The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control will meet Thursday at the TSSAA office building in Hermitage to discuss a handful of topics.
Perhaps most notably, the 12-member board — which now includes independent school representatives in each of the TSSAA’s three Grand Divisions: East, Middle and West — will discuss the possibility of implementing background checks for referees.
The topic was added to the meeting agenda following a controversial collision between Glencliff’s Malcolm Easley and referee Kyle Gill during the Colts’ Sept. 18 football game at Gallatin. Gill, who voiced his displeasure over the incident by calling Easley’s hit on him “malicious”, was later suspended by the TSSAA for providing improper background information prior to his hiring.
A recent background check of athletic officials performed by Williamson County Schools revealed that 21 of the roughly 200 referees checked had questionable backgrounds, including criminal charges ranging from statutory rape, prostitution and drug charges.
Mr. Football finalists to be named Thursday: Finalists for the 2015 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards will be announced on Thursday, and there are several players from the Midstate still in contention.
Two finalists will be announced for each of the 17 award categories — Back of the Year and Lineman of the Year awards for each of the state’s eight classifications, along with Kicker of the Year award for all classifications.
Among the semifinalists are Nashville Christian’s Daniel Bituli, Wayne County’s Preston Rice, Columbia Academy’s Taylor Thompson and Thomas Garrison, Forrest’s Boone Sweeney, CPA’s Zack Weatherly, Lipscomb’s Rutger Reitmaier, Marshall County’s Ashton Posey, Centennial’s Tyrel Dodson, La Vergne’s Maleik Gray, Henry County’s Gunner Osbron, Independence’s Nate Johnson, Oakland’s Ty Nix and JaCoby Stevens, Mt. Juliet’s Kalani Smith, Blackman’s Taeler Dowdy, DCA’s Michael Flowers, BGA’s Clayton Beathard, FRA’s Spence Jones, Brentwood Academy’s Ryan Johnson, Bryce Mathews and Jeremiah Oatsvall, MBA’s Ty Chandler, Ravenwood’s Crews Holt and Siegel’s Jacob Smith.
The 31st annual awards will be presented Nov. 30 at Nissan Stadium.
Avoiding serious injuries: There were a couple of scary moments during the opening round of the TSSAA high school football playoffs.
During Friday’s Class 5A first-round matchup between La Vergne and Hillsboro, La Vergne senior Daz’ren Dillard dove head first onto a Hillsboro fumble, suffering what appeared to be a neck injury. The 6-foot-1, 330-pound defensive lineman, who laid on the field motionless for close to 20 minutes, was eventually taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
About 30 miles north at White House Heritage High School, Sycamore junior C.J. Ivey took a hit to his back during Friday’s 14-7 opening-round defeat. Ivey, who suffered from temporary paralysis for hours after the hit, was also transported to Vanderbilt.
Fortunately, neither incident was as serious as originally feared. Dillard was diagnosed with a concussion. Ivey regained feeling in his arms and legs around 4 a.m. Saturday, and doctors told him he had suffered no permanent damage.
Sycamore coach Al Pellegrino said Ivey was in school Monday “and he’s ready to get back in the weight room and prepare for his senior year.”
Eagleville fires coach: Eagleville High School football Steve Carson was fired on Monday after eight seasons.
“I was completely shocked,” Carson told the Daily News Journal. ” …We were already talking about next year. The last thing I thought about was when I went to school today that I would be fired.”
Carson, who compiled a 53-39 record in eight seasons, led the Eagles to seven consecutive playoff appearances, including trips to the quarterfinals from 2011-13. Eagleville was defeated by top-ranked Boyd-Buchanan 41-0 in last week’s Class 2A opening-round game.
Early signing period: The NCAA’s early-signing period starts Wednesday, meaning high school athletes are allowed to sign letters on intent with their schools of choice.
If a prospective collegiate athlete chooses not to sign scholarship papers during the early-signing period, which concludes Nov. 18, they’ll then have to wait until the regular-signing period, which begins April 13 and runs through Aug. 1.
The early-signing period applies to all NCAA-sanctioned sports other than football. The football signing period begins on Feb. 3 — better known as national signing day — and concludes April 1.