Topic: Trenton Hassell
Written by Colby Wilson
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – If you’re an Austin Peay baseball fan, you’ve probably heard the last name ‘Harper’ a few times.
Ralph Harper was a second baseman for the Govs from 1978-81. He hit above .330 his last two seasons and drove in 59 runs as a senior en route to All-OVC honors. After graduation, he eschewed pro ball for dental school at the University of Memphis. He returned to Clarksville after dentistry school to practice his craft and raise two sons.
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APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Gary McClure, Austin Peay State University’s all-time winningest baseball coach who has taken his Governors to five NCAA Regionals, and Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, whose dedication to APSU athletics and its athletes extends well beyond financial contributions and services, were inducted into to the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame, Saturday.
In addition, Andrew Lorentzson, who starred in basketball for Austin Peay in the mid-1930s when it was a junior college, also was inducted through the University’s new Honors category, reserved for those former athletes who competed at least 50 years ago. Loren McCamey Schanding, granddaughter of the late Lorentzson, who died in 1971, accepted the award for the family.
Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, Gary McClure and Andrew Lorentzson inducted into APSU Hall of Fame. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)
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Dr. Beazley has helped APSU athletics enjoy a “Wonderful Life”
Clarksville, TN – Former APSU athletic trainer Chuck Kimmel likes to compare Dr. Cooper Beazley to George Bailey, the selfless central figure of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the Austin Peay training room, to Bedford Falls, the fictional home of Bailey.
Kimmel wonders what APSU athletics medical care, what the APSU athletic training room would be like today if not for the longtime orthopedic surgeon.
Dr. Cooper Beazley (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)
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He didn’t take steroids.
He didn’t kill any dogs, or people, for that matter.
Come to think of it, I don’t he’s ever been featured on TMZ, Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight for anything scandalous. His mom has, for an allege affair she had with one of his teammates and some say that was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ in terms of him making ‘The Decision” to leave.
And by all accounts he’s a great father, been dating the same woman for years and is now engaged to her. Don’t bark that it took him so long, Gene Simmons is just now getting hitched!
Admittedly, he didn’t help himself by not winning the NBA Championship last year and not playing well during those NBA Finals, but he got there and that says a lot.
Let’s be honest, for every Kevin Garnett that moves to a new team and wins a championship in the first year, there’s a Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and Richard Jefferson that doesn’t.
Then there were those who said he turned his back on his hometown of Akron … by leaving the Cleveland Cavilers. Yes, Akron is a in the shadow of the former “Mistake by the Lake”, but saying he was from Cleveland is like saying Trenton Hassell is from Nashville.
Don’t forget his former owner Dan Gilbert who said in his “open” letter last year to “All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight”, that began, “As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.”
“This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment. “
That included this proclamation: “In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.”
And this one, “This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”
We all know that loyalty doesn’t go both ways in sports anymore. As soon as a team doesn’t you can get it done anymore, they ship you off.
And isn’t it the American Way to be able to choose where you want to how you want to live, play, work, and especially in this case when he was a free agent, bound to no one.
Heck, you’ve got to give him credit for choosing both the money and the chance to win a championship. How many times do athletes, and rightfully so, chase the money over a ring?
Sure, “The Decision” for many was a bone of contention. But this is one of those where you have to do a little leg work, because the original idea was Jim Gray’s and that the main reason he did it was because all the proceeds, $6million, were going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Or is he such a horrible guy for making sure something benefited from a show he and ESPN knew a lot of people were going to watch anyway?
Lastly, at a prep rally, introducing a team that was put together to win championships by the way, would you want your superstar to say, “We’re going to try hard and do our best and never give up and never surrender.”
No you want him to say, “We’re going to win not any at all and thank you for coming!”
Well, LeBron James just did win his first NBA Championship and I’m for one am certainly happy he did. I know now that everyone, including most haters, even Mr. Gilbert, tendered their congratulations for King James’ accomplishment.
For some reason though, I get the feeling we may think of him more as a prophet in oh let’s say about seven or eight years from now.
Every city is known for something and its fair to say Clarksville is know for many things. tobacco, Wilma Rudolph, Fort Campbell, Harry Galbreath, the 1999 Tornado, Mason Rudolph and Austin Peay (the governor and the university), are just a few.
Clarksville’s nicknames have ranged from: The Queen City, Queen of the Cumberland, Gateway to the New South to the current Tennessee’s Top Spot.
James 'Fly' Williams
But Clarksville also has a long history with basketball, with James ‘Fly’ Williams, Pat Summitt, Trenton Hassell, Shawn Marion, Bubba Wells, Marcus Maybin, Drake Reed and Dawn Evans, all shinning a considerable light during their days on the court here.
And this year glut of basketball players going to play on the Division I level is quite impressive with Northeast’s Alex Poythress (Kentucky); Clarksville High’s Bashaara Graves (Tennessee), Chandler Cooper (Florida), Jessy Ward, (Mississippi State), Tiasha Gray (Austin Peay), and Tia Nicholson (Tennessee Tech); Kenwood’s Blake Jenkines (Hampton University) and Rossview’s Kyle Weldon (Army).
Plus throw in Clarksville High’s Daijon Williams, who was an McDonald’s All-American candidate along with Weldon, Poythress and Graves. And Poythress and Graves are playing in said game on in Chicago on March 28.
They along with the Lipscomb group of Malcolm and Martin Smith (Clarksville Academy), Zavion Williams(West Creek), Damarius Smith (Kenwood), Tennessee State’s Jasmin Shuler (Kenwood) and Rachel Allen (Northeast) and Austin Peay’s April Thomas (Northeast), Tyrone Caldwell (Clarksville High) and Brandon Burney (Montgomery Central).
Clarksville High's starting five
And I know I’ve forgotten some, but please don’t hold it against me, just let me know and I’ll add them to the list.
And here’s some more names, courtesy of from Clarksville Academy coach Josh Smith (**** if folks have any contact information on any of these, especially those out side of Clarksville now or aren’t coaching, contact me at email@example.com): Jimmy Young: MCHS (Murray State), Ted Young: CHS (Vanderbilt), Ashley Haynes: Northwest (Austin Peay), Vincent Brookes: Northwest (Austin Peay), Tyronne Baynam: Northwest (Austin Peay),Brad Phillips: MCHS (Austin Peay), Carlos Merriweather: CHS (Austin Peay), Henry Thomas: CHS ( Kentucky), Choo-Choo Merriweather: CHS (Tennessee St), Debbie Merril: MCHS (Cincy), Thomas Pfaff: NE (Lipscomb), Andy McQueen: NE (Lipscomb), Kenyatta Perry: NE (Lipscomb), Andy Blackston: NE (Lipscomb), Tiffany Grimsley: MCHS (Lipscomb),Kelly Shelton: MCHS (Murray State), Valerie Bronson: CHS (Lipscomb), Brian Ayers: Clarksville Academy (Belmont), Adam Barnes: CHS (Belmont)
That expanse of talent is one reason Clarksville has been so dominant on the high school level here of late.
Just how dominant?
The city of Clarksville has had a boys high school basketball team represent it every year in the TSSAA Class AAA State Tournament since 2007 beginning with Clarksville High in 2007 and 2008, Northeast in 2009 and 2010 and West Creek and Clarksville High last season. There’s good chance Northeast will be back this year with Poythress and don’t count out Ted Young and the Wildcats cause Williams, Drake Young and Anthony Hightower make for a scrappy bunch.
On the girls side, Clarksville’s been represented in three of the last four state championship tournaments with Northeast in 2007 and Clarksville High going the past two years, and very likely again this.
Northeast's Alex Poythress
So just add ‘Hoops City’ to Clarksville’s name plate and just know that I’ve got next.
Jay Bailey, Cheryl Holt and Ashley Haynes will be inducted into the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday morning. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)
Clarksville, TN - Jay Bailey, an All-American running back who owns the school single-season rushing record; Ashley Haynes, the versatile forward who scored 1,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds in her illustrious career, and Cheryl Holt, who led Austin Peay volleyball to 19 straight Ohio Valley Conference tournament appearances, including the 1991 tourney title, will be inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame, Saturday.
The 9:00am, induction ceremonies in the Dunn Center’s front lobby will see the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame grow to 107. The newest inductees and their families also will be honored during halftime ceremonies of APSU men’s basketball home contest against UT Martin.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Trenton Hassell, Bailey actually began his college athletic career on the hardwood, as a basketball player at Volunteer State Community College. Although he averaged nearly a double-double, Bailey discovered there was not much need for a 6-0 power forward at the Division I level.
He transferred to his home-based Division I school to play the other sport-football-in which he excelled at Clarksville High School. As a result, he found his real niche on the gridiron, where he combined power and great speed to emerge as the Govs best player during the non-scholarship era.
He battled injury issues both as a sophomore and junior, but finished 2000 with 736 yards rushing and 569 in 2001, combining for 13 TDs over the two seasons. One touchdown, in particular, was memorable during his sophomore campaign. At Valparaiso, with the Govs backed up at their own one-yard line, he took a handoff and raced up the middle. By the 15-yard line, it was apparent no one was even going to come close to catching him on the school-record 99-yard run, becoming the eighth player in history at the I-AA/FCS level to achieve the game’s longest potential run.
Bailey’s senior season proved to be spectacular. He opened the year by carrying the ball 41 times against Cumberland for 135 yards in a victory. The next week he had 190 yards and two TDs in the Govs road win at Campbellsville.
With the Govs wavering at season’s midpoint with a 3-3 record, Bailey took charge down the stretch. In fact, over the next five games he averaged 203 yards per game. He had 207 yards in a road win at Butler and then followed up the next week with 205 yards on a school-record 47 rushing attempts in another road win, this one at Kentucky Wesleyan.
In a home loss to Morehead State, Bailey finished with 213 rushing yards before carrying the ball 34 times for 191 yards at St. Joseph’s in an impressive road victory. He had 201 yards the following week in a home loss to Davidson. But then he spurred APSU to another road win with 118 yards against Valparaiso to allow APSU to attain its first winning season (7-5) since 1984.
In 2002, he ranked No. 1 in I-AA in rushing for total rushing yards (1,687) and average (140.6 ypg) and fourth overall in I-A/AA rushing. He was chosen the Pioneer Football League South Offensive “Player of the Year” in a vote of coaches. He was APSU’s only player to earn either Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year during their five-year membership in that league.
And those 1,687 rushing yards set APSU’s single-season mark. In addition, he set the APSU record for single-season rushing TDs (18), with his 108 points that season also setting a school mark.
It was impressive enough for Bailey to be named to the 2002 Sports Network and the Football Gazette’s Mid-Major All-American teams. He also earned Associated Press All-American, a rare accomplishment for a non-scholarship player to gain such distinction. In addition, Bailey was selected to the American Football Coaches Association All-American team. He also was chosen first-team Mid-Major All-America and first-team All-America by the Football Gazette.
But the local product was more than a tremendous football player. As a senior he was named second-team Verizon Academic All-America.
He joins Hassell as the only brothers to be inducted into the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Haynes was part of the most successful era in Lady Govs basketball history. She was a member of the 2002-03 and 2003-04 Lady Govs squads who won both OVC regular-season and tournament championships, advancing to the NCAA tournament.
Like Bailey, Haynes was a local product (Northwest High School) and even though she was joining a talented, veteran team as a freshman, she immediately moved into the starting lineup.
How talented was this 5-10 Clarksville Northwest High School product? She immediately moved into the starting lineup with the trio of Brooke Armistead, Paige Smith and Gerlonda Hardin and proceeded to start all 116 games in which she played-she missed only one career game due to injury-over the next four seasons. Haynes now joins Armistead, Hardin and Smith as Athletics Hall of Fame members. She is generally considered the best all-around player in the program’s history. The numbers themselves bear that.
She left Austin Peay ranked in the Top 10 in 23 separate career statistical categories, ranging from second all-time in rebounds (1,080) to fourth in scoring (1,497) to fourth in assists (387) to third in blocked shots (119) and sixth in steals (207).
Basically, whatever Austin Peay’s coaching staff needed from her, she was able to provide.
As a freshman, in only her second game, she recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Evansville to go with six assists. She would finish her first season with four double-doubles. After Christmas that year, she started a streak of 11 straight double-figure scoring games.
In the closing two regular-season games that season, she scored 58 points, including a 31-point, 7-assist, 4-steal performance in the finale against Morehead State. She was named to the OVC All-Freshman team to cap off the initial campaign.
In the near upset of North Carolina in the NCAA tourney, Haynes scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals against the Tar Heels.
With Smith and Armistead gone in 2003-04, she literally became Gerlonda Hardin’s wingman in earning her initial first-team All-OVC honor. She averaged 11.9 points per game, but with so much attention being paid to Hardin, Haynes helped the Lady Govs become dominant on the boards, averaging 9.2 rebounds per game while posting nine double-doubles. She ranked second in the OVC in rebounding and 50th nationally, including an 18-rebound effort at Murray State. Overall she also was ranked in seven other OVC statistical categories.
A dismal 2004-05 season saw the Lady Govs fail to qualify for the OVC tournament, but it did not diminish Haynes’ effort. As the focal point, she averaged 11.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing to earn second-team All-OVC. Again, she tallied seven double doubles, including an 11-point, 18-rebound effort against Murray State before scoring 29 points-reaching 1,000-career points in the process-and grabbing 12 rebounds at Tennessee Tech. She also had a career-best nine assists in a game against Eastern Illinois.
If Haynes was disappointed by the team’s performance in 2004-05, she was not about to end her college career without another OVC tourney appearance.
Seemingly a one-person gang at times, in 2005-06 Haynes absolutely was remarkable. She scored in double figures in all but one contest that season, including 12 games with 20 or more points. She posted 22 double-doubles, including streaks of nine and eight straight games. On February 18th, 2006, Haynes became the first Lady Gov in history to record a 20-20 (20 points and 20 rebounds), when she had 21 points and 20 rebounds in playing all 40 minutes against Tennessee Tech.
Then she did it again 10 days later, but unfortunately in a loss. In the final game of her Lady Govs career, Haynes scored 23 points and snagged 22 rebounds in a first-round OVC tourney loss to Morehead State.
Haynes completed her senior season ranked third nationally, averaging 13.4 rebounds per game. Her 16.9 scoring average was one of nine OVC individual statistical categories in which she ranked in the Top 5.
Haynes was equally proficient off the court, earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection as a senior as well as the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for owning the highest GPA in a conference-sponsored sport.
When Holt was hired as a coach at Austin Peay, much emphasis was being placed on improving Austin Peay’s tennis program by then-President Robert O. Riggs.
Athletics Director Johnny Miller had other ideas-he wanted to elevate his volleyball program. Holt, who had attained her master’s at Austin Peay a few years earlier after graduating from Ohio State, had enjoyed successful stints as head volleyball coach at both Ole Miss and Miami. The fact Holt was a member of the Ohio State tennis team was good enough qualifications for Miller to hire her for the dual position-back in those days it was common for women’s coaches to coach multiple sports.
That began Holt’s illustrious 23-year APSU coaching career that saw her serve as volleyball coach (1982-2004), head tennis coach (1983-85) and softball coach (1986-87) as well as assistant women’s basketball coach for one season.
Utilizing multi-sport athletes in the early going, Holt watched the volleyball program struggle during the early years. Still, she was able to achieve a degree of success, earning OVC South Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1987 during the league’s old North-South format.
But as a new decade opened, so did the emphasis on volleyball. The Columbus, Ohio, native received back-to-back OVC Coach of the Year honors in 1991 and 1992. She earned the 1991 honor after leading her squad to the OVC tourney championship, becoming the first non-Kentucky team to earn the league title.
The Lady Govs, who tied for third during the regular season, stunned the tourney field, losing just two sets during in three matches. They dominated Morehead State in the championship match, winning the final game by an overwhelming 15-5 score to finish the year at 22-11-unfortunately no automatic NCAA bid was extended in those days. Still that season represented the first of five 20-win campaigns under Holt.
The next year, she led the Lady Govs to their first regular-season title with an impressive 28-7 record, those 28 victories still a program best.
In fact, Holt amassed 364 victories as APSU head volleyball coach-most of her victories (241) came in her final 13 years as coach when more emphasis was placed on women’s sports, but in particular, volleyball-and 511 overall Division I victories in 28 years-until a recent clerical error was discovered, it was believed she retired with 499 wins.
Her teams qualified for the OVC tournament a record 19 straight times. She mentored 21 first- or second-team All-OVC selections, including a pair of OVC Players of the Year (Connie Caldwell, North 1987 and Isabel Canedo, 1992). She had nine players named to the All-Newcomer team and 10 to the OVC all-tourney team.
At retirement, she was ranked as one of the Top 30 active coaches in wins at the Division I level.
But as successful as her program proved to be on the court, it was more so off the court. Her volleyball teams always were involved in multiple community projects and Holt also gave more than lip service to academics. The Lady Govs volleyball team annually challenged for the department’s highest grade-point average-a 3.0 grade-point average was the norm, not the exception.
Twice her teams were honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association for academic excellence. Canedo was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and Holt boasted an OVC Scholar-Athlete (Canedo) and six OVC Medal of Honor recipients for owning the highest GPA in conference-sponsored sports.
As much of an impact she had on volleyball, she was a pioneer for the Lady Govs in another sport. When then-Athletics Director Bob Brooks asked her to give up her tennis coaching duties after 1985 it basically was a trade of sorts. Holt was requested to initiate the Lady Govs first softball program in 1986.
She coached the club for its first two seasons of existence, playing the games at Edith Pettus Park.
Last spring, Austin Peay renamed former Lady Govs Field to Cheryl Holt Field to honor not only her part in initiating the softball program but in elevating Lady Govs sports during her tenure.
Holt joins two of her former student-athletes – Andrea Miller and Canedo – in the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
To this day, Holt continues to serve APSU athletics. When Dave Loos was named athletics director in Summer 1997, he asked Holt to assume administrative duties, being named senior woman administrator. When she retired from coaching in 2003, she assumed the role as assistant athletics director.