the program over the last four years,” Newman said. “I think it’s in pretty good shape to do bigger and better things than we did last year.
“Back in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, Metro wrestling could compete with anybody in the state. (Metro) athletics seem to be on the decline. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure Metro really wants to have wrestling programs.”
Steele was not available for comment.
Dominance continues: Wilson Central, the two-time Class AAA duals state runner up, claimed last weekend’s Ooltewah Invitational title. The Wildcats had 11 top-four finishers, including individual champions Lane Dickeson (132), Mike Binns (152), Cal Linton (170) and Perry Baltz (195), and scored 222 points to outdistance second-place and two-time defending state champ Cleveland (190).
Beech, meanwhile, went west and finished second at the Blackhorse Invitational at Houston High School in Germantown. Kaleb Rippy won at 182 and Devol Whitfield at 285 for the Buccaneers, with four others placing fourth or better. Louisiana power Brother Martin won the team title.
Closer to home, 11 Midstate teams participated Saturday in the Overton Fall Brawl. The host Bobcats claimed the title, with five individual winners – Jason Gardner (195), Kue Htoo (126), Rowan Masoury (120), So Mo Ou (113) and Zac Green (106) – leading the team past second-place Hunters Lane.
Summit won the Mt. Juliet Duals. Solid performances from seniors Christopher Bartol at 160 and Mark Sweeney at 152 as well as sophomore Zach Thomas at 106 helped the Spartans past Lebanon, Coffee County, Rossview and Riverdale as well as the host Golden Bears.
Statewide rankings: This week’s Tennessee High School Wrestling Poll, conducted by Luther Killian of Chattanooga and based on statewide balloting by a group of high school coaches, is as follows:
1. Father Ryan
3. Wilson Central
5. Bradley Central
7. Soddy Daisy
9. Christian Brothers
Tie, Science Hill
Others receiving votes (in alphabetical order): Alcoa, Blackman, Brentwood, Cookeville, Pigeon Forge, Ravenwood, Red Bank, Summit, Tullahoma, West Creek.
Next up: The Garner-Dyer Duals are set for Saturday at Tullahoma, with 10 teams lined up to participate. In addition to the host Wildcats, Beech, Centennial, Montgomery Bell Academy and Siegel will be on hand along with Bradley Central, Hixson and Walker Valley from the Chattanooga area. Coming from out of state are Huntsville (Ala.) Grissom and Chattahoochee (Ga.).
Also this weekend is the McGavock Invitational.
Game Date: Friday, December 12, 2014, Kickoff 7:00 PM CST
Site: Tucker Stadium (cap. 16,500) at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN
TV: The game will be carried live across Tennessee on the following stations:
Nashville: WUXP MyTV 30, Knoxville: MyVLT, Tri-Cities: WAPK MyTV Tri-Cities, Chattanooga: MyTV Chattanooga. The broadcast will also be streamed live and on-demand via rivalrythursday.com. Play-by-Play: Mark Packer, Analyst: Austin Price, Sideline: Daryl Hobby, Producer: Skip McMillan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tickets: Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate.
Participants: Approximately 88 high school seniors from across Tennessee divided into East and West teams.
Head Coaches: East- Greg Wyant (Siegel), West- Rodney Saulsberry (Whitehaven)
Last Year’s Result: West All-Stars defeated East All-Stars 55-39.
Series Record: West leads the series 4-3.
Contacts: Bill Marbet, Executive Director, TACA, 1-800-837-8062, email@example.com
Murphy Fair, TACA All-Star Game Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell Mayes, TACA Media Relations, email@example.com
Website: taca.net, rivalrythursday.com
The 2014 Blue Cross Bowl State Football Championships took place over the last 3 days with eight games played at Tucker Stadium at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tn.
There were two games on Thursday, three games on Friday, and three more on Saturday. The Nashville Area had teams in the Division II A and AA games, and the Division I- 3A, 5A, and 6A contests.
BGA and The Webb School of Knoxville got things started on Thursday in the first game of the weekend. Turnovers doomed BGA as they fell behind Knox Webb 31-7 at the half after leading 7-0 early in the 1st quarter. Knox Webb held on to win 38-21.
Division II- AA
The MBA Big Red and The Ensworth Tigers squared off in an epic battle for the state title in the Thursday nightcap as Ensworth was going for their 5th consecutive championship. The game was nothing like their regular season clash when Ensworth won 50-44 in overtime, but still a thriller nonetheless.
This time the defenses took center stage as the teams struggled to score most of the night. MBA got a 1st quarter score on a 3-yard pass to Ty Chandler from Cole Euverard, and a 27-yard field goal by Davis Luster to lead 10- 0 after 3 quarters.
Ensworth finally got on the board with a 1-yard run by Darius Morehead with 9:18 remaining in the game. Then the Tigers appeared to have scored a go-ahead touchdown in the last 30 seconds, but the pass to Rico McGraw was called back by a penalty on Ensworth. The Tigers tried to send the game to overtime, but the field goal was was wide, and the Big Red of MBA celebrated their 1st championship under coach Marty Euverard.
by Donovan Stewart
Class 1A State Championship Game
Coalfield (10-4) vs. Union City (13-0)
All-Time Playoff Records- Coalfield-30-26; Union City-40-20
State Championships- Coalfield-First Appearance; Union City- 2 (2009 and 2013 in Class 1A),
Finals Record- Coalfield-0-0; Union City-2-3,
Road to the Blue Cross Bowl-Coalfield defeated Harriman 8-6, Cloudland-38-28, Greenback 24-17 and Monterey 42-8;
Union City defeated Dresden 49-14, Lake County 56-6 and Nashville Christian 35-0
Head Coaches Records- Coalfield-Keith Henry (57-30 overall and at Coalfield); Union City- Darren Bowling (165-80 overall, 65-22 at Union City)
Enrollment- Coalfield-182; Union City-397
Offense- Coalfield-Spread; Union City- Split Back Veer
Defense- Coalfield-4-4; Union City-Multiple
Union City- 26;
Series Record-First Meeting
Offense PPG-Coalfield-27.3 season, 28.0 playoffs; Union City-53.8 season, 46.7 playoffs
Defense PPG- Coalfield-20.3 season, 14.8; Union City-7.9 season, 6.7 playoffs
2014 Returning Starters-Coalfield-7 (3/4); Union City-18 (9/9) Players to Watch –Coalfield-Zach Stewart (OL/DE, Sr., UT commitment; Class A Mr. Football Lineman Winner, 114 tackles, 24 for loss, 14 sacks), Addison Bible (RB/DB Sr., 1,905 total yards, 21 TDs), Parker McKinney (QB, Fr., 2,315 passing yards, 19 TDs), Josh Turpin (OL/DL, Sr., 92 tackles, 23 for loss, 5 sacks), Blake Hall (OL/LB, Jr.,, 121 tackles, 7 sacks), Peyton Tinker (WR/DB, Sr., 22 catches, 351 yards, 6 TDs), John Ervin (ATH/DB, Jr., 31 tackles), Mikie Ausburn (SS, Jr., 97 tackles, 2 FR), Cameron Godwin (WR/DB, 32 catches, 500 yards, 88 tackles), Tyler Keatley (WR/DB, Fr., 38 catches, 444 yards, 2 TDs), Jacob Stinett (LB, Jr., 61 tackles)
Union City-Garrett Walton (QB, Sr., 1,230 total yards, 25 total TDs), JaVonte Moffatt (RB/DB, Sr., 827 rushing yards, 11 TDs), Ricky Henry (FB/ DL, Sr., Class A Mr. Football Back Finalist, 1,902 rushing yards, 32 TDs, 36.5 tackles, 4.5 sacks),
Alex Reid (RB/DB, Sr., 534 rushing yards, 9 TDs), Tristan Jernigan (OL/DL, Sr., Class A Mr. Football Lineman Finalist), Kane Taylor (OL/LB, Sr., 42 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 INTs), Zach Parker (OL, Sr.), Cameron Avery (OL, Sr.), Jamie Pirtle (DL, Sr., 62.5 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Jamison Blackwell (LB, Jr., 54.5 tackles, 10 TFL), D’Carrious Stephens (DB, Jr., 32.5 tackles, 6 INTs), Taj Reid (WR/DB, Jr., 49.5 tackles, 3 FRs), Jamarrious Gaston (RB/DE, Sr., 200 rushing yards, 3 TDs)
Class 1A Year By Year Champions
1A first recognized in 1993
For the second time in three days, Pearl-Cohn’s KeShawn Vaughn left a luncheon with the biggest trophy.
The senior running back was named winner of the 71st Hume Award during a Wednesday presentation by the Nashville City Civitan Club, emerging from one of the closest selection processes in years, according to Metro Nashville athletics director Roosevelt Sanders.
The Hume Award is presented annually to a Metro senior judged to be outstanding in the areas of sportsmanship, scholarship and football ability.
Vaughn, who on Monday was named Class AA Mr. Football Back of the Year, was one of six finalists attending Wednesday’s event. Each of the 13 Metro football programs nominates a player for the Hume, with the top five selections of the committee typically invited to the luncheon and presentation. Sanders said, though, that in addition to a tie for fifth place, the top three nominees were separated by only two points.
Vaughn becomes the second Metro player to win both the Hume and Mr. Football awards, joining Maplewood’s James Stone in 2009.
“This is huge because it lets people know you’re a student-athlete and you can get it done in the classroom,” said Vaughn, who rushed for 2,659 yards and 45 touchdowns while helping Pearl-Cohn to the Class 4A semifinals. “It lets college coaches know I can be a leader, that I can come in and get my work done in the classroom.”
Other finalists were East Nashville’s Lennox McAfee, Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips, Hunters Lane’s Bobby Jordan, McGavock’s Damian Starks and Overton’s Ugo Amadi.
“It’s a great honor,” Pearl-Cohn coach Tony Brunetti said. “KeShawn doesn’t say a lot. He’s a quiet leader.
“It’s huge for our program. For him to have the grades to be able to go anywhere in the country he wants to go – he’s had to earn it.”
Vaughn said he expects to choose his collegiate destination from four finalists – Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State and Purdue. He said Vanderbilt is no longer under consideration.
“I just want to get away from home,” he said.
Amadi, who committed to Ole Miss last spring, also said he is considering Louisiana State and Tennessee in addition to the Rebels.
“They’re both talking about me starting at ‘nickel’ as a freshman,” said Amadi, who intends to graduate this month and enroll in spring semester classes once he decides on a school.
“I started thinking about (graduating early) in August. If I’m going to start, I need to get in early and start learning my playbook. I’m still committed to Ole Miss, but I’m keeping my options open.”
Phillips is expected to choose from Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and UT once the Burros conclude their season Friday night, against Knoxville West in the Class 5A finals. Like Amadi, he plans to enroll in spring classes as well.
McAfee has committed to Wofford.
The Metro Coaches Association announced their selections for the 2014 All- City Teams today. The players and their families will be honored at a banquet Thursday night at the Tennessee Fairgrounds in the Wilson Hall.
The 2014 Metro Coaches Association All-City Teams
QB – Isiah Upton, East Nashville, Sr.
QB – Michael Hughes, Hillsboro, Sr.
RB – Lennox McAfee – East Nashville, Sr.
RB – Vincent Perry – Hillsboro, Sr.
RB – Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Pearl-Cohn, Sr.
WR – Jay King, Hillsboro, Jr.
WR – Antwon Edmondson, Maplewood, Sr.
WR – Rontavius Groves, Pearl-Cohn, Jr.
TE – Austin Sherman, Hillwood, Sr.
OL – Edgar Rosas, Antioch, Jr.
OL – Immanuel Newsom, Maplewood, Sr.
OL – John Orr, Overton, Sr.
OL – Demarquese Douglas, Pearl-Cohn, Sr.
OL – Micah Kennedy, Cane Ridge, Sr.
K – Hayden Hilt, Hillsboro, Sr.
Ath – Chris Claybrooks, McGavock, Sr.
DL – Kyle Phillips, Hillsboro, Sr.
DL – Justin Ignacio, Hunters Lane, Sr.
DL – Malik Harris, Maplewood, Sr.
DL – De’Angelo Holt, Overton, Sr.
LB – Lamonte Roberts, Antioch, Sr.
LB – Gage Smith, Maplewood, Jr.
LB – Koreyon Jordan, Pearl-Cohn, Sr.
LB – James Hughes, Stratford, jr.
DB – DeVarius Cortner, East Nashville, Jr.
DB – Shandon Mayes, Hillsboro, Sr.
DB – Ugo Amadi, Overton, Sr.
DB – Michael Ballard, Whites Creek, Sr.
Ath – Walter Holmes, McGavock, Sr.