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Thompson of Brentwood, Indy's Stribling named John Maher Scholar-Athletes of the Month

Brentwood's Hunter Thompson (#20) celebrates a point with members of the 2013 State Volleyball Championship team. Thompson, who was named the Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year for Tennessee, will continue her career at Emory University in Atlanta.
Photo by Michael Thompson

Indy senior Finis Stribling (white 0) is a defensive specialist on the football field and the basketball court. The University of Missouri commitment gave up several inches on Franklin's Ben Hagaman (52) but kept up the pressure, holding Hagaman to a single point. Stribling is also a defending state champion in track, completing the sports trifecta. Becky Williams

This month's John Maher Builders Scholar-Athletes of the Month come from opposite ends of the county but have a couple of things in common: great work in the classroom and the respect of their coaches.

Hunter Thompson
The senior setter adds the Maher award to a long list of awards recognizing her contributions in 2013 alone.Thompson was a part of the Brentwood Bruins state championship volleyball team, helping to avenge a loss to Ravenwood in the finals in 2012.

Those achievements are well earned, according to her veteran coach Barbara Campbell.

"Hunter is a gifted athlete who is poised with self-confidence, composure and mental toughness. Combined with her technical skill, court sense and fighting spirit, she is the glue that has held our team together."

On the court, Thompson was named all-district, all-region, all-state and topped it off with the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year in volleyball for Tennessee and an Under Armor All American honorable mention.

Thompson had some of the best stats of a storied career in 2013, handing out 1,394 assists, pulling out 226 digs, adding 151 kills and 67 aces.

Off the court, her excellence in the classroom and in other areas is equally evident, including her skills as a leader.

"Hunter is strong in character," said Campbell. "She is an excellent role model both on and off the court.

"With her gift of leadership by example, she won the respect, love and admiration of her teammates and coaches. Truly, she has represented her school, family, team and coaches with pride and honor."

Finis Stribling IV

Finis Stribling IV is maybe best known as Independence High School’s third SEC football signee when he committed to Missouri as a defensive back.
But the core of the three-sport star runs much deeper than just tackles and points, and he does not fear work.

"Finis did a great job for us on the field in every respect,‚" said Scott Blade after his first year at the helm of the Eagles. "He was never late, never missed a workout or practice. He is the perfect example of someone that has taken his God-given talent and magnified it through work ethic and commitment to excellence."

Stribling's work on the field gained him recognition as all-district and all-midstate. Despite having his football plans in order, Stribling did not desert his basketball teammates, returning to be a leader on the court, too, earning high praise from basketball coach Greg Glass.

"Finis has one of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen in a high school student-athlete. He is a three-sport athlete who still finds time to do something extra to make himself better.

"He takes his academics very serious and it shows in his performance in the classroom.
Finish has all the tools in place to be successful in whatever he chooses in life, and I am proud to be his basketball coach.‚"

Much will be expected in the spring, too, as Stribling is the defending state champion in the 400-meter dash, an event in which he holds the school record, and as the anchor of the defending state champion 4 X 400-meter relay team.

Stribling has also gained Eagle Scout status, building and installing benches along the walking trails between Thompson Station Park and Heritage Middle School. He will be a speaker at the 2014 Boy Scout Luncheon.

In addition, Stribling is tutoring peers to increase their ACT scores and serves as a Junior Usher at Mt. Zion Church.

Both Thompson and Stribling will be guests, along with the other scholar-athletes named during the year, to the year end John Maher Builders Scholar-Athlete Dinner, where the sponsors will award a $2,000 scholarship to one male and one female honoree.


Posted on: 1/30/2014


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