In the softball world, all eyes are on Oklahoma City to celebrate the return of the Women’s College World Series.
Three former Tennessee high school products are in the field this year.
Jenna Johnson, a sophomore reserve outfielder at Alabama, graduated from Page as the season record holder in on-base percentage (.686) in 2018; home runs (11) and slugging percentage (1.114%) in 2017; and stolen bases (24) and batting average (.591) in 2016.
Johnson has made 17 starts this season. She logged 10 at-bats in the Crimson Tide’s run through the NCAA regional and super regional tournaments. Alabama drew Arizona in the WCWS first round.
Former Blackman standout Kalei Harding is a freshman catcher/utility player who batted .272 with three home runs for Florida State heading into the week. She made the All-ACC Third Team and All-ACC Freshman Team.
Outside the Midstate area, former Chattanooga star Kayla Boseman is in the field for James Madison. She transferred from Mississippi State after graduating from Ooltewah High School.
Page High School standout Josey Polk is another local connection. She has signed to play at James Madison next season. The Dukes pulled off the upset of the tournament so far by beating top-seeded Oklahoma on Thursday.
The WCWS runs through June 9.
Hume-Fogg hires girls hoops coach
Tracey McClain was named Hume-Fogg’s girls basketball coach this week.
McClain has coached volleyball, soccer, track and basketball for 19 years and has taught a lifetime wellness course at Hume-Fogg for 20 years.
The Blue Knights last made the state tournament in 2009, which broke an 83-year drought. Hume-Fogg had not been to state since the 1926 team won the school’s only girls basketball title.
"I’m extremely excited to be back coaching basketball at Hume-Fogg,” McClain said in a release. “I’ve missed the daily interactions with the players and seeing them grow and progress as athletes, students and young adults. I’m thankful to have this opportunity and excited to get started.”
Montgomery Bell Academy rising junior quarterback Marcel Reed continued a recent surge of interest by adding an offer from Texas A&M this week.
Reed, the No. 5 player in the 2023 class in Tennessee, according to 247Sports, has watched his offer list grow rapidly over the past three months, with Tennessee, Georgia, Miami, Florida, Ole Miss and Indiana joining the race for his services. He also has offers from Alabama and Vanderbilt among others.
Meanwhile as the NCAA recruiting dead period ended June 1, prospects began taking visits across the country. Vanderbilt capitalized by getting a crop of recruits on campus, including Father Ryan class of 2023 offensive lineman Drake Carlson and East Robertson class of 2022 receiver/defensive back Taylor Groves.
Carlson has seen new suitors as well, adding offers from Tennessee and Virginia in recent weeks.
Hillsboro LAX players honored
Hillsboro lacrosse goalkeeper James Thompson was named Public Division 2 Defensive Player of the Year and Bryant Brown was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year by the Tennessee State Lacrosse Association.
Thompson was crucial in the final minute of the Burros’ state finals win over Cookeville last month, saving three shots that helped clinch the title. It was the school’s first lacrosse state championship.
TSSAA recognizes three-sport athletes
The TSSAA found 3,437 athletes out of more than 75,000 across the state who played three sports this year, and plans to honor them with certificates when possible.
Eight schools from the Midstate have 25 or more three-sport athletes: Battle Ground Academy; Brentwood Academy; Donelson Christian Academy; Ensworth High School; Maplewood; Nashville Christian School, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy and Pearl-Cohn.
More than half the athletes at Donelson Christian Academy, Maplewood and Nashville Christian play three or more sports.
The TSSAA encourages multi-sport involvement.
"So many things have been put into a different perspective over the past year and a half due to the pandemic. School administrators and coaches continue to recognize that every opportunity a student-athlete has to compete in education-based athletics is invaluable," said TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress. "We continue to encourage coaches and administrators to allow student-athletes every opportunity to participate in the sports they desire to, whether that’s just one, or two, or three, or more.”