This Friday, MBA coach Daniel McGugin won’t be at the table, eating the good chow at the 63rd annual MBA Spaghetti Supper Friday night, prior to his team’s homecoming game with Ensworth.
“Actually, I won’t be eating, but I might be there just shaking hands, renewing acquaintances,’’ McGugin said as he approached his first homecoming and Spaghetti Supper night as MBA’s head football coach. He’s been part of many others as a youth, an MBA player and as assistant coach.
This won’t be just another homecoming foe for the Big Red – it’s Ensworth, a school coached by Ricky Bowers, who was coach at MBA for eight years (1994-2001) and McGugin’s coach for Bowers’ first two years there.
The two DII private schools are very similar, although MBA has been around for more than a century, Ensworth for about half a decade.
It will be the two schools’ first meeting in football.
“It’s going to be great,’’ said McGugin, who wasn’t too thrilled after watching his 6-0 team almost blow a 31-7 lead as Ravenwood closed to 31-28 by recovering onsides kicks before MBA held on to win last Friday.
“I think it’s going to be 100 percent positive for everybody. I have so much respect for Ricky, as much as I do for my brother (twin Bill) and father (George). I think it’s going to be a great game.’’
The game is the first of two monster showdowns for MBA which may well tell the tale in the DII-Middle/East race. MBA hosts Brentwood Academy next Friday.
COUGARS GROWL: Goodpasture’s 21-14 overtime win over Lipscomb (4-1) Friday was a game that clearly lived up to all its hype.
Heroes were many. Tyler Lovell’s interception in the end zone and return for 36 yards kept Lipscomb from virtually icing it early in the fourth quarter. It led to a game-tying TD by Michael Rogan on a leaping reception. It was Rogan who recovered a Lipscomb fumble on the Mustangs’ first play in OT after QB Whit Mahan scored for the Cougars.
“We were in zero coverage, and I got a good break on the ball,’’ said Lovell, a 5-10, 190-pound senior strong safety. “The coaches are always telling us someone needs to step up and make a big play, and I’m glad I was able to.’’
Said Rogan, “I saw the ball pop out, and I just fell on it. That ranks right up there with any of the big plays I’ve ever made. It’s special to come over here and win a great game like this.’’
“The coaches told us all week that we all had to step up and make plays,’’ said fullback/linebacker Aaron Gillaspie, who was all over the field, making tackles and running the ball for top-ranked 2A Goodpasture (6-0). “This should be a big momentum boost for us for the rest of the season.’’
“That’s the second overtime game we’ve won this season (Goodpasture beat Ravenwood 22-21 in the opener), and it’s a testament to the togetherness and closeness of this group of guys,’’ said coach David Martin, whose team moves back into region play Friday at East Robertson.
“And it’s someone different each time making the big plays, that’s the ingredients you need for a good team,’’ he said. “I’m really proud of this team, there were times there we could have given in, but we just kept digging and plugging away.’’
Lipscomb coach Glenn McCadams blamed himself for the loss.
“You can put this one on the old coach,’’ he said. “I made two bad calls. In the earlier drive, I should have just kicked the field goal, then I never should have called a pass play (the interception) on the goal line.
“It’s tough, our guys really played hard,’’ he said, “and they will respond well.’’
HARPETH HALL FIELD: Harpeth Hall has installed the state’s first synthetic turf field specifically for soccer and lacrosse. The Bears celebrated the dedication of the new state-of-the-art facility last Wednesday night with a 2-0 win over Hendersonville. A pre-game, special program honoring the donor, Joe Davis, was held.
RYAN CHAMPS HONORED: Father Ryan will recognize the members and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 1997 state champion team on Oct. 26 when the Irish host MBA at Greer Stadium. Former players are asked to contact AD Hosey Holzapfel at 383-0421, ext. 241.
EDWARDS WINS: Ensworth High freshman Forrest Edwards won the recent USTA Southern Boys 14-under tournament in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards beat Chip Cox, the No. 2-ranked player in the South, and top Texas player Terrence Celestine in the semis and finals. Edwards, coached by Maryland Farms YMCA pro Hakan Darud, won the State Open and Sequoia Junior tourneys this summer, playing up an age group.
CAIRE SHINES: Former Harpeth Hall tennis standout Lauren Caire, a sophomore at Washington & Lee, advanced to the finals of both singles and doubles draws of the recent ITA Southeast Regional Women’s Championship at the U. of Mary Washington. She beat top seed and defending champ Amy Staloch (Carnegie Mellon) in the singles semis before falling the final to teammate Katie Tabb. She and Tabb got to the doubles final before losing to the top seeds.
BALDRIDGE TO RETIRE: After serving on the staff of the TSSAA for 40 years, Bob Baldridge recently announced his retirement effective today. He served in recent years as assistant executive director. He is a 1968 graduate of Belmont.
Harold Huggins has written about Nashville-area high school sports for four decades. He covers prep sports for The City Paper