Prep Notes: Father Ryan unveils athletic complex

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:59pm

Father Ryan celebrated perhaps the biggest day in the school’s athletic history Saturday afternoon with the dedication of the Jim Carell Athletic Complex in a ‘Saturday Night Lights’ ceremony.

Fans sported ‘Home At Last – August 28, 2009’ T-shirts. After 84 years, Ryan finally will play its first football game on home campus when the Irish meet Hillwood Aug. 28.

Following afternoon mass in the gym, Mayor Karl Dean and Ryan president Jim McIntyre and TV personality and Ryan grad Pat Nolan addressed the group.

Afterwards, several hundred fans and followers journeyed out to the field to walk around the artificial turf at 2,375-seat at Giacosa Stadium, complete with a posh press box. Upon entering the facility, a circular edifice imprinted “Jim Carell Alumni Athletic Complex’’ greets visitors.

One of those in attendance was long-time Nashville coach Tommy Griffith, a 1952 Ryan grad, who later coached basketball at Overton High for 31 years, following his first seven at old Cohn High.

“It was a very meaningful ceremony, something I definitely didn’t want to miss,’’ said Griffith, a three-sport letterman – football, basketball, baseball – at Ryan.

Another was veteran retired Tennessean sports writer Tommy Squires, whose son Chandler is a 2001 grad of Ryan.

“When we moved back to Nashville from Florida, we realized how special this school is and all of its tradition and we’re so glad that Chandler could experience that. It’s a great day for Ryan,’’ he said.

Metro Jamboree

The 41st annual Metro Jamboree will be held for three days this week.

The first night is Thursday at Maplewood High, 7 p.m.: Hunters Lane-Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood-Glencliff.

The second night is Friday at McGavock, 6 p.m.: McGavock-Whites Creek, Hillwood-Lipscomb; Antioch-Stratford. The third night is Saturday at Overton, 7 p.m.: Overton-Hillsboro, Cane Ridge-East Lit. All segments are two quarters.

Ensworth hosts Oakland to kick off the regular season Nashville area football season in Week 0 on Thursday, Aug. 20. It is the only game in Nashville that night.

Kickoff dinner

Former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings will speak at the annual Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic dinner Aug. 19 at Montgomery Bell Academy.

The 59th annual Classic itself is at MBA Saturday, Aug. 22, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Stallings, 74, coached at Alabama for seven years, starting in1990 and compiled a 62-25 record before his final season in 1996. He took ‘Bama to a bowl every year except one.
Stallings also coached Texas A&M, his alma mater, for seven years. He played for legendary coach Bear Bryant at A&M in the mid-1950s. He lives in Paris, Texas.

Event co-ordinator Rick Regen said dinner tickets are $25 and the public is invited. For reservations, call 322-3422 or go to

Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Susan Gray School. A silent auction will be held prior to the dinner, beginning at 5 p.m.

Biggerstaff to UT-Martin

David Lipscomb standout first baseman Lydia Biggerstaff, a rising junior, has verbally committed to play softball at UT-Martin. She hit a then-school record 12 home runs as a freshman, then added seven last season as a sophomore.

Overflow at Hancock funeral

An overflow crowd of about 400 friends of former long-time Nashville principal A.D. Hancock attended his funeral last Wednesday at Spring Hill Chapel in Madison. Hancock died of prostate cancer Aug. 2 at age 83.