North Sports Report - August 21, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

A Community of Fans

After a football jamboree last week, as a team gathered on the high jump area of the track beyond the end zone for the post-game coach talk, the North Sports Report noticed a group gathering just outside the fence and around the track. It happens every game and in every sport. The group consists of the players’ families, friends, classmates, and well-wishers, waiting to congratulate or console, to take pictures and debrief about the game. The coaches’ families and friends are there too. The “waiting for the team” ritual displays one of the beautiful things about high school sports – the creation of a community. Sure, high school athletics help a school connect with the community at large and become a source of pride within each community. But the community of fans is more intimate – a combination of cheering section and support group, not just for the kids on the field but also for each other. It is a bond created out of a common interest and love for the players, the coaches, the team and the school. Everyone is welcome, and everyone can contribute and benefit from being a part of the community that wins and loses as a team and still holds true in their support for each other and for the school.

As the sun goes down, the teams warm up for football season.

Volleyball: A Bumpin’, Settin’, High-fly Spikin’ Good Time

The North Sports report arrived for a volleyball match at Carlton Collier Gymnasium on the campus of Hunters Lane High School just in time to see the visiting Overton Lady Bobcats warm up. And, they put on a show! It was like watching the NBA dunk contest with graceful, gravity defying leaps and the crashing sound of the ball spiked to the floor. It was awesome! Once the match began, the teamwork, precision, and athleticism created an exciting, spectator-friendly sporting event. The North Sports report even got in on the action as the ball careened onto the balcony and right to me. I slowly and deliberately side-stepped the ball, waited for it to stop, and using my non-existent vertical leap, picked it up and gently tossed it back to the court. Seriously though, pick your favorite team and go to a volleyball match soon. You will not be disappointed. Oh, and get there in time to watch the warm-ups.

Alumni Alert: Titans Face Two MNPS Alumni Saturday Night

Historically, the third preseason game is the most important for NFL teams, and they tend to treat it as a dress-rehearsal for the regular season. This Saturday night, the Tennessee Titans will travel to Atlanta and face the Falcons in a game televised locally on WKRN Channel 2 at 6:00pm. If you turn on the game, look for number 62 and number 52 for the Falcons. #62 is Maplewood superstar James Stone in his rookie year with the Falcons, and #52 is longtime NFL linebacker Tim Dobbins of Glencliff.

Friday Night Game of the Week August 22, 2014

The TSSAA calls the first week of the season “Week Zero” and Week Zero is made for rivalries. You can throw out the records when these teams meet. Since it’s the first game of the season, their identical 0-0 records can easily be tossed. Anyway, fierce rivals meet this week.

The North Sports Report will head to southeast Davidson County as the Antioch Bears host the Cane Ridge Ravens in a clash of next-door neighbors. There is always more on the line than just wins and losses when these two meet.

The Overton Bobcats travel to face archrival Father Ryan and continue one of Nashville’s longest running rivalries; and, the Dickerson Road Buffalo Bowl features familiar foes as the Maplewood Panthers take the short jaunt to face the Hunters Lane Warriors.

In other action:

  • East Nashville Eagles host Hillwood Hilltoppers at TPS;
  • Glencliff Colts welcome Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;
  • Hillsboro Burros start their season at home against Rossview;
  • McGavock Raiders trek to Tullahoma;
  • Stratford Spartans head to Sumner County to face John Paul II; and
  • Whites Creek Cobras travel to Sycamore.

The MNPS home games are at Antioch; at Hunters Lane; at East Nashville (at TPS on Foster Avenue); at Glencliff; and at Hillsboro. Go to a game. You will love it!

MNPS: The First Choice for Community