2020

To say that 2020 was a strange year in Williamson County sports would be a severe understatement.

We've just finished the strangest of strange years, with a unprecedented pandemic shading just about everything you'd talk about for the sporting year. 

For all the ups and downs, cancellations and championships, we've got a few stories we'd like to look back on as we try to paint a picture of the year that was. 

1. COVID-19 first strikes, halts basketball tournaments, spring sports

The year was just going like we all thought it would when something flew in out of nowhere and stunned the county's sports scene (and well beyond). 

The COVID-19 virus was beginning its spread across the United States, and the TSSAA made the decision to cancel the 2019-20 state basketball tournaments. It left all boys teams in the state unable to play, and the girls tournament in permanent suspension (Nolensville's girls team was set for the finals).

Everything that followed that was as sobering as you could imagine. All spring sports were halted and never returned, setting up a tragic sense of loss for all the young men and women who dreamed of seeing their hard work pay off. Life hasn't been the same since that mid-March 2020 shock, one that all of the county's athletes will remember forever. 

2. The journey to fall sports

The rollercoaster of 2020 sports in Williamson County came with whether or not fall sports would commence despite the pandemic's continuance. 

It was the "will they or won't they" drama that had players, coaches and fans waiting at baited breath as to whether or not sports would actually go through. 

They did, but not without a healthy share of uncertainty. Football, girls soccer, volleyball, cross country and golf all got to the championship stage and crowned victors. Though, the path to get there might've been the hardest yet for the county's athletes. 

3. Ravenwood football trio makes it to NFL, college football 

Five or so years ago, Ravenwood receivers Van Jefferson and Chris Rowland were catching passes from Cole Brown on the way to a state football title. 

Now, they're all building professional careers at the next level. 

Jefferson was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft back in April by the Rams. He had a 220-yard, one-touchdown first season as a depth option for Los Angeles, though his role should increase next year. 

Rowland joined the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent and spent most of the season on the practice squad. He got a few chances to return kicks in the team's season finale at Tampa Bay. He was signed to a reserve/future contract, signaling his future with the organization. 

As for their former quarterback, Brown has joined Michigan State as a player personnel coordinator. He helps the Spartans find the next recruiting class and field the best players possible. 

Oh, and their former coach, Will Hester, is back at Ravenwood

4. Brentwood volleyball wins championship with Campbell cheering team on

The Brentwood volleyball team winning an eighth-straight state title was to be expected, given their history of towering success. 

Having to win it without legendary coach Barbara Campbell on the sideline in her usual role wasn't expected at all. 

The longtime Lady Bruins coach suffered a stroke in late September, leaving her unable to coach the team as its postseason run started. Though, she was able to make it to see her team take home the title in October, making it perhaps the most special state title the team has ever won. 

5. Despite odds, Summit football makes it back to Cookeville to win school's first title 

The Summit Spartans had perhaps the strangest season of any one sports team. 

They lost the 2019 5A state title game last year, with the climb back to avenge that loss already quite daunting. 

Then a pandemic happened, the team lost one of its best players in Keaten Wade, only played in five home games including playoffs and only played in one game in the entire month of October. 

That didn't deter Home Page co-player of the year Destin Wade, defensive player of the year Caleb Jolley, coach of the year Brian Coleman and the rest of the dangerous Spartans from defying the odds and claiming a state title. It was one of the most inspiring stories to come out of this dreary year. 

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