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Brentwood's Tunnell, Ravenwood's Freeman named John Maher Scholar Athletes

Brentwood High School’s Millie Tunnell and Ravenwood High School’s Jacob Freeman have been named this month’s recipients of the John Maher Scholar Athlete award.


Tunnell, daughter of Brad and Julie Tunnell, is a three-year varsity member of the Lady Bruin basketball team that reached the 2013 BlueCross Basketball Championship earlier this month.


One of three seniors on Brentwood’s roster, Tunnell played a big role in her squads success this season.


“Millie has been an important part of our basketball team for the last three years,” Brentwood coach Ronnie Seigenthaler said. “She is a big reason for our success. Not just based on her skills as a player, but as a great team leader and by how hard she plays.”


A two-year starter, she average just fewer than 10 points per game as a senior – third best on a squad that finished 2013 with a 22-12 record and a Region 6-AAA championship.


Aside from scoring, Tunnell often was asked to guard the opponent’s best low-post player while continuing to be one of the team’s best rebounders.


She was a two-year starter at Brentwood, reaching the Class AAA sectionals in both her junior and senior seasons. This past year, she was honored as a member of the All-District 11-AAA Regular Season Team and the All-Region 6-AAA Team.


Brentwood has compiled an overall record of 70-23 in Tunnell’s three years on the varsity roster, going 25-5 against district teams in the regular season.


Away from the court, Tunnell is a member of Young Life and is an officer in her school’s DECA marketing club.


She maintains a 3.75 grade point average in the classroom.


Freeman, son of Don and Michelle Freeman, is a four-year varsity member of the Ravenwood wrestling team who ends his high school career as one of the more highly decorated wrestlers in school history.


“As far as wrestling is concerned, there is none better,” Raptor coach Josh Peck said of this year’s Region 6-AAA Wrestler of the Year. “He is hands down the best wrestler I’ve ever coached.”


Freeman is the reigning Division I 145-pound champion, defeating Pigeon Forge’s Nate Croley by a 5-1 decision in February.


The senior had reached the individual state tournament each of the prior three years, finishing third at 112 pounds as a freshman, sixth at 119 pounds as a sophomore, and third at 132 pounds as a junior.


Freeman played a key role in the Raptors’ dual tournaments as well, leading Ravenwood to four-consecutive regional and district championships. The team had back-to-back third place finishes in 2011 and 2012 while being eliminated in the consolation bracket in the third round in 2013 and second round in 2010.


The development of the next generation of high school wrestlers are important to Freeman as well, as he volunteers with the wrestling team at Sunset Middle School.


Peck was full of compliments for his star athlete – both on and off the mat.


“Jacob is an outstanding student and person,” the coach said. “He has overcome a lot and all of his teachers love him. I get complements all the time about how great he is in the classroom.”


Freeman maintains a 3.25 GPA.


The John Maher Scholar Athlete of the Month Award, given by John Maher Builders and the Williamson Herald, is decided by a four-person panel that makes their decision based on GPA, leadership qualities, community service, athletic competition, and a written essay by the student-athlete’s nominator.


Each recipient is invited to the annual scholar-athlete banquet at the end of the school year where one male and one female winner will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship. The athletes must be present at the banquet to be eligible.



Posted on: 3/12/2013


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