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Top 10 sports stories of 2013

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The Lady Cougars advanced to the state tournament for a third straight season. File photo

A slew of Tipton County high school athletes and coaches made headlines in 2013. 

From state tournament appearances to district titles, there was a lot to cheer for the last 12 months. 

Here's a list of what we believe to be the top 10 sports stories of the year:


1. Lady Chargers make it to state

A long drought for Tipton County high school basketball teams finally came to an end last February when the Covington Lady Chargers routed Trezevant in the sectionals to qualify for the Class AA state tournament. 

The last local basketball team to make it state before that win had been the Covington girls in 2002. 

Covington lost a heartbreaker to Macon County in the state quarterfinals, but the season was one to remember for sure. 

The Lady Chargers won 21 straight games heading into the state tournament, won district and region titles, finished with a school-record 34 wins were ranked second in the final Class AA state poll. 

Covington erased a double-digit deficit against Macon County, which went on to finish runner up, but lost 65-63. 

“If we would have had a couple more minutes,” Covington senior Ashia Jones in the post-game press conference, wiping away tears, “I think it would have been ours.”


2. The big man's recruitment

The recruitment of Brighton lineman Charles Mosley was one of the most talked about topics in 2013. 

Alabama coach Nick Saban reportedly paid a visit to the 6-5, 350-pound lineman. 

Coaches from Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and just about every other SEC program were in town at one time or another trying to secure the services of Mosley, a Mr. Football finalist who was ranked as one of the top 30 linemen in the country. 

On a Monday afternoon last month, Mosley revealed his decision in a unique way. He walked into a packed BHS library with “UT Vols” painted in orange and white on the side of his head. 

“Now y'all got to go buy orange jerseys,” Mosley said. “I'm ready to get there, go to work right away and help Tennessee get back on top.”


3. Three in a row for MHS softball

The Munford Lady Cougar softball team overcame the injury bug in 2013 to make it's third straight state tournament. 

Three starters, including standouts Sami Jo Schulz and Jodi Duncan, missed large chunks of the season, including the state tournament. 

Neverthess, Munford won 35 games, including a memorable 1-0 win in the first round of the state tournament thanks to a solo homer by freshman Sam Scott and dominant pitching from Tara Comer. 

“Do I think we could have played better?” Munford head coach Glenn Goulder said. “Sure. We had key errors that hurt us. But overall it was a positive experience. The girls gave a good effort.”


4. One win away

The Munford Lady Cougar basket team nearly made history last March. 

Munford won district and region titles to advance to the sectionals, one win away from the program's first state tournament berth. 

It wasn't to be, however, as tradition-rich Memphis Central held off a late rally to prevail 55-45. 

Nevertheless, it was an outstanding year for the Lady Cougars. They won 27 games, dominated the district and continued the program's resurgence under head coach Steve Poindexter. 

“The work that they put in, the commitment they made laid the foundation for this program,” Poindexter said following the Central loss. “It's got nothing to do with me.”


5. Well-represented at state

Brighton freshman Aubree Jones made history last fall, winning the Class AAA state golf tournament with a chip-in birdie on the last hole. 

Several Tipton County athletes qualified for the Spring Fling state championships in individual events and fared very well. 

Brighton senior Malcolm Terry Jr. nearly brought home two state titles. 

He placed second in the triple jump and long jump. 

Caine Robinson, a junior, and senior Tyler Gray represented Munford in Murfreesboro. 

Robinson finished fifth in the Class AAA triple jump and 10th in the high jump.

Gray finished eighth in the shot put. 

Munford senior Taylor Patterson capped off a stellar high school career at Munford with her third straight Spring Fling appearance. 

She gave first round opponent Hannah Schoener of Centennial a battle, but fell 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. 

Trey Wilson, a senior at Covington, qualified for the shot put in Class A-AA and finished seventh. 


6. An up and down season

It was a wild ride for the Covington boys basketball program. 

In mid-January the team was riding high. The Chargers were undefeated in the district, ranked in the state's top five and looking like a favorite to make it to the state tournament. 

But right before the district tournament started, the TSSAA ruled that a pair of players who had transferred from Haywood County were ineligible. 

The team was forced to forfeit all of its wins up to that point and had to play top-seeded Westview in the first round of the district tournament. 

Westview beat them, and just like that a promising season was over and Covington finished with a 2-29 record. 


7. New coach, new results

First-year Munford basketball coach Butch Hopkins, who has been coaching in West Tennessee for 32 years, certainly made his presence felt in 2013. 

He took over a struggling program and, with the help of key transfer Jonathan Stark, took the Cougar basketball program to new heights. 

The Cougars beat Dyer County, the eventual state runnerup, twice. The second time came at home in the District 13-AAA title game. It was Munford's first district title in 17 years. 

“Like it always feels when you win, it feels good,” said Hopkins when asked how it felt to win a district title. “Dyer County wasn't 28-2 for nothing.”

Munford ended up losing to Craigmont in the region tournament, but Stark, who is now the starting point guard at Tulane, and Hopkins gave the Cougar faithful plenty to cheer about in 2013.


8. Another title for Cardinals

Brighton's 2013 football season will be remembered for a wild playoff loss and another strong regular season. 

The Cardinals won their third district title in four years, picked up an impressive road win over Columbia Central and won the unofficial Tipton County championship by routing Covington and Munford. 

Memphis Central came to town in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs and escaped with a 54-48 win. The teams combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense in the game. 

"I felt like if we had the ball last we were going to win it,” Brighton coach Will Wolfe said. “They had not stopped us all night. It wasn't meant to be."


9. Young team finds success

There were a lot of West Tennessee high school football observers who thought, or maybe even hoped, Covington would experience a down year in 2013. 

After making the state title game in 2012, the team lost 16 starters and 10 reserves to graduation. 

It didn't happen. 

Although Covington did uncharacteristically lose in the first round of the state playoffs, Covington was by no means down. 

The Chargers won eight games and claimed another district title trophy for a case full of them. 

“Our kids did everything we asked of them this year,” Covington head coach Marty Wheeler said following the season-ending loss. “They played hard on Friday just like they did all year and at the end had a chance to win. They just made one more play than we did.”


10. Coaching carousel

It was a rough season for the Munford football program. 

First-year head coach Ahmaad Galloway was suspended after a Week 4 loss to Dyer County for “not maintaining appropriate standards of conduct.” Two weeks later he resigned. 

Rumors swirled about why Galloway was suspended and Munford principal Courtney Fee declined to say exactly why. 

Bernard Ivie took over on an interim basis. The team finished 2-8. 

A new Munford football coach has not been named.  

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