No. 1 The Pioneer football team’s 7-0 undefeated season is a story for the ages. It was interesting that the recognition of the 1980 football team did not overshadow the present team.
Coach Matt Turner calls them #squad12 and the present team #squad52. The present team is undervalued across the state. Can you believe a 7-0 team is not ranked in the state’s AP Top 10?
No. 2 Speaking of the 1980 football team, I misquoted Scott Haile in a recent article. Scott was a tight end on that team, and he remembered the Coach Newby, Jeff Womack rushing machine team running one play for an entire series in a game. It was the first game of the playoffs that year, a game against Franklin County. I had stated that it was against Father Ryan.
No. 3 Speaking of Scott Haile, he was a senior on the 1980 football team. He had not played football his junior year, and came back on the team for his last year in high school. Ole Miss offered him a football scholarship, and Scott signed with them. He played one year there.
Scott had won the golf state tournament in high school and he enrolled to play golf at MTSU his sophomore year. Not many athletes can play a year of SEC football, and become a professional golfer. I hope to do a feature on Scott soon. He has a very interesting athletic history.
No. 4 Speaking of golf, Lauren Slatton played in the state tournament at WillowBrook yesterday, and she finishes today. Lauren shot a 68 at WillowBrook a couple of weeks ago in the district tournament at Cookeville.
Could she win the state tournament as a freshman, 40 years after Scott Haile won it? Yes, she is only a freshman. There is no limit to where golf can take this freshman.
No. 5 I have been very rewarded as a sports reporter by getting to interview a lot of interesting people. No one has surprised me more than Matt Turner. Researching his story was a privilege. He clearly has modeled for his team what his parents modeled to him. Matt Turner is one hard worker with a very big heart.
The Mask: I realize many of us have different views on the mask. From a high school sport’s perspective, the goal is to not test positive and be quarantined. If you want to see local sports continue during the pandemic, the mask is the best protection until there is a vaccine available to everyone.
One positive COVID-19 test could put the high school football team in dire straits. Let’s hope the team stays out of quarantine.