By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Here are the top 10 moments from The Genuine Article for the 2013-14 TSSAA sports year.
10. Sub Way for Munford
To settle the score of who was the best in Region 7-3A Volleyball came down to the Bartlett Lady Panthers and Munford Lady Cougars.
And the defending champion Lady Panthers were victorious Oct. 15 in the Munford Gymnasium 25-15, 25-21 and 28-26. Led by Regional Tournament MVP Kenzie Fields, Bartlett advanced to host a Sectional contest this Thursday.
Earlier in the day, District 13-3A champions Munford took to the court and eliminated the Arlington Lady Tigers in three sets 26-24, 25-20 and 25-17. That win made it seven straight Sub-State appearances for the Lady Cougars dating back to 2007.
“Our goal as always is to get to Sub-State,” Munford Head Coach Nina Makris said.
9. Start Witnessing
Two young basketball standouts wrapped up their middle schools careers at Sub-State, Brighton Lady Cardinal Gabby Crawford and Munford Cougar Taelyr Gatlin. But it was a December night some in the Tipton County got a chance to come inside from the cold weather to watch the two All-Star players.
Tipton County middle school basketball rivals the Brighton Lady Cardinals and Munford Lady Cougars held their latest installment in the rivalry Dec. 5 in the Munford Gymnasium. The Munford Cougars led by eighth grader Gatlin remained unbeaten on the season outlasting the Cardinals. The girls’ game was an overtime thriller. Munford Lady Cougar Uniqua Miller has the hot shooting touch with five three-pointers. But Crawford paced her team with 14 points before fouling out. Brighton girls were able to prevail over Munford in the extra session.
8. Sign of things to come
The Tipton-Rosemark Academy bats were quiet among the fanfare of opening day back in March at Bolton Baseball Field.
But thanks to the Rebel pitching duo of starter Connor Alexander and relief man Nathan Whitley, the Munford Cougars’ lumber was dead silent. The TRA pair combined fired pitches into the mitt of catcher Jacob LaFosse for a no-hitter in the Rebels’ 6-0 victory March 10.
“We didn’t have a good approach today at all,” TRA Skipper Brad Smith said. “We’ve done a good job of that but didn’t show it today whatsoever. We only had two hits. We didn’t get much to hit early in the game.
“We scored all our runs early in the game, but we didn’t have much to hit,” he continued. “You don’t want to chase a bad ball in order to get hits. They gave us a gift early in the game.”
7. Eldon Tyms Superman
The Munford Cougars entered the 2014 M&M Bowl fresh off their first win in the rivalry in 10 years. The Trojans entered the contest with revenge on their minds. And Millington exercised the demons of 2012 Friday night in the Millington Football Stadium with a 39-0 win over the Cougars. After gaining the lead 16 seconds into the game, Millington added to its advantage with one of the plays of the year. Trojan quarterback Eldon Tyms dropped back and tried to fire a pass over the large Cougar defensive line. Munford’s Andrea’ Bell was able to tip the ball into one of his teammate’s hands for an interception. Not giving up on the play when the Munford defensive back fumble the ball off the ground, Tyms was on the spot to retrieve the ball. He took off toward the end zone for a score giving the Trojans a 12-0 lead. When the play was done, Tyms couldn’t help but strike a Superman Pose.
6. Demarius Curry flies onto the scene
It was a busy 2013-14 TSSAA sports year for Millington’s Demarius Curry.
He started in the fall leaping in the air, snatching down touchdown passes from Eldon Tyms. During the winter, Curry came in from the cold to run some point and play tough defense for the Trojans.
Curry wrapped up his sporting year May 23 in Murfreesboro with the Class 3A State High Jump final. The junior hit a mark of 6-feet, 4 inches to earn fifth place and have his name announced across the MTSU Stadium public address system.
5. Walker Dominates Area Wrestling
Waiting one more day didn’t bother Millington Trojan Luke Walker.
Since the 10th grade, the Millington senior has been in contention for a Regional title. Coming into last weekend’s Region 8-3A Individual Wrestling Tournament at Cordova, Walker was the favorite in the 182-pound division.
Originally scheduled to be held Friday and Saturday, snow came in the area Saturday morning moving the championship and consolation rounds to Sunday Feb. 9. After improving his record to 29-1, unbeaten in 182, Walker faced Collierville’s Cameron Tarver for the championship.
Using his technical skills he developed over the years and natural ability, Walker dominated the match to win on points.
“Ever since the 10th grade I told myself I was going to one day be Region champ,” Walker said seconds after winning. “My goal was obviously to be the best in the tournament. I think I deserve it. I put in work today.”
4. Four The Ladies… Cougars
All on the line for a trio of Munford Lady Cougars May 17 was history.
Munford seniors Jodie Duncan, Courtney Bonaiuto and Christina Cantrell were one game away from reaching the Class 3A State Softball Tournament every year in their prep career. The obstacle in their way at the Munford Softball Field was the Houston Lady Mustangs.
Cantrell was ready for the challenge bringing her bat, glove and running shoes. The senior center fielder came up with big hits including a leadoff single in the eighth inning. Then her sophomore teammate McKenzie Pugh slapped a single to right field driving Cantrell home for the 2-1 win and the program’s fourth straight trip to the Class 3A State Softball Tournament.
3. Hair All About Mosley’s Decision
For months area recruiting experts were wondering where would Brighton’s Charles Mosley take his talents for college. One of the first people to know outside of the Mosley family circle was Jarra Dowell. As Mosley set in Dowell’s chair at Mandatory Swagg Barber Shop at 7750 Highway 51 North in Millington, he prepared to cut Mosley’s trademark mohawk.
But this wouldn’t be just any Mosley mohawk. The senior lineman had a special request for designs.
And it was that hairstyle that Mosley used Dec. 9 to make it official his verbal commitment to The University of Tennessee. Once Mosley walked into a packed Brighton High School Library, the checkerboard patterns on the side of his head with “UT” on the right and “Vols” on the left made it clear.
“Why not?” Mosley said rhetorically. “It’s the school I fell in love with. I feel at home at Tennessee and Coach Jones. I’m ready to go to work right away and bring Tennessee back on top.”
2. Murfreesboro Challenge Meet
A special season doesn’t end in two games at the Division II-A State Baseball Tournament.
All season Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebel Head Coach Brad Scott has felt something divine about his 2014 club. Since this fall’s Murfreesboro Challenge to the victory in the Regional and Sub-State championship games, Scott had said this group of Rebels are special.
The validation came May 21 when TRA survived two games to reach the championship game. After dropping their opener the previous day, the Rebels faced do-or-die games in the loser’s bracket. Beating Knoxville Webb gave TRA 34 wins on the season.
1. Simply the Best…Again
The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels didn’t need any reminders that they were the underdogs entering the May 23 Division II-A State Softball Tournament title game.
But just in case they needed one, a fan in the Murfreesboro Sports Complex & McKnight Field took it upon himself to give a refresher.
“Even before the game we had somebody sitting behind our dugout saying we didn’t deserve to be where we are,” TRA pitcher Ashton Needham said. “This feels kind of great.”
The great feeling came at the conclusion of the State championship game when the Lady Rebels dominated the Davidson Academy Lady Bears 8-4 to win the title. The victory gave the program its second championship in school history and No. 1 for first-year Head Coach Johnie Sanfratello.