BASEBALL John McNeal

LEBANON - Friendship Christian School baseball coach John McNeal and his family Friday before a 10-0 home win over Davidson Academy.  TOMMY BRYAN

31 seasons, 3 state titles -

LEBANON - While still in the midst of Division II-A District 4 tournament play, Friendship Christian School took a moment Friday evening to honor longtime coach John McNeal.

Head coach of FCS baseball and football, while serving as athletic director, McNeal was inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame back in 2020.

Due to COVID-19, a proper celebration was put on the back burner as spring sports were shut down shortly after starting.

Prior to Friday's 10-0 home win over Davidson Academy, the Commander faithful, along with his former players, presented McNeal with a plaque.

"Seeing the former players here was really something," McNeal said. "I've been to a bunch of weddings over the years with these guys. They (the players) are the reason I do this."

Over the course of his 31 years at Friendship Christian McNeal's baseball teams have gone 761-305 -- a winning percentage of .714.

He has led the Commanders to three TSSAA state championships, 18 regional titles, 26 district championships and 11 trips to the state tournament.

McNeal has also coached FCS to three TSSAA football championships.

Friendship Christian dropped into the losers bracket of the District 4 tournament Saturday with a 9-1 loss at Goodpasture. Senior Camden Hayslip provided the only run for the Commanders with a solo homer, his 12th of the season, in the top of the fourth inning. 

FCS is scheduled to host Davidson Academy Sunday afternoon in a loser-out game with the winner advancing to a third-place game later in the week. 

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