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COMMENTARY BY MARCUS STONE: Cleaning out the notebook

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control met June 11-12 in Murfreesboro and discussed a 34-point agenda with topics ranging from regional and state championship bowling formats to a membership request from a public school with an enrollment of 23 students.


In an effort to get high school sports fans in Williamson County the most pertinent information, here are the bullet points from the meeting.


Football calendar exception


The board voted to make an exception to the 2013 Football Sports Calendar between the end of Dead Period and the week of Aug. 1, stating “15 days of practice (no pads) permitted, 10 of which may involve practice with another school(s). Helmets and shoulder pads may be worn beginning Monday, July 22, 2013. Individuals must practice in helmets and shoulder pads for a minimum of three days prior to practicing in full pads. Shoulder pads may not be worn during practice with another school(s).”


Chris Hughes, head coach at Fairview, is excited about the board’s decision.


“I’m happy they did that,” said the county’s most tenured coach – now entering his sixth year with the Yellow Jackets. “I thought it was crazy for us to go straight from shorts into full pads and not be able to do what we call shells.”


Shells are considered helmet and shoulder pads, a type of practice Fairview routinely does even during the regular season.


Basketball coaches gain breathing room


Basketball coaches will see their stomping ground more than double in 2013 as the board voted to expand the coaching box to 14 feet. The previous set up gave coaches six feet to roam the sideline.


“I think the new coaches box is going to be a great thing,” Ravenwood coach Patrick Whitlock said. “It will allow us to coach our kids and not worry about where we are standing. Anything that allows the coaches and officials to focus on the actual game is going to be a positive thing.”


Division II schools must wait


A request made from the Division II committee to rotate the day in which the Division II-A and Division II-AA football championship games are held was tabled until the next contract is considered on where the BlueCross Bowl is held.


Division II championships are held on Thursdays while Division I holds claim to the weekend. Class 1A, 3A, and 5A games are on Fridays while 2A, 4A, and 6A hold ground on Saturdays.


The current contract, extended in August 2012, runs through 2016.


Wrestling pins new format


On the recommendation of Division II coaches, wrestling will shift to an eight-person bracket which includes a pigtail match. A pigtail match is an extra bracket used when the regular bracket is full, meaning a wrestler must win his pigtail match before advancing to the actual tournament.


Golf gets shafted


Farragut High School’s proposal to allow on-course coaching from green to tee between players and coaches was denied.


New trainers


The TSSAA state office was approved to form a partnership with Vanderbilt Sports Medicine to provide athletic trainers at championship events after Baptist Sports Medicine was no longer able to be the official provider.



Posted on: 6/18/2013


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