By DAVID HUNTER
I was thrilled when my alma mater, MTSU, recently pulled off one of the biggest upsets in men's NCAA Basketball Tournament history. It was a great moment when the No. 15 seed underdog Blue Raiders beat No. 2 seed Michigan State which was picked by many, including me, to win it all.
Of course, when the bracket was announced a week prior, I thought this was the worst match up possible for the Blue Raiders but they proved everybody, including me, wrong. So congrats, on showing why the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the best post-season series in amateur sports.
Anyway, the upset got me thinking about Cannon County's athletic programs as spring sports started last week. None of the four spring sports (baseball, softball, tennis and boys' soccer) have made the Spring Fling cut, however, all four have progressed.
Let's start with the softball team, last season the Lionettes were one game away from advancing to the Region Tournament for the first time in a long time. So most of these current players understand what it takes to win at this level. Now, enter in new head coach Brittany Cook, who is working hard to install the culture of winning .
Their first game of the season last week at Murfreesboro Central Magnet was a debut to remember as CCHS won a high-scoring district victory, 19-16. But this is a tough district and Cannon County will have to be at their best every game in order to continue winning, along with finding a solid No. 1 pitcher, or go by committee on the mound. Both ways have worked in all levels of softball.
The other sport on the diamond, baseball, also has a new manager at the helm in Colin Jones, but the Lions 2016 debut last week was just as good. CCHS dominated the visitors from Boyd Christian 11-1 in six innings, thanks to three things teams needed to be successful on the field: solid defense, good pitching and timely hitting. If they continue to achieve all three each game - especially in the district - this could be a special season for the Lions.
I believe the talent is there for both diamond teams, now it is all about being at their best in every game this season since there is only a small margin of error.