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North Sports Report - February 6, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

College Ready – National Signing Day

National Signing Day celebrates years of training, sacrifice, and discipline as student-athletes sign athletic scholarships to take their athletic skills and education to the next level. The North Sports Report attended several signing ceremonies this week and realized that more than the student-athlete deserves to celebrate. National Signing Day marks the culmination of years of work by parents, coaches, teammates and friends.

On Wednesday, the North Sports Report sat among the celebrants in Pearl-Cohn’s gymnasium to see eight student-athletes accept scholarships to continue their education:

  • Jeffrey Doss – Maryville College
  • Hayden Gregory – Hampton University
  • Carlos Johnson – MTSU
  • Eric Knight – Bethel University
  • Caleb McLamb – Hutchinson Kansas Community College
  • Terrell Nelson – Bethel University
  • Anthony Patrick – Tusculum College
  • Eric Reed – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

The North Sports Report sprinted to the car and drove (at reasonable and law abiding speed) to Hillsboro’s library to catch Logan Burns and Porter Streator sign to continue their education at UT Martin.

The morning ended with a visit to McGavock’s Hall of Fame room where Dustin McAbee proudly donned his Tusculum College hat.

Wow, what a morning.

Wait, there’s more! The North Sports Report received a photo of the ceremony at Cane Ridge where nine – What? Did you say nine? Oh yes I did say nine – student-athletes signed to continue their studies and play football: Andrew Horton – UT Martin; Noah Hill – Bethel University; Rontez Cannon – Arkansas Baptist Community College; Joshua Avery – Arkansas Baptist Community College; Matthew Pendergrass – Arkansas Baptist Community College; Darren Pendergrass – Kentucky Christian; Kenneth Collins III – Kentucky Christian; Micah Kennedy – TSU; and Emmanuel Gyang – TSU.

Congratulations to all the student-athletes, but also to the parents, teachers, coaches, school staff, friends, mentors and teammates who contributed to the success of these young men.

Date Night – North Sports Report Goes Romantic

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, and the North Sports Report can offer some advice on a most romantic evening. Last Friday, the North Sports Report and his bride enjoyed the perfect date night with a trip to Green Hills, a little dinner and a great show at Ed Hessey Gymnasium on the campus of Hillsboro High School. The Hillwood Hilltoppers were visiting the Burros and both games went down to the last second. Hillwood’s girls came from five points down in the last minute to win and the boys’ game wasn’t decided until the very end. With my date sitting close, we not only enjoyed the games but also the Homecoming type ceremony at halftime of the boys’ game and the crowning of the King. Two pre-school children – one on each side of the bleachers – had a dance-off during one timeout, and the cheerleaders would challenge each other with tumbling runs across the court. The radio broadcast was stationed right behind my seat, and the energy in the gym was palpable.

Hillwood vs. Hillsboro on a romantic Friday night.

Now, that’s what the North Sports Report calls a great date night. Next Friday – February 14 – is the perfect night to treat your sweetie to an evening of high school basketball! If your sweetie doesn’t think a basketball game is a good date night, well…whatever.

Stratford Wrestling Goes In the National Record Books

The Stratford Spartans grappled their way into the record books this year when they scored 752 total takedowns in dual matches which ranks 5th in history – nationally! Longtime coach Doug Newman emphasizes – and his teams specialize – in takedowns. Now, when I say longtime coach, I mean loooongtime. In1990 (that’s 24 years ago) newspapers were reporting that Coach Newman was the “dean of Metro wrestling coaches.” His teams now hold three of the top five spots on the national list for takedowns in a season of dual matches (Hunters Lane 1990-91 team holds the record of 910, and the 1989-90 team ranks 3rd). He even had an individual wrestler, Tim Buchanan of Hunters Lane, who broke the national record for most takedowns in a season in 1994.

Proud Stratford Spartans!

Congratulations to Coach Newman and the Stratford Wrestling team!

The Big Man’s in the House

The North Sports Report stood in a long line to enter the McGavock Gym last week. When I finally made it into the gym, I saw such celebrities (and avid North Sports Report readers) as McGavock Football Coach Jay Gore, McGavock Basketball Coach Paul Childress, Director of Schools Jesse Register, Congressman Jim Cooper, actress Ashley Judd, and …it seems like I’m forgetting someone… oh, yeah, the President of the United States! McGavock football co-captain Ronald Elliott introduced President Obama. Words fail to adequately describe how awesome Ronald’s introduction was. A proud day!

Waiting in line at McGavock to see Ronald Elliot... and the President.

MNPS: The First Choice for the Rewards of Training, Sacrifice and Discipline