By TOMMY BRYAN
Prep football season is right here. Never to be one to throw a wet blanket on a roaring fire, I do have an issue or two I'd like to discuss.
First off, the high school season starts way too soon for my taste.
The reason is of course money, as in playoff dollars. The expanded postseason formula sends dang near every team with a .500 record on to the playoffs.
As it stands, no one really knows who is in and who is out until the final week of the season rolls around. Call me old fashioned, but I really liked having the top two teams from each region (or district) advance to the playoffs. While we're at it, let's cut the six public school divisions down to five again.
BY TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
It's been a while since I've worked up a blog entry -- blame it on the heat, laziness, writer's block -- what ever.
Bobbie Kay and I took the kids on a week-long vacation to Orange Beach, AL. We had a great time, but I made an important discovery. Our boys (15 and 10) take up way too much space for a 1 BR, 1 BA condo. Next time, we're moving up to 2 BR, 2 BA if it kills me.
By TOMMY BRYAN
It is with mixed emotions I write about Sunday night's passing of Sister A.A. Stafford of Lebanon. I'm saddened because those of us who knew her will surely miss her, but there's a certain amount of relief because she's not in pain anymore.
I'm quite sure Sister Stafford offered up more prayers, held more hands, and reached out to those in need more than any single person I've ever known.
* Congratulations to all 28 Wilson County teachers who have been named "Teacher of the Year" at their respective buildings and are finalists for the county-wide Teacher of the Year Award. The banquet is set Friday night, April 15 at Cumberland's Baird Chapel.
Lebanon High baseball coach Tracy Slone is a finalist for his work at MAP Academy. Former Lebanon High girls basketball coach Barbara Hallums is the Lebanon High finalist and Ken Fountain, former Watertown High boys basketball coach and longtime local sports historian, is representing the Wilson County Vocational Center.
*Hats off to Sally Geis Smart, winner of the women's division in Saturday's third annual Roar Run to benefit the PE programs / equipment at Byars Dowdy Elementary.
Sally, who reportedly hasn't trained in quite a while, is a mother of four and the wife of local pastor Matt Smart. She ran a 24:33.
And by the way, Sally is considered by many as the greatest female distance runner in the history of Baylor University. She was inducted into the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame back in 2008 and still holds a record or two in Waco.
* Ray Ragan was a sturdy catcher for Cumberland Junior College back in 1977-78 under former coaches Harry Frank and Mickey Englett.
A native of Dickson, Ray is now the head baseball coach at Dickson County High. He'll be bringing his Cougars to Lebanon's Veterans Field Friday to participate in the 2011 Riverdale Warrior Spring Classic. Veterans Field and Mt. Juliet High are among nine satellite sites for the 30-plus team tournament.
* CU's Aaron Wilkerson ran his consecutive scoreless innings pitched streak to 41 & two-thirds Saturday as the senior blanked visiting Ottawa (KS) 5-0 at Stockton Field.
He's now 6-0 on the season after the four-hit shutout. He's a returning NAIA 1st team All-America pick and is well on his way to locking down another AA selection. Since losing his first game a year ago, the Waco, TX righty has reeled off 20 consecutive wins.
For my money, he's the best I've seen at Cumberland.
Cumberland's baseball team has a lot of work to do after sleepwalking through Saturday's doubleheader split with first year program Blue Mountain.
The Bulldogs managed just two hits in a 4-1 win over the 'Toppers in Saturday's opener, then hid under the covers in a 7-4 loss. How's this for stepping up? Eight errors and only seven hits against a team with NO TRADITION -- just a bunch of former juco players who were obviously tired of being kicked around.
Thanks to Louisville losing to Morehead State of the OVC, my NCAA bracket is taking on water faster than the Titanic. I've got Kansas State, Notre Dame, Duke and Ohio State making it to the final four with OSU winning it all.
It doesn't seem possible, but spring sports are rolling along. Still trying to get in all the schedules from our local varsity teams, not just baseball and softball, but track, soccer, tennis as well. Email those schedules to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Lebanon High baseball opened the 2011 season Monday morning with a 10-0 loss to Alabama power Oxford High down at the Beef O'Brady's Bucanneer Classic at Hoover High -- just south of Birmingham.
This blog will help me "clean out" the notebook from time to time, and hopefully keep my readers informed on what's happening in Wilson County sports. TB
* Tough loss for Wilson Central Thursday in the TSSAA state tournament. A 46-39 final score doesn't tell the whole story. WC was down 19-10 after one quarter and trailed by 11 a couple of times. They came back to tie the score at 32-all in the fourth, but poor shooting at the free throw line (18-of-29) hurt.