TSA template - [PDF Document] (2024)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (1)

Kick It Up A Notch • Safe At Home • Born To Coach • Riveted By Racing

TSA template - [PDF Document] (2)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (3)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (4)

4 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

MARCH, 2011VOLUME 1, NO. 11

A DREAM SEASONMurfreesboro’s Siegel HighSchool is counting on theirbig men to deliver a statetitle during their record-setting season

A DREAM SEASONMurfreesboro’s Siegel HighSchool is counting on theirbig men to deliver a statetitle during their record-setting season


Leading OffLeading Off

12 Kick It Up A NotchWith the departure of Ryland Hoskins,the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame andMuseum looks to the future and thenext chapter in its 45-year history.

18 Safe At Home Of the six Nashville area collegeteams, 43 percent of the players arefrom the mid-state (91 of 210 play-ers).

28 Born To CoachBy the time he was in high schoolthe future was set for Rick Byrd –and it clearly involved coaching

32 Riverdale’s Wild RideWhile Riverdale’s head coach JohnWild downplays his legendary careerthe trophies keep stacking up.

36 Riveted By RacingMason Mingus may need to considercarrying around a mirror to make surehe knows which sport he is playing.

38 Jumping Back InWhen 10-year-old Jay Fleming waspulled out of his classroom on Dec. 16,his classmates weren’t sure what theirmild-mannered peer could have possi-bly done.








Scoring TouchIn an effort to advance beyondthe opening round of the 2011Stanley Cup Playoffs for thefirst time in team history, thePredatorsacquiredc e n t e rM i k eF i s h e rf r o mOttawa.

Page 17


TSA template - [PDF Document] (5)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 5www.tnsportsmag.com

Following last season’s state championshiprun and undefeated season the RiverdaleLady Warriors are poised to make anotherdeep post-season.

Following last season’s state championshiprun and undefeated season the RiverdaleLady Warriors are poised to make anotherdeep post-season.


STAFFJane Hutson…………………………………PublisherJim Muir……………………………Managing EditorJim Harwell…………………Contributing WriterDave DeRocher……………Contributing WriterMaren Angus………………Contributing WriterJillian Davis…………………Contributing WriterCarol Stuart…………………Contributing WriterJoe Synkowski…………Contributing WriterJohn Ferguson……………Contributing WriterJohn Lee………………………Contributing WriterSteve Lee……………………Contributing WriterRudy Kalis……………………Contributing WriterGreg Ruff……………………Contributing WriterDr. James Lohse…………Contributing WriterLarry Woody………………Contributing WriterGreg Sage……………………Contributing WriterKevin Pieper…………………Contributing Writer Kathy Steakley…………………Guest ColumnistAutumn Boaz……………………Guest Columnist

ADVERTISINGPeggy Simmons………Office/Sales ManagerRandy Sharber………………Account ExecutiveJon Williams…………………Account Executive

ARTDon N. Olea………Art Director/PhotographerJoel Smith……………………………PhotographerKevin Pieper…………………………PhotographerKenn Stilger…………………………Photographer

8 Pre-game10 New Products & Innovations35 Shut Up & Serve42 Ask The Jock Doc45 Ask The Athletic Trainer46 Looks Between The Lines

12 Football In Tennessee22 The Great Outdoors34 Basketball In Tennessee


Tennessee Sports Magazine is published monthlyby Mad Kat Publications; 9050 Carother’s PkwySuite 140 #73, Franklin, TN 37067 ph: (615) 955-0545.

Contents may not be reproduced without consent ofthe copyright owner. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmit-ted in any form or by any means electronic, mechani-cal, photocopying, recording or otherwise without theprior written permission of the publisher. TennesseeSports Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited man-uscripts, articles, photographs or artwork.


Munchak Ushers In New EraOn Jan. 28 Titansfans bid farewell toJeff Fisher, whoheld the distinctionof being the NFL’slongest tenuredhead coach.





Talkin’ Turkey

To submit information, photos or stories or to place advertising please contact Tennessee Sports Magazine at

(615) 955-0545 or [emailprotected]

High School AD’s and CoachesPlease email us your 2011 CollegeSignees.Include your student ath-lete’s name, sport and college to



In the spring the thoughts ofa Tom turkey turn toromance, and the normallywily bird becomes a moregullible gobbler.

See page 22








S w e e t T a l k e r s

TSA template - [PDF Document] (6)

Commodore junior forward Lance Goulbournepowers up for a rebound during Vanderbilt’s 84-74 victory over Ole Miss on January 19 at Memorial Gym.

Photograph by Steve Green

Jump Ball

TSA template - [PDF Document] (7)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (8)

reetings and welcome to the Marchissue of Tennessee Sports Magazine.

You probably noticed by the pic-ture at the top of this month’s pre-game that the pleasant and familiarface of publisher Jane Hutson is

absent. Please don’t be alarmed or worry – I’m onlyfilling in this month while Jane attends to somefamily medical issues involving her father.

So, before we get rolling perhaps a brief intro-duction is necessary before I tackle this month’sPre-game. My name is Jim Muir and I serve asmanaging editor and a partner at TSM.Additionally, I want to add that it’s a thrill for meto be able to reach out to you this month.

When Jane asked me to pinch-hit for her I wasimmediately reminded of a situation involving abaseball game I attended last summer. Before Iexplain the correlation between my attempt to tryand fill in for Jane and a baseball game I shouldfirst point out that I’m a huge St. Louis Cardinalsfan and four or five times each summer I make thedrive to Busch Stadium to see my beloved Redbirdsplay. On top of that, I’m also a big fan of AlbertPujols – the best player in Major League Baseballin my opinion.

On one particular trip I was disappointed to learn that Pujols had beengiven the day off – a fact that definitely took a little luster off the game.

Such is the case this month withJane’s smiling face and exceptionalcommentary missing from thisspace, which very well could bring atinge of disappointment to our read-ers. On the bright side, Pujols’replacement that day did an ade-quate job and didn’t make anymajor blunders – and the Cardswon. So, with that thought in mind… my goal this month is to do anadequate job and not make anymajor miscues. And of course in myhumble opinion our March issue,even with me pinch-hitting in thisspot, is a winner.

As far as my picture replacingJanes this month, well, it is what itis and there’s not much I can doabout that.

The month of March is withoutquestion more synonymous with asingle sport than any other month.Think about it – baseball, football,track, wrestling – no other sport butbasketball can boast a phrase like‘March Madness.’ And in keepingwith that annual hoops’ excitementwe are heavy with basketball fea-tures this month including storieson the tall and talented Siegel HighSchool boy’s team and theRiverdale High School girl’s – whoboth appear to be poised to make adeep post-season run.

Along with those round ball fea-tures we also highlight the coachingexcellence of Belmont men’s bas-ketball coach Rick Byrd who recent-ly picked up his 600th career win –an accomplishment that puts thepersonable coach in a distinguishedleague.

And with the weather warmingup that means one thing for sure,baseball is right around the corner.TSM’s feature writer Jim Harwellgets us set for some hard ball actionby highlighting some mid-statebaseball players who will be count-ed on for big contributions duringthe upcoming season.

Finally, this month we also haveour usual selection of interestingand diverse columns that are sureto satisfy the appetite of even themost die-hard sports fan. In fact,this month’s magazine is a veritablesports’ smorgasbord – a little some-thing for everybody.

So, roll up your sleeves, dig in andbon appetit.

All the best to you and God Bless! ■

Pinch Hitting

The month ofMarch is

without ques-tion more

synonymouswith a single

sport than anyother month.

by Jim Muir


8 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com


St. Louis Cardinalsslugger Albert Pujols

TSA template - [PDF Document] (9)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 9www.tnsportsmag.com

his simple command – fear not – shouldbe easy to conquer. But even though thewords are small, the message isimmense. So immense, in fact, that theywere chosen as the theme for BrentwoodAcademy’s Spiritual Emphasis Week.

Twice a year, all students and faculty participate inJoe Campbell Service Day, choosing different loca-tions in the community to serve. As Rian Berger,Spiritual Life Director, stepped on stage to begin thisparticular day, his backdrop consisted of two hugecanvases. Both displayed the words ‘Fear Not’ andcontained a very honest assessment of their stu-dent’s fears.

Both middle and high school students had writtena wide array of things they struggle with, includingeverything from sharks, spiders, heights and bigdogs, to a deeper level that spoke of failure, rejection,loneliness, the unknown, being made fun of orignored. In other words, things that as adults, westill sometimes wrestle with.

Several individuals who could relate to overcom-ing obstacles, hurdles and addictions spoke at theschool, including Notre Dame graduate and footballplayer Rudy Ruettiger, A.C. Green, of the LosAngeles Lakers, former professional poker playerStephen Bredfeldt and Phil Vischer, founder ofVeggie Tales. But there was also a most intriguing young lady among this cast– 12-year-old Amiya Alexander who took the stage the first day, holding a cap-tive audience with her infectious smile and dazzling dance clothes.

On September 6, 2008, at 1:06 in the morning, a then 10-year-old Amiyawoke from a vivid dream. She immediately shared the dream with her mom –she was in a giant pink bus riding down the street. A kid came in, and thenmore kids, and then she was teaching the whole world to dance. She sat downand sketched out exactly what her bus would look like, with bright pink wallsand dance barres in place of seats. And with the help of her mom, that dreamcame true.

One of Amiya’s goals is to fight the obesity epidemic in children in our coun-try. After hearing Michelle Obama talk about this problem, she thought, “I canhelp her!” And she is doing just that. Amiya’s Mobile Dance Academy travelsto inner city neighborhoods, schools and day care centers, teaching ballet, tap,

hip hop, salsa and jazz to kids even asyoung as two. She desires to bringdance instruction to underservedcommunities at a discounted rate, giv-ing children a chance to study dancethat might never see that opportunity.Amiya also works with an organiza-tion that accepts donations to offerscholarships for low-income families.

There are some fears that go alongwith being such a young visionary. Forinstance, older people don’t alwaystake her seriously. But Amiya is notone to give in to that fear. She feelslike she should have the same oppor-tunities as other owners and presi-dents. “I’m not that different,” shebelieves. There is a reason for herdetermination. Amiya explains that“God is the head of my life. I thankhim for everything. He leads my pathand I thank him.”

One of the joys of her service is see-ing these kids smile and get reallyexcited. She feels like dancing helpsgive them confidence and self-esteem.One recent dance student was obese.At school, she was always left out. Onthe bus, that all changed. She felt wel-comed, like she was a member of agiant family and not an outsider.Amiya is a great example of what oneperson, even at such a young age, cando to change the life of someone elsein a positive way.

To wrap up the morning, after animpromptu and quite hilarious salsalesson for some select faculty mem-bers, Rian Berger spoke once more.He quoted II Timothy 1:7: “For Goddid not give us a spirit of timidity, buta spirit of power, of love and of self-dis-cipline,” encouraging these BA stu-dents never to fall into the trap ofthinking “I’m too young to be used byGod.”

Amiya, for one, is safe from thattrap. ■

Fear Not

She desires tobring dance

instruction tounderserved

communities at adiscounted rate,giving children achance to study

dance …

by Kathy Steakley

Sports Mom Spotlight


TSA template - [PDF Document] (10)

our years ago agroup of ath-letes from theUniversity ofGeorgia inAthens want-

ed to find a way to protectathletes using new tech-nology while allowing theathlete to still have freemovement. The result wasa revolutionary productthat is very different fromthe usual foams and plas-tics used in normal protec-tive padding.

EvoShield is a thinner,wider, stronger and moredurable protective productdesigned for different partsof the body. Some of theproducts offered are chestprotectors, rib protectors,elbow pads, shin pads, andwrist pads.

Caleb Joseph, a FranklinHigh school grad and for-mer baseball player atLipscomb University, wasintroduced to EvoShieldduring his playing days atLU.

“I wore the leg/ankleprotector for my front footwhile hitting,” said Joseph,

who is now a top prospectin the Baltimore Oriolesorganization, “I also worethe wrist guard with thepad insert in it for defen-sive purposes.”

Each product is made ofa composite material thatonce taken out of the foilback, reacts with the airand hardens to fit the ath-lete’s body. The shape itforms will never change.

“The best part aboutEvoShield is the fact thatyou are able to mold it toyourself,” said Joseph.

Bob Pickney, CEO ofEvoShield, describes theproducts as, “game-chang-ing protective apparel.”EvoShield products werefirst introduced in Floridaduring Spring Training andit was very well receivedamong the trainers.

“I get a new one everyyear at spring training,”said Joseph, “I can go anentire 162 game schedulewithout it breaking downor busting.”

Since the product wasintroduced EvoShield hasbeen used by a wide array

of athletes, from the begin-ner to the seasoned profes-sional.

“It’s really for kids alongwith elite athletes,” saidPickney. “It protects 8-year-olds as well as it pro-tects 20-year-olds.” Mostrecently, EvoShield wasworn by Cody Ross andJosh Hamilton, the NLCSand ALCS MVP’s.

EvoShield doesn’t wantathletes to worry aboutplaying hurt and with thislightweight product, ath-letes don’t even realizethey have it on. “We use adifferent technology thatdoesn’t get in the way,”said Pickney.

Another project,EvoShield has taken on iscustom designing shirts forkids that have health con-

ditions. Pickney said theyhave made protectiveshirts for people with pace-makers, cancer patientswith IV drips and they arecurrently working on ashirt to protect kids withenlarged spleens.

With the custom medicalwork EvoShield has beendoing it has really inspiredPickney. “That’s the realfun part of the job.Knowing you can make adifference in someone’slife.”

Over the past threeyears, along with theWorld Series, EvoShieldhas appeared in the 2010Super Bowl, the 2010Stanley Cup finals, the2010 College World Seriesand the 2010 NCAALacrosse Championship. ■

By Maren Angus

New Products & Innovations

ELITE COMPANY Chicago White Sox infielderGordon Beckham, Sporting News' 2009 AmericanLeague Rookie of the Year, wears EvoShied.


s co




ldEvoShield:A Game Changer


TSA template - [PDF Document] (11)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 11www.tnsportsmag.com

Jordan LavenderUniversity School of Nashville • TrackDuring a standout career at University School of Nashville, Jordan Lavender blazed atrail – literally. Lavender, who recently signed a letter of intent to attend the Universityof Virginia on a track scholarship, is the TSSAA Division II state champion in the 100meter, 200 meter, 400 meter and to complete the quadruple-gold, also the long jump. Sheis also the city and region champion in all four of those events. USN track coach ZafAhmed pointed out “Jordan was the only female listed in the Top 25 nationally in thefour events that etched her name in the TSSAA record books.

Harrison HawthorneRavenwood High School • WrestlingRavenwood High School senior Harrison Hawthorne is a leader on the wrestling team,according to Coach Josh Peck. “He is a great leader and motivator and athletically he is thestrongest wrestler that Ravenwood has ever had.” Hawthorne is currently 33-1 with 41takedowns and 246 team points. Twenty-four of Hawthorne’s wins were by a single pin.Hawthorne also shines away from athletics, boasting a 3.65 grade point average. TheRavenwood senior also led the team to a third place finish in Class AAA in the state dualsFebruary 4-5.

Zac SwanseyTennessee Tech University • BasketballZac Swansey, a transfer from the University of Georgia, is quickly making a name forhimself with the Tennessee Tech University basketball team. Swansey is a junior pointguard from Dunwoody, Georgia. “Zac has had a tremendous impact on our team andleague already,” said TTU men’s basketball coach, Mike Sutton. “He leads the OVC inassists and is one of the top 5 ranked nationally as well. He has great court vision andhis ability to deliver the basketball to players in scoring position is critical. If anything, Iwould like for him to look for his own shot more often. He is an outstanding young manwho has done a wonderful job in the classroom, will graduate this spring, and still haveanother year of eligibility to compete for the Golden Eagles next year.”

Haley FelkerHarpeth High School • BasketballLook the word ‘consistent’ up in Webster’s Dictionary and you’re likely to find a picture ofHaley Felker, of Harpeth High School. A senior, Felker is a four-year starter for the Indiansand with 1,500 points is the second all-time scoring leader in school history. As a freshmanFelker averaged 12 ppg, as a sophom*ore 13.5 ppg., as a junior she upped to average to 15ppg and is currently scoring at a 19 ppg. clip for Coach Jimmy Mitchell. On top of thatFelker is scoring the nets from the charity stripe where she shoots 85 percent. Felker, anhonor student with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, will take her considerable athletic andacademic talents to Trevecca Nazarene University next year on a basketball scholarship.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (12)

ith the departureof RylandHoskins, theTennessee SportsHall of Fame andMuseum looks to

the future and the next chapter inits 45-year history.

In the same spirit of inspiration acoach might use to push an athleteto reach for a higher goal, RylandHoskins, who served as longtimeexecutive director, has a similarmessage for his successor: kick it upa notch, and take it to the next level.

Hoskins is no stranger to startingfrom scratch with only a vision anda blank slate. Over the past 10 yearsHoskins has helped to develop, mar-ket, and manage the site of thestate’s only hall of fame and muse-um dedicated to “honoring and pre-serving outstanding sports achieve-ments in Tennessee.” “If it hadn’tbeen for his labor of love, I don’tknow that the hall would exist,” saidcurrent TSHF board president BillEmendorfer.

Most Tennesseans and evensports fans don’t realize that theTennessee Sports Hall of Fame

unofficially began back in 1966, cre-ated by the Middle TennesseeSports Writers and BroadcastersAssociation in Winchester,Tennessee. That same year, the veryfirst TSHF inductee banquet washeld and was personally financed bythe writers and broadcasters for

$300. Regardless of the fact that there

was not yet a building to house theTSHF, for the next 28 years the offi-cers would come together once ayear and hold its annual banquet.The officers would recognize andrecord the inductees, while workingto preserve and chronicle the state’srich sports history as far back as the1800s.

Early supporters such as the lateBernie Moore, retired commissionerof the SEC, and the late BishopFrank Julian kept the young, oftenstruggling hall of fame together andmoving forward through toughtimes.

“The organization has had itspeaks and valleys over the years,”said Hoskins.

A major milestone took place in1994 when the state legislatureunanimously passed the “TennesseeSports Hall of Fame Act” allocating$1.5 million to build a hall if a placewas found, and officially creatingthe Tennessee Sports Hall of Fameand Museum. A 25-member boardwas also formed with the east, mid-dle, and west regions of the state


The Tennessee Sports Hall ofFame and Museum is looking for a higher level of visibility

The Tennessee Sports Hall ofFame and Museum is looking for a higher level of visibility

Kick It Up ANotch

Kick It Up ANotch

By John LeePhotographs by Don N. Olea

TSHF Executive DirectorRyland Hoskins has beenthe face of the Tennessee

Sports Hall of Fame since its inception.

Clarksville sprinter WilmaRudolph over-came wear-ing a leg brace as a child towinning three gold medalsin the 1960 SummerOlympics in Rome.

Clarksville sprinter WilmaRudolph over-came wear-ing a leg brace as a child towinning three gold medalsin the 1960 SummerOlympics in Rome.

12 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

TSA template - [PDF Document] (13)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 13www.tnsportsmag.com

equally represented, and for thenext few years, set about searchingfor a permanent space for the TSHFto call home.

The TSHF continued to existmainly only on paper, until the dealto build the new arena in Nashvillewas finalized. Thanks to the effortsof Doug Dickey, then AthleticDirector at UT and TSHF presidentin 2000, working with thenNashville Mayor Phil Bredesen andMDHA Commissioner GeraldNicely and others, the arena dealalso allocated a space for a hall andmuseum, a 7,500 square-foot per-manent home on the main level.

“I give so much credit to DougDickey,” said Hoskins. “There areboard members and there are boardmembers, but you have to havesomeone who is passionate about itand who cares about it.”

The challenges for the new TSHFexecutive director were many.

“When we came down here in2000, there was an empty space and

nothing on a computer,” saidHoskins. “They had officers at thattime and would keep the names andinfo in boxes.”

The TSHF also had never had astaff, with the exception of the P.R.

firm representing the organizationbefore the move.

“Ryland has been pretty amazingbecause for the most part he hasbeen a one-man band along with apart time assistant,” said

GRIDIRON GREATS The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame andMuseum preserves much of Tennessee’s rich gridiron history, includ-ing honoring greats like Reggie White and Peyton Manning.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (14)

Emendorfer. “He has done whatmost halls would do with three tofive staff members.”

The state funds were used todesign and build out the space andalso to purchase artifacts. The halland museum receives no state fund-ing for operational costs.

“Like all non-profits, we relyheavily on corporatesponsors,” saidHoskins. “In thelast three or fouryears with the econ-omy the way it is,that has been a chal-lenge to say theleast.”

The TennesseeSports Hall of Fameand Museumbelongs to the peo-ple of Tennessee –housing the plaquesof inductees, writtenhistory and testimo-nials, photographs,interactive displays,and over 500 arti-facts of TennesseeSports History. Yet,one of the greatestchallenges the TSHF faces is publicawareness and support.

“It is an excellent location and awonderful building,” said Hoskins.“Being in a building like this, thereare a lot of issues we don’t have to

deal with as a free standing struc-ture.”

Yet, being comfortably inside thearena with no visibility on the exte-rior has been one of the biggest chal-lenges for public awareness andrecognition for the TSHF.

“Awareness and visibility for the

hall is limited because there is noadvertising budget,” said Hoskins.“We desperately need some streetfront signage on this building, andeven a green city sign would go farto help visibility.”

Current board president BillEmendorfer sees the TSHF and itsboard not only facing the challengeof replacing Ryland Hoskins, butalso making the decisions to plot thedirection of the hall, and what thehall should be in order to reach itspotential.

“We need to build a more symbi-otic relationship with theBridgestone Arena, so that themuseum and the arena kind ofbecome synonymous,” Emendorfersaid. “We need to be an asset toNashville and have a presence atany sporting event in the city. It’stime to crank it up a notch withtechnology and we need to be a littledifferent and get out of the box. Wewant to embrace more exhibits thatmight rotate, be it from Memphis orKnoxville to create new energy andnew reasons to come down to themuseum. It’s got to be a form ofentertainment.”

The TSHF reaching out and striv-ing for more visibility is certainlynot a goal limited to MiddleTennessee.

“We need to go out and reach allregions and all different aspects ofthe state,” said Emendorfer. “We’ve

got a rich sports her-itage in this stateand we need that tobe a part of theprocess where peo-ple feel good aboutbeing involved.”

More growth ofcourse means theneed for more fund-ing. “We are lookingat creating a newbudget,” saidEmendorfer.

“I think it willinvolve a significantcapital campaignand fundraisingproject for a fewyears. There are alot of good things tocome, but it willtake some time,effort and somemoney to do it.”

The TSHF is open Mondaythrough Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Admission is adults $3 and chil-dren $2. For memberships or spon-sor information call 615-242-4750 ormailto:[emailprotected]. ■

14 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

The Hall and Museum featuresmany unique displays and

exhibits, honoring Tennessee’s world-class athletes, including

Nashville’s own three-time Olympic gold medalist

Tracy Caulkins-Stockwell.

Tennessee’s relatively new and exciting era oftop-tier professional sports is being preservedhere, recognizing great athletes and coaches.

Tennessee’s relatively new and exciting era oftop-tier professional sports is being preservedhere, recognizing great athletes and coaches.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (15)

On January 28, withmixed emotions Titansfans bid farewell to JeffFisher, who held the dis-tinction of being theNFL’s longest tenuredhead coach, and with thatan era of Titans footballended in Tennessee.

For 16 seasons Fisherhad led the Oilers/Titanswith a 147-126 recordincluding a Super Bowlappearance in 2000.

Jeff Fisher was notonly the face of the teamfor most Titans fans, buthis many contributionsto Middle Tennessee andthe city of Nashvilledeserve our gratitudeand appreciation. All ofus here at TennesseeSports Magazine join inexpressing our thanks toJeff and wish him thebest in his next endeavor.Truly, thanks for thememories, coach.

After more than a weekof speculation and inter-views, on Feb. 7 theTitans announced the in-house promotion of offen-sive line coach and thir-ty-year franchise veteranand NFL Hall-of-FamerMike Munchak to theposition of head coach forthe Titans.

Munchak took over thehead coaching spot withseveral key staff vacan-cies to fill.

The Titans have seennearly an entire coachingstaff transition, includingthe firings of defensivecoordinator Chuck Ceciland offensive coordinatorMike Heimerdinger.However, so far with

regards to theOilers/Titans, Munchakhas kept many of hischoices “in the family.”

Chris Palmer, a formerhead coach for theCleveland Browns andquaterbacks coach for theNew York Giants hasbeen named offensivecoordinator. Palmer’sconnection to the fran-chise goes back to theearly 1990s when he wasa wide receivers coach forthe Oilers.

Terry Gray, a formerTitans assistant coachhas rejoined the organi-zation as the new defen-sive coordinator. A long-time fan favorite returnswith fellow hall-of-famerand former Oiler/TitanBruce Matthews rejoin-ing the staff replacingMunchak as offensiveline coach.

There are also stillmany questions regard-ing the quarterback situ-ation after it wasannounced that VinceYoung would not bereturning to the Titans.

With the CollectiveBargaining Agreementbetween team ownersand the NFLPA still inlimbo as of this writingand a lockout looming,the Titans must look atall options and scenariosfor finding a new startingQB either in looking tothe draft or signing a vet-eran quarterback.

Regardless of whatdirection the team hastaken in filling these keyspots, it is a new and verydifferent era for the NFLin Tennessee.

“No excuses, no whin-

ing, just do it,” saidMunchak during hispress conference. “Rightnow to me anything isopen...it’s not the sameold, same old...” added

Munchak. “Anything ispossible.” Our congratu-lations to Mike Munchakfor this career milestone.Much more to come,Titans fans. ■

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 15www.tnsportsmag.com

For The Record

PROMOTION Mike Munchak, the Tennessee Titans'new coach, speaks during a news conferenceMonday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Nashville.

Munchak Ushersin New EraBy John Lee

TSA template - [PDF Document] (16)

www.tnsportsmag.com16 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine

Editors note: As theNHL's 'Three Stars' of themonth for January werenot released in time forinclusion in our Feb. issuewe at TSM did not wantNashville Predators goal-tender Pekka Rinne'soutstanding achievementto go unnoticed.

Rinne started 11 of thePredators' 13 games inJanuary, tying for first inthe NHL in wins (eight),ranking first in goals-against average (1.71)and second in save per-centage (.947). Heallowed just a single goalfive times.

Rinne kicked off 2011by winning seven of hisfirst eight games, four ofwhich came on the road;the team played onlythree home games dur-ing January, a franchiselow for home games in amonth.

He picked up two ofthree wins duringNashville’s second-eversweep of California Jan.5-8, making 40 and 42saves in defeatingAnaheim and San Jose,respectively. Two ofRinne’s eight wins camevia shootout, where hehasn’t yielded a goal inthree consecutiveappearances.

The Kempele, Finlandnative ranks second inthe League in goals-against average (2.11)and save percentage(.929).


Nashville PredatorsAthletic Trainer DanRedmond was recentlynamed the ProfessionalAthletic Trainer of theYear by the TennesseeAthletic Trainers’Society (TATS) at theorganization’s recentannual meeting.Redmond has been withthe Predators since theirinaugural season (1998-99) and has been in theathletic training profes-sion for 22 years.

“This award could nothave been bestowed on abetter person,” PredatorsHead Coach Barry Trotzsaid. “In the 20 years Ihave worked with Dan,he has exemplified pro-fessionalism and ethics tothe highest standard.Dan’s work is a model forathletic training and thehonor is well deserved.”

Redmond is a certified

member of theN a t i o n a lA t h l e t i cT r a i n e r sAssociation andhas workedmore than1,600 profes-sional hockeygames. Prior tojoining the Predators inJuly 1998, Redmondspent five seasons as theathletic trainer of thePortland Pirates of theAmerican Hockey League(where he worked withTrotz) and four seasonswith the AHL'sBaltimore Skipjacks. Healso spent three years(1987-89) in theCleveland Indians organ-ization as the athletictrainer for their develop-mental clubs.

He served two stints asa graduate assistant withRadnor High School

(Radnor, Pa.)and TempleU n i v e r s i t ySports MedicineCenter.

R e d m o n dcites his mostmemorable pro-f e s s i o n a lmoment as

working in the StanleyCup Finals with theWashington Capitalswhile working with theiraffiliate in Baltimore.

He resides in Lebanon,Tenn., with his wife,Barbara, daughter,Danielle and son, Sean.

The annual award isnamed after formerVanderbilt Universityathletic trainer JoeWorden and has beengiven annually since1990 to the individualwho best exemplifies thequalities that Wordendemonstrated in career. ■

The American HockeyLeague announced thatMilwaukee Admirals centerBlake Geoffrion has beennamed the Reebok/AHLPlayer of the Week for theperiod ending Feb. 6, 2011.In two games, Geoffrionrecorded two goals, fiveassists and a plus-5 rating.

Geoffrion becomes thefirst AHL player in more than16 years to be named Playerof the Week in back-to-backweeks, since PortlandPirates goaltender Jim Careydid so for the periods endingOct. 30 and Nov. 6, 1994.

Geoffrion came out of theall-star break with a four-point performance on hisown bobblehead night, scor-ing the game-winning goaland assisting on three oth-

ers to lead Milwaukee to a 4-2 win over Rockford onFriday night. Then in GrandRapids on Saturday,Geoffrion picked up a goaland two assists in a 6-2Admirals win, keepingMilwaukee tied atop theWest Division with the bestrecord in the WesternConference at week’s end.

In recognition of hisachievement, Geoffrion waspresented with an etchedcrystal award prior to arecent Admirals homegame.

In winning the consecu-tive awards, Geoffrion hasnotched 13 points and aplus-8 rating in four gamesover the last two weeks. Arookie out of the Universityof Wisconsin and the reign-

ing Hobey Baker Awardrecipient as the top colle-giate player in the U.S.,Geoffrion now has 10 goalsand 22 assists for 32 pointsin 37 games for theAdmirals this season, goodfor a tie for eighth place onthe league’s rookie scoringlist.

The former Brentwood,TN resident, is the grandsonof former NHL Hall of FamerBernie Geoffrion and the sonof former NHL forward DanGeoffrion.

Rinne's StarShines Bright

Back To BackBrentwood’s Geoffrion First Player in 16 Years to Win Award

For the Record

Predators Redmond Honored

TSA template - [PDF Document] (17)


For the Record

Preds Add Scoring TouchIN AN EFFORT to advance beyondthe opening round of the 2011Stanley Cup Playoffs for the firsttime in team history, the Predatorsacquired center Mike Fisher fromthe Ottawa Senators in exchange forNashville’s first-round pick in the2011 Entry Draft and a conditionalpick in the 2012 Draft.

The conditional pick is Nashville’sthird-round selection if thePredators win one round in the 2011Stanley Cup Playoffs, and turns intoa second-rounder in 2012 if the teamwins two-or-more rounds.

“We were seeking a top-six forwardand Mike Fisher was the player weset our sights on,” Poile said. “Heplays playoff-style hockey all seasonlong. He plays on the power play, killspenalties, is strong on draws and canmatch up against any opposing line.”

Fisher, 30, was tied for theSenators team lead in goals (14) andranked third on the club in points(14g-10a-24pts) in 2011-12, his 11thNHL campaign. The Peterborough,Ont., native has amassed 348 points(167g-181a) in 675 games, all withOttawa, since 1999-2000, hitting the20-goal mark in four of the last fiveseasons. The 6-foot-1, 208-poundernotched career highs in points (53),goals (25), assists (28) and power-play goals (10) a season ago and wasa finalist for the Selke Trophy as the

NHL’s top defensive forward in2005-06.

Selected 44th overall by theSenators in the 1998 Entry Draft,Fisher has 28 points (14g-14a) in 75postseason games, more than anycurrent Predator.

“Mike’s playoff experience will beinvaluable to our team and he imme-diately makes our team stronger anddeeper,” Poile said. ■

QUICK START Mike Fisher got anassist on an empty netter and thewin in his debut and notched hisfirst goal with the Predators in a 3-1 win against Vancouver on Feb. 17.

OTTAWA POP RADIO station 105.3KISS FM has sent Carrie Underwood tothe penalty box.

Following the trade of her husband,Mike Fisher, a 12-year veteran of theOttawa Senators, to the NashvillePredators, the signal has pulled all ofthe country star's songs from itsplaylist.

"Since MikeFisher is getting traded toNashville ... we are banning CarrieUnderwood from our radio station!,"reads the station's Twitter feed.

"It'll be kind of like going home forme. I'm sure my wife won't be disap-pointed, either. I think it's a great placefor me and family," Fisher told SENS TV.

Added Underwood in a statement,"Mike has been such a big part of the

(Ottawa) communi-ty, and I will neverforget how they wel-comed me withopen arms. Weobviously loveNashville, and theteams' decision forhim to now playwith the Predators isan exciting opportunity for Mike. I sup-port him wherever he plays!"

KISS program director GayleZarbatany says the station has no plansto lift the ban on Underwood

"This is a wretching announcementand the city is completely upset. He'sthe (team's) second-most popular play-er and it's awful."

Underwood Banned In Ottawa

Don N

. O



Don N

. O



TSA template - [PDF Document] (18)

Diamond Stars

MTSU Preview

Amateur baseball talent in MiddleTennessee is as strong as ever. Of the sixNashville area college teams, 43 percent ofthe players are from the mid-state (91 of 210players).

Amateur baseball talent in MiddleTennessee is as strong as ever. Of the sixNashville area college teams, 43 percent ofthe players are from the mid-state (91 of 210players).

Diamond Stars

The MTSU Blue Raiders have 17 mid-stateplayers on their roster of 33. Highly popularcoach Steve Peterson, now in his 24th sea-son at the helm, has over 740 wins at MTSU.

The MTSU Blue Raiders have 17 mid-stateplayers on their roster of 33. Highly popularcoach Steve Peterson, now in his 24th sea-son at the helm, has over 740 wins at MTSU.

MTSU Preview

The defending NAIA National ChampionCumberland Bulldogs look to repeat theiroutstanding 2010 results. The team finished58-9 and ranked No. 2 in the nation beforewinning the NAIA Championship.

NAIA ChampsThe defending NAIA National ChampionCumberland Bulldogs look to repeat theiroutstanding 2010 results. The team finished58-9 and ranked No. 2 in the nation beforewinning the NAIA Championship.

NAIA Champs

In 2010 Taylor Hill of Vanderbilt started ateam-high 17 games.

Photograph courtesy Vanderbilt University

TSA template - [PDF Document] (19)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 19www.tnsportsmag.com

Safe At Home

InsideBaseball In Tennessee

mateur baseball tal-ent in MiddleTennessee is as strongas ever. Of the sixNashville area collegeteams, 43 percent of

the players are from the mid-state(91 of 210 players). Several ofthese diamond stars are leadingtheir teams this season and plan toplay professionally.

Vanderbilt’s Sonny Grayand Taylor Hill

Two of Vanderbilt’s top startingpitchers are Sonny Gray fromSmyrna and Taylor Hill from Mt.Juliet. The two friends have been abig part of Vandy’s return to beinga national power. Vandy began thisseason ranked No. 5 in the nation.They finished last year ranked No.15 and just short of the CollegeWorld Series. In all, Vandy hasnine mid-state players on their 36-man roster.

In 2010, Gray and Hill led theteam in innings pitched (Gray108.2, Hill 107).

Gray, a junior, is a preseason All-American and was All-SEC lastyear. Scouts consider him one ofthe NCAA’s best pitchers and aprobable high 1st-round pick in theMLB draft. Gray feels that theteam’s unity is one of their keys tosuccess.

“Everyone’s really close on theteam,” Gray said. “We trust eachother off the field, and that trans-lates onto the field. We’re team-mates 24/7.”

This past summer, Gray was oneof Team USA’s most productivepitchers, on a squad filled with thenation’s best amateurs. He was 3-0with 0.38 ERA, second lowest onthe squad.

Team USA finished 13-4 againstsome of the best amateur competi-tion in the world, including teamsfrom Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipeiand Cuba.

Sonny’s story is truly inspira-tional. When he was just 14 yearsold, the Gray family tragically losthusband and father Jesse in a caraccident. Smyrna High graduateand Coach Shawn Middleton isvery close to Sonny and the Grayfamily. Middleton recalls thatSonny dealt with the tragedy withtremendous maturity.

"He basically took his two sistersand his mom under his wing andhandled it," Middleton said.

Sonny’s coaches believe thatGray’s character is one of thebiggest reasons for his success.Both Middleton and Smyrna Highbaseball coach Barry Vettercoached Sonny at Smyrna.

“Sonny’s a special young man,”said Vetter. “It goes back to hisparents. Family is important tohim. The loss of his father hasimpacted him deeply. He caresabout people.”

Gray faced the tragic loss withcourage and fortitude.

"You have to face adversity headon,” said Gray about the tragedy,“and that is what we tried todo...not just myself, but my wholefamily."

Vetter says that as an athlete,Sonny exhibits that same courageand determination.

“He is a great competitor,” saidVetter. “If you put him in a com-petitive situation, no matter whatit is, he’s gonna find a way to win.”

Gray credits coaches Tim Corbinand Derek Johnson with a lot hissuccess.

“Coach Corbin and CoachJohnson have had a strong impacton me,” he said. “They know howto help you go beyond the limitsyou put on yourself and help youhave more confidence.”

He also feels that his Vanderbilteducation has been an importantpart of his development.

“Going to school, getting thiseducation and competing on thefield, I feel like I’ve gotten toughermentally,” said Gray.

Taylor Hill grew up in Mt. Julietand through his hard work devel-oped into a top NCAA pitcher andpro prospect. He is 6-feet-4-inchesand weighs 225 and throws in thelow 90s. In 2010, he started ateam-high 17 games (4.48 ERA).

“Taylor’s a workhorse and trainsfor the game extremely well,” saidCorbin. “It has shown in his pitch-ing development. He is an

Local diamond starsmaking a big impactin college baseball

By Jim Harwell

AWORK HORSE Last year SonnyGray pitched a team high 108innings for Vandy.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (20)

20 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine

Baseball In Tennessee

unselfish, tough, competitive kidwho fills up the strike zone.”

Hill cites his father David as hisbiggest influence, saying that “mydad shaped the way I playedsports.” He is also very close to hisolder brother Ryan, a teacher andassistant baseball coach at Mt.Juliet. Ryan played college ball atBelmont before an injury cut hiscareer short.

Taylor was asked what advice hewould pass on to youngsters.

“You’ve got to have a dream andknow you can do it,” he said. “Youhave to work harder than anyoneelse. And choose your friends wise-ly.”

Hill’s high school coach Mark

Purvis knows Taylorand the Hill familywell. He saw Hillgrow up. Also,Taylor’s motherTeresa teaches atMt. Juliet. Purvisdescribes some ofTaylor’s keys to suc-cess.

“He was alwaysthat guy that madeeveryone aroundhim better,” saidPurvis. “He has atremendous workethic. He has acharisma, but hewasn’t a primadonna. He was justone of the guys.”

Purvis noted thatHill’s hard work isone of the reasonsfor his success.

“Early in highschool, he was just askinny, lanky kid,but he was the hard-est worker in theweight room and hedeveloped. And healways did well inthe classroom.”

Hill feels theteam’s chemistry isstrong. He hopes topursue a pro base-ball career.

“It’s always been adream of mine toplay pro baseball,”Hill said. “I’m look-ing forward to theopportunity.”

Belmont’s Tim Egertonand Vinny Casha

The Belmont Bruins have 10mid-state players on their 29-manroster. In all, Belmont has 10states represented on the team.

Senior Tim Egerton has devel-oped into one of the Bruins’ mostversatile players. From SmyrnaHigh and Columbia State (2 years),Egerton starts in right field andplays second base and pitches aswell. In 2010, he started 50-out-of-51 games and was among teamleaders in most stats (.323 BA, 4thon team; 15 doubles, 48 RBI, 10SBs). Head Coach Dave Jarvis,

now in his 14th season as headcoach at Belmont and his 29th yearas a college coach, likes Egerton’sapproach.

“Tim is a quiet competitor,” saidJarvis. “He’s not the rah-rah type.But he has a real fire to competeand win. He’s a tremendous part ofour team.”

Egerton was a teammate andremains a good friend with SonnyGray. Egerton has recently workedwith the Smyrna program and hishigh school coach Barry Vetter.

“Tim is an outstanding youngman,” said Vetter. “He is very ath-letic and a hard worker. He helpedour program here at Smyrna lastsummer. I actually look for Tim tobe a coach after his playing days.”

HEADED HOME Will Skinner isthe starting rightfielder for MTSUand last year batted .307 with 16home runs.

IRONMAN Last year Tim Egerton played in 50 of51 games for Belmont and was one of the topteam leaders in stats with a .323 batting aver-age, 15 doubles, 48 RBI's and 10 stolen bases

TSA template - [PDF Document] (21)


Baseball In Tennessee

Senior Vinny Casha has startedthroughout his four-year career atBelmont. The Father Ryan gradu-ate plays catcher and DH.

“Vinny has been an outstandingsignal caller for us,” said Jarvis.“He has real versatility. Also, he’staken on a leadership role inrecent years.”

MTSU’s Tyler Acker andWill Skinner

The MTSU Blue Raiders have 17mid-state players on their roster of33. Highly popular coach StevePeterson, now in his 24th season atthe helm, has over 740 wins atMTSU. In his 29 years of coachingcollege ball, Peterson has over 890victories.

Two senior leaders on the clubare Tyler Acker from DonelsonChristian High and WillSkinner from Riverdale.

Acker, now the full-timestarter, batted .364 last sea-son. He’s an all-around player.

“I consider him one of thebest leaders on the team,” saidPeterson. “Tyler’s probably the

best athlete we’ve had at catchersince 1990,” comparing Acker to aplayer who made it to the majors.DCA Coach John Berti considersAcker a leader as well.

“He’s the most outstandingyoung man I’ve coached,” saidBerti. “He’s a great leader in manyways. Baseball’s not his whole life.He’s got great balance.”

Acker’s foremost focus is hisChristian faith. He is studyingphysical therapy at MTSU.

Skinner starts in right field andbats cleanup. Last year he bat-

ted .307 with 16 homers(second on team) and49 RBI. He spent twoyears at Walters Statebefore MTSU.“Will is a stand-up

guy,” said Coach Peterson.“His bat does his talking for him.He’s the kind of player you canbuild a lineup around.”

Skinner was asked about hiskeys to playing at the D1 level.

“It’s important to do work onyour own,” he said. “Lift, run, hit,make time to practice every week.You have to keep the right mind-set.”

The Blue Raiders plan tobattle in the tough Sun BeltConference this season.

Cumberland’s AntonioButler

The defending NAIA NationalChampion CumberlandBulldogs look to repeat theiroutstanding 2010results. Theteam finished58-9 andranked No.2 in then a t i o nbeforewin-

ning the NAIA Championship. Legendary Coach Woody Hunt

returns for his 30th year afterbeing named NAIA National Coachof the Year last year.

On this year’s roster of 49 thereare 25 players from MiddleTennessee, most heavily fromLebanon (9), Gallatin and Mt.Juliet (6 each). Players also hailfrom many other states, fromFlorida to New York, and fromCanada.

A newcomer who will contributethis year is Antonio Butler fromGallatin, an outfielder who trans-ferred from Lipscomb. Butlerplayed in high school for Hunt’sson, Gallatin head coach ScottHunt.

Butler combines speed andpower in his 6-2, 170-pound frame.As a freshman at Lipscomb, he wasan All-Atlantic Sun Conferenceselection. That season, he batted.283 in 48 games (33 runs, 5 HRs).At Gallatin, Butler was a three-sport star and a two-time All-Region selection in baseball.

During his career, Butler hasmaintained a positive attitudeand has faced adversity withcourage. He does not let beingin the minority as a black inbaseball affect him. He citeshis mother as a strong influ-

ence, especially during herstruggle with breast cancer.

“My mom really impactedme,” said Butler. “In high schoolshe was fighting breast cancer,but she was always there forme. The way she faced the dis-ease was inspiring.”

Today, Sharon continues tos u p p o r t

A n t o n i o ,going toevery gameshe can –

e s p e c i a l l ythe games atCumberland.

CATCHING ON The Blue Raiders’Tyler Acker batted .364 last yearand will be the starting catcherthis season.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (22)

22 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

n the spring thethoughts of a Tomturkey turn toromance, and thenormally wily birdbecomes a more

gullible gobbler.But that doesn’t mean

he’s a pushover for hunterswho will take to the fieldsand forests for the April 2-May 15 Tennessee turkeyseason.

“It’s not too hard to fool alittle jake (a year-old male)but a big old Tom has moresmarts,” says Lebanon’sClarence Dies, a nationally-renown turkey hunter andmaker of hand-crafted boxcalls.

“That’s especially true asthe season goes on. Aturkey that’s been huntedgets smart fast. I’ve calledmany a big gobbler almostinto shotgun range, only tohave him hang up 50 yards away andrefuse to come any closer. He’ll strutaround, gobbling and fanning his tailfeathers. It’s like he’s taunting you.That’s what makes turkey huntingso challenging and so fascinating.”

Dies has been a student of turkeytalk for many years, and uses thatexperience to fine-tune his calls.

“A turkey can make a wide varietyof sounds and each has a differentmeaning,” Dies says. “You not onlyhave to be able to sound like a turkey,you have to know when to make thatspecific call.”

There are yelps, clucks, purrs,cackles, putts, “kee-wees” and gob-bles. A lonesome hen may start outwith a few yelps, then turn to aseductive purr. A feeding bird oftenputt-putt-putts as it putters along,scratching in the leaves.

The various kinds of calls includediaphragms (inserted in the mouth),box calls, friction calls, push-pullcalls and wing bone calls – the lattermade from the wing bone of a turkey

and first used by Native Americansand pioneer hunters.

There are “locator” or “shock”calls that mimic a crow, an owl andeven a peaco*ck. They are intended tostartle a roosting turkey into gob-bling and thereby giving away itslocation. (Often a Tom turkey willrespond to a sudden loud noise –even a clap of thunder or the slam-ming of a car door – with a boominggobble.)

While calling in a wild turkey isconsidered one of the most challeng-ing endeavors in the outdoors, veter-an turkey hunter Roy Denney notesthat “every bird is an individual, andthat means every one responds dif-ferently. I’ve had a big gobbler liter-ally running across an open fieldtoward me, and other times I can’tget one to come anywhere nearwhere I set up. That’s what makeseach hunt exciting. You never knowwhat’s going to happen.”

Tennessee’s restoration of the wildturkey has become a national model

for successful game-managementprograms. In 1970 there were onlyan estimated 2,000 turkeys inTennessee. Shortly afterwards theTennessee Wildlife ResourcesAgency began trapping turkeys fromexisting flocks and transplant themin new areas. By 2004 the turkeypopulation had exploded to an esti-mated 300,000 birds, and continuesto grow.

Last spring a record 36,781turkeys were bagged, breaking the2009 mark by 4,700 birds. Slightlymore than 1,000 additional turkeyswere taken during the 2010 fall hunt.

Projections are optimistic foranother big harvest this spring, eventhough last May’s flood took a toll onnewly-hatched turkeys in someareas.

“I think we’ll have a good seasonbased on the large number of birds Isaw in the fall,” says Denney, a sup-porter of the National Wild TurkeyFederation. “I feel very positiveabout the future.” ■

Inside The Great Outdoorswith Larry Woody

Sweet-Talking A Turkey Takes Talent

SWEET TALKERS Clarence Dies, left, and Roy Denney with a pair of Tennesseegobblers.



y W



TSA template - [PDF Document] (23)


ccording to a recentnewspaper story,Georgia leads thenation in salaman-ders.

I suspect thatGeorgia would rather be No. 1 in thecollege football polls, but I guess youtake a top ranking when you can getit -- even if it is for having the mostslimy little critters in the Union.

The story didn’t explain how itwas determined who has the mostsalamanders. Does someone fromthe federal government go around ineach state, looking under rocks andcounting them? (“Hello. I’m fromthe Federal Bureau of Salamandersand I’m here to count your lizards.”)

A creek runs through my backyard and it’s slithering with sala-manders. Yet I’ve never seen anyonefrom the government making anofficial Salamander Survey. Maybe Ishould call the feds tell them they’veoverlooked some.

The story didn’t say whereTennessee ranks in the SalamanderPoll but if they’ll count the ones inmy creek it will definitely boost us inthe ratings.

According to the story, Georgiahas 58 species of salamanders, morethan a 10th of the salamandersknown worldwide. Maybe Georgiashould change its nickname fromthe “Peach State” to “SalamanderHeaven.”

What’s the big attraction? A sala-mander scientist says Georgia has a“moisture-rich SouthernAppalachians habitat” that is idealfor the little amphibians.

The latest find – perhaps the onethat put Georgia over the top – wasa “patch-nosed salamander” that isthe world’s smallest. It’s about aninch long. That means it’s too smallfor fish bait, which is what we usedsalamanders for as kids.

Back then we called them “springlizards” and they were deadly baitfor every species of fish, especiallybig bass. We’d go down to theswampy bottoms and lift logs androcks and catch a bucketful of spring

lizards. Then – if we weren’t tootired from lifting logs and rocks –we’d go fishing.

Old-timers claimed there wasn’t abetter bait than a fresh, wrigglingsalamander. When a bass wouldn’tbite anything else, it couldn’t resist ajuicy spring lizard.

I guess you could say that Georgiais also No. 1 in fish bait.

The story got me to thinking: Iwonder what sort of outdoors crit-ter in which Tennessee might rankNo. 1? Based on a camping trip lastsummer, it might be chiggers. Bythe time we broke camp even mybumps had bites. I felt like a giantChigger Happy Meal.

If there’s a state that has morechiggers than we do, I don’t want tolive there.

I don’t know how to determine ifwe’re the nation’s No. 1 ChiggerState; the tiny red dots are harderto count than a bucket of salaman-ders.

But even without an official chig-ger census I’m sure most hunters,fishermen and campers will supportmy contention that we have morethan anybody else.

I think we should go ahead anddeclare that we’re No. 1 in the littlepests. If some other state wants tochallenge our chiggers, bring ’emon. We’re itching for a fight. ■

The Great Outdoors

Leapin’ Lizards!Who’s No. 1 in Salamanders?

LICENSE REMINDER: Hunters and fishermen are reminded that their licenseexpired on Feb. 28. They can be renewed at most outdoors outlets or on-line attnwildlife.org There is a wide array of licenses available from the basichunting/fishing license to the all-inclusive Sportsman’s License that covers big-game fees, trout license, TWRA lake permits, free subscription to TennesseeWildlife Magazine and other benefits. The Lifetime License is growing in popular-ity, especially as an enduring gift to young outdoorsmen from parents or grand-parents. Cost of the Lifetime License is based on age. For a list of licenses, whatthey include, and their cost, consult the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guideor visit tnwildlife.org

■ ■ ■TURKEY SEASON: The spring turkey season runs April 2-May 15, with a seasonlimit of four bearded birds, not to exceed one a day. For details about legal hunt-ing gear and hunting hours, consult the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guideor visit tn.widlife.org. The 2011 fall turkey season and regulations will be set at alater meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission.

■ ■ ■HUNTING FOR A CURE: Applications are being taken for the 7th annual Huntingfor a Cure in Savannah. The two-day guided turkey hunt (March 26-27) isdesigned for youngsters, some with life-threatening ailments. Proceeds go to theSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Guides volunteer their services and outdoorcompanies donate items to be auctioned off. Several Nashvillians are involved inthe project. Last year a Titans cheerleader participated, and country music starshave aided in the past. Gibson Guitar will donate an instrument to the auction.Last year’s event generated over $56,000. For information visit hunting-foracure.com or call Mike Davidson: (731) 225-8597.

■ ■ ■DEER HARVEST DOWN: Last season’s deer harvest of 159,305 was downslightly (533) from the previous year, but maintained an acceptable level,according to biologists. This fall’s seasons and regulations will be announcedlater this spring. – LWtnwildlife.org or the Tennessee Fishing Guide. — L.W.

Mark Your Calendar


Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 23

TSA template - [PDF Document] (24)

Siegel’s junior guard Treyton Harris (1)drives for a layup against Riverdale HighSchool.

Photographs by Randy Harris

Cover Story

By the time he was in high school the futurewas set for Rick Byrd – and it clearlyinvolved coaching.

Born To Coach

By the time he was in high school the futurewas set for Rick Byrd – and it clearlyinvolved coaching.

Riverdale’s Wild Ride

Siegel boys basketball coach Ben Dotson isbig on catchphrases. He uses motivationalmottos to drive his team, which has respond-ed by running roughshod through the regu-lar season.

Cover Story

By the time he was in high school the futurewas set for Rick Byrd – and it clearlyinvolved coaching.

Born To Coach

By the time he was in high school the futurewas set for Rick Byrd – and it clearlyinvolved coaching.

Riverdale’s Wild Ride

Siegel boys basketball coach Ben Dotson isbig on catchphrases. He uses motivationalmottos to drive his team, which has respond-ed by running roughshod through the regu-lar season.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (25)

iegel boys basketball coach Ben Dotson isbig on catchphrases. He uses motivationalmottos to drive his team, which hasresponded by running roughshod throughthe regular season.

Dotson’s Stars like to overwhelm oppo-nents with a “dose of the post.” He promotes a familyatmosphere by telling his players, “once a Star, always aStar.” He equates the fierceness of his team’s rivalryagainst cross-town Oakland to “two brothers playing inthe backyard.”

But Dotson isn’t just about words. He inspires action.“He pretty much demands perfection from us,” said

6-foot-10 forward Stephen Hurt. “He wants us to go 100percent all of the time.”

The Stars went undefeated in District 7-AAA playthis season, becoming the first team to do so in the past12 years. This accomplishment comes on the heels oflast season’s disappointing finish in the first round ofthe state tournament. A couple of key injuries kept theStars from reaching their ultimate goal, but alsoallowed then-juniors like Hurt and UNC-Wilmington-signee Cedrick Williams to earn valuable experience.

“Those key players are gone, but the guys who arenow seniors got a lot of exposure on the biggest stagelast year,” Dotson said. “They’re battle-tested. I thinkthere’s been some close games this year that instead ofhoping we could win them, now they believe that we’regoing to win.”

‘Dose of the Post’Siegel is big. Hurt and Williams (6-foot-9) are a hand-

ful for most teams, and two of the main reasons theStars have been ranked top-five in the state for much ofthe season.

“We like to give everybody a dose of the post,” Dotsonsaid. “That’s our little quote. When you’ve got a 6’ 9”

with a 6’ 10”, not too many people mid-state will be ableto match up with one, let alone two guys that size.”

Hurt averaged more than 15 points and 10 reboundsper game through the regular season, while Williamsadded 13 and 12. The duo combined for 31 points inSiegel’s Feb. 8 win over Riverdale that wrapped up theundefeated district run.

The victory was a reward for the intensive work theStars put in during the offseason.

“We did a lot of conditioning,” Hurt said. “We got anew strength and conditioning coach. I think this is thebest condition the whole team has been in since I’vebeen playing.”

“We’ve been together for a long time so we kind ofknow what each other is going to do,” Williams added.“Whenever we get doubled we have to have faith in ourshooters to knock down the outside shots.”

One of those shooters is senior Kyle Adams, whom

Siegel leaning on big menduring record-setting seasonBy Joe Szynkowski

Photographs by Randy Harris


www.tnsportsmag.com Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 25

Dose Of The PostInsideBasketball In Tennessee

CAROLINA BOUND Siegel forward Cedrick Williams(40), who averaged 13 points and 12 rebounds, hassigned with UNC-Wilmington.

Dose Of The Post

TSA template - [PDF Document] (26)

Dotson calls his “sniper.”The 6-foot-2 Adams’ spe-cialty is the 3-point shot.Filling out the Stars’ reg-ular starting five are sen-ior wing Oscar Butler andsophom*ore point guardTreyton Harris.

Senior transfer TajAdbul-Kaudeyr andDamien Clark also playedbig roles off the bench,giving Dotson optionswhen starters werenicked up during the sea-son.

“Hurt missed fourgames due to a kneeinjury,” the third-yearcoach said. “Ced missed acouple … Butler three.But key players steppedup. One of our strengthsis depth. It’s somebodydifferent every night forus.”

The same held truewhen standouts KerryHammonds and LevonTate were hobbled for thestate tournament lastMarch after combiningfor an average of about 50points per game duringthe regular season. TheStars shot only 30-per-cent against eventual-champ Memphis Melrose,and fell 78-55 in the firstround.

Hammonds is nowplaying hoops at MiddleTennessee State, andTate at Carson Newman.They may be big shoes to

fill, but the Stars are upto the task – and thenumbers prove it. Siegeleclipsed last year’s wintotal (24) early inFebruary.

“We didn’t really havea lot of room last yearsince they had all fivesenior starters,” Adamssaid. “But now we’re thestarters and the experi-ence we got really helpedus get ready for this sea-son.”

‘Two Brothers Playing in theBackyard’

One of Siegel’s definingwins of this season cameagainst cross-town rivalOakland on Jan. 14. The52-49 overtime victorykept the Stars unbeatenin district play andhelped them exact somerevenge after losing threegames to the Patriots lastseason.

“They just bring outthe best in us,” saidHarris, who scored ateam-high 12 points inthe January win.“They’re right acrosstown. Most of us are goodfriends until we’re on thebasketball court.”

Dotson said eventhough the overtime wincame relatively early inthe season, the way histeam battled back from afourth-quarter deficit

may have set the tone forthe rest of the campaign.

“We like to say that’slike two brothers playingin the backyard,” saidDotson, who has seensome classic gamesbetween the two sincejoining the Siegel staff asan assistant in 2005.“You’re going to get eachother’s best shots and it’sgoing to come down tothe end. Once they gotover that hump they real-ly started clicking.”

Siegel High School wasfounded eight years agoafter Oakland HighSchool’s facilities becameunfit to host an expand-ing student population.Some Patriots jumpedship to become a Star,resulting in an instant,

passionate rivalry. “That really didn’t help

the whole thing,” Dotsonsaid. “There’s definitelyno love lost between us.”

Another big win fromeven earlier this seasoncame after a trip backfrom a tournament in theBahamas. Yes, that’sright, the Bahamas. TheStars fell behind by 23points in the third quar-ter at McGavock, but bat-tled back to pull off a 60-57 win.

“We were kind of jet-lagged and were downpretty big in that one,”Dotson said. “That was apretty impressive come-back.”

‘Once a Star,Always a Star’

26 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

Basketball In Tennessee

WIDE LOAD At 6-foot-10 forward Stephen Hurtaveraged more than 15 points and 10 rebounds pergame while missing four games with a knee injury.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (27)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 27www.tnsportsmag.com

Basketball In Tennessee

This team fromMurfreesboro is notafraid to leaveRutherford County. TheStars enjoy loading thebus or plane and headingfor tournaments out west– really far west, in somecases.

“We went to theBahamas this year,Hawaii last year,Memphis, Knoxville andsome other places to get adifferent variety in thestyle of play,” Dotsonsaid. “These seniors are aclose-knit group. One ofthe benefits of travelingso much together isyou’re going to do one of

two things. You’re eithergoing to hate your team-mates or your going tolove them. These guysreally bought into this.”

Dotson is passing downlessons he learned duringhis nine-year collegecoaching career. Beforegetting the Siegel job,Dotson worked all overthe state. He was anassistant coach at WhiteCounty, director of bas-ketball operations atUniversity of Tennesseeat Chattanooga, and anassistant coach atHiwassee and UT-Martincolleges.

Dotson knows the ben-efit of gettingguys away fromhome.

“They got tosee PearlHarbor lastyear,” Dotsonsaid. “It wasobviously bas-ketball thathad a lot to dowith us beingthere, but thecool part wasthese guysexperiencingsome thingsthey might notever see intheir lives. Thisyear with theBahamas, theylearned theprocess of usinga passport andgoing throughcustoms. Theylearn how toact in hotelsand how to goout to a nicedinner. We hadtwo guys whohad never beenin water exceptfor showering.”

His players,like any otherteenager, lookforward totheir wintertrips to tropical

destinations. But it’s notall fun in the sun.

“You find out thatwe’re pretty privilegedhere,” Adams said.“We’re all Nike’d downfor our games, and eventhough the other teamsdon’t have that, theywork just as hard andgive 110 percent, too.”

“It helps because weplay a lot of teams withdifferent styles and ithelps us become closer asa team,” Harris added.“We always come backfrom trips with morechemistry.”

Chemistry could makethe difference this yearfor the Stars. Dotson,catchphrases and all, isfocused on adding to theshort, yet rich, traditionthat he has helped buildat Siegel. It’s a traditionthat boasts four statetournament appearancesand a host of players who

have gone on to playDivision-I basketball.

“We don’t focus toomuch on our history butwe do show them the ban-ners,” he said. “And wetell them ‘once a Star,always a Star.’ We’re afamily here.”

Siegel’s players areeach doing their parts tokeep this family thriving.

“(Dotson) is a reallygood coach,” Adams said.“He cares about us awhole lot and there’s areal family atmosphere.He’s like an older brotherto us. He makes sure westay on top of our gradesand we know how to actout in society. We do lotsof stuff out in the com-munity and he’s shapingus to be better people.”

Joe Szynkowski is afreelance writer for TSM.He can be reached [emailprotected].

HEAD MAN Siegel coach Ben Dotsonis big on catchphrases and uses moti-vational mottos to drive his team.

Professional basketball returns to Nashville!

865-389-2115 • [emailprotected]

• Enjoy high-quality, enter-taining pro basketball action

• Pro-active ownership bothon and off the court

• Follow us via Tennessee SportsMagazine for up-coming events

• Opportunities for bothplayers and coachesto secure NBA & high-level overseas contracts

• Team will form strong partnerships with localbusinesses

• Opportunities for bothplayers and coachesto secure NBA & high-level overseas contracts

• Team will form strong partnerships with localbusinesses

For additional information please contact

TSA template - [PDF Document] (28)

ven as a teenager RickByrd knew exactly whathe wanted to do when hegrew up.

Now the coach atBelmont, Byrd first

coached a junior basketball teamwhile still in high school and the rest,as the old saying goes, is history.

“I hadn't learned anything aboutcoaching at that point,” Byrd said.“But I enjoyed it when the team wonand they were excited, and then whenthey responded to what I asked themto do. I don't think I ever wanted to doanything else but coach, ever. I didn'twant to fly planes or be an astronaut.”

During his days as a point guard atDoyle High School in Knoxville, Byrdwas always interested in what he calls“the strategy of sports.” He played alot of baseball and also tried footballtwice – once quitting after two days,he said. And, of course, he spent allthose games watching underneath thepress row table at the University ofTennessee while his dad, formerKnoxville sports writer Ben Byrd, cov-ered basketball.

“He would make up games,” recallsBilly Henry, now a Belmont volunteerassistant golf coach after retiring asUT assistant athletic director. Henryalso was a Florida assistant and headcoach at Union University andMaryville College, where he hiredByrd as his assistant after college.

“He and I both are golfers,” said

Henry. “We would play in his yard. Hehad coffee cans in the yard, and we'dplay around the corner, over thehouse, and so on and so forth. He wasthe kind of person that obviously wasalways thinking how to be really com-petitive.”

Now, four decades later, Byrd hasbecome one of 12 active college bas-ketball coaches with 600 victories andhas put Belmont University on theDivision I college basketball mapshortly after a move up from NAIA.The Bruins made three straightNCAA Tournaments in 2006-08including a one-point near-missagainst No. 2 seed Duke – and couldbe on the verge of another trip asfavorites in the Atlantic Sun tourna-ment March 2-5 in Macon, Ga.

As a high school player, Byrd was“quite good,” the epitome of the coachon the floor as the playmaker, Henry

said – a good passer and ball handlerwho also was a decent shooter. Afterattending his Union camp with suchDivision I players as Vanderbilt’s LeeFowler and Steve Turner, Henryhelped Byrd land a scholarship withCentral Florida Junior College.

A humble Byrd halfway jokes whenhe said he peaked around age 12,when he was a big scorer before otherkids caught up.

“I've always enjoyed games, com-peting and trying to figure out ways towin games,” Byrd said recentlyamidst the frenzy of February beforethe madness of March.

“We're all given different gifts,”Byrd said. “Some people have things Ididn't have, gifts of size and ofstrength and of great athletic abilities.And some players are much physical-ly and mentally tougher than othersare. I think my strength was compet-

28 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

Born to CoachBy the time hewas in high schoolthe future was setfor Rick Byrd –and it clearlyinvolved coaching

By Carol Stuart

ALL SMILES Coach Byrd shares a smile with Associate Head CoachCasey Alexander following a 2007 Atlantic Sun Championship victory.









TSA template - [PDF Document] (29)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2010 29www.tnsportsmag.com

ing in terms of understanding strate-gies of the games.”

Belmont redshirt senior JordanCampbell, a 6-feet-5-inch wing playerfrom Indianapolis, says he thinks hecan picture what kind of a player Byrdwould have been in high school.

“I can definitely tell in his attitudeand the way he's so competitive thathe was a hard-nosed type of player,and he wouldn't have backed downfrom anyone,” Campbell said. “And Ifeel like this year’s team hasembraced that characteristic. We feellike we can play with anyone in thecountry.”

Byrd says he wasn’t physicallyready for college ball and left after adisappointing year in which he didn’tplay much. He returned home toattend UT, where he later played jun-ior varsity a year, then became a stu-dent coach, and got to practice twoyears against the likes of ErnieGrunfeld and Bernard King.

“That was a huge plus. I played thatyear (as a junior) and I also practicedwith the varsity every day,” said Byrd,asked by former UT All-AmericanA.W. Davis to join the JV team formedafter freshmen first became eligible.“I was out there five hours a day andsaw and heard a lot of coaching andlearned a great deal. And then thenext year, my senior year, I stayed onas a student assistant, but I wouldpractice with the varsity.

“Occasionally, Coach Mears wouldsend me somewhere to scout a teamthey were going to play at that time …which is pretty exciting for a youngguy to get to go and watch SEC gamesand try to think you're helping theteam.”

His dad’s job afforded him a “pow-erful experience” and access – gettingto visit his heroes in the locker roomand watching SEC games courtsideafter selling programs before UTgames. But Byrd says a huge breakwas going straight into the collegeranks at Maryville, where he becamehead coach two years later.

“For all I knew before I got the jobat Maryville College I was going to bean assistant high school coach,” saidByrd, who also was a Tennessee Techassistant and Lincoln Memorial headcoach.

“I get emails and letters and phonecalls from high school coaches all thetime wanting to do anything to get

into the college level,” he said.His philosophy evolved over the

years, borrowing from opposingcoaches including former Lipscombgreat Don Meyer. He was also amongthe first coaches to grasp the impor-tance of the 3-point shot.

“Rick is still one of those guys whobelieve and have the wherewithal thatthey can win,” Henry said. “If youwatch his games after most everytime-out, you'll usually see him run apattern that results in a layup.”

Suitors came calling in the mid-’90swhen he was NAIA National Coach ofthe Year and made two semifinals,and then again after the NCAAappearances. Belmont gave him acontract extension after the latter.

“I think by the time I'd reached thatpoint in my career I valued a kind ofhappiness for where I lived and whereI worked – more than I did thenmaybe for what the pay raise couldgive me, in a place where I'd be unsureabout the people I worked with andfor,” Byrd said.

“Belmont allowed me to recruit thekind of young men that I love to coachand I could recruit them without

being afraid of telling them, ‘Hey,we've got some standards here thatsome other people don't have.’ ”

Byrd says Belmont and the basket-ball program have never even dis-cussed making exceptions on academ-ics for athletics – he even embracesthe higher standards.

“That may narrow our pool but itbrings in a quality of young man thatoftentimes is an achiever and they'revery unselfish and they've been raisedright oftentimes by good parents andall of that has helped us. It's helped usimmeasurably on the basketballfloor,” Byrd said.

Henry ranks Byrd right up therewith the Bobby Knights and the MikeKrzyzewskis of coaching, even thoughByrd didn’t focus on climbing the lad-der. For Byrd, “It's not about thethunder and lightning of big-time ath-letics as much as it is about the devel-opment of young men,” Henry said.

And he believes Belmont wouldn’thave made it into the NCAA spotlightso fast without Byrd.

“I must confess that I thought itwould be extremely difficult forBelmont to move from NAIA to

RICK BYRD WORE the standardcoat and tie at his first head coach-ing jobs at Maryville and LincolnMemorial and early in his career atBelmont. But one night, he saw atelevision game where then-Vanderbilt Coach C.M. Newton andhis staff wore sweater vests withgolf shirts against Duke.

“To me, it looked comfortable – alot more comfortable. And it stilllooked pretty classy,” Byrd said.

Vanderbilt didn’t wear the attireagain, but Byrd decided to adoptthe look except for adding a dressshirt for a little dressier touch.

“The coat and tie are just hotonce you start moving around andget into a game, and you see a lotof coaches take their coach off,” hesaid. “And a tie's pretty restrictive.”

Byrd said it’s not superstitious –

his teamw o r ecoachingshirts thelast twoyears witht h eC o a c h e svs. Cancersneakersg a m e sand whenthey wentto Hawaii,England and France. He says hetries hard not to be superstitiousabout anything.

“You can be afraid to use a dif-ferent kind of shampoo or deodor-ant or drive a different way to workor home. You can go crazy withthat stuff,” Byrd said. “I may lose agame in a sweater vest and I'mnot going to go out and buy newones, because we lose too manygames to have to throw themaway.”

So what’s the storybehind Rick Byrd’s vest?

The Sweater Vest

TSA template - [PDF Document] (30)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (31)

www.tnsportsmag.com Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 31

Division I, that's kind of an unheardprocess,” Henry said. “Very fewschools do it. Butler has had tremen-dous amount of success in the lastyear or two, and that's all due to theircoach, too. It takes a rare individual toaccept the challenges.”

Men’s basketball has broughtBelmont national recognition, as hadfamous music graduates like Byrd’sgolfing buddy Vince Gill andAmerican Idol’s Melinda Doolittle.Outside Byrd’s door is a framedfront-page USA Today centerpiecewhen Belmont made its first NCAAtourney.

When Campbell was recruited outof high school – with teammates nowat major colleges such as Indiana andUT – he hadn’t heard of Belmont anddidn’t even know where it was locat-ed. After he signed, Belmont earnedits first ticket to the big dance, andthen he accompanied the team as aredshirt freshman.

After he played in the Duke gameas a sophom*ore, people back homealso knew about Belmont. He received

about 50 or 60 text messages.“They had a great year and ended

up making the tournament my senioryear and I saw potential in the waythe players played on the floor andplayed for each other,” he said. “So Iknew it was possible, but I really did-n't think that I would be on two teams-- I felt like maybe a year we could go.

“I'm just hoping I can make thisyear my third time going to an NCAAtournament.”

The Bruins received five votes inthe most recent Associated Press pollat press time and had gotten votes ineither the AP or ESPN-USA Todaycoaches’ poll for four consecutiveweeks this season. With narrow lossesonly to Vanderbilt, rival Lipscomb andtwice to Tennessee (once by a point)in its first 26 games, Belmont was oneof four DI teams with at least 22 winsand had an RPI rating of 66.

Byrd says March Madness doesn’tbring so much anticipation as it raisesthe anxiety level -- for both coachesand referees, since the season is long.In February, which he called a tough

month for coaches, he was focused ontrying to complete a regular-seasonchampionship – even though the A-Sun tournament winner gets theautomatic bid and all the glory.

“Even if we win this conferencechampionship outright, we know toget in the NCAA tournament youpretty much have to win three gamesin March,” the Bruins coach said. ■

Coach Byrddraws up a play during atimeout.

Coach Byrddraws up a play during atimeout.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (32)

32 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

Basketball In Tennessee

iverdale girl’s basket-ball coach John Wildoften uses phrasessuch as ‘lucky,’‘blessed,’ and ‘fortu-nate’ when describ-

ing his ultra-successful high schoolcoaching career. Wild also likes topoint out, that in some instances,he’s simply ‘been in the right placeat the right time.’

While Wild downplays his leg-endary career the trophies keepstacking up, providing solid proofthat he ranks among the elite coach-es in Tennessee high school coach-ing annals.

“I’ve been very fortunate throughthe years to get to work with somegreat people,” said Wild. “And I’vealso been blessed to have kids thatbought in to what I was trying toteach about basketball.”

Following last season’s statechampionship run and undefeatedseason Wild and his Lady Warriorsare poised to make another deeppost-season. Wild was an assistanton last year’s team but took over thehead coaching position this yearwhen Hillary Hodges left Riverdaleafter her husband, Tom, was namedwomen’s basketball coach atMorehead State.

A native of Atlanta, Wild is thefirst coach in Tennessee to win boysand girls state titles in consecutiveseasons – Moore County boys in1999 followed by the Bradford girlsin 2000. The Bradford team finishedwith a perfect 36-0 mark.

Wild went to Lipscomb onlybecause some friends had and thenlater walked on and played basket-ball for coach Don Meyer

“After playing for Coach Meyerthat really set the tone for mycareer,” said Wild. “He laid the foun-dation for me about the way thegame should be taught. There’s a lotof different ways to skin a cat andthere’s a thousand different ways to

coach basketball … but Itook what he gave me atLipscomb and ran with it.”

Wild was asked what hegarnered from his associa-tion with the legendaryMeyer.

“First of all you have toget your team to play really,really hard,” said Wild.“After that you have to tryand get them to play togeth-er and the last thing is youhave to try and teach themto play smart basketball.And after those threethings you have to teachthem the fundamentals ofthe game and then imple-ment that in whatever sys-tem you run.”

Despite the fact that ithas been more than twodecades Wild said the fun-damentals of the Lipscombsystem still hold true.

“Certainly, I still use thethings I learned from CoachMeyer in practice andgames,” said Wild. “I gath-ered a lot of great ideasthrough my 21 years but Iwould say that 75 percent ofwhat I do with my teamshave come from theLipscomb system.”

Wild coached at the boy’shigh school level for nineyears, winning a state titlein 1999.

“Moore County was awonderful opportunity;small town with lots of com-munity rah-rah,” said Wild.“I was there four years andyou get to see kids grow up.First three years got beat insub-state but in year fourthe kids I started out withas freshmen went on to win thestate championship. It was really arewarding experience.”

Wild said he made the transitionfrom boy’s basketball to girl’s bas-ketball simply because of his coach-ing style. The move paid immediate

Riverdale’s Wild RideRiverdale girls’ basketball is poised to make another deep post-season run

RBy Jim Muir Photographs by Randy Harris

DOUBLED UP Riverdale center ShacobiaBarbee averages a double-double for theundefeated Lady Warriors.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (33)


Basketball In Tennessee

dividends as Wild’s Bradford team went 36-0 and won astate title and then finished 32-2 his second year there fora combined two-year mark of 68-2.

“I got in the girl’s game because I felt what I hadlearned from Coach Meyer was better suited to the girl’sgame,” said Wild. “I think the girl’s game is a lot morefundamental and the X’s and O’s come into play a lotmore. I think what I’ve found and the majority of coachesthat have made the transition will tell you the same thingis that girl’s are a little bit more coachable – they go thatextra 10 to 20feet for youeveryday. I’mnot saying thatguys are notcoachable butgirls are just alittle morecoachable.”

Wild said hefound anotherfactor, a veryimportant onefor any coach, atthe girl’s level.”

“The enjoy-ment level ishigher for mecoaching girls,”said Wild.

With threestarters and thetop reserve backfrom last years’AAA state cham-

pionship team Wild knew that this year’s Riverdale edi-tion would be good but also knew that along with thatlabel there would also be a bull’s eye on the team everysingle game. Wild said that fact has made him work hard-er as a coach.

“Naturally, there was a high level of expectations goingin to this year,” said Wild. “I took that as a personal chal-lenge and with the success during the past two years itdefinitely made me a better coach. I’ve prepared harder,watched more film, taught harder because the bar is sohigh. For me, it’s a personal challenge that I’ve accepted.I’ve got a great staff and we’ve worked hard for these kidsand this program.”

The Lady Warriors are led by 5-foot-10 junior Shacobia

I gathered A LOT OF GREATIDEAS through my 21 years butI would say that 75 percent ofwhat I do with my teams have

come from the Lipscomb system.

Riverdale Coach John Wild isthe first coach in Tennessee towin boys and girls state titlesin consecutive seasons – MooreCounty boys in 1999 followedby the Bradford girls in 2000.

Riverdale Coach John Wild isthe first coach in Tennessee towin boys and girls state titlesin consecutive seasons – MooreCounty boys in 1999 followedby the Bradford girls in 2000.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (34)

34 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine

Barbee, last year’s player of the yearnamed by The Tennessean and alsothe MVP of last year’s TSSAA ClassAAA state tournament. Barbeeaveraged a double-double last year(18 points and 10 rebounds pergame) as a sophom*ore and hasmatched those numbers again thisyear during her junior campaign.

“Shacobia is just an outstandingplayer,” said Wild. “She is ranked inthe top 60 players nationally for herclass (2012) and is being recruitedby several DI schools.”

Tyisha Petty is the Riverdalepoint guard and along with addingfour assists and three steals pergame is also chipping in 17 points.Only a sophom*ore, Petty is also con-sidered one of the top players at thenational level.

“Tyisha runs our offense and justdoes a great job,” said Wild. “She isvery unselfish with the ball andthat’s what you want from yourpoint guard.”

Another underclassman that hascontributed in a big way forRiverdale during this year’s unbeat-en run is freshman Alexa Middletonwho is chipping in with 12 pointsper game.

“Alexa has SoutheasternConference (SEC) schools recruitingher as a freshman, which explainsjust how good she is,” said Wild.“She has really stepped in and donea good job for us.”

Rounding out the starting lineupis sophom*ore Olivia Jones and

Ashley Henry, theonly senior in theRiverdale lineup.

Jones hasmoved into astarting role thisyear after beingthe first player offthe bench duringlast year’s statec h a m p i o n s h i pseason. Wild saidlooking at Jones’stats (8 points, 6rebounds, 4assists per game)explains the typeplayer she is andthe contributionshe makes.

“Olivia is justyour typical blue-collar player,”

said Wild. “She is just the type kidyou want on your team. She is thetype you love to coach, she puts theteam above herself and is tough andgritty.”

Henry plays the two-guard spotfor Riverdale and has improved analready-good shooting percentagefrom last year.

“Ashley shot 41 percent in 3-pointers last year and has improvedthat to 45 percent this year,” saidWild. “She is a great defender andmaybe one of the most coachablekids I’ve ever had in 21 years.”

The Lady Warriors also have adeep bench with Jessica Azor,Toyree Hopkins and LaurenCantrell all making contributions tothe Riverdale success.

While Wild is downplaying thisyear’s team as they mow down oppo-nents other coaches have takennote.

"They're playing really well, withsome new players, some new kidsthat have fit in," Mt. Juliet CoachChris Fryer was quoted by TheTennessean. “I don't see anybodywith better athletes or a better teamthan them."

Wild was asked the question – onehe said he had been asked numeroustimes this season – how heapproaches post season play know-ing that anything short of state titlecould be looked on by many as a dis-appointing season.

“Our kids know what their ulti-mate goal is,” said Wild. “And all

these accolades they’ve received,even some on the national level,have been great. But, they’ve beenthere and done that already andthey know that our ultimate goal isto be in Murfreesboro on March 10.I think experience is the greatestthing you can have as a coach andwe’re fortunate to have kids thatkeep things in perspective.”

Wild said this year’s team has alsodone a good job shutting out theattention while focusing on the taskat hand.

“We’ve taken it one step and onegame at a time, not looking too farahead and just attacking our nextgame as our most important game,”said Wild. “We just try to come outand play with the same focus andenergy level every night.” ■

THINK PINK The Riverdale girls are wearing thepink Nike shoes throughout the month of Februaryto promote Cancer Awareness Month.

YOUTH SERVED Alexa Middleton,only a freshman, averages 12 ppg.for the undefeated Lady Warriors.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (35)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 35www.tnsportsmag.com

his month I would like to highlight acoach who has had a profound impact inmy life.

His name is Spencer Richardson whois the founder of All Around GameBasketball. Coach Spencer grew up in

East Nashville and was a star at Maplewood HighSchool and then attended college on a basketballscholarship.

What I love about Coach Spencer is the uniqueability of working with boys and girls of all levels. He

has been able to trainplayers from fourthgrade all the way upto NBA players.

For a little trivia onbasketball and volley-ball: Did you knowthe inventor of bas-ketball, JamesNaismith, and theinventor of volleyball,William Morgan,

were very close friends and spent a great deal of time developing their gameat the YMCA’s in Massachusetts? So spending time with Coach Spencerreminds me of how both basketball and volleyball gottheir start. Every time I leave I always get more encour-aged about helping younger athletes develop their game.

While grabbing time at A-Game Sportsplex I askedSpencer what his greatest goal is as a coach. He confi-dently answered, “My goal is to build up a young playerand encourage them to make it to the next level. I hopeto bring out all the game that is inside them and dothings they never thought they could.”

Let me tell you a fun story that he told me last weekthat epitomize his goals.

Two weeks ago, Coach Spencer attended a 8th gradebasketball game between Brentwood Middle School andWoodland Middle school, notoriously a heated rivalry.He was checking on one of the players he coaches namedClay Klooster, who is a shooting guard for WoodlandMiddle. Brentwood was up by two points with 1.9 sec-

onds left. Woodland called a timeout and set

up to inbounds the ball at mid-court.Time felt like it came to a stop insidethe packed gym and you could cutthe tension with a knife.Woodland’s coach gave the play,which was a basic screen that wouldhopefully open up Clay Klooster, giv-ing him one shot to showcase the tal-ent he has been working on for years.Like a movie script, Clay catches theinbounds pass, and in less than 1.9seconds turns around and sends theround ball into the basket.

The crowd erupts and Woodlandplayers were mobbed by friends andfamily. Standing in the crowd isSpencer Richardson watching one ofhis players reach a new level of confi-dence and ability. Clay spots CoachSpencer and jumps up in his arms incelebration.

I asked Coach Spencer what makesthis story so special and he said, “Iloved the fact that he was willing totake the shot. He has built his confi-dence to a place where whether hemade it or not, he was willing to takethe shot.”

Coach Spencer is one coach that istaking the time to teach kids proper-ly and see them climb to the nextlevel. I smile as I write this storybecause an eighth grade shootingguard from Woodland Middle Schoolprovides me a crystal clear life lesson,“Never be afraid to take a shot!”

Thank you, Coach Spencer, forteaching Clay and so many others toreach the next level. Now back tothe volleyball court.

(Anyone wanting more informa-tion about Coach Spencer’s programcan visit his website www.aagbasket-ball.org. ■

Take The Shot

What I loveabout Coach

Spencer is theunique ability of

working withboys and girls of

all levels.

by Dave and Mandy DeRocher

Shut Up & Serve

ALL AROUND Coach Spencer Richardson helpsto develop younger athletes of all levels.


TSA template - [PDF Document] (36)

36 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

ason Mingus mayneed to considercarrying around amirror. Not tocheck his looks,like so many other

16-year-olds are apt to do. But tomake sure he knows which sport heis playing.

Last fall, Mingus excelled as afullback/linebacker for FranklinRoad Academy’s football team,helping lead the Panthers to the sec-ond round of the state playoffs.Before he could catch his breathfrom a successful season, Mingusswitched gears - and uniforms - andwon 20-plus matches for his school’swrestling team. This spring, thesophom*ore from Brentwood planson taking up track and field.

In between all of these athleticendeavors, Mingus dons a racinghelmet and a fire-retardant suit.This is when he really likes what hesees. “Racing is definitely my num-ber one sport,” he says. “Wrestlingis probably next.”

Mingus’ “Kentucky/TennesseeDial 811 Before You Dig”-sponsoredChevy stock car is similar to thoseused on the NASCAR circuit. Hehas won championships at everylevel he has competed, includingquarter midgets, mini-cup, babygrands and last year’s Ken-Ten ProLate Model title. He has raced

against NASCAR stars like KyleBusch and Ken Schrader. With all ofthose accomplishments, it’s no won-der he is riveted by racing.

But with so many extracurricularactivities to tend to, time manage-ment has become a bit of a balanc-ing act for the multi-sport standout.

“I struggled a little bit with it last

year,” Mingus said. “It’s hard miss-ing matches and other things butmy coaches in school know that rac-ing comes first and they’re reallygood about working with me.”

Franklin Road wrestling coachMarc Taylor says even thoughMingus’ crazy calendar doesn’talways fit the Panthers’ schedule, itsure fits his personality. “A runningchainsaw” is how Taylor describesMingus (152-pound weight class).

“We’re working on some finessethings with him – maybe trying toslow him down a little bit instead ofhim just bulldozing through match-es.

“He’s like having an assistantcoach,” Taylor added. “I just have tolook over my shoulder and say,‘Mason.’ He knows what I need andhe makes things happen. He takeson a lot of responsibility and thatreally helps a coach to have kids likethat.”

Mingus’ maturity has helpedtranslate into success in the cut-throat racing industry. He is cur-rently in the midst of running a fullslate for the ultra-competitiveChampion Racing Association’s(CRA) Super Series, and has hissights set on taking home theRookie of the Year award.

He finished 16th at CRASpeedFest on Jan. 30 at LanierNational Speedway in Georgia. The

Riveted By RacingRiveted By Racing


Three sports is notenough for this young driver fromBrentwood

Three sports is notenough for this young driver fromBrentwood

DRIVE TIME Franklin RoadAcademy sophom*ore MasonMingus considers racing his No. 1sport.

By Joe SzynkowskiBy Joe Szynkowski


s co




on M


TSA template - [PDF Document] (37)


CRA schedule will take him all overthe Midwest, including stops inIndiana, Ohio and Michigan.Working under veteran race teamowner Kevin Gardner will come inhandy during Mingus’ visits tounfamiliar tracks.

“(Gardner) has been huge inhelping me out,” Mingus said. “He’sbeen around the sport for over 30years and he knows all the littlethings that help me. He’s been crewchief at a lot of these tracks and he’seasy to talk to about racing.”

Another crafty veteran of the rac-ing scene, Chuck Barnes Jr., willplay a key role in Mingus’ learningexperience. Barnes, who preparesMingus’ No. 98 car and serves as hiscrew chief, began working withMingus last year and immediatelyliked what he saw out of the youngdriver.

“He’s very focused and apprecia-tive and he’s very good at workingwith other people,” Barnes said.“He’s good about overcoming obsta-cles and little things that might gowrong from time to time on thetrack.”

Barnes knows the makeup of adynamic driver. The longtime CRAcompetitor won the series’ pointschampionship in 2004. He saysMingus possesses one crucial char-acteristic that a lot of drivers lack:physical stature.

“His size makes a big difference,”Barnes said. “It’s a big factor in hisability to stay the course for longerraces. He’s in better shape thanyour typical driver. He’s good atstaying focused and has a lot ofdrive.”

It’s that drive that helped Mingusovercome a blown motor and aninspection penalty before evenattempting to qualify for one of thebiggest races of his career inDecember. The resilient driver bat-tled through the adversity to takehome an improbable seventh-placefinish at the 43rd annual SnowballDerby in Pensacola, Fla. Otherhighlights from last year’s cam-paign were a victory at the famousSalem Speedway in Indiana, a sec-ond-place finish at the All-American400 weekend at NashvilleFairgrounds and a fourth-place

result at the Winchester 400. But not only has racing been good

to Mingus, this young driver hasalso been good to the sport.

“It is very exciting to have youngdrivers racing with us,” said CRASeries Director Glenn Luckett. “Wehave a wide range of drivers thatcompete with us, local veterans andyoung racers looking to make aname and move up in racing.”

Moving up is Mingus’ main con-cern early in the 2011 racing season.The more track time he accrues,coupled with the support from hisfamily, friends and coaches atFranklin Road, the more confidencehe feels in his racing ability. But thiswhiz at the wheel knows he still hasplenty to learn.

“You have a strategy going intoevery race,” Mingus said. “But justlike with other sports, sometimes itdoesn’t work out. It’s like that inwrestling. You have to just be able tothink on your feet.”

Or in Mingus’ racing career –behind the steering wheel.

For opportunities to sponsorChampion Racing Association’sMason Mingus, contact his fatherDonnie at [emailprotected] up with the young driver’s2011 quest to become CRA Rookieof the Year at masonmingusrac-ing.com.

Joe Szynkowski is a freelancewriter for TSM. He can be reachedat [emailprotected].

YYoouu hhaavvee aa ssttrraatteeggyy ggooiinngg iinnttoo eevveerryy rraaccee..BBuutt jjuusstt lliikkee wwiitthh ootthheerr ssppoorrttss,,

SSOOMMEETTIIMMEESS IITT DDOOEESSNN’’TT WWOORRKK OOUUTT..IItt’’ss lliikkee tthhaatt iinn wwrreessttlliinngg.. YYoouu hhaavvee ttoo jjuusstt

bbee aabbllee ttoo tthhiinnkk oonn yyoouurr ffeeeett..

BIG HITTER Mingus excelledas a fullback and linebacker forFRA’s football team.

CHAINSAW Mingus findstime in his schedule towrestle for FRA in the 152-pound weight class.

CHAINSAW Mingus findstime in his schedule towrestle for FRA in the 152-pound weight class.

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 37

TSA template - [PDF Document] (38)

38 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

his wasn’t your normal call to the princi-pal’s office.

When 10-year-old Jay Fleming was pulledout of his classroom on Dec. 16, his class-mates weren’t sure what their mild-man-nered peer could have possibly done. But

Jay had an idea. Awaiting him in the office of Madison Creek

Elementary School was a live phone interview with ESPNSportsCenter anchor Josh Elliott. Fleming had just beenannounced as the network’s winner of the “YouTube YourHighlight” contest, for which Fleming’s dad, Todd, hadentered just a few months prior.

The curiosity of Jay’s classmates was cured when theirteachers tuned into the ESPN interview on the classroomtelevisions.

“He was definitely excited,” Todd said. “He kind of gotthe hero’s welcome when he went back to class since allthe kids had seen him on TV.”

Anyone who hasn’t seen the video clip is missing out onan inspirational display of athletic competition. It featuresFleming – who lost his left arm in a boating accident whenhe was just six years old – swimming to victory in the 9-10year-old, 25-meter butterfly event at last summer’sNashville City Swim Meet.

The original video, just 1 minute and 14 seconds long,

has been viewed more than 840,000 times on YouTube. Ithas given the Hendersonville family some much-deservedrecognition.

“We’ve been very excited for him,” said Jay’s mom,Connie. “Obviously after his accident it’s been hard on usas parents. You can imagine when something like thathappens, you just think of all of the things that he’s notgoing to be able to do.”

A lot of people have taken notice of what Jay is capableof doing in the pool. He was recently recognized by histown’s mayor and alderman for his accomplishments, andalso approached by ESPN for a potential in-depth report.But Todd was most excited about an email he receivedfrom the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs.

“Their swim coach saw his video and said that he had alot of potential,” Todd said. “They just offered up anyassistance they could give us to help him become a topathlete.”

Todd has been surprised by the amount of attention theYouTube video has created. After all, it was a simple ges-ture by a proud father hoping to show off his son’sachievement to friends and family members.

“I really had forgotten that I even entered the ESPNcontest until I got a call that first week of December thathe was in the final four videos,” Todd said. “That’s whenwe started getting really excited. We found out early in the

Jumping Back InHendersonville 10-year-old JayFleming overcomes accident,gains national attention

By Joe Szynkowski

Obviously after his accidentIT’S BEEN HARD ON US as

parents. You can imaginewhen something like that

happens, you just think of allof the things that he’s not

going to be able to do

COLOR GUARD Jay carries the state flag for hisGoodlettsville AllStars baseball team.


Against All Odds

TSA template - [PDF Document] (39)

morning (Dec. 16) whenthey called us that he hadwon. We went to the schooland worked it out with histeacher and principal andwere able to get it all takencare of.”

ESPN producers whit-tled the more than 2,000entries down to the finalfour. Online voters pushed

Jay’s video over the top. “I was very excited,” Jay

said. “But I really owe it tomy friends at school andmy family. They are theones who voted for me.”

Jay certainly deservedthe votes. He spent twoweeks at Monroe Carrel Jr.Children’s Hospital atVanderbilt after a rope

severed his arm during afamily outing just threedays before his seventhbirthday. It was a tumul-tuous time for Todd andConnie, who wondered iftheir son would ever beable to play his favoritesports again, let alone han-dle the everyday obstaclesthat come with being dis-abled.

Jay eased their worry

pretty quickly. “He never mentions it,”

Todd said. “He never asksfor help and never seemsto be down or depressedabout it. He bounced backso fast. Literally that fallhe was playing baseballjust a month or two later.His younger brother wasplaying fall baseball andone of the coaches asked ifJay wanted to come out for

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 39 www.tnsportsmag.com

Against All Odds

Training with former MLBoutfielder Michael Coleman

Prepare mentally and physically for the next level


1412 Antioch Pike, Antioch615-474-4336


GETTING WET Jay was back in the pool not long afterhis accident and continues to swim for Excel Aquaticsin Gallatin and the Bluegrass Marlins in Goodlettsville.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (40)

40 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

Against All Odds

one of the games. He got a hit hisfirst time up.”

Jay gets his love for athletics fromTodd, who played four sports as ahigh-schooler in Chester, Ill. Theyoungster’s natural ability, coupledwith an incredible will to succeed,helped him get back on the field andin the pool.

“Basketball wasn’t that hard,” Jaysaid. “In baseball I had to figure outhow I was going to catch and throwthe ball, but batting was easy.”

Jay, who swims for Excel Aquaticsin Gallatin and the BluegrassMarlins in Goodlettsville, didn’t startswimming competitively until afterhis accident.

A family friend of the Flemings,Mitch Warren, is one of the manypeople who have been wowed byJay’s athletic accomplishments.

“Jay is a great athlete,” Warrensaid. “I have seen him shut downplayers on a basketball court, have awinning hit in baseball, and win aNashville swim meet. His dedicationto athletic success speaks to his levelof commitment, strength and perse-

verance. Jay is a really great kid,always running around the park, and

is extremely well-liked by his peers.His parents and the whole family arejust incredibly supportive.”

Warren said that all of the positiveattention the winning video has gar-nered couldn’t have been directedtoward a better family.

“You know, to be honest, when Iheard he had won the swim meet, Ithought he had won the ESPN con-test for just being a great swimmer,”Warren said. “After all, Jay is a verygood athlete. It wasn’t until some-

one reminded me he did it witha handicap that I looked at

it a second time. Whenyou see Jay, and watch

him play or swim, youreally don’t even recognize his hand-icap.

“He never complains about it, par-ents don’t dwell on it. I am sure theyprivately have some struggles, but inall honesty, Jay is just a normal kidwho happens to be a very giftedthree-sport athlete, handicap or no.”

Joe Szynkowski is a freelancewriter for TSM. He can be reached [emailprotected]

EH, BATTER! Just months afterhis accident, Jay was back in thelineup getting a hit in his first atbat.

TSA template - [PDF Document] (41)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (42)

42 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

Ask The Jock Doc

What is Sever’s disease?Sever’s disease is neither "severe” or a “disease!”Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysi-tis, is a self-limiting disorder of the growth plate ofthe heel bone (calcaneus), typically brought on byoveruse of the feet during sports.

Which athletes are susceptible to Sever’sdisease?This condition is most common in childrenbetween the ages 9 to 14. Sever’s is frequentlyseen in athletes who play soccer, gymnastics,football, or baseball. However, any child who par-ticipates in any running or jumping activity mayalso be at an increased risk. Please note: Sever'sdisease rarely occurs in older teenagers becausethe back of the heel has typically finished grow-ing by 15 years of age.

Can a child’s growth spurt contribute toSever’s disease?The foot is one of the first body parts to grow tofull size. This usually occurs in early puberty.During this time, bones often grow faster thanmuscles and tendons. As a result, muscles andtendons become tight. Thus pulling on the growth plate of the heel andleading to pain during the growth spurt.

How do I know if my child's heel pain is caused by Sever’s dis-ease?Children with Sever’s disease will describe pain in the back of the foot orfeet and most often occurring when our athlete begins a new sport orsport season. He or she may walk with a limp or have a tendency to walkon tiptoes. Their pain will increase when he or she attempts to run orjump. They will exhibit increased pain with the “squeeze test.” (Squeezetest - wrap your index finger and thumb around the heel approximatelyone inch from the back of the heel and squeeze). A positive test willreproduce pain on squeezing.

Are there any anatomical disadvantages or equipment of an ath-lete that could potentially increase their risk?Two anatomical disadvantages are a tight Achilles tendon that con-tributes to Sever’s disease by pulling excessively on the growth plate ofthe heel bone (calcaneus) and fallen arches, more commonly known asflat feet. Also, athletic shoes with cleats are known to aggravate the con-dition. The heel portion of the shoe should not be too tight, and thereshould be good padding in the heel. A cushioned gel heel lift is the bestremedy.

How do you treat Sever’s disease?

Majority of athletes with Sever’sdisease can safely return to playby following the pnemonic ofR.I.C.E.S. (rest, ice, compression,elevation, support). First, restcompletely from all activitiesincluding physical education for 1-2 weeks. Then begin icing the heelfor 15-20 minutes three times aday with crushed ice (simply placeice cubes in half of a Ziploc bagand break into small pieces).

Apply a four-inch ace bandagestarting from the toes and workyour way to the ankle, then placethe crushed ice over heel with com-pression. Elevate the foot duringicing and at bedtime. Finally, sup-port the arch of the foot if fallen orflat with an orthotic or shoe insert.

In a minority of cases withsevere limping, we recommendcomplete rest with no weightbearing activity. Crutches or awalking boot for a few weeksachieves this and aids the healingprocess. An anti-inflammatoryfor 1-2 weeks and obtaining X-rays to rule out an occult fracturemay also be necessary.

When can my child return toplay?

As long as the pain completelysubsides, we usually see childrenreturn safely in 1-2 weeks.However, their pain can presentintermittently throughout theseason. Complete resolution ofpain will occur when your childfinishes growing in the heel, againat around 15 years of age.

Can I prevent Sever’s diseasefrom occurring in my athletesor children?

Growth is certainly not prevent-able, however recognizing warningsigns and intervening can preventpainful symptoms. Always stopany activity when pain affects yourperformance and activities of dailyliving. If you are limping, yourbody is letting you know pain issevere and you will need to stopyour activity immediately.

Finally, we recommend stretch-ing your calf muscles, whichinsert at the back of the heel,daily. Remember to stretch bothlegs, even if the pain is only in oneheel. ■

Getting to the Bottom of Heel Pain in Children

… Bones oftengrow faster

than musclesand tendons. Asa result, muscles

and tendonsbecome tight.

by Dr. James Lohse

Recognizing and Treating Sever’s Disease

TSA template - [PDF Document] (43)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (44)

44 March 2011 • Tennessee Sports Magazine www.tnsportsmag.com

3-6-5 Baseball Academy is Hendersonville’sfirst indoor training facility dedicated to

players of all ages and abilities.

3-6-5 Baseball Academy is Hendersonville’sfirst indoor training facility dedicated to

players of all ages and abilities.

• 6,000 square foot facility • Fully turfedindoor batting cages, pitching mounds• State-of-the-art video pitching simulator

615-264-8700 • www.365baseballacademy.com

TSA template - [PDF Document] (45)

Tennessee Sports Magazine • March 2011 45www.tnsportsmag.com

WITH COLDER WEATHER soon behind us andthe beautiful Tennessee spring upon us, runningshoes will soon be making their debut. Whether youare training for the marathon, run as an athlete, forrecreation, or are a beginner you are at risk for injury.However, there is a glimpse of hope. Knowing com-mon types of running-associated injuries and preven-tion techniques may allow you to have an injury-freerunning season - allowing peak performance. Also,making the right footwear decisions may ultimatelybe the most important decision in your runningcareer.

Plantar FasciitisPlantar Fasciitis and heel pain are widespread

injuries that many runners will face throughout theirrunning career. But, knowing how to distinguishbetween general heel pain and the formation of plan-tar fasciitis may save you persistent foot pain. Plantarfasciitis can be alleviated by something as simple asusing new shoe inserts, but if left untreated can bechronically debilitating.

What is plantar fasciitis? The plantar fascia is abroad band of dense connective tissue that runs the length of the sole of yourfoot and assists in maintaining stability of the foot. When you push off duringrunning it causes the toes to be forcefully extended resulting in undo fascialtension to approximately twice your body weight. This often results in injury.With proper footwear, the forceful extension may be minimized.

Other factors such as leg length discrepancy, excessive pronation, tightnessof your gastrocnemius (calf) and soleus muscle, running with a lengthenedstride, shoes without enough support, and running on soft surfaces may alsoproduce plantar fasciitis. Medial heel pain that is more intense when you firststep out of bed in the morning or after sitting for an extended period of time isa common symptom of plantar fasciitis. I have had athletes describe this as a“stabbing” pain that will typically diminish after a few steps. Treatment ofplantar fasciitis consists of stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, using aheel cup, arch taping, night splints, and more. Please consult a STAR PhysicalTherapy location near you or a physician if you have specific questions.

Shin SplintsA shin splint is a very vague and broad term that describes anterior shin

pain. Shin splints can be prevented and easily treated to get you back to run-ning your best. Contributing factors are leg muscle(s) weakness, shoes that pro-vide little support, excessive foot pronation, overtraining, and running on hardsurfaces i.e. pavement. The severity is determined by when you feel pain inrelation to activity. There are four grades of shin splint pain: 1) pain after activ-ity 2) pain before and after activity, but not affecting your running 3) painbefore and after that affects your running 4) cannot run due to severe pain. Areferral to a physician may be necessary to rule out a stress fracture before youcontinue running. Management of shin splints include lower body stretching,shoes with proper support and cushioning, ice after activity, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medication, taping in the form of compression around painfularea and/or arch taping.

Running ShoesWhen making a shoe selection, buy a shoe that is designed for your running

style. A pair of your used runningshoes can identify what kind of run-ner you are. If your shoe tilts to theoutside you may have a high archedfoot. If the counter (the part that sta-bilizes the heel) bulges over the insideof the shoe, you are a pronator. If yousee the outline of your toes on the topof your shoe, you need a wider shoe.Due to the daily increase in foot vol-ume, it is best to measure for shoes atthe end of the day. Try running in theshoes before you buy them, either ona treadmill in the store or ask if youcould run a block or two to note anydiscomfort. Keep the shoes on forabout 10 minutes to make sure theyremain comfortable. You shouldn’tfeel any tightness in the shoe or anygait abnormalities.

Just as important as correctly fit-ting your shoes is knowing when toretire your running shoes. Researchhas found that running shoes shouldbe replaced between 350-500 miles,and should be replaced before theystart showing major signs of wear andtear. Shoes can start to lose shockabsorption and become less stablebefore visible degenerative changes.

Keep an estimated track of yourrunning mileage in your runningshoes to ensure efficient shockabsorbency and stability. Shoes canalso lose effectiveness from environ-mental factors when storing, eventhough they haven’t been worn. It isrecommended to replace your shoesat approximately one year.Prevention is the most important fac-tor in running injury free!

Kristen ‘Parlier’ Bowers is a graduate of WestOaks Academy in Orlando, FL 2000. She gradu-ate from the University of Central Florida andreceived a Bachelors in Science in 2005 and aMasters of Science from Austin Peay StateUniversity in 2006. Kristen has been a licensedand certified athletic trainer for six years. Shewas an assistant ATC at Trevecca NazareneUniversity for three years and is now in her 2ndyear with STAR Physical Therapy as the headATC at Clarksville Northwest High School.

The Race to Running Injury Free

Making the rightfootwear deci-sions may ulti-mately be the

most importantdecision in yourrunning career.

By Kristen Bowers, ATC

Ask The Athletic Trainer

TSA template - [PDF Document] (46)

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN a little envious of people whowere supremely confident, athletically and otherwise,believing in themselves completely.

But we're not all wired that way. In many ways Ithink we're a product of how we grew up.

My dad never played sports. He was a hard workingfamily man who enjoyed music and enjoyed watchingsome sports, but never participated. And so when Iplayed high school basketball he would sit in the standsquietly and watch his son. He couldn't critique. Henever criticized. He never gave me a pep talk. Henever told me to believe in my ability and so I would gointo most every game doubting myself, but somewherein the midst of the game, some sort of competitivenature would kick in. I didn't want to be embarrassed.

That feeling has carried on throughout my life, notonly in sports, but in my career as well.

But I've heard two athletes recently that made mefeel so much better about myself, and it may help oth-ers like me as well.

At the NFL Hall of Fame ceremony, Jerry Rice, thegreatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL wasasked what drove him to be the best.

He said simply that he was always “afraid to fail.” Iwas riveted to his words.

And then recently, when Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics broke the NBA recordfor most three-point baskets in a career, he was asked what motivated him to bethe best and he said, “I expect to MISS every shot, and so I force myself to focus

completely on the fundamentals andon the basket to give myself the bestchance to succeed.”

Another light went off for me.There were times when I hated

myself for not being confident. Itseemed like I was the only one.Coaches, parents, books and team-mates force it into us, and it may workfor a lot of us, but we're not all wiredthe same way.

Now, at my age, I feel some of thesame tension over a 5-foot putt in agolf match with friends. There's stillthat kid in me that never learned tobelieve in himself.

What I've had to realize is that afive-foot putt doesn't define me as aperson, but the competitive natureinside of me is still trying to prove mewrong.

If you have a child that's playingsports, realize that they are complexyoung people, and that you have theprivilege of shaping their lives.

You want them to be successful. Youwant them to be “clutch,” you wantto encourage them to be the best andbelieve in themselves, but pleasemake sure that you teach them thatthey’re lives and who they are isn’tdefined by success on the athletic fieldalone.

That's the greatest legacy you canpass on to them. ■

You Don't Always Have to Think the Best to be the Best

He never criticized. He

never gave me apep talk. He

never told me tobelieve in my

ability …

by Rudy Kalis

Looks Between The Lines

To advertise your restaurant here call615-955-0545

Find Us And FindA New Experience!Find Us And FindA New Experience!

www.codyspub.com1201 Twelve Stones Crossing • Goodlettsville, TN

Get $2.00 Off Any Meal$2.00


Eat at the golf course!

($20.00 minimum)

• New England Pub Fare• Sandwiches, Crispy Baskets,

Burgers, Soups, Salads• Parties, Weddings• Corporate Events

• Sporting Events • Full Bar

Eat at the golf course!

Full Menu • Our Kitchen Never Closes!• Hand-Crafted Signature Sandwiches

• Billiards • Snooker • Darts • VIP Room

Enjoy Great Food, Live Music, & 12 Big-Screen TV’s

624 W. Main St.Hendersonville, 37075


Now in Hendersonville!

TSA template - [PDF Document] (47)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (48)

TSA template - [PDF Document] (2024)


Is the TSA assessment hard? ›

Many consider the test hard and you'll likely find it difficult if you don't prepare. The most challenging aspect of the original TSA CBT is the X-ray image interpretation section. The pass rate for this section is around 30%.

What is the TSA test format? ›

TSA consists of 50 multiple-choice questions to be taken in the time allowed of 90 minutes. Marks are not deducted for incorrect answers, so candidates should attempt all questions. The standard TSA contains 25 Problem Solving questions and 25 Critical Thinking questions.

What is the passing score for the TSA test? ›

You will be given a Total interview score and Integrity/Honesty Pass result. Example: Total score – 24/30, Integrity/Honesty score - Passed. You need to get a minimum of a three on each of the competencies in order to Pass.

Is 70 a good TSA score? ›

It is generally agreed that anything from 70 and above is considered a good TSA score. Only the most exceptional applicant will achieve this. As you can see in the distribution charts above, around this mark is where there is a drop-off in the results.

Is 80 a good TSA score? ›

The best applicants will score more highly, but 70 represents a comparatively high score and only a few very exceptional applicants will achieve scores higher than 80. Charts showing the October 2023 TSA Oxford score distributions are presented below.

How many people fail the TSA test? ›

What is the passing score for the TSA test? You must get a “qualified score” to pass the test and continue with the TSA hiring process. But it's not that simple. Because of the test's complexity and the large number of candidates, the TSA exam has a 32 percent pass rate.

How can I pass TSA faster? ›

Enroll in TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or Clear to make your way through faster. With TSA PreCheck, you keep on your shoes, belt, and light jackets while going through security. Around 200 airlines participate in the program, as well as 85 airports, so if you travel often, it's worth the $70 to $80 annual fee.

How do you know if you failed the TSO test? ›

You will receive a message within minutes of taking the test confirming whether you have passed (or failed) the test. For more information about the CBT Test, free examples, and complete preparation packs, please visit the following page.

What is the 3-1-1 rule? ›

Before Packing

Liquids, gels and aerosols packed in carry-on must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule: 3.4 ounces or less per container. 1 quart size, clear, plastic, zip top bag (all liquids must fit in bag) 1 bag per passenger.

What to study for the TSA exam? ›

TSA X-Ray Test Questions- Practice analyzing X-ray images and determine whether there's a specific item in the luggage (objects vary from weapons to everyday items). TSA CBT English Test Questions- Enhance English proficiency level in three categories - Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Written Communication.

How well does TSA pay? ›

How much does a Tsa make in California? As of Apr 24, 2024, the average hourly pay for the Tsa jobs category in California is $26.77 an hour.

What kind of questions are on the TSA test? ›

The updated TSA test version lasts between 25-45 minutes, and comprises three question types: 2D to 3D shape folding, shape matching, and dot connection. These evaluate crucial cognitive skills necessary for a promising TSO, with a focus on visual information processing ability.

How long does the TSA exam take? ›

#2 Taking the TSA CBT test

The former test version, which has still been administered throughout the year, evaluates your English and X-ray object recognition skills. It takes 2.5 hours to complete, and its goal is to find candidates who will ensure travelers' safety across the country.

How many times can you fail the TSA test? ›

If you fail the test, you must wait six months before applying for any TSO positions. After a second failed attempt, the TSA-CBT test cannot be taken again.

What happens if you fail TSA airport assessment? ›

What Happens if You Fail the TSA CBT Test? If you do not pass the TSA Computer Based Test, then your recruitment process ends, and you won't be able to reapply for another six months. To avoid this inconvenience, practice with the help of our free examples and complete preparation packs.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5847

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.