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Evan Bradds led the Bruins with 22 points (10 of 10 field goals).
Mike Organ

Evan Bradds has gone from pounding the boards to pounding the keyboard.

The two-time OVC Player of the Year and Belmont all-time leading scorer’s basketball career was put on hold when he tore his ACL in a pre-draft tryout with the Indiana Pacers in May.

While doing his rehabilitation Bradds was approached by the web site Mid-Major Madness about becoming a writer.

Bradds, a finance major, had written a compelling story in May for The Players’ Tribune where he showed that he had not only the skill, but also the passion to write.

With Belmont being one of the top mid-major programs in the nation, Mid-Major Madness had naturally followed Bradds’ career since he was a freshman in 2013.

So with Bradds being sidelined and the folks at Mid-Major Madness in the market for a new writer, it was a natural fit.

“I followed Mid-Major Madness on Twitter for the longest time,” Bradds said. “They write a lot of good stuff about teams that you don’t always hear about. They came to me and asked me to write and I was like, ‘I have no experience other than what I wrote for The Players’ Tribune.’ They were fine with that and it all worked out.”

The site has given Bradds the same freedom with his writing that Belmont coachRick Byrd gave him has a player. He had the green light at Belmont to shoot, dish or drive any time he had the ball in his hands.

With Mid-Major Madness he is allowed to come up with his own story ideas and to write as often as he wishes.

“I have some things cooking that I want to put out there; I kind of do what I want and the topics that I write about are all mine, which is pretty cool,” Bradds said. “Hopefully, I’ll write a couple of times a week or something like that.”

Bradds’ first story — “Ex-Belmont star Evan Bradds; Mid-major player turned mid-major writer” — was published last week and received some positive feedback.

“A lot of people liked it; some people asked if I actually wrote it,” Bradds said. “I took that as a compliment.”

Bradds, who had 1,921 career points and 920 rebounds, received a positive report at his last doctors visit earlier this week. His rehabilitation is on schedule and he hopes to be back on the court in the fall.

After he recovers Bradds plans to pursue a professional basketball career overseas.

Titans new social media director has local ties

Nate Bain, the new social media director for the Titans, has several local ties.

Not only did Bain work with former Titans coach Jeff Fisherthe last three years in a similar capacity with the Rams, but he is from Pulaski and played football and basketball at Giles County High.

He received his master’s degree from Tennessee and Bain’s father, Jeff, is the athletics director at Martin Methodist College.

Battle of the Boulevard dates set  

Dates for the annual Battle of the Boulevard — Belmont men’s basketball vs. Lipscomb — were announced this week.

The first game will be on Monday, Nov. 27 at Belmont’s Curb Event Center.

The second will be on Monday, Dec. 4 at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena. Tip-off times have not yet been set.

Belmont has won the last 11 games in the series.

Ex-TSU receiver/Fisk AD joins East Nashville coaching staff

Former Maplewood and Tennessee State standout receiver Anthony Owens is serving as an assistant coach on the East Nashville Magnet High football team. He’s working with the offense.

After his playing career and a brief stint in the NFL, Owens served as offensive coordinator at TSU, Texas Southern and Ravenwood High.

He later became the athletics director at Fisk.

Local golfer makes two holes-in-one in 80 days

Peggy Bates of Brentwood has made two holes-in-one in a span of just 80 days.

Peggy’s husband, Eddie, a Brentwood dentist, introduced her to golf on their honeymoon 38 years ago, but she didn’t get hooked on the game until five years ago when she joined the Harpeth Hills Ladies Golf Association and the Forrest Crossing Ladies League.

Peggy, who took lessons from well-known local golf instructors Nancy Quarcelino and Rita Reasons, made her first hole-in-one on April 11 on the 142-yard, No. 5 hole at Forrest Crossing using a 5-wood into the wind.

Her second ace came on June 29 on the 118-yard, No. 10 hole at Percy Warner using a hybrid club.

Newman named wrestling coach at FRA

Longtime Metro wrestling coach Doug Newman is the new wrestling coach at Franklin Road Academy.

Newman has spent 46 years coaching at old Goodlettsville High, Hunters Lane, Hillwood, Stratford and most recently at Pearl-Cohn.

In 2009 he was inducted into the Tennessee Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

MTSU grad joins Channel 4 as sports reporter

Justin Beasley, a Middle Tennessee State graduate who spent the last several years covering UT Martin and Murray State for WPSD-6 in Paducah, Ky., has joined WSMV-4 as a sports photographer/reporter.

Beasley began his career as a host on MTSU’s campus station WMTS-FM 88.3. He also served as a video production intern for MTSU’s athletic web site GoBlueRaiders.com and worked at the Daily News Journal.

Virgil Herring is new Ensworth golf coach

 Virgil Herring, owner of the High Performance Golf Academy at The River Club Golf & Learning Center in Clarksville, is the new Ensworth High boys and girls golf coach.

Herring is one of the area’s most popular instructors. He was the 2003 Tennessee Section PGA Teacher of the Year and the Middle Tennessee Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2015.

He has worked with PGA Tour player Brandt Snedekerand former players Harry Taylor, Brad Fabel, Cliff Kresge, Vance Veazey, Garrett Willis, Bob Wolcott and former LPGA player Kim Williams.

You can catch Herring on the radio each Saturday on the “Talking Golf with Virgil Herring Show” (7-8 a.m.) on 104.5-FM The Zone. He also handles coverage of each men’s major tournament for WTVF-5’s “Sunday Sports Central” broadcasts and is a Golf Channel Golf Academy instructor.

Farnsworth wins Illinois Open

Speaking of Ensworth golf, former Tigers standout Alexandra Farnsworth, now a senior at Vanderbilt, won the 23rd annual Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill., last week.

Vanderbilt assistant Aimee Neff, who won the Illinois Open in 2008 and 2009, suggested Farnsworth play in the tournament to stay on her game during the summer.

Farnsworth, a three-time winner of the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Tournament, posted an 8-under-par 208. 

Ex-Vandy football star Tommy Harkins dies

Former Vanderbilt football standout Tommy Harkins died on July 20. He was 82.

Harkins was a quarterback at Christian Brothers High in Memphis who moved to end at Vanderbilt and helped the Commodores win the 1955 Gator Bowl. He also played quarterback, halfback and punter. 

Harkins earned a spot on the 1956 Senior Bowl south roster and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He chose instead to play in the CFL for two seasons and then became a high school football coach in Virginia.

Ex-Trevecca broadcaster lands new job

Tim Shay, who spent six years doing play-by-play and being a color analyst for the Trevecca basketball radio broadcasts, is the new sports information director at Mid-America Christian in Oklahoma City.

Shay is a Trevecca graduate who also served as the first graduate assistant in the school’s sports information department.

Austin Peay great’s high school jersey retired 

The No. 32 jersey of Northeast High basketball great Drake Reed was retired at the school recently.

Reed, 30, was the Leaf-Chronicle All-Area MVP in his senior season in 2005 after averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds. He was a two-time all-state performer and also a standout receiver on the football team.

Reed went on to play basketball at Austin Peay where he was the OVC Player of the Year in 2007. He was inducted into the Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame in January.

Former Overton/Vandy baseball standout dies

Bill Hardin Jr., who played baseball at Overton and Vanderbilt, died last Monday. He was 62.

Hardin played third base and was a four-year starter for the Commodores (1973-76).

Members of the 1973 and 1974 Vanderbilt baseball teams served as honorary pallbearers at Hardin’s funeral Thursday at Judson Baptist Church.

 If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

 

Sports on Nashville TV

The top five local ratings for sporting events from July 17-23:
1. NASCAR: Brickyard 400 5.7
2. PGA: British Open (final round) 4.9
3. PGA: British Open (third round) 2.6 
4. UFC: Fight Night 2.0 
5. NASCAR 
Xfinity Indianapolis 250 1.7 
Each rating point is equal to 10,116 Nashville homes.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 programming & research director