North Sports Report - May 22, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Post-Event Interviews… Vocabulary and Sportsmanship

After every televised sporting event, some reporter approaches an exhausted, emotionally spent athlete and asks for an explanation of the result, next plans or the dreaded “how did it feel when you…” question. The athlete trained his or her entire life for the event that just ended with overwhelming victory or devastating defeat. Predictably, the interviews often digress to everything from a well-rehearsed commercial for a cartoon themed amusement park to lame excuses to the ranting of a mad man.

So, after the State championship in the Decathlon, what would you expect from MNPS student-athletes when approached by a reporter for The Tennessean? I hope you would expect the best, because that’s what you got.

Hume-Fogg junior Ben Brunson had just completed the event that crowns the state’s best all-around track athlete with a gold medal winning performance. Exhausted and thrilled, Ben faces the media with this quote: “I’m ecstatic for the win. Personally, I strive to be versatile, and nothing but the decathlon epitomizes that in a sport.” Read the quote again – ecstatic, strive, versatile, epitomizes – and you just added 3 points to your ACT score.

In the AAA Decathlon, McGavock’s Ben Johnson held a narrow lead over a student from Collierville after nine events with the most difficult part of the Decathlon remaining, the 1500m. After the race, Ben had lost his lead and earned the state’s silver medal. His interview with The Tennessean gave no excuses, and recognized his opponent’s outstanding effort. “I looked at his stats before I came into this, and I knew it was going to come down to this last race… That’s the best (1500-meter run) I’ve ever seen.”

Post-event interviews can shine a light on the character of the athlete. When the student-athletes’ character is marked by grace, class, brilliance and sportsmanship, it shows. Congratulations!

Great Performances from Spring Fling

Girls Tennis Congratulations to the Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights Girls’ tennis team that went all the way to the State’s Final Four.

Soccer The Overton Bobcats soccer team traveled to Mt. Juliet and prevailed in an overtime thriller to earn their way to the state quarterfinals to face a nationally ranked opponent. Congratulations on a great season.

Soccer The Hume-Fogg Blue Knights soccer team beat Page at Rose Park to earn a trip to the state tournament. (Have you ever been to an event at Rose Park? The view is spectacular!). Then, the Blue Knights beat Jackson North Side to advance to the state semifinals, and a buzz rippled through Bridgestone Arena as four senior members arrived late to graduation after rushing in from Murfreesboro. Their undefeated streak ended in the state semifinals. Congratulations on a great season!

Pentathlon MNPS has three top ten finishers in this year’s Pentathlon: Paige Farrow-Davis (MLK) finished 2nd; Kayla Guthrie (Whites Creek) finished 7th; and Stephanie Brown (Hume-Fogg) finished 9th.

Decathlon Ben Brunson ( Hume-Fogg) is the state champion in the A/AA Decathlon, and Cameron Watkins (Pearl-Cohn) finished 3rd. Ben Johnson (McGavock) finished 2nd in the AAA Decathlon.

The Girls’ Track Finals are Thursday, and the Boys’ finals are Friday in Murfreesboro

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety in Sport – Archery

The North Sports Report attended a middle school archery tournament hosted by the Oliver Middle Prep Archery Club. Established through the National Archery in Schools program, the Oliver Middle Prep Archery Club is thriving. Some things you should know when attending an archery tournament:

  1. This is not “suction cup” arrows with kiddie bows. It is a real archery competition, and it is awesome!
  2. The students/archers are cued by coded whistles to get their bows (2 whistle toots); begin (1 toot); and once everyone is finished, 3 toots to go get arrows.
  3. On the target, the yellow bull’s eye is 5 points, red is worth 4, blue is 3, black is 2, and the white area is worth 1 point.
  4. Needless to say, the “M-I-S-S, M-I-S-S: Miss It” cheer so prevalent during basketball free throws, is inappropriate during an archery tournament.
  5. MNPS middle school students can do anything, and MNPS middle school teachers and coaches inspire greatness! So, don’t be surprised if you are amazed.

Middle School Spring Championships

Congratulations to the middle school team champions for the Spring Sports:

  • Croft Middle – Boys’ Soccer
  • Haynes Middle – Girls Track
  • Oliver Middle – Boys’ Track

Lessons from the Track: Your Competition is You

The North Sports Report witnessed some amazing performances at the Middle School City Track Championship at McGavock High School last week. Shawnta Shaw of H.G. Hill Middle Prep won the 100m, 200m, 400m and Long Jump while Job Blacksmith of East Nashville Magnet won the 100m, 200m, High Jump, and placed 3rd in the Shot Put. Amazing!

But, judging the great performances might prove tricky from afar. While it’s easy to see who crosses the line first, jumps the farthest, and runs the fastest, the beauty of track competitions is recognizing that the race is against the clock – it is you versus your best. Can you top that? A middle school student-athlete grinds out a sprinting finish to the grueling 800m race – only to finish fourth, fifth, or eighth – and crosses the line with the joy of running his best time showing for everyone to see. Have you ever seen someone so happy to finish second in a basketball game? Track is different, and it is beautiful.

MNPS: The First Choice for Brilliant Sportsmanship