Sports writer Ed Parsons is off this week, so I get to write the Press Box column.
No one can replace Ed.
A former coach and longtime sports fan, Ed has advised me on matters great and small in Tyler County.
Now that the season is over, the man has earned some time away.
Ed will return to the Press Box next week.
TCHS has a lot be proud of this past sports season.
The Silver Knights’ football team (6-5) made it to the playoffs. For a time, they were ranked within the top 20 best teams in the state. Highlights of that season include a win over Magnolia in the mud, rain. Most of the Tyler Consolidated students were not yet even in school when the 2003 Silver Knights under then Coach John Stender got the last win.
A word of thanks and praise should be offered to the Coach Ryan Walton and the coaching staff.
Knights’ Tyler Anderson, Griffin Phillips, Jace Reed, Mark Rucker, Noah Smith and many many others deserve praise for making that game and this season very exciting. Every time Number 4 Anderson got the ball, he used his mad track skills to sprint to the goal line. Phillips, well done; lots of potential there.
Maybe the low point of the season was the late score of a tough game fought against state ranked Ravenswood. The score was tied up at 21 a piece when late in the fourth quarter, Ravenswood put together a long drive that ended with an 11-yard run to give the Red Devils the game winning score. After the game, fans shook their heads in wonder all agreeing on the long accepted sports principle that no matter how well you play, sometimes there is a such a thing as a “bad bounce.” This concept means that an athlete or team may be playing at the top of their of their game, but something unforeseen or crazy happens that makes you shake your head at that “whatever” moment.
But that’s what makes sports, well, sports. You never know how the ball is going to bounce.
The Silver Knights’ volleyball team compiled a winning record (46-17) along with some trophies and a place at the state tournament last week in Charleston. The team was runner-up in the LKC Championship and took home top titles from the sectionals and regionals. Players like Madison West, Macy Long, Abbie Fletcher, JoLee Walton, Josey Jones, Joralda Rice and many others were known far and wide throughout the region for their prowess at the net.
Don’t forget Coach Richard Summers, who celebrated his 500th win of the season a few weeks ago a record to which he gives credit where credit is due to his wife Tracy. It’s not too late to nominate the coach for the 2017 Double – Goal Coach Award by Maxpreps.
The school’s soccer teams played with distinction.
The boys’ team scored a place at the Sectional Finals only to fall to Weir. Silver Knights’ goalkeeper Luke Daugherty had 15 saves that game. The team was consistently ranked among the best in the OVAC and finished the season with a 12-6-2 record. Maybe consider nominating Coach Scott Wall for the 2017 Double – Goal Coach Award too.
Autumn Wells had so many saves this season that her photo might as well be in the dictionary beside the word “goalkeeper.”
The golf team under Coach Joe Griffin scored a solid series of above par matches from Seniors – Justin Brinkmeier, Levi Hudson and Will Tallman; Juniors – Noah Miller, Julianna Miller and Cheyene Morris; Sophomores – Hunter Doak, Mack Gibbs, Preston Grimes, Haiden Placer, and Gage Potoczny; Freshmen – Anna Griffith and Gavin Morris. During the season, Miller credited God for his success on the links. Smart move and classy.
The cross country team soared to new heights with many runners posting personal records. Long distance runner Gavin Corley led the team during his first season. Josh Frum, Creed Ammons, Trey Keys and Nate Barker all broke the 20-minute barrier and posted solid times throughout the season. Worth noting, Barker has already begun gearing up for the hurdles ahead next track season. And other members of the team are still putting in the miles needed to maintain a fast pace.
On the girls’ side of the ledger, Jahnvi Duncan, Katie Pratt, Emma Paden and Taylor Ebert showed their strength at the regional meet.
Corley’s younger brother, Spencer, set a record for Tyler Middle School at the Chick-fil-A meet by running 9:52 minutes in the 3K race. The record that Corley broke was his own from last year 10:04 minutes. He holds school records for the 1600 and 3200 meter races in track, so this season should be one for the record books for him.
The most inspirational quote of the season was from Duncan.
“I want runners to realize that winning isn’t everything,” she said. “Doing what you love for the enjoyment of doing it means more than anything. Winning is just a remembrance of how hard you’ve worked to get where you are in that moment.”
Apply that sentiment to any sport be it throwing a football, scoring a goal, shooting par, serving up a point or crossing the tape for a successful season.
Congrats go to the Silver Knights’ athletes, coaches, family, friends, boosters and community for their role in making Tyler County a great place to score memories.