MURFREESBORO – TSSAA Spring Fling XXVII is officially in the books.
The event returned to Rutherford County after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 150 Tennessee high school state champions were crowned in baseball, softball, soccer, tennis and track & field.
Here’s a look back at some of the top moments from the week:
The games happened on schedule with full crowds
Despite a few storm threats and some brief rain showers, the entire Spring Fling schedule was completed on time. That’s no easy feat during what is typically one of the rainiest months of the year in Tennessee. On top of that, thousands of fans were able to enjoy the action in person with few virus restrictions.
Pitching depth pays off for CPA, East Robertson baseball
One top pitcher isn’t enough to grind through a four-day state baseball tournament. Pitching depth was a strength for CPA and East Robertson, and that’s a big reason why both captured state titles. CPA threw Braxton Orr, Zee Thompson and James Dickson, while East Robertson got 19 shutout innings from Peyton Clinton, Alex Patterson, Dylan Stroud and Van True before Vanderbilt signee Peyton Smith clinched the title with a complete-game win over Moore County on Friday.
Pearl-Cohn track star Barion Brown shows off speed
It’s no secret that Pearl-Cohn junior Barion Brown is fast. He showed off his wheels by taking four state track titles on the opening day of Spring Fling. He won the 100-meter dash (10.49) and 200 (21.37) by setting new personal bests in both races and anchored Pearl-Cohn’s first-place finishes in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Brown is also the No. 9 football prospect in the state for the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Southern Middle Tennessee dominates in softball
Columbia Academy, Forrest and Summertown showed where some of the state’s best softball is played. Columbia Academy cruised to the DII-A title by beating Jackson Christian once and Tipton-Rosemark twice. Forrest overcame a late-inning collapse in the first Class AA championship game to hold off Lexington 4-2 in the if-necessary contest. And Summertown won its second Class A title with a dominant pitching performance from MTSU signee Claire Woods in a 3-0 victory over Eagleville.
Greenbrier baseball, softball win on walk-offs 45 minutes apart
Greenbrier High School teams had a wild Wednesday. First, Gabe Matherley hit a walk-off single for the baseball team in a 6-5 win over Watertown. Less than an hour later, Morghan Henley did the same for Greenbrier softball in a 14-13 win against Covington in eight innings. That came after Kayla Doble blasted a grand slam to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Not to be outdone, Greenbrier baseball rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to win another elimination game later in the day.
Father Ryan’s Harrison Kraus overcomes food poisoning
Father Ryan soccer captain Harrison Kraus wasn’t feeling his best on Wednesday. He was sick earlier in the day with food poisoning, but he battled through to score a pair of goals and a penalty-kick attempt to lift Father Ryan over Baylor 3-2 and into the DII-AA finals. Perhaps whatever he ate wasn’t so bad.
Brentwood girls win another track & field championship
Another year, another Brentwood track & field state title. The school's girls team compiled 73 points across 19 events to edge Hardin Valley Academy (66) on Thursday at Rockvale High School. It’s the 15th time the Brentwood girls have won a state championship. Arizona signee Hollan Powers keyed the victory by finishing first in the pole vault and the pentathlon, second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.
MBA’s Baylor Sai survives scare in DII-AA singles
MBA tennis senior Baylor Sai doesn’t lose many sets. But on Friday morning, Ensworth’s Hank Trondson defeated him 6-2 in the opener. However, Sai gathered himself to win the last two sets 6-2 and 6-3 and earn his second DII-AA singles title. The Penn signee is ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation by the Tennis Recruiting Network.
Eagleville softball makes improbable run to finals
Eagleville had never advanced out of its own district tournament until this season. The Lady Eagles capped off an impressive 22-11 campaign with a loss to Summertown in the Class A title game. Following defeats to Huntland in the District 8-A and Region 4-A championship games, Eagleville returned the favor with a 5-1 win over the Hornets in an elimination game on Friday. Standout eighth-graders Brinli Bain and Addisyn Linton give the Lady Eagles a bright future.
Three Midstate schools earn boys tennis team titles
CPA, Merrol Hyde and Ravenwood each won team state titles in boys tennis. Merrol Hyde swept its match 4-0 over Signal Mountain, while CPA edged Knoxville Webb 4-3 and Ravenwood held off Collierville 4-3. The Midstate was shut out on the girls side as Franklin and Summertown both fell in the finals.