Montgomery Bell Academy was ready for Thursday’s Division II-AA soccer final.
Well, almost ready.
Andrew Conwell left his jersey sitting in the locker room before Thursday’s matchup with defending state champion Christian Brothers, but still managed to score the first goal in MBA’s 3-0 win and give the school its first state title in boys soccer.
“I must have been too focused on the game,” Conwell said. “Everyone was leaving, I was the last one in the locker room and I left my jersey there.”
After switching his jersey numbers from 10 to 20, Conwell felt no different.
“It’s just a number,” the senior said. “I’m still the same player and we’re still the same team.”
Ellis Moore and David Luster also scored.
Gittens heats up track on cool night
The unusually chilly weather at the girls track and field championships proved not be a problem for one of the Midstate’s top track athletes.
With temperatures in the mid-50s throughout the afternoon and evening, Ensworth’s Tyra Gittens would have preferred it a bit warmer, but the standout sophomore still managed to capture four first-place medals during Thursday at MTSU’s Dean A. Hayes Track & Field Complex.
“I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, so anything under 80 (degrees) is cold,” Gittens joked. “The weather really destroyed me, especially in the hurdles — I bashed my knee on one of them — but overall it was a good day. When (the competition) is on their A-game, I’m on my A-Game.”
Gittens, who also won Monday’s pentathlon with 3,681 points, claimed Division II titles in the long jump (19-05.5), the high jump (5-08), the 100-meter hurdles (14.96) and the 200-meter dash (25.33) on Thursday, helping lead the Lady Tigers to their first team championship in program history.
Central Magnet’s Taylor Cuneo posted a perfect 30 points in her three events Thursday, sweeping the Class A/AA distance events with wins in the 800- (2:18.17), 1,600- (5:10.87) and 3,200-meter (11:35.79) runs.
Signal Mountain claimed the Class A/AA team title with 96 points — 24 ahead of runner-up East Nashville, which was led by junior Grenetria Shell, who won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
Karl among Midstaters in tennis finals
Not only will Ravenwood junior Steven Karl defend his Class AAA tennis singles championship Friday at Old Fort Park, he will also try to bring home the fifth title for his family.
His brother Sean won the championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
It sounds like a recipe for lot of pressure, but Karl says that is not the case.
“Actually, last year I felt a lot more pressure than this year,” Karl said.
That’s because he was still trying at the time to emerge from the shadows of his older brother, who was on the tennis team at Tennessee during last year’s state tournament.
Sean died in November after battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
“Last year was my year to kind of prove myself,” Karl said. “Now that I’ve been through it and won it; that makes a big difference. I’m playing a lot better and am much more comfortable out there now.”
Karl certainly appeared at ease Thursday, coasting through the quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Bolton senior Kenny Miller and then the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Farragut junior Gary Carter.
FRA falls in DII-A title game
Franklin Road Academy’s quest for a state baseball title came up one game — and one run — short on Thursday, as the Panthers fell to St. George’s 5-4 in DII-A championship game.
St. George’s Conner Green went the distance, limiting FRA to three hits while guiding the Gryphons to their first state title. Green was charged with four runs — only one earned — and finished with nine strikeouts. He walked one.
FRA trailed 5-2 after four but scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to trim the deficit to 5-4. The comeback bid ended there, however, as the Panthers went quietly in the seventh.
FRA played the tournament without coach George Weicker, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this season.
“I’m proud of my guys for fighting the way they did,” said interim head coach David Ott. “We gutted out four runs and kept battling. The kids believed in themselves.”
Still in the hunt
Several Midstate softball teams are still in the hunt for state titles.
The two teams in the best shape are Wilson Central and Forrest. The Lady Wildcats have clinched a spot in the AAA title game, thanks to a 7-2 win over Ooltewah in the winners’ bracket finals Thursday. Forrest knocked off Knoxville Grace to earn a spot in the Class A title contest. Wilson Central and Forrest will have to be beaten twice Friday not to win titles.
Dickson County rallied past Siegel to stay alive in AAA in what was one of the most exciting games of the day, while Friendship Christian knocked off Davidson Academy in DII-A to earn a trip to the title game.