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Commentary by Joe Williams: Cleaning out the notebook, Vol. 26

I had forgotten how busy the sports world gets this time of year, especially as we concentrate so heavily on high school athletics. Keeping up with everything fills a notebook with stuff that doesn’t make the print edition or the web, but still deserves a mention.

Ravenwood softball standout Haley Barnett’s family moved to a new home recently and one of the things her mother found was a letter Haley had written to herself in the third grade.  In it, young Haley wrote about her love of softball and her plan to play in college.  Barnett’s mother gave her the letter last week, the day after Barnett committed to play softball for Union University.
The quality of female sports in this county is unmatched anywhere in the state.  Volleyball is the focal point at the moment, with Brentwood, Ravenwood, Page and BGA all expected to make repeat trips to the state tournament. I haven’t checked with all those programs, but I was impressed by the banners in the Ralph Ringstaff Gym at Page, indicating a four-year state title run from 2000 to 2003. Combined record:  220-29.  If I could average 55-7 every year, I’d be living in Vegas.
Speaking of volleyball, it’s one of those sports where the county is truly dominant.    Seven of the last nine state champions have come from Williamson County (Ravenwood is looking for a “4-peat” this year) and five times county teams have been in the top four, twice in the top two.  
The sad part…only the top two out of the district advance, leaving at home at least one team and sometimes as many as three that are strong enough to compete for the state title, at least until they start beating up on each other again.
Youth Football
The future of football in the county looks strong, based on the youth playing the game. The Brentwood Blaze (22), Franklin Cowboys (17) and Spring Hill Coyotes (13) are all fielding multiple teams in the Tennessee Youth Football League. Many of those teams hold top spots in the standings as ten divisions look forward to the play-offs this year, culminating in state title events to be hosted by Vanderbilt University.
I’ll admit I’m not a runner, never have been. So can anyone explain to me why, with all the money invested by and the requirements of the City of Franklin for sidewalks, so many people demand to run in the street? Is the asphalt softer? Walk against traffic, bike with traffic, run either way you want?  And to the “lady” with the ear buds on West Main last Saturday morning, when you dart into the road to go around the parked car while running in the street with an empty sidewalk the other way, please don’t flip me off again when I lock the brakes to keep from hitting you.
Why is it the horn in the Independence gym always makes me think of a nuclear disaster drill?

Posted on: 10/24/2013


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