Middle Tennessee Christian School junior Erin Mullins approached girls basketball coach Lynn Burkey about the possibility of holding a “We Back Pat” night in an effort to support former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt’s foundation to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease research.
Burkey, who is in his second season at MTCS, acted on the suggestion.
Tonight, the Lady Cougars and Eagleville girls basketball team plan on wearing purple shooting shirts in an effort to raise awareness toward Alzheimer’s. Purple ribbons and wrist bands will be on sale in the gym lobby with money going toward the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Purple is the color to symbolize Alzheimer’s disease.
“I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s about 20 years ago, so that’s a very personal thing to me,” Burkey said. “Anybody that’s ever had a family member go through that, it’s a terrible thing.
“You watch them go down over time. We’re excited about doing our small part.”
Tipoff is at 6 p.m. Between games, former Lady Vol Brittany Jackson will speak to the crowd about what Summitt meant to her. Jackson played for Burkey’s AAU team. Jackson will then sign autographs afterward.
Burkey said the “We Back Pat” games have gone nationwide, especially in the college game.
“A lot of colleges do it, but I think they do it later in the season,” Burkey said.
Spears commits to Bryan: MTCS senior Derrick Spears ended his college recruitment on Monday, announcing he had committed to Bryan College, a NAIA school located in Dayton, Tenn.
Spears, who led Rutherford County in scoring this past season, is averaging 26.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists this season for the Cougars. He was a Class A Mr. Basketball finalist this past season.
“I’m ecstatic,” Spears said of his decision. “I really felt like Bryan was the best place for me. It had what I wanted.”
Spears, a shooting guard, plans on studying pharmacy, which is a well-known major at the school.
MTCS is currently 8-0 entering its District 9-A opener with Eagleville.
TSSAA looks at adding Ricky rule: The TSSAA Legislative Council will look at a rule change during its Wednesday meeting in Hermitage that would have kept Ensworth coach Ricky Bowers and assistant Paul Wade off the Division II-AA football championship game sidelines.
Bowers and Wade were ejected after Ensworth’s semifinal win, which resulted in a one-game suspension. Ensworth appealed, and the TSSAA ruled they couldn’t be ejected — according to NFHS rules — because it happened after officials had declared the game over.
TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said the state office will recommend a policy that will “supersede” the National Federation of State High School Associations rule regarding the jurisdiction of football officials.
Sheffield rule too: The Legislative Council is also looking at a rule that would make an athlete ineligible in a sport for 12 months if he or she withdraws from a member school and participates in an all-star event prior to completing their high school eligibility in that sport.
Tullahoma ace Justus Sheffield withdrew from school to participate in the Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game, then re-enrolled when he returned to circumvent the current rule.
Former Smyrna standout Sonny Gray was not allowed to play in the AFLAC game his senior year or risk being ruled ineligible.
Girls wrestling next up?: Clarksville Northeast and Science Hill have submitted a proposal for the Legislative Council to add girls wrestling. Currently, girls can compete on wrestling teams. A girls exhibition tournament is also offered during the TSSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament.
Blaze camp: Blackman’s boys basketball program is hosting a one-day skills camp from 9 a.m.-noon on Dec. 23 for kids in kindergarten-eighth grade. Cost is $25. Registration is at the door.