With the school year now closed, I thought it would be a good to review what took place this High School Sports year from August until now amongst Rutherford County Schools.
Here is the list and I am sure I am missing something, but I know you all will let me know:
1) Chase Boys Soccer went all the way to the state title game. It was the first state title game for Chase in school history. Still, they won the conference, the West Regional Title and some respect that they deserve.
2) R-S Central hadn't been to a state title game since 1999, but that changed a couple weeks ago. Their pitching was solid and not many thought that beating East Rutherford or winning the West was possible this season. Shoot, they nearly took the 2A title.
3) Mike Cheek resigned as R-S Central's football coach. Despite over a decade long run with the Hilltoppers, Cheek set sail as the head coach and retired. He didn't win 8-10 games every year, but he gave them a chance most of the time to do so. He also won three playoff games at the helm including one this past November.
4) East Rutherford's Basketball team (30-1) was perfect and on the way to a state title until Forest Hills rolled into town and shocked them in an overtime loss during the fourth round. East won the SMAC, but smacked a lot of teams around to get that deep into the playoffs.
5) R-S Central softball won the SMAC and had three more teams to beat in order to nab the state title. Madison County got in the way. Central owned the most lethal batting lineup they had seen maybe in program history.
6) TJCA Football has now won 10 games in each of the last three seasons and won another playoff game with Jerry Cash at the helm.
7) Three Wrestlers win state title: Sammy Petticos and Kanaan Brock and Caleb Spears all won Wrestling titles this season. Petticos took home his third straight from Chase, while Brock and Spears captured their first with R-S Central.
8) East Rutherford Girls soccer won its' first ever playoff game in program history. Thanks to Coach Neil Van Dyke and an experienced club.
I was happy for Ryan Blaney in winning his first ever Cup race this past weekend. To power by Kyle Busch and to fend off Kevin Harvick is pretty memorable for him. And in a Wood Brothers car...I mean...it's historical and underdogish to win in a Wood Brothers car at this point.
His dad, Dave Blaney came close to winning a half-dozen times, but never did in the Cup Series. That win was kind of fitting for both to be honest.
I will say that I can't believe Chase Elliott has been beaten to the Cup winner's circle by Austin Dillon, Chris Buesher and Ryan Blaney. Don't get me wrong, Blaney was bound to win one this year anyways with the way that team has been performing.
Who would have thought I would say something about this? So, Danica Patrick got in a heated exchange with a race fan this past weekend at Pocono. She was apparently booed and she said it hurt her feelings. For one, the fan stepped into an area he shouldn't have to try to get an autograph from her. I have been in Cup garages for a long time now and while fans do have access, there still are guidelines to follow. I can't blame the guy for trying though. She has the right to sign anything if she wants to or not. However, if you go by a group of fans and don't acknowledge them or sign anything, you're probably going to get booed or worse. She should have kept on going whether it hurts her feelings or not. Yes, she is a person, but you're a multi-million dollar athlete. If you're in the spotlight, dislike is part of the game too.
She carries a lot of weight on her shoulders and I give her credit for standing up for herself at times too. She still has that chip on her shoulder in those who say she is a publicity stunt and that's not a bad thing either.