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Beech vs. Summit football in the Class 5A Quarterfinals earns Best Game honors in Sumner County. 

The 2020-21 school year gave fans across the county much to cheer for. After COVID-19 canceled the end of the 2020 spring seasons, fall and winter sports looked like they too could be on the short end of the stick.

On July 28, Governor Bill Lee passed Executive Order 55, allowing contact to resume and fall sports to breathe a sigh of relief. Still, many wondered if indoor winter sport would have the same luck.

Thankfully, precautions taken by schools, fans and players allowed winter and spring sports to continue while also welcoming family and friends at Sumner County games.

While the debate may take place on the best moment, best play, or which school had the best athletic success from start to finish, one thing we can all agree on is being thankful to have each season. We are thankful to the Sumner County School Board and TSSAA for devising a road map for schools to follow allowing players, coaches and fans to benefit. 

Every school had its own special moments from the 2020-21 school year and we want to highlight some of the best ones.

While we will give all nine Sumner County schools the spotlight, we do want to recognize the best athletic success stories from fall to spring.

Season to season, no school had a better 2020-21 school year than Beech High School. Beech showed great athletic success from August through May, from the gridiron to the diamond with everything in between.

Here are the best sports moments from this school year:

Best Game: Beech vs. Summit football - Class 5A Quarterfinals

Nov. 21 - Shackle Island Stadium

The eventual Class 5A State Champion Summit Spartans left Shackle Island with an incredible 36-29 victory over Region 6-5A Champion Beech High School in the quarterfinal round. In a game that proved whoever held the ball last would win, Beech vs. Summit football was the best game played during the 2020-21 school year. 

Considerations: Beech vs. Henry County region basketball, Merrol Hyde boys soccer vs. Austin-East, Class A semifinals

Best Play: Beech’s Parker Juillerat walk-off against Clarksville to win the Region 5-AAA baseball title.

May 19 - Buccaneer Field

Trailing 8-7, Beech’s Parker Juillerat stepped to the plate and delivered a walk-off shot to right field to win the Region 5-AAA Championship over Clarksville, 9-8.

Best Individual Performance: Evan Puckett (Pole Vault), Whisper Thomas (100m Dash) winning gold at the 2021 TSSAA Large Class State Championships.

Considerations: Jordan Zuger striking out 21 against Portland in a 1-0 loss to Portland in the District 9-AAA Tournament Play-In game, David Johnson (Hendersonville) setting a county meet record with a long jump of 23-5, Baker Schell (Beech), Kiera Berry (Beech) win Sumner County MVP at County Championships.

Best Team Performance: Station Camp girls golf (3-Peat), Merrol Hyde boys tennis win state.

Rugby: Sumner County Rugby opens their new home on Avant Lane on October 20th.

Beech

Football: Region 6-5A Champions.

Cross Country: Boys Sumner County Champions, Girls Cross Country Team of the Year.

Golf: Tessa Myers qualifies for the state tournament.

Boys Basketball: District 9-AAA Tournament Champions, Region 5-AAA Runners-Up, Class AAA Sectional Appearance.

Wrestling: Mason Smith, Trey Bates win state championships in their respective weight classes.

Baseball: District 9-AAA Tournament Champions, Region 5-AAA Tournament Champions, Class AAA Sectional Champions, Class AAA State Tournament.

Bowling: Hunter Cain, Seth Hesson, Josh Sutton qualify for Large Class State Bowling Championships.

Softball: District 9-AAA Regular Season Champions, Runner-Up District 9-AAA Tournament Champions, Region 5-AAA Appearance.

Track and Field: Kiera Berry and Baker Schell win Sumner County MVP honors at the annual Track and Field Championships. Baker Schell competes in State Decathlon, 110/300m Hurdles.

Gallatin

Girls Soccer: Lady Wave finish as runner-up in the district and region tournament to Hendersonville before falling in the Class AAA sectional round.

Golf: Reagan Padilla, Abigail Gornicki and Colton Werner all competed in the TSSAA Large Class State Golf Championships in 2020

Dance: Lady Wave Dance Team sweep Small Varsity Hip Hop Competition, finish as NDA National Champions, TSSAA State Champions and UDA Mid-South Regional Champions.

Baseball: Gallatin finished the year 20-11 but no bigger win came than on April 21 at Beech High School. Facing UT signee Chase Burns, the Green Wave defeated eventual state tournament participants Beech, 6-2.

Hendersonville

Football: Region 4-6A Champions.

Girls Soccer: District, Region Champions, State Sectional Appearance.

Cheer: UCA National Champions.

Golf: Kobe Hill competes in state golf championships.

Girls basketball: Kelli Reed revitalizes the Lady Commando program.

Track and Field: David Johnson sets the county long jump record of 23-5. Jamerson Wharton, 4x100 boys relay compete in state championships.

Pope John Paul II

Football: Finish the regular season 8-2, their best mark in school history.

Girls Golf: Kynadie Adams wins Division II-AA state individual championship.

Girls Basketball: Elite 8 Appearance.

Volleyball: Elite 8 Appearance.

Track and Field: Keonna Chumbley, 4x100/200 girls relay team, Leanna Pearson all compete at state championships.

Portland

Football: Wes Inman hired to lead Panther football team.

Bowling: Maddie Taylor qualifies for the state bowling tournament.

Boys Basketball: Panthers beat White House twice on buzzer-beaters.

Merrol Hyde

Girls Soccer: Falls short of the state championship and loses 1-0 to Signal Mountain.

Golf: Elizabeth Caldwell competes in Small Class State Golf Tournament.

Cross Country: Parker Breitling, Ronin Cleary, Connor Edwards, Cade Hickson, Nick Kellar, Jessica Alexander, Natalie Bricker, Sophie Bricker, Gianna Cruz, Alyssa Maddern, Macy Thomas, Ava Wei compete in Cross Country State Championships.

Boys Tennis: Joseph and Joshua Rodriguez win the doubles state championship, boys win Small Class State Championship, Livi Rothschild, Tobias Mandeville compete in the individual state tournament.

Boys Soccer: The best season in school history, Final Four State Tournament.

Station Camp

Volleyball: District, region, sectional champions. State tournament qualifier.

Golf: Lynn Lim and Lily Bloodworth capture three-peat.

Cross Country: Girls Sumner County Champions.

Dance: UDA National Champions.

Track and Field: Evan Puckett, Whisper Thomas win state championships in their respective events.

Tennis: Carter Ramthun, Marisa Wirtz win district and region titles, named MVP. Ramthun plays in the Large Class State Final Four while Wirtz qualifies for the Elite 8. Doubles partners Chase Ethredge and Lance Watson win district, region titles, advance to Large Class Boys State Tournament. 

Boys soccer: District, region, sectional champions. State tournament qualifier.

Softball: District tournament champions, hosted first region tournament game in school history.

Westmoreland

Girls Basketball: Regular season, district tournament champions.

Softball: Regular season district champions.

White House

Track and Field: Femi Richards sweeping the high, triple and long jump and qualifying for the sectional round — a first at White House High School.

Bowling: Girls bowling team qualifies for state, Kyleigh Husted finishes fourth during individual state bowling championships.

Girls Basketball: In what may be the final time the two schools meet, White House defeated Cheatham County on the hardwood for the first time in two decades.

Baseball: Dustin Palmer no-hitting East Robertson and Cheatham County in the same week.

Zach Womble oversees sports coverage in Sumner County for the Gallatin News, Hendersonville Standard and Portland Sun. Womble has won several TPA awards, highlighted by two first-place awards in 2020 for best sports writing and best special section.

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