Weakley athletes, teams covered every month with good deeds
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
The year that was saw Weakley County teams, players and coaches have their share of highlights and heartbreaks from the first day to the last.
As 2013 begins, we take a month-by-month look back at 2012.
3 — Dresden senior Tyler McPeak reached a basketball milestone by scoring his 1,000th career point in a 74-63 win over Bruceton. He finished with 25 points in the game, helping the Lions improve to 11-4 overall and 8-0 in District 13A.
10 — Keith Hodge and Don Pitt were named the new football head coaches at Dresden and Greenfield, respectively. The 30-year-old Hodge, the Lions’ offensive coordinator since 2009, takes over for Scott Hewett. Pitt is a former Yellowjacket player and a third generation Greenfield coach. His grandfather Don was the head coach from 1963-67, while his father Kevin was a ’Jacket assistant in the mid-1990s. Pitt takes over from Jason Rodehaver.
12 — UT Martin women’s basketball sophomore guard Heather Butler reached the 1,000-point mark faster than any player in program history in a win over Morehead State. She hit the milestone number in the second half of her 50th career game, topping the former mark of 59 games set by Pat (Head) Summitt.
31 — The Martin boys won the TMSAA Area 5 Tournament with a 60-26 win over Paris Inman. The Lady Panthers, meanwhile, finished second with a 31-22 loss to Inman. Garrett Sams scored 14 points for the MMS boys, while Atitiana Vincent had 12 points for the Martin girls.
31 — Westview softball saw a change at the top as head coach J.B. Suiter stepped down and assistant Jessica Hightower stepped up as the program’s new leader. Suiter piled up 183 wins and led the Lady Chargers to four straight state tournaments in his seven seasons. A UT Martin Hall of Famer as a softball player, Hightower was the Westview assistant for three years before being elevated to the top job.
2 — Tyler McPeak signed a football grant-in-aid to play football at UT Martin. The Dresden High School senior led the Lions to Class 2A state championship game the previous December. A 6-4, 225-pound tight end, he had 27 catches for 391 yards and three touchdowns while also posting 118 tackles on the defensive side.
7 — D.J. Ellis became the second Lion player to sign a college scholarship, inking with Carson-Newman. Ellis recorded 94 tackles, including 27 for a loss, for the Lions last season.
7 — UT Martin sophomore guard Jasmine Newsome became the second-fastest player in the program to reach 1,000 career points. She had 19 points in an 84-67 win over Murray State, reaching the milestone in 55 games. Teammate Heather Butler hit the mark in 50 games, and Pat (Head) Summitt is now third, doing so in 59 games.
22 — The UT Martin softball team closed a splendid 2012 season with a 39-22 record, falling twice in the NCAA Regional round at Tuscaloosa. The Skyhawks lost 5-1 to Alabama and then 9-1 to Georgia Tech. Pitcher Chelsea Jones and centerfielder Leah Taylor were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Region team. Jones, the OVC’s pitcher of the Year, was 28-10 with a 2.21 ERA. Taylor batted .390 this season.
28 — Dresden High School senior Sarah Hatler parlayed a junior high and high school run of cross country excellence into a college scholarship when she signed with nearby Bethel University. She made her third straight TSSAA Class A-AA state meet in November, finishing 22nd overall with a time of 21:41. She competed in the middle school state meet as an eight-grader.
1 — UT Martin’s Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome both earned Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year honors for the 2011-12 season. Butler, with a 23.7 points-per-game average, was lauded as the league’s best by College Sports Madness. Newsome, averaging 19.7 points and 5.9 assists, was tabbed in a vote of the league’s coaches and sports information directors. Meanwhile, UTM men’s player Myles Taylor was voted the OVC’s Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
6 — UT Martin’s women won the Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament for the second consecutive season with an 82-65 triumph over Tennessee Tech. Tourney MVP Heather Butler tossed in 35 points, and Jasmine Newsome added 26 points as UTM won its 14th straight game. The Skyhawks scored 13 straight points after trailing 51-45 with 13:48 to play in the game. UTM went on to lose 72-49 to Tennessee in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
27 — Greenfield’s Shameilla McMullen signed a college grant-in-aid to play basketball at Bethel in McKenzie. As a senior, she averaged 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds a game.
10 — Three UT Martin women’s basketball players — Jaclissa Haislip, Aubrey Reedy and Beth Hawn — decide to leave the Skyhawk program. Haislip, a starter who averaged 10.3 points per game, appeared to be returning home to Murfreesboro and enroll at Middle Tennessee State. Reedy, another starter, was planning to remain enrolled at UTM.
17 — Gatlin Hatchel and Eric VanDyke became the latest Dresden football players to sign college scholarships as both inked with University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. Hatchel was impressive in his only season to start at quarterback by completing 125-of-184 passes for 1,693 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushing for 1,412 yards and 19 TDs on 244 carries. VanDyke totaled 125 tackles, including 12 for a loss.
26 — Dan Scates and Adam Reinhard both reached milestones for the Westview boys’ soccer team. Scates picked up his 200th career head coaching win in his 17th season at the helm, while Reinhard became the new all-time scoring leader with three goals against McKenzie, putting him at 88.
8 — Greenfield’s Haley Rawls signed a golf scholarship with Bethel University. Rawls advanced to the state tournament for the second consecutive year, finishing 22nd overall. During the 2011 season, she won 10 of the 11 nine-hole tournaments and both 18-hole events in which she competed.
15 — Greenfield won its fifth straight District 13A-AA team tennis championship. Taylor Hatcher won the individual tournament title, giving the Lady Yellowjackets their fifth straight crown there as well. Greenfield’s tennis season then ended in the regional round with a team loss to Union City and individual losses at the UC courts.
15 — UT Martin needed a second championship game but claimed the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title with a 6-2 win over Tennessee Tech. The Eagles had won the earlier game in the double-elimination event with a 3-1 decision.
15 — Greenfield claimed its fourth straight District 14A baseball tournament championship with a 9-1 win over Trenton. The Yellowjackets then fell to Clarksburg 5-4 in eight innings in the Region 7A semifinal. Greenfield posted a sparkling 27-3 overall record.
17 — Westview softball player Holly Morris signed to play collegiately at Martin Methodist. She played two years with the Lady Chargers after transferring from Dresden.
17 — Westview closed out its 2012 boys’ soccer season with a 12-5-1 record. The Chargers advanced to the Region 7A-AA championship against Dyersburg, Adam Reinhard scoring the Chargers’ only goal in a 2-1 setback to Dyersburg and then falling 1-0 to Memphis Kingsbury.
24 — Gleason’s Thomas Fowler Jr. signed to play baseball at Bethel. This past season, Fowler batted .500 with 25 RBI, 40 runs and 20 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 4-3 with 51 strikeouts and 25 walks.
7 — UT Martin righthanded pitcher Alex Mills was tabbed in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals, the 673rd pick overall. He later chose to forgo his senior season and sign. In 14 starts this past season, he had 74 strikeouts in 89 innings and posted a 3.94 ERA.
12 — Heath Crouse and Gatlin Hatchel led the Gray to a 9-3 win over the Red in the fifth annual West Tennessee prep all-star baseball game at Pringles Park in Jackson. Crouse was named the game’s MVP by going 3-for-5 with two runs while playing third base. Hatchel, the second baseman, was 1-for-2.
5 — Former Gleason and Union University basketball standout Kayla Hudson was named an assistant coach at Union. She scored over 2,100 points at Gleason, leading the Lady Bulldogs to a state championship and earning Miss Basketball honors. At Union, she scored 1,776 points, was named All-America four times and helped the Lady Bulldogs to two NAIA national championships.
12 — Amber Rechis, a former Westview basketball standout, has decided to transfer to Union University in Jackson from Florida Gulf Coast University. She is Westview’s all-time leading scorer with 2,871 points, helping the Lady Chargers to a 107-34 overall record.
24 — Former UT Martin softball player Stephanie Paris was named the new softball head coach at Austin Peay. A UTM infielder in the early 2000s, she is the seventh head coach in Governor history.
24 — The Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state teams for the spring sports included numerous players from Weakley County. Greenfield brothers Heath and Hunter Crouse made the 1A baseball team, Meagan Prince of Westview was tabbed for the 2A softball team and Westview’s Adam Reinhard was selected to the A-AA soccer squad. A second baseman and pitcher, Heath Crouse batted .517 with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 42 RBI. He had a .583 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases. On the hill, he was 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 54 strikeouts. Prince, who has verbally committed to Kentucky, was 21-6 with 313 strikeouts and an 0.70 ERA her junior season, tossing a perfect game against Gibson County. Reinhard finished his career with a school-record 97 goals. He had 29 goals, including five of his team’s six in the postseason, and 10 assists.
21 — Dresden opened the 2012 prep football season with a 14-12 win over county rival Westview. With quarterback Davis Moran and wingback Colter Swafford going down with knee injuries, the Lions’ offense was turned over to Devan Raymer, who accounted for 150 of Dresden’s 177 total yards and scored two touchdowns. For the Chargers, Cal Bradshaw booted a 25-yard field goal, and Ty Brown pulled down a 14-yard TD pass from Ryne Vinson.
28 — Gleason won its county showdown with Greenfield, 41-13, in prep football action. Austin Perry caught five TD passes for the Bulldogs, who had 412 total yards, while Jeffery Johnson scored on an 80-yard kickoff return and threw a TD pass to Miles Cavitt.
4 — UT Martin opened its 2012 football season with a signature win, knocking off Memphis 20-17 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Cody Sandlin ended the on a 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, the winning score set up by Nate Rotero’s fumble recovery at the Memphis 27-yard-line with 17 seconds to play. The game was also was delayed two hours and 40 minutes due to lightning.
25 — Greenfield’s 15-game football losing streak came to an end with a 25-21 win over Bruceton. The Yellowjackets put up 308 yards of total offense. Austin Pence had 176 yards rushing on 22 carries, and Jeffery Johnson, Miles Cavitt, Zachary Lewis and Tanner Smithson all scored touchdowns for Greenfield. John David Ricketts threw three TD passes.
4 — Former UT Martin basketball player Leonard Hamilton has been voted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame and will be inducted as part of the 2013 class in May. The school’s first black athlete, he played at UTM from 1969-71 and finished with a then-school record 206 assists. Since leaving UTM, he has been a successful collegiate coach, most notably at Miami and currently Florida State.
23 — The Dresden football team took advantage of an open date and Boyd Buchanan’s loss to take over the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press Class 2A football poll.
25 — The Dresden girls’ cross country team earned its second straight state meet berth with a third-place finish in the Region 7A-AA meet at Troy. Catey Delaney paced the Lady Lions with a third-place overall finish. Donavan Davis also qualified for the state meet from the Dresden boys’ squad.
30 — Westview closed its girls’ softball season with a 15-5-1 record following a 3-0 loss to Sacred Heart in the sectional round at Jackson. Shelby Dunavant took three shots, while Kayla Guthrie and Alexus Taylor had two shots each.
6 — The UT Martin soccer team claimed a 2-0 win over Austin Peay to earn its second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Alyssa Curtis and Midori Sena scored for UTM, while Mariah Klenke had five saves in goal in taking the MVP award. Also picked for the all-tournament team were Lacy Pater, Amy Maksimowicz and Mary Thompson. UTM drew Kentucky in the opening round, to be played at Lexington.
6 — Gleason lost a 41-32 shootout to Halls in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs at Gleason. Ian Legens had two touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who finished with a 6-5 record.
6 — Dresden freshmen Catey Delaney and Donavan Davis led the Lions in the Class A-AA state meet. Delaney was 24th overall with a time of 22:47.98, helping the team to a 18th-place finish. Davis was 85th overall with a time of 19:45.67.
20 — The college signing ceremony at Westview High School was twice as nice as softball player Meagan Prince made it official by putting her name on a Kentucky grant-in-aid and basketball player Teddy Vincent inked with High Point University. Prince was 21-6 with 313 strikeouts and a 0.70 ERA as a junior, while Vincent enters her senior season having started every game since her sophomore year.
27 — Dresden’s run at a second straight trip to the Class 2A state title game fell one round short as Adamsville knocked out the Lions 28-7 in the semifinals. Devan Raymer scored Dresden’s only touchdown, an 11-yard run with 3:35 to play in the game.
27 — UT Martin had three players named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference football team for 2012. Linebacker Ben Johnson, wide receiver Quentin Sims and defensive lineman Montori Hughes were tabbed as first-team picks.
18 — Dresden swept the championships of the Weakley County middle school basketball tournament at Sharon. The Lion boys capped a perfect 14-0 season with a 63-35 win over Martin, and the Dresden girls closed out an 11-3 season with a 31-25 win over Gleason.
20 — Devan Raymer and Josh Turnbow, members of the Dresden football team, were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class 2A all-state football team. Raymer rushed for 2,008 yards and scored 28 touchdowns while posting 58 tackles on defense. Turnbow led the way up front for an offense that piled up 3,990 yards.
27 — Westview’s Makenzie Vincent was selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class A-AA girls’ soccer all-state team. The senior goalkeeper becomes the first Lady Charger player named as a TSWA all-stater. Vincent had 165 saves and helped Westview notch seven shutouts this past season, and she totaled 309 saves as a two-year starter. Published in The WCP 1.1.13