2024 Middle Tennessee High School Sports Awards Winners By The Tennessean

2024 Middle Tennessee High School Sports Awards Winners By The Tennessean

Check Out The Full List Of Winners

Another year of elite teen athletes have flashed across our collective fields of play and wow’ed us with their passion and achievement both on and off the field. The Tennessean always provides us with the best in high school sports coverage and they crown winners every June during their awards ceremony. NBA Player, Grant Williams was the guest speaker at Marathon Music Works in Nashville.

Here is an impressive list of student athletes who won awards:

Boys Athlete of the Year, sponsored by Nissan

Blades Brown, Brentwood Academy, So.

In a display of unparalleled skill and determination, the Brentwood Academy sophomore shattered records at the TSSAA boys golf state tournament, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. At Sevierville Golf Club, he tied the two-day scoring record with an impressive 6-under, 66, finishing the tournament at a staggering 14-under. This remarkable achievement secured his third consecutive Division II-AA state title, underscoring his dominance on the course and setting the stage for a promising future in golf.

Adding to his accolades, he recently made a notable debut on the PGA Tour at the Myrtle Beach Classic, marking a significant milestone in his burgeoning career. With each swing, he continues to redefine expectations and inspire young golfers across the country.

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Girls Athlete of the Year, sponsored by Nissan

Claire Stegall, Nolensville, Jr.

Claire Stegall, a junior from Nolensville, has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of distance running. Her prowess on the track is unmatched, as evidenced by her relentless pursuit of greatness and her knack for rewriting Tennessee’s high school state records.

At the Great 8 Invitational, Claire shattered her own records in both the 800 meters (2:05.51) and the 1,600 meters (4:35.36), showcasing her speed and endurance. Her success continued at the TSSAA Track and Field Class AAA championships, where she clinched her first 800 meters state title in record-breaking fashion, clocking in at 2:08.63. Not to be outdone, she secured her third consecutive 1,600 meters state title with an impressive time of 4:58.73.

In cross country, Claire’s dominance was equally formidable, as she claimed her second consecutive Class AAA state title, crossing the finish line in 16:56.32. Her achievements not only highlight her exceptional talent but also underscore her commitment to excellence in every race she runs.

Defensive Football Player of the Year, sponsored by the Nashville Kats

Edwin Spillman, Lipscomb Academy, Sr.

Photo of Lipscomb Academy linebacker and current Tennessee Volunteer Edwin Spillman by JB Brookman SENIORITY
Big Edwin Spillman- one of the top recruits in America and Defensive Player of the Year. Image by JB Brookman, Hollywood Icon Sports/SENIORITY

In a season marked by sheer defensive prowess, now-Tennessee Volunteer linebacker Spillman concluded his high school senior campaign with a staggering stat line that underscored his relentless pursuit of excellence on the gridiron. Amassing 87 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss, and three crucial sacks (during a shortened season), his performance left opposing offenses doing whatever they could to simply block him.

Recognized for his exceptional contributions, Spillman earned accolades that solidified his place among Tennessee’s football elite. He was honored with a spot on the TSWA All-State team, a testament to his impact across the state. Additionally, The Tennessean bestowed upon him the prestigious title of First Team All-Midstate Large Class.

Spillman’s ability to disrupt plays and dominate the defensive line exemplifies his dedication to the sport and sets a standard of excellence for aspiring athletes statewide. His achievements not only reflect his individual talent but also highlight his invaluable role in shaping the success of his Lipscomb Academy team throughout the season.

Offensive Football Player of the Year, sponsored by the Nashville Kats

Braden Graham, Riverdale, Sr.

Riverdale QB Braden Graham broke scoreboards during an iconic senior season. Image by JB Brookman, Hollywood Icon Sports/SENIORITY

In a season defined by quarterback brilliance, Graham emerged as a standout leader, propelling Riverdale to a thrilling Region 3-6A championship victory over rival Oakland in a climactic regular-season finale. His exceptional performance under center showcased his leadership in breaking Oakland’s streak.

Throughout the season, Graham’s precision and efficiency were pinpoint. He completed an impressive 72.9% of his passes, connecting on 255 of 350 attempts for a total of 3,492 yards. His ability to find the end zone was equally impressive, tossing 42 touchdowns while maintaining exceptional ball security with just three interceptions. Weapons like wide receiver Brock Montgomery (UConn Football) thrived inside the system Graham led.

Graham earned the title of Region 3-6A MVP, a testament to his impact on the field and leadership off it. His standout season also earned him a coveted spot as a Tennessee Titans Class 6A Mr. Football finalist, further highlighting his exceptional talent and dedication to the game.

Girls Coach of the Year

Brent Smith, Pickett County

Brent Smith, a Byrdstown native with deep roots in Tennessee’s high school sports, led the Pickett County girls’ basketball team to a historic triumph. Under his guidance, the Lady Bobcats secured their first state championship in 35 years with a resounding 56-45 victory over Moore County in the Class A final last March.

Smith’s coaching journey has been marked by perseverance and dedication. Prior to this breakthrough season, he had led seven Lady Bobcats teams to the state tournament, facing adversity with each appearance. His leadership and strategic acumen finally paid off, culminating in a well-deserved championship for Pickett County.

Boys Team of the Year, sponsored by Two Rivers Ford

Pearl-Cohn football

Pearl Cohn Football Won Their 1st State Championship in 2023. Image by JB Brookman, Hollywood Icon/SENIORITY

In a thrilling season that captivated fans across Metro Nashville, the Pearl-Cohn football team soared to new heights, culminating in their first TSSAA BlueCross Bowl Class 4A state championship victory in 26 years. The Firebirds’ triumph over Upperman in a 36-27 victory not only brought home the coveted gold ball trophy but also marked a historic undefeated season.

Led by head coach Tony Brunetti, Pearl-Cohn’s championship win was a testament to their talent and determination. Game MVP Zeion Simpson-Smith’s standout performance, which included 181 yards and two touchdowns, epitomized the team’s resilience and skill on the field.

Pearl-Cohn’s undefeated season, the first in school history, underscored their dominance and solidified their place in Tennessee football lore. Coach Brunetti’s leadership and the team’s collective effort ensured that the Firebirds’ return to glory was nothing short of spectacular.

In a display of unwavering dominance, Gordonsville High School’s softball team etched their names in Tennessee sports history with a resounding 11-1 victory over Jo Byrns, clinching their second consecutive Class 1A state championship. This remarkable triumph marks the program’s third state title overall and their first-ever back-to-back championships.

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Girls Team of the Year, sponsored by Two Rivers Ford

Gordonsville softball

Leading the charge for the Lady Tigers were standout athletes including Tennessee commit Kailey Plumlee, senior first baseman Kelcie Watts, catcher Bailey Stewart, and rising sophomores Mackenzie Herron and Kailyn Roberts. Together, they formed a formidable lineup that swept through the state tournament undefeated, solidifying their status as champions.

Baseball Player of the Year

Dominic Monaco, Brentwood Academy, Sr.

In a season defined by excellence, Monaco of Western Kentucky showcased his prowess both on the mound and at the plate, earning accolades as the Division II-AA Middle Region MVP. His remarkable 0.82 ERA and impressive tally of 105 strikeouts in 67.2 innings highlighted his dominance as a pitcher. Offensively, Monaco batted a formidable .362, delivering 16 extra-base hits, three home runs, and driving in 34 runs throughout the season.

Named a finalist for the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Division II Mr. Baseball award, Monaco’s stellar performance underscored his impact and versatility on the diamond, setting a standard of excellence for aspiring athletes.

Boys Basketball Player of the Year, sponsored by Slim Chickens of Middle Tennessee

Tyler Tanner, Brentwood Academy, Sr.

A beacon of athleticism and skill, the Vanderbilt-bound player solidified his status as a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year and captured the prestigious DII-AA Mr. Basketball award this season. Averaging an impressive 26.2 points, along with 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 3.3 assists per game, he led his team, Brentwood Academy, to the DII-AA state championship game with unwavering determination.

His accomplishments on the court place him among the elite in Brentwood Academy’s storied history, joining the ranks of basketball legends like Darius Garland and Brandan Wright as one of only three players to surpass 2,000 career points. His impact transcends statistics, embodying the spirit of excellence and leadership that defines Brentwood Academy athletics.

Girls Basketball Player of the Year, sponsored by Slim Chickens of Middle Tennessee

Imari Berry, Clarksville, Sr.

Boys Bowler of the Year

William Davis, Columbia Central, Jr.

Girls Bowler of the Year

Olivia Rush, Friendship Christian, Sr.

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Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

Miles Ramer, Ravenwood, Sr.

Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

Abby Faith Cheeseman, Webb School – Bell Buckle, Jr.

Boys Golfer of the Year, sponsored by Golfweek 

Blades Brown, Brentwood Academy, So.

Girls Golfer of the Year, sponsored by Golfweek

Karlie Campbell, Summertown, Sr.

Hockey Player of the Year, sponsored by the Nashville Predators

Ben Sonkin, Ensworth, Sr.

Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year

Brocks Petterson, Brentwood, Sr.

Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year

Charlotte Myers, Harpeth Hall, Sr.

Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Jack Boring, Brentwood, Sr.

Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Katie Shea Collins, Pope John Paul II, Sr.

Softball Player of the Year

Kailey Plumlee, Gordonsville, Jr.

Boys Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year

Spencer Nicholas, M.L. King, Sr.

Girls Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year

Lilly Robertson, Ensworth, Jr.

Boys Tennis Player of the Year

Rich LaLance, Siegel, Jr.

Girls Tennis Player of the Year

Evelyn Risner, Brentwood, Jr.

Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Hudson Allain, Brentwood, Sr.

Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Claire Stegall, Nolensville, Jr.

Volleyball Player of the Year

Kaira Knox, Nolensville, Jr.

Boys Wrestler of the Year

Jarvis Little, Summit, Sr.

Girls Wrestler of the Year

Mariana Bowen, West Creek, So.

Kaia Jergenson Courage Award, sponsored by Southeast Financial Credit Union

Faith Swaby, Beech, Jr.

Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement Award

Mike Purcell, Brentwood soccer coach

Scholar Athlete Award

Benton Brown, MBA, Sr.

School Spirit Award

Page High School, sponsored by Nissan

This award went to a school who went above and beyond in supporting their athletic endeavors- like their Football Team’s second straight run to the State Finals. Page High also receives a $1,000 donation to its athletic program.

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