By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Will Littles & Christie Lucas
Christie Lucas didn’t play a sport at Millington, but her hard work as a Millington Trojan Football manager assisted players like Will Littles. While Lucas was organizing equipment, fixing bottles of water and even attending to some medical needs, Littles was grooming himself into a dependable offensive lineman.
Away from the football field , Lucas and Littles were involved at Millington Central High School and in the Millington community. Littles could be spotted wearing a neon green shirt picking up trash with City Beautiful Commission. Lucas was a comfort to football players from Northaven to the Kirby High School field after the death of Dana Payne.
She gave hugs, listened to those sharing her pain and kept things in perspective. For four years she was a consistent for Trojan Football and displayed a love for the program she learned as a child from family members like Mr. Rex Waits. The late Mr. Rex is in the Hall of Fame of being involved.
Littles also had Trojan Pride promoting the skills of teammates like Antonio Webber, Allen Moore or LaKeron Garcia. I guess as an offensive lineman it comes natural to brag on others and give them the shine.
Both Littles and Lucas are stars of Millington and making the community a better a place.
Malcolm Terry & Audra Bibb
Talent always rises to the top. With Tipton-Rosemark Academy’s Audra Bibb and Brighton’s Malcolm Terry it’s really easy to pinpoint. Bibb’s smile on the basketball court and softball field is the indicator she’s having fun. And Terry has a trademark grin on the football field and track.
Both these athletes have experienced championship success with teammates. Bibb was an undersize post player in basketball helping the Lady Rebel turnaround. And in softball she was a utility player who did the little things in a State title run in 2011.
Terry developed into a lockdown cornerback for the Cardinals and a receiving threat by his senior campaign.
His natural leaping ability and speed made him a deep threat for quarterback Brady Stewart. The state of Tennessee already knew Terry could jump from his several medals in the triple and long jumps in track.
But away from the field and track, Terry is a gifted boxer. He works on the Sweet Science in Covington. Malcolm Terry might be a name you hear on ESPN one day.
Bibb, with the prettiest smile of the Class of 2013, flashed that grin as Homecoming Queen this past year. She was involved in so much at TRA from Make-A-Wish to leadership programs. I have a feeling she will continue to bring smiles to others with her charitable endeavors.
Kelsey Hale & Jerick Newsome
Each year it seems I develop a bond with student/athletes that will last for years to come. And I could truly call several friends for life, I can only recognize two. And this year’s winners represent families that I can call true friends, the Hales and Newsomes.
Kelsey Hale from Munford came into my life almost 10 years ago as a quick witted, adorable child. Over the years I got to know her, sister Brandi, parents Brian and Nina, grandmother Betty and the rest of the crew. And even sometimes I referred to her as Brandi in this publication. Trust me, Special K has addressed this issue with me. I’m sorry Ma’am. But along with your Mom, you ladies look like triplets.
It was in 2006 I was introduced to the Newsome family featuring Jasmine. But I quickly got to know parents Trina and Vincent and their sons Vincent Jr. and Jerick. Jerick, the baby of the family, was attending Millington Middle School and played point guard like his older sister Jasmine.
Meanwhile Kelsey was following in her big sister Brandi’s footsteps with volleyball. And just like her sister she was a vital part of a Lady Cougar run to State as a sophomore. Over the next two years Hale worked hard with Metro and personal sessions on her game to become an All-District and All-Region caliber player.
The whole time she kept her timely sense of humor, honest outlook and family-first mindset. Her teammates became family and she always did what was best for the family to help it win.
Newsome was a winner as well. And he was no stranger to hard work either. We watched as he hit the weight room to develop into a Division I point guard. Using a combination of intelligence and unselfishness, Newsome played four years of varsity basketball for the Trojans. Now he’ll get the chance to shine at Alcorn State.
These babies of their families are not spoiled and know how to think about others. I’m proud to call them friends and eat a lot of their families’ cooking. But it was more than chicken wings and gravy that created my bond with Kelsey and Jerick. They’re both good people who have a caring spirit.
Colton Hall & Alex Stanford
With nicknames like Coco and The Assassin, I will always reflect back on my times of covering TRA’s Colton Hall and Munford’s Alex Stanford with a smile. Hall got an early start on his varsity career for the Rebels earning a spot at the State Golf Tournament as an eighth grader. Meanwhile it took Stanford a minute to get some of the spotlight and reach State after overcoming injuries. But once the Assassin got the ball for Head Coach Glenn Goulder’s Lady Cougars her junior year, she came up clutch in games like the Regional Semifinals against Bolton.
Her arm was one of the key contributors helping Munford reach its second State Tournament. And this past season, Stanford’s hit delivered a 12-2 victory over Houston and a third consecutive trip to Murfreesboro.
Hall made three trips to Middle Tennessee for State as the most decorated golfer in TRA history. In the spring, Hall kept busy with baseball helping the Rebels reach State in his junior season.
Hall and Stanford are dependable for winning. But the reason Stanford is Most Dependable is because the lessons she learned from rehab stuck with her. She knew hard work had its rewards and any small thing would lead to bigger success. If it was with her arm or bat, Stanford was always a player the Lady Cougars could count on. Now Southwest Tennessee will benefit from her skills and heart.
Hall could be counted on to shoot a solid score on any course and on the diamond his speed and pitching was going to put Brad Smith’s squad in a position to win. But what made Hall Most Dependable was his work with the younger golfers of TRA. He put in extra time to make sure he leaves a legacy that will continue on for years.
Johnathan Patterson & Taylor Patterson
No relation, Johnathan Patterson of Millington and Taylor Patterson of Munford seem to be everywhere the past four years. Taylor would pop up at volleyball, Munford Cheer, academic honors banquets and the place that brought her the most recognition the Munford Tennis Courts. And Johnathan kept busy after playing football, basketball and running track. He was involved in student activities like Millington Chorale at MCHS. When did this duo have time to be simple teenagers?
Both Pattersons groomed their bodies with training into physical weapons for their sports. The duo also exercised their minds to work toward bright futures in college. Johnathan and Taylor were positive faces of their schools winning awards for both athletics and academics. Their resumes clearly show how hard they worked. But it’s witnessing Johnathan run from practice to another practice to sharpen his linebacker skills and singing that illustrated his dedication.
Or if it was a late evening ride in Munford and seeing a girl on the tennis court working on her game under a street light. Taylor didn’t reach three straight State Tennis Tournaments by accident. Thank you Pattersons for demonstrating what hard work is and it’s rewards.
Katlyn Dupree & Kelby Hollowell
This award is typically given to the highest grade-point averages. And this duo fits the criteria but I’m putting a twist on the 2013 recognition. Millington’s Katlyn Dupree and Kelby Hollowell are Most Intelligent for years of dedication to their sport and becoming coaches in the process.
Hollowell played four years of varsity basketball for the Trojans and was MVP of the freshmen team that won the Shelby County Championship. He ended his Millington hoops career with an All-District Tournament team award.
Meanwhile Dupree started her varsity career a little earlier than Hollowell playing varsity soccer for TRA. Then she transferred to Millington embarking on history for the Lady Trojans. She netted a record in goals for a single season and career at the school.
Now both Dupree and Hollowell were excellent students and great ambassadors for the community with Dupree winning the Best of the Preps Scholar Athlete of the Year and Hollowell being named Mr. Millington Central High School.
But what impressed me about their intelligence level was how both could breakdown a game plan within the game. Hollowell knew where his teammates needed to be on the court in the process giving his all. He was no stranger to diving for a loose ball, taking charges or fighting for rebounds.
Hollowell knew how to make in-game adjustments whether to drive to the rack or step out for his deadly three-pointer. And he knew when to get teammates involved.
In his last game, Hollowell gave his typical 110 percent and made two decisions that gave the Trojans a chance to comeback against Arlington that night.
Driving to the rim for a couple of layups kept the Tiger defense on its heels. Once Hollowell said that, he fed the ball inside to 6’8 DeCarlos Holmes for a couple of post baskets. What appeared to be a blowout transformed into a great game.
Dupree had her share of great games for the Lady Trojans. From her days as part of K2 with Katelyn Dagen to a senior season of being surrounded by opposing defenses, Dupree used her skills and knowledge of the game to help Millington have four winning seasons.
To score 31 goals in one season with four to five players surrounding you at all times takes smarts. Dupree used passing and positioning to break her tie with Millington legend Ashley Benbow for the single-season goals record of 27. Her field vision and speed helped make that possible. And Dupree will be the first to tell you her teammates were the biggest part of her records with passes at the right time and clearing space near the box.
Dupree speaks of the game like a coach.
Mr. and Ms. Millington Star
Antonio Webber & Tara Comer
The Class of 2013 was filled with talented, memorable students. And when it came down to the two who would represent this class, I selected two prime examples of being wonderful student/athletes in Munford’s Tara Comer and Millington’s Antonio Webber. Both will attend college to play their sport after decorated high school careers. Comer and Webber have been a part of championship teams while racking up individual honors.
Let’s first examine Comer’s four years at Munford. During that timeframe, she spent a little time on the hardwood playing center. But her height and wingspan were two deadly tools in pitching.
She won nearly 20 games this season sharing the mound with Sam Scott and Alex Stanford. Comer was the pitcher on the rubber the night Munford clinched its first Sub-State win to reach State. Since that night as a sophomore, Comer became a force on the softball scene with her arm and bat. She earned a scholarship to Southwest Tennessee.
Webber will be heading to Bethel next year for football. The 2013 Millington Star Male Athlete of the Year wasn’t just a star running back for the Trojans. Be was a “power” guard for the basketball team with a solid jumper. And for one season he was a speedy enforcer on the soccer field. Webber’s two weapons of choice to beat the competition were his speed and strength. Webber was a lethal combination of breakaway quickness covered in muscle. He trucked defenders when he was carrying the rock helping the Trojans win the 2011 District 14-3A Football title with a 9-1 record.
Although his senior season ended at 6-6, Webber had one of the best campaigns for a Millington running back in history. Under a new offense, he carried the responsibility of leadership, offensive go-to player and spiritual glue after losing teammate Dana Payne.
Comer was an emotional leader for her softball team quick to crack a joke to ease tension or boost the morale if things were going slow.
In or out of the dugout, the Lady Cougars needed the presence of Comer. Her smile was contiguous and when she played to the top of her ability, that spread to her teammates as well. That was evident in the first round of State when she almost threw a no-hitter to help the Lady Cougars win 1-0. Comer will carry the Munford name to the next level and the title of 2013 Ms. Millington Star.
Webber will carry many monicors to the next level including Mr. Millington Star. Overcoming the trails and tribulations of his life, Webber is the ideal man to represent any group. He’s proven, tested and determined to be even greater. Pushed and motivated by forces greater than we can imagine, Webber will reach his next set of goals.