By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Collierville Dragon Fire
December finally gave me a chance to see the finished product called Collierville High School. It is a campus so beautiful that it made me want to go back to high school — for a second.
Day One of the annual Collierville Dragon Fire Basketball Tournament gave me a chance to see how good the Brighton Lady Cardinals would be in 2018-19.
While watching the Lady Cardinals dominate on the court, I had a chance to head up the large amount of stairs alongside the stands to enjoy the hospitality area.
The menu was a grand as the buildings on the campus. Pizza was the last thing I wanted. I did enjoy the homemade desserts and a chance to make a McAllister’s Deli sandwich.
I must say my first impression of the new Collierville High School got a grade of an A+. The welcoming environment and food was the extra credit.
Arnold Palmer/VIP @ Munford
It depends on where you are from but the combination of lemonade and sweet tea has a name. I grew up in Frayser via North Memphis. So the combo was called a VIP. But hanging out with my dad around Colonial Country Club, the beverage was called an Arnold Palmer. It made sense because my dad would make me the drink while we were on the golf course.
I thought it couldn’t get any better than that until the Region 7-3A Basketball Tournament at Munford High School. The students made great sweet tea to rival McDonald’s. Then the lemonade was the perfect blind of zesty citrus sugary flavor.
So when the students assisting Pam Kendrick offered me beverage options. I asked for an Arnold Palmer. They looked puzzled.
After a quick history lesson on the late golfer, they started to make the combo drink while still a little confused. Then I informed them if someone request a VIP, it’s the same combination.
That sparked a laugh and a great conversation the rest of the evening. By the way, I had about 5 VIPs that night. It was flawless.
There are a couple of grills to enjoy at a Millington Trojan Football game. The first one to great you is operated by Millington Central High School alumni. The grill is a platform for smoked excellence. From burgers and bologna to seasoned chicken or bacon-wrapped items, you will enjoy whatever comes off the grill from the alumnus.
Thanks to Cathy Harris, I’m always greeted with a warm smile, big hug and this question, “Do you want something to eat?”
“Of course,” is the answer. Harris does a great job of selling the food. This night she sold me on trying the thick cut bologna with the special made barbecue sauce. After two pieces, I was pretty sure the sauce at their grill is the boss.
Just few steps to the right is the official MCHS Faculty Grill. You never know who you might see handling the cooking duties from week to week. But usually you can spot Millington Baseball Head Coach Zane Adams with a spatula and bowl of seasoned meats.
Zane has a simple philosophy — “I’ll put anything on here.”
Zane has grilled shrimp, broccoli, corn and all the traditional meats. This past year Adams added to his tricks by deep-frying food like catfish, wings and funnel cakes.
Adams is the man you want on the grill or Fry Daddy to make a party flow.
April Simpson’s Peanut Butter Cake
This delicious offering has made the Best in Food a couple of times. But what made it so special this time was the cake made by the amazing April Simpson wasn’t debuted to the Brighton hospitality room until I made it.
During the 2019 District 13-3A Basketball Tournament, Brighton High School did its typical great job of feeding us plenty of healthy treats and some guilty pleasures.
I was avoiding all desserts like oatmeal raisin cookies, baby brownies and fruit covered in fudge. But when my delicious buddy, the peanut butter cake, was reviled just for me I couldn’t say no.
For years Ms. April has blessed me with this cake during football season, a baseball game or if her daughter Haley presented it moments after clinching a birth in the State softball tournament.
She has made the only version of this cake I have ever eaten. It’s one of my favorite desserts now and I know she makes it with a loving spirit.
Now both of her girls have graduated high school and thanks to Haley she’ll be in Cleveland, Miss., a lot more for Delta State Softball. But I have a feeling Ms. April will make time to make sure I get at least one cake a year. And to know she makes time for a simple reporter like me — means the world. Thank you Ms. April for each amazing slice over the years.
Best Food Moment
TRA Holiday Tournament
When I got news before the basketball season that Tipton-Rosemark Academy was going to host a holiday tournament, I was excited for two reasons. TRA is home to one of the best girls and boys team in the state. The Lady Rebels didn’t lose a basketball game until we honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Meanwhile the Rebels reached Nashville to play in the State championship game.
The second reason why I was so happy TRA was hosting some holiday hoops was the potential for food options. With a couple of dollars, you can buy some of the best barbecue nachos in the world (the Rotel and special method with the cheese). And let’s not forget the Rebel Dogs. A piece of Heaven in a bun on a winter’s night.
But the hospitality room did not disappoint. Gourmet pizza, multiple pasta dishes, veggies, fruit trays and little snacks a reporter could take on the run for the next game.
We were spoiled all season with great Rebel basketball throughout 2018-19. And for a couple of nights my stomach fell in love with TRA Basketball.
A sport that doesn’t get the publicity it deserves if you measure the work of the athletes is definitely wrestling. Those athletes put in hours of work on their skills. Then there is conditioning, making weight and learning your opponent. It takes major discipline to be a successful wrestler.
The Millington Trojan Wrestling program has a good mixture of young talent that will emerge victorious by the time they are juniors and seniors. Now they have a home for wrestling at the Millington Civic Center. But twice a year the Trojans will head over to the William Osteen Gymnasium for the Trojan Wars and Trojan Invitational.
In addition to great wrestling action, the Boosters will make the sure the coaches, officials, referees and media are treated to a buffet fit for a wrestler, health nut and greedy reporter.
This year I got full on sports drinks. But I made sure I saved room for barbecue and a couple of baked goodies.
The food was excellent and you can tell how much pride the parents take in the program and their children in each bite. Those wrestlers have dedication because they learned it at home. From Jeremy Tincher taking pictures to Susan Graves promotional skills, Trojan Wrestling is in good hands for years to come.