Defending champion Montgomery Bell Academy hopes the Carter Invitational tennis tournament provides the same springboard it did last year.
MBA and Memphis University School are the favorites in the 39th annual event, which opens 8:30 a.m. Friday with first-round singles at the Big Red courts. Second-round singles follow, then one round of doubles.
MUS, Chattanooga Baylor, McCallie, St. Xavier (Ky.), Knoxville Webb, Ensworth and host MBA comprise the seven-team field. Singles finals are 8:30 a.m. Saturday followed by the final two rounds of doubles.
The Big Red are 12-3 in dual matches after a 6-1 win over Brentwood High on Wednesday afternoon. They have an impressive portfolio this spring as they go for a four-peat next month in the TSSAA Division II state championships.
MBA competed in the DecoTurf nationals in March in Louisville, then wound up second in the annual Rotary Invitational in early April in Chattanooga behind only St. Xavier.
“I like how our team is coming along,” coach Tom Boysen, who has guided his first two teams to state championships, said.
In all, the Big Red have won nine state crowns. Aaron Jumonville, an MTSU signee, Andrew Graham and Andrew Karpos lead this year’s senior-dominated lineup in its pursuit of No. 10.
“They have shown a quiet confidence as we’ve gone along, yet a strong intensity as we get closer to state. We have a strong, competitive edge. It’s a very close group,” Boysen, a former Vanderbilt men’s assistant coach, said.
• Hill Center Relays: The Ensworth boys and host Harpeth Hall girls have lead after field events at the Hill Center Relays. Running event finals are 6 p.m. Friday.
Wins by Catherine McDowell (pole vault) and Abbey Buttner (discus) helped put Harpeth Hall in front with 50 points. University School of Nashville (34 points) and East Nashville (30) are in second and third, respectively.
Jada Curbeam, who signed last week with Prairie View A&M, scored all of East Nashville’s points with wins in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
Donovan Sheffield and P.J. Settles went 1-2 in triple jump for Ensworth’s boys, who scored 44 points. MBA (30) and Pearl-Cohn (27) were second and third, respectively.
Joe Irby’s win in the discus lifted FRA to fourth with 23½ points.
• DA’s Smith to Maryville: Davidson Academy fullback/strong safety Micah Smith has committed to Maryville College.
“It came out of nowhere last week,” Smith, who also considered earlier offers from Hanover (Ind.) and Lindsey-Wilson, said. “It’s a strong academic school, which I like, and I think I’ll get a chance to play early.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Smith had 32 solo and 55 total tackles with one interception for the Bears last fall. Playing mostly as a blocker at fullback on offense, he rushed for 199 yards in 29 carries for the Bears, who went 4-6.
He plans to major in pharmacy.
“I think they will look at me more for defense,” Smith, a three-year starter who has a 3.45 GPA and runs the sprints in track, said.
• In pre-game ceremonies Wednesday, Davidson Academy named its softball field “Stacy Swinnea Field” in honor of the Bears’ coach who has 500-plus wins and three state championships. It was a perfect day for the 20-year veteran coach whose team then beat rival Ezell-Harding 1-0.
• Franklin Road Academy sophomore Casey Queener fired a perfect game, retiring all 21 batters he faced in a 4-0 victory over Zion Christian on Monday. It was the first perfect game by an FRA pitcher since Steve Johnson in 1984.
He struck out the first nine batters he faced and 17 in all. He got all the support he needed when the Panthers scored two runs in the second inning.
• Terry Cole, an assistant under M.L. King boys coach James (Doc) Shelton for the past six seasons, has been named the girls basketball coach at Pearl-Cohn. Cole replaces
Katrina Carter, who resigned recently then was hired as the girls basketball coach at Whites Creek. There she replaced Antoine Buchanan, who resigned that post recently.
• The Hillsboro High Sports Hall of Fame will hold induction ceremonies 3 p.m. Sunday at the school auditorium. A reception precedes the ceremony and begins at 2:15 p.m.
Tommy Frensley (basketball coach), Ann Hutcheson Price (tennis, state champ 1968), Alvin Fite and Walt Fisher (football and Mr. Football winners), Ron Aydelott (football), Jerry Caldwell (basketball and tennis), Jim Mathis (basketball and baseball) and the 2003 state champ football team will be honored.