Memphis’ MASE basketball standout Taylor Robinson: ‘I will always dominate’

Cheryl Miller.

Seimone Augustus.

Jennifer Azzi.

Alana Beard.

Sue Bird.

Swin Cash.

Tamika Catchings.

Chamique Holdsclaw.

The list goes on and on.

MASE3These are just a few of the greatest basketball players in the history of women’s college basketball.

Say what you want. But for 15-year-old Taylor Robinson of Memphis Academy of Science And Engineering (widely known as MASE), she undoubtedly is clinging to high hopes of someday being thrust among such prestigous company. MASE1

A speedy, versitile athlete who possesses mostly a size advantage for opposing players, Robinson doesn’t shy away from the notion that she could very well emerge as a household name in the foreseeable future, much like like former Mid-South-area basketball standouts Nikki McCray and Tamika Whitmore.

“I love basketball because I love to dominate and will always dominate,” a seemingly confident Robinson said during a recent interview with sports journalist Andre Johnson.

BORN TO PLAY --- “I gave Taylor her first basketball at two years (of age),” Amy Chaffin Robinson’s mother, explained. “She has been on a (competitive)  team since second grade.  I first noticed Taylor’s (love for basketball) at age two while playing with me. I noticed she can shoot. Wow! I said, ‘She’s competitive too.’ I was thinking, ‘Is she really my daughter?’  She’s got talent.” So much talent, in fact, that Robinson’s rise on the hardwood throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City has been highlighted by her often partaking in pickup and competive games with her male counterparts at a South Memphis-area gymnasium.

BORN TO PLAY — “I gave Taylor her first basketball at two years (of age),” Amy Chaffin Robinson’s mother, explained. “She has been on a (competitive) team since second grade. I first noticed Taylor’s (love for basketball) at age two while playing with me. I noticed she can shoot. Wow! I said, ‘She’s competitive too.’ I was thinking, ‘Is she really my daughter?’ She’s got talent.”
So much talent, in fact, that Robinson’s rise on the hardwood throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City has been highlighted by her often partaking in pickup and competive games with her male counterparts at a South Memphis-area gymnasium.

And dominant she has been. So much, in fact, that with proper progression, coupled with a keen passion for the game, Robinson will almost certainly fulfill her much-anticipated dream of playing at the collegiate level.

And possibly the level after that.

“I gave Taylor her first basketball at two years (of age),” Amy Chaffin Robinson’s mother, explained. “She has been on a (competitive)  team since second grade.  I first noticed Taylor’s (love for basketball) at age two while playing with me. I noticed she can shoot. Wow! I said, ‘She’s competitive too.’ I was thinking, ‘Is she really my daughter?’  She’s got talent.”

So much talent, in fact, that Robinson’s rise on the hardwood throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City has been highlighted by her often partaking in pickup and competive games with her male counterparts at a South Memphis-area gymnasium.

Among the reasons the 5-foot-8 Robinson has appeared virtually relentless on the court in recent years — most notably at the high school and AAU ranks — is that she had evolved as a fixture as a member of a boys team for Memphis Athletics Ministry during summer league competition.

Add to the fact that even as a high school freshman, she has attended a number of Mid-South-area camps in which she had the luxury of upgrading her skills and fundamentals, and it’s no wonder this kid is making a strong case to lure a slew of college scouts and recruiters to MASE in the foreseeable future, although college hoops scouts visiting charter schools has yet to become a notable trend.

Because Robinson has proven to be just as talents as her public schools peers, that could very well change sooner than we think.

Among the reasons is that Robinson has gone to great lengths to earn the vote of confidence from past and current coaches, a trend that figures sway scouts to take a closer look at charter school-based athletes.

MOM KNOWS BEST -- A speedy, versitile athlete who possesses mostly a size advantage for opposing players, Taylor Robinson doesn’t shy away from the notion that she could very well emerge as a household name in the foreseeable future, much like like former Mid-South-area basketball standouts Nikki McCray and Tamika Whitmore.

MOM KNOWS BEST — A speedy, versitile athlete who possesses mostly a size advantage for opposing players, Taylor Robinson doesn’t shy away from the notion that she could very well emerge as a household name in the foreseeable future, much like like former Mid-South-area basketball standouts Nikki McCray and Tamika Whitmore.

If nothing, they’d be crazy not to keep a close eye out for Robinson, whose primary objective moving forward is to dominate.

Er, “always dominate,” she reiterated.

“I am happy for her because I know she will get better and stronger,” said Chaffin, fighting back tears as she assessed her daughter’s progress in recent years. “She is an awesome kid inside and out. Her passion for basketball is phenomenal. Taylor loves and lives to play basketball. She leaves practice and games and then comes and grab a basketball starts dribbling.”

At what point will the dribbling ever stop?

Well, as far as Robinson is concerned, no time soon.

No time in the near future.

“She wakes up in the morning dribbling a basketball,” Chaffin said. “It’s not a day that goes by that she doesn’t talk (about) or grabs a basketball.”

A trend that has taken place for the past 13 years.

And counting.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

Illinois softball standout Makayla Denson eyeing Tennessee State, other HBCU’s

Just recently, Makayla Denson was asked to explain her passion and adoration for softball.

DIAMOND DREAMS --- While the softball diamond undoubtedly has proven to be a place of solitude and refuel for Makayla Denson, a rising senior first baseman at Bremen High School in Midlothian, Illinois, this prep athletic standout doesn’t shy away from the notion that she boasts lofty aspirations of extending her playing career beyond high school. (Photos submitted by R. Denson)

DIAMOND DREAMS — While the softball diamond undoubtedly has proven to be a place of solitude and refuel for Makayla Denson, a rising senior first baseman at Bremen High School in Midlothian, Illinois, this prep athletic standout doesn’t shy away from the notion that she boasts lofty aspirations of extending her playing career beyond high school. (Photos submitted by R. Denson)

As usual, speaking of the sport brought her to smiles.

“I would categorize myself as being a multisport student athlete,” Denson said during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “That means student first, then athletics…basketball and softball. But softball is my passion. At times, it is very difficult to compass. But you have to keep telling yourself, ‘You can do it’ and to ‘Keep pushing forward.’”

While the softball diamond undoubtedly has proven to be a place of solitude and refuel for Denson, a rising senior first baseman at Bremen High School in Midlothian, Illinois, this prep athletic standout doesn’t shy away from the notion that she boasts lofty aspirations of extending her playing career beyond high school.

According to Makayla Denson’s mother, Robin Williams-Denson, her daughter has expressed considerable interest in attending Tennessee State University either on a softball scholarship or taking necessary steps to join to the Lady Tigers’ program as a walk on.

To her credit, Makayla Denson has become a fixture on the Chicago-area prep softball circuit since transitioning to the high school ranks three years ago, a trend about which she hopes college coaches will take into account as she continues to lobby for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

To her credit, Makayla Denson has become a fixture on the Chicago-area prep softball circuit since transitioning to the high school ranks three years ago, a trend about which she hopes college coaches will take into account as she continues to lobby for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

Besides TSU, the 17-year-old Makayla Denson also has expressed interests in Texas Southern University, Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, and nearby Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

In addition, this speedy, durable athlete was the catalyst of AAU 16-and-under Chicago-area Lady Monarch travel team that competed in a variety of local and state tournaments last year.

In addition, this speedy, durable athlete was the catalyst of AAU 16-and-under Chicago-area Lady Monarch travel team that competed in a variety of local and state tournaments last year.

Regardless of which school she attends, Makayla Denson said being afforded the opportunity to play collegiate softball would make reality a dream to which she has clung for some time.

“That is my short-term goal, to play softball in college and continue to learn new ideas and make new friends along this journey,” Makayla Denson said.

Having first played competitive softball when she was eight years ago, Makayla Denson admittedly has since grown a deep admiration for the sport, having also been afforded the golden opportunity to travel throughout the region and heartland for AAU and club teams.

“Every year since then, I’ve played on different levels such as in-house recreational local softball teams to AAU 18-and-under travel softball,” Makayla Denson explains.

In addition, this speedy, durable athlete was the catalyst of AAU 16-and-under Chicago-area Lady Monarch travel team that competed in a variety of local and state tournaments last year.

To her credit, Makayla Denson has become a fixture on the Chicago-area prep softball circuit since transitioning to the high school ranks three years ago, a trend about which she hopes college coaches will take into account as she continues to lobby for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

To her credit, Makayla Denson has become a fixture on the Chicago-area prep softball circuit since transitioning to the high school ranks three years ago, a trend about which she hopes college coaches will take into account as she continues to lobby for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

To her credit, Makayla Denson has become a fixture on the Chicago-area prep softball circuit since transitioning to the high school ranks three years ago, a trend about which she hopes college coaches will take into account as she continues to lobby for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

“We decided to let her play a sport, so she chose softball and basketball at the same time,” said Williams-Denson, explaining her daughter’s rise as a softball standout. “But when we put her on an in-house softball team at (the age of) seven, we ended up coaching. She naturally knows what to do and everybody wanted her and said she was a natural (athlete). She plays first base; that’s her love, but she really plays all positions except pitcher. People look at her and think, ‘Oh, she’s not going to do anything.’ And then she blows them away.”

All of which — according to Makayla Denson’s mother — means chances appear highly likely that her daughter will be afforded the chance to suit up in a collegiate softball uniform sometime in the Spring of 2017.

After all, she’s been considered a fixture on the Illinois-area softball diamond for some time.

“We always taught her to do her best and complete what she starts,” Williams-Denson said. “She is a perfectionist in school, sports or whatever else she does. Coaches used to get upset with her dad because he would encourage her to do her. She would get upset if she made errors — which I can’t remember many — because she wanted to make a name for herself.”

So far, so good.

Chances are, the competitive softball circuit hasn’t seen the last of this dual-sport athlete.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Throwback Thursday: National Dog Day

As many of you know, yesterday was National Dog Day.  We couldn’t scroll through a social media channel without seeing images of dogs to celebrate the social holiday.  There were nearly 5 million posts on Instagram alone with the hashtag – #NationalDogDay.

Naturally, being a wrestling fan from Memphis – I had a few other dogs on my mind.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I not only do I have a classic clip to share – but I have a bonus clip, as well.  The first comes to us from September 21st, 1992 inside Mid-South Coliseum.  The late, great Junkyard Dog was crowned USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion with a victory of “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert.

JYD will always be remember as one of the greatest “dogs” of all time.  But National Dog Day couldn’t go on without mentioning my friend and Memphis Wrestling legend Moondog Spot.  For those of you who think Moondog Spot was only big in Memphis – here’s a bonus clip from February 15th, 1987 where he squared off against King Harley Race on WWF Wrestling Challenge.

I’ll be joining Kevin Cerrito this Saturday to find out who his favorite “dog” of all-time is, as well as recapping the biggest party of the summer – Summer Slam.  Cerrito Live airs every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT on on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM .

Delta Fair:  Memphis Wild Fire Wrestling will be live at the Delta Fair on September 5th & 6th with wrestling shows at 1PM & 5PM each day.  Wrestling will take place indoors at Agricenter Memphis and will be a part of the fair admission.

Scheduled to appear:  Jerry “The King” Lawler, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, Derrick King & of course the Power Couple – Dustin Starr & Maria.  For more info, click here.

Don’t forget:  Pro Wrestling Trivia with Kevin Cerrito is back at The Green Beetle on September 10th at 8PM .  Test your knowledge against other wrestling fans to see if you have what it takes to bring home the title!  Also, dress as your favorite wrestler and win a prize in the Costume Contest!  View the official event invite here.

(photo cred: WMC Action News 5)

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Prep hoops standout Tiffany Byrd making her presence felt in Tennessee and Texas

TiffanyHOUSTON — Tiffany Nicole Byrd is what one would describe as a military child.

How else to explain why she’s resided in a number of establishments across the country.

Born in Pensacola, Florida, Byrd has lived in Bartlett, Tennessee — which is the outskirts of Memphis — and Chesapeake, Virginia. Since earlier this year, she’s been a resident of Houston, where the rising basketball standout seemingly hasn’t missed a beat following masterful stints for Bon Lin Middle and Bartlett Ninth Grade Academy.

A newcomer to Houston’s George Ranch High basketball team this upcoming season, the speedy point guard figures to contribute immediately for a Lady Longhorn squad that ended the 2014-15 season having won eight of its last 12 outings to end the year with a 16-12 mark.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACT --- A newcomer to Houston’s George Ranch High basketball team this upcoming season, Tiffany Byrd figures to contribute immediately for a Lady Longhorn squad that ended the 2014-15 season having won eight of its last 12 outings to end the year with a 16-12 mark.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACT — A newcomer to Houston’s George Ranch High basketball team this upcoming season, Tiffany Byrd figures to contribute immediately for a Lady Longhorn squad that ended the 2014-15 season having won eight of its last 12 outings to end the year with a 16-12 mark.

Known largely for her resiliency and keen ability to be a facilitator on the floor, Byrd’s ability to create her own her shot coupled with her passion for the game will almost certainly prompt scouts to inquire about her services once her prep hoops career ends.

“I’ve been playing (basketball) since I was four,” Byrd told longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “I love the sport. When I play, I don’t think of anything else when I’m on the court.”

Because passion and enthusiasm for a sport are attributes coaches can’t merely teach athletes, the admiration Byrd’s exemplifies for basketball could prove beneficial now that she will be afforded the golden opportunity to put her hoops heroics on display in Texas, where they do things bigger here.

No one, it seems, realizes this more than her mother, Tena Byrd, who served 28 years in the Navy. As she tells it, ever since she first witnessed her daughter reach for a basketball nearly a decade ago, she sensed she would ultimately blossom into an efficient athlete.

MOM KNOWS BEST --- Because passion and enthusiasm for a sport aren’t attributes coaches can’t merely teach athletes, the admiration Byrd’s exemplifies for basketball could prove beneficial now that she will be afforded the golden opportunity to put her hoops heroics on display in Texas, where they do things bigger here.  No one, it seems, realizes this more than her mother, Tena Byrd, who served 28 years in the Navy.

MOM KNOWS BEST — Because passion and enthusiasm for a sport aren’t attributes coaches can’t merely teach athletes, the admiration Byrd’s exemplifies for basketball could prove beneficial now that she will be afforded the golden opportunity to put her hoops heroics on display in Texas, where they do things bigger here.
No one, it seems, realizes this more than her mother, Tena Byrd, who served 28 years in the Navy.

To Tiffany Byrd’s credit, she has been nothing short of impressive on the amateur hoops circuit.

“I was very proud of her and excited at the same time,” said Tena Byrd, recalling the first time Tiffany picked up a basketball at Bartlett Community Center.

As for a typical weekend, particularly as a basketball mom, Tena Byrd said that by all accounts, three words come to mind.

“Practice, practice, practice,” she said, “whether it’s going to a local, college, or NBA game. But I love to see her play, love it when she steals a ball and hits her (three-pointers).”

In her rise a basketball standout, Tena Byrd said she was mostly impressed when her daughter earned a spot on Bartlett’s junior varsity team last.

Once again, she didn’t disappoint. Instead, she made a strong case that surely, she has a future in the sports she has come to embrace.

“I was even happier to see her start (on JV),” Tena Byrd said in assessing her daughter’s play last year. I’m very happy for her. I pray that she stays focused off and on the court…prays she makes varsity. But if not, I hope she gets lots of playing time on JV.”

In addition to her impressive showing last year, Tiffany Byrd had proven to be just as effective off the court, in large part because she trained intensely under the direction of Cedric Anderson, her personal training coach. Besides basketball, she played T-ball for two-years and strongly considered soccer before deciding to settle solely on playing hoops.

“Her coaches have been very supportive,” Tena Byrd said. “I tell her constantly to get good grades, stay positive, and that basketball is a team sport. That means she is to respect her teammates because everyone makes mistakes.”

BRIGHT FUTURE --- Known largely for her resiliency and keen ability to be a facilitator on the floor, Byrd’s ability to create her own her shot coupled with her passion for the game will almost certainly prompt scouts to inquire about her services once her prep hoops career ends.

BRIGHT FUTURE — Known largely for her resiliency and keen ability to be a facilitator on the floor, Byrd’s ability to create her own her shot coupled with her passion for the game will almost certainly prompt scouts to inquire about her services once her prep hoops career ends.

As Tiffany Byrd — who has begun to build a solid rapport with her George Ranch teammates and coaches — continues to prepare for first full season of varsity basketball, her mother, like many others who have witnessed her development as a young athlete, knows the sky’s the limit for a kid who possesses the skills to play at the collegiate level.

“Because she is a child of God, anything is possible,” Tena Byrd said. “If she gives 100 percent at practice, stays positive, stays focus, and takes responsibility for her actions and respects others, there’s no limit to where she can go.”

Regardless of where around the country this military kid resides.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Entrepreneurs Tresa Triplett and Lezerrik Massey enjoying Memphis success; Dallas-Fort Worth up next

Memphians Tresa Triplett and her fiancee, Lezerrik Massey, are aiming to broaden their horizon, aiming to maximize their potential, aiming to, well, have what is shaping up to be a Texas-size entrepreneurial impact in the foreseeable future.

Literally.

Clean1Owners of Memphis-based KleanPro Enterprise, an established licensed, bonded, and insured cleaning company that has become a fixture throughout and the Shelby-Metro area, Triplett and Massey not only are destined to enhance their love life, but both are devising ways to expand what is starting to emerge as one of the region’s finest up-and-coming cleaning services.

“We enjoy the freedom it provides us and the ability to control our destiny,” Triplett, the company’s president of daily operations, said during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson.

Memphian Tresa Triplett is the President of Daily Operations for KleanPro Enterprises.

FACE OF THE COMPANY — Memphian Tresa Triplett is the Co-CEO and President of Daily Operations for KleanPro Enterprises, a licensed, bonded and insured cleaning company that is fixture throughout the Mid-South .

Now after implementing the essential steps and prerequisites such as attend an assortment of job fairs and training classes, which enabled the couple to obtain their certification, Triplett and Massey now have been afforded the luxury of putting their entrepreneurial talents on display in a variety of Mid-South-area establishments, most notably in dealerships and other sizable facilities.

Owners of Memphis-based KleanPro Enterprise, an established cleaning company that has become a fixture throughout and the Shelby-Metro area, Triplett and Massey not only are destined to enhance their love life, but both are devising ways to expand what is starting to emerge as one of the region’s finest up-and-coming cleaning services.

Owners of Memphis-based KleanPro Enterprise, an established cleaning company that has become a fixture throughout and the Shelby-Metro area, Triplett and Massey not only are destined to enhance their love life, but both are devising ways to expand what is starting to emerge as one of the region’s finest up-and-coming cleaning services.

Given KleanPro Enterprise’s continuous success in recent months, it’s safe to assume that Triplett and Massey are making good on their company’s mission, which includes controlling their destiny, a trend by which they hope will translate into success in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“Our main focus now is to build our Dallas office into a six figure or more company like we did our Memphis location,” Triplett, a Memphis Hillcrest High graduate, said.

In addition to erecting a KleanPro Enterprise facility in Texas in the near future, Triplett and Massey also has started a mentoring program for Mid-South-area youths and young adults, something that figures to inspire youngsters to develop the mindset to become business-minded, to broaden their horizon, to maximize their potential, to, well, perhaps even have a Texas-size impact — much like these two love birds.

Literally.

MAKING STRIDES --- Given KleanPro Enterprise’s continuous success in recent months, it’s safe to assume that Triplett and Massey are making good on their company’s mission, which includes controlling their destiny, a trend by which they hope will translate into success in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

MAKING STRIDES — Given KleanPro Enterprise’s continuous success in recent months, it’s safe to assume that Triplett and Massey are making good on their company’s mission, which includes controlling their destiny, a trend by which they hope will translate into success in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In essence, aside from routinely keeping facilities clean and appealing to consumers, Triplett said what she deems most intriguing with regards to being a business owner is the passion for what she and Massey do will greatly inspire others who are unsure about starting a business to take those necessary leaps of faith.

In a nutshell, delving off into an entrepreneurial venture is a risk worth taking, Triplett suggests.

That is, of course, if aspiring entrepreneurs are willing to exercise their faith as Triplett and Massey have done.

FAITH-BASED BUSINESS --- In essence, aside from routinely keeping facilities clean and appealing to consumers, Triplett said what she deems most intriguing with regards to being a business owner is the passion for what she and Massey do will greatly inspire others who are unsure about starting a business to take that necessary leap of faith.  In a nutshell, delving of into entrepreneurialship is a risk worth taking, Triplett suggests.

FAITH-BASED BUSINESS — In essence, aside from routinely keeping facilities clean and appealing to consumers, Triplett said what she deems most intriguing with regards to being a business owner is the passion for what she and Massey do will greatly inspire others who are unsure about starting a business to take that necessary leap of faith.
In a nutshell, delving of into entrepreneurialship is a risk worth taking, Triplett suggests.

“We have also kept God first in everything we do and we feed off of each others’ strengths,” Triplett said. “This business is important to us because a lot of people want to be successful in life but are unsure if they can do it. We want them to know if someone like us can start with nothing in this business making 400 a month and in a few years changes that to 6 figures a year, then anyone who believes in themselves and willing to put in the hard work can as well.”

Next up for the couple will be taking their entrepreneurial talents to Texas where, according to many, they do things big there.

Much bigger.

“My fiancee is my biggest supporter,” Massey, a Memphis Whitehaven High graduate and the company’s CEO, said.

Spoken like a man who not only embraces the notion of what it means to esteem his mate, but one who, like his better half, strives daily to broaden his horizon, maximizes his potential, and, well, one who’s aiming to have a Texas-size entrepreneurial impact in the foreseeable future.

Literally.

TO REACH TRESA AND LEZERRIK:
Tresa Triplett on Facebook
KleanPro Enterprise on Facebook
Email: tresa0501@gmail.com
Direct Contacts: 901 600-8483
and 901 596-9223

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, author, musician, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Throwback Thursday: Dave Brown Says Goodbye

Earlier this week, WMC Action News 5 announced that Dave Brown will retire as Chief Meteorologist on August 31st, 2015.  Dave served the Mid-South as Chief Meteorologist since 1977.  To say he will be missed would be an understatement.

As good of a weatherman as Dave was, many would argue that he was an even better wrestling announcer.  Dave hosted Memphis Wrestling from 1967 to 2002.  For 25 of those years, he co-hosted with the legendary Lance Russell.  Many have called this duo the greatest broadcast team of all time.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, let’s take you back to “Memphis Wrestling Memories” with both Lance and Dave.  WMC aired this special just last year (2014) – but Lance and Dave talk us thru many great Memphis Wrestling classics.

 

Lance Russell will join us on Cerrito Live this Saturday to discuss Dave’s retirement.  I’m sure Lance will have a few stories to share about Dave Brown “The Weather Clown”, as well.  Along with Lance, Joe Cronin will join us to breakdown this Sunday’s WWE Summer Slam.

Cerrito Live airs every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT on on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM .

Oman Arena, Jackson, TN:  Catch Lance & Dave together on Saturday October 24th at Oman Arena.  Also scheduled for the Main Event – Jerry Lawler vs Terry Funk.  For more info, click here.

Don’t forget:  Pro Wrestling Trivia with Kevin Cerrito is back at The Green Beetle on September 10th at 8PM .  Test your knowledge against other wrestling fans to see if you have what it takes to bring home the title!  Also, dress as your favorite wrestler and win a prize in the Costume Contest!  View the official event invite here.

(photo cred: WMC Action News 5)

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Memphian Deandre Riddick aiming to go ‘all out’ in his final collegiate season at KCU

Dre2As far as Deandre Riddick is concerned, he plans to go “all out” this upcoming season.

Entering his final year of collegiate football at Kentucky Christian University, the former Memphis Southwind High standout doesn’t shy away from the notion that 2015 is a make-or-break-it year for him.

“This season will be very crucial because this is it,” Riddick told MemphiSport on Thursday. “It’s my last ride, not holding anything back. And I can’t hold anything back. I have to put it all out there and just have faith.”

Among the reasons Riddick, a rising senior wide receiver for Kentucky Christian, is heading into the final college season harboring lofty expectations is that he admittedly aspires to play football beyond this year.

In other words, as far as Riddick is concerned, if he exemplifies the same assertiveness and poise he displayed after an efficient junior season, he strongly believes he will afforded the golden opportunity to play at the professional level.

Without question.

AIMING HIGH --- Among the reasons Memphian Deandre Riddick, a rising senior wide receiver for Kentucky Christian, is heading into the final college season harboring lofty expectations is that he admittedly aspires to play football beyond this year.  In other words, as far as Riddick is concerned, if he exemplifies the same assertiveness and poise he displayed after an efficient junior season, he strongly believes he will afforded the golden opportunity to play at the professional level. (Photos courtesy of Kentucky Christian Athletics)

AIMING HIGH — Among the reasons Memphian Deandre Riddick, a rising senior wide receiver for Kentucky Christian University, is heading into the final college season harboring lofty expectations is that he admittedly aspires to play football beyond this year.
In other words, as far as Riddick is concerned, if he exemplifies the same assertiveness and poise he displayed after an efficient junior season, he strongly believes he will afforded the golden opportunity to play at the professional level. (Photos courtesy of Kentucky Christian Athletics)

“My expectation for the season is to be at the top of the charts,” Riddick said. “I worked so hard this summer that I can’t do nothing but be on top. And, I must also play to make my teammates great around me. So if I play hard, they will too.”

To his credit, Riddick, a speedy 5-foot-9, 170-pounder, had done a masterful job last year in demonstrating that as he goes, so goes the Knights.

For starters, Riddick started each of KCU’s games — with the exception of the two he missed for violating team rules — only picking up where he left off after playing one year at William Penn University in Iowa and his subsequent redshirt year.

To his credit, Riddick, a speedy 5-foot-9, 170-pounder, had done a masterful job last year in demonstrating that as he goes, so goes the Knights.  For starters, Riddick started each of KCU’s games --- with the exception of the two he missed for violating team rules --- only picking up where he left off after playing one year at William Penn University in Iowa and his subsequent redshirt year.

To his credit, Riddick, a speedy 5-foot-9, 170-pounder, had done a masterful job last year in demonstrating that as he goes, so goes the Knights.
For starters, Riddick started each of KCU’s games — with the exception of the two he missed for violating team rules — only picking up where he left off after playing one year at William Penn University in Iowa and his subsequent redshirt year.

In fact, following what was a productive freshman campaign at WPU, Riddick took a one-year hiatus away from football, spending that time in Knoxville, Tennessee with his younger brother, Tino Thomas, a former Melrose High star who stars at the University of Tennessee.

As Riddick tells it, such a lengthy time away from playing the game he loves, by all accounts, only fueled his desire to demonstrate a more competitive drive to succeed on the field.

He did just that from the minute he set foot on the KCU campus, being installed immediately as a starter for a Knight team that finished 5-6 last year.

Not bad for a player who sensed it was in his best interest to step away from the game and refocus his focus on more important things.

“I had to leave (William Penn) because of family issues,” Riddick said. “I had been playing this game for so long. I fell in love with it as the moment I started (playing the game).”

Among those who showed strong support for Riddick during his year-long absence from the game was his mother, Venus Riddick, a trend Deandre Riddick acknowledges only increased his desire to return to the field with a newfound attitude, thus live up to his high expectations.

“My mom…when she sees me playing out there, all she can do is smile. I love putting a smile on her face.”

Among those who showed strong support for Riddick during his year-long absence from the game was his mother, Venus Riddick, a trend Deandre Riddick acknowledges only increased his desire to return to the field with a newfound attitude, thus live up to his high expectations.  “My mom…when she sees me playing out there, all she can do is smile. I love putting a smile on her face,” he said.

Among those who showed strong support for Riddick during his year-long absence from the game was his mother, Venus Riddick, a trend Deandre Riddick acknowledges only increased his desire to return to the field with a newfound attitude, thus live up to his high expectations.
“My mom…when she sees me playing out there, all she can do is smile. I love putting a smile on her face,” he said.

Now with KCU less than a month away from its season opener Sept. 5 at Duquesne University, Deandre Riddick’s said his primary focus is to finish what he started. Only this time, though, he plans to draw rave reviews from professional scouts, something about which would bring a bigger smile to his mother’s face.

“I have so much passion for this game,” Deandre Riddick said.

Which, as far as he is concerned, is why he plans to go “all out” this upcoming season.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday Handsome Jimmy

Memphis Wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant celebrates his 73rd Birthday today.  On behalf of everyone at MemphiSport.com – we wish “The Boogie Woogie Man” a very Happy Birthday!

With it being Handsome Jimbo’s Birthday and all – why not take a look at some ole Jimmy Valiant footage for this week’s Throwback Thursday?

This week’s clip reminds us all just how cool and before his time “Handsome” Jimmy really was.  The charismatic promo man proved that he could not only wrestle and talk trash – but he could rock ‘n roll too!  Check this out from 1978.

Remember when Maria attempted to slap “Handsome” Jimmy?  Mercy, daddy!

September 10th @ 8PM:  Pro Wrestling Trivia with Kevin Cerrito is back at The Green Beetle.  Test your knowledge against other wrestling fans to see if you have what it takes to bring home the title!  Also, dress as your favorite wrestler and win a prize in the Costume Contest!  View the official event invite here.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Raleigh-Egypt OLB Dennis Garmon looking to impress scouts in pivotal senior season

Den1No one has to tell Dennis Garmon to get excited about this, his upcoming final season of high school football.

Garmon, in fact, wasted little time taking to his Facebook page Tuesday morning to sound off about such excitement.

Said Garmon, Raleigh-Egypt High’s rising senior in a social media post he assembled at 11:54 a.m. Tuesday: “I’m coming up! Football gone get me out the hood.”

To get a thorough understanding of why Garmon is enthusiastic about this upcoming season, look no further than the strides he has made for a Raleigh-Egypt team that is starting to escape years of futility.

For starters, Garmon, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound outside linebacker, played an integral role for a Pharoah defensive unit that held the opposition to single digits twice and managed to record a shutout (a 21-0 win in Week 9 against cross-town rival Fairley) last year.

In addition, Garmon, who had proven to improve his mechanics heading into his pivotal junior campaign, helped propel Raleigh-Egypt to an elusive postseason berth, although the team ended the year one game below the .500 mark (5-6).

To his credit, his assertiveness, by all accounts, was amongst the reasons the new look Pharaohs, under the direction of coach Terry Smith II, enjoyed a winning record in District 16-AA play, having won five of eight league outings.

After a year in which the Pharaohs re-emerged as a playoff team, coupled with the fact that Garmon is aiming to add to what was a productive year, and it’s no wonder this kid boasts lofty aspirations of using football as an outlet to vacate the inner city.

In a nutshell, Garmon doesn’t shy away from the notion that at this stage in his athletic career, he’s destined to make a strong case of putting his football skills on display at the collegiate level.

“What I can do to continue to make my mother proud would be to understand that I must get my education first,” Garmon told MemphiSport on Wednesday. “Because I know that will take me even further in life after football…to always stay positive and stay level headed. I also must continue to work harder toward my goals and achieving my goals.”

As Garmon tells it, nothing would be more gratifying than to be afforded the golden opportunity to sign his name on a National Letter of Intent in early February when prep football players will be allowed to make their official commitments to colleges.

“I love the sport of football because it teaches you the meaning of having a role model, discipline, and conditioning your mind and body,” Garmon said. “And most importantly, it prepares you for life through those teaches (of coaches).”

Garmon’s mother, Yolanda Garmon, who has witnessed her son intensely transcend from the Memphis-area youth football league to the high school ranks, is impressed with her son’s overall progress both on and off the field.

MAKING STRIDES --- Dennis Garmon, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound outside linebacker, played an integral role for a Raleigh-Egypt defensive unit that held the opposition to single digits twice and managed to record a shutout (a 21-0 win in Week 9 against cross-town rival Fairley) last year. (Photos submitted by Y. Garmon)

MAKING STRIDES — Dennis Garmon, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound outside linebacker, played an integral role for a Raleigh-Egypt defensive unit that held the opposition to single digits twice and managed to record a shutout (a 21-0 win in Week 9 against cross-town rival Fairley) last year. (Photos submitted by Y. Garmon)

Without question, she believes her son has the poise and skills to play on Saturdays around this time next year.

“He started playing with the Memphis Bears, a little league team at the age of 13,” Yolanda Garmon said. “My overall reaction was that he could be successful at the sport when he came to me and said he wanted to play. He is a committed young man in everything he does and I knew all along (football) would be no exception.

“As a mother, I was nervous to know he was going to play high school football,” Yolanda Garmon continued. “But I had to respect that this sport creates men, and knowing that he loves it so much, I had to support him.”

As Raleigh-Egypt prepares to open the season in the coming weeks, Dennis Garmon said his primary objectives in the meantime are to help lead his team to another postseason berth, let alone continue to make a case to land a scholarship.

And he said…

“Also to take my queen with me wherever I go once I succeed at such goal.”

That queen to whom he’s referring is his mother.

His grandest supporter since Day 1.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Arlington High RB Keelon Webber primed to upgrade his recruiting stock this season

STOCK RISING --- Keelon Webber, a 6-foot, 205-pound speedy rusher was a pivotal force for an Arlington High team that finished 11-4 last year, ran the table in District 14-AAA play, and manufactured an impressive postseason display before falling in the Tennessee Class 6A quarterfinals to perennial power Whitehaven. (Photos submitted by C. Webber)

STOCK RISING — Keelon Webber, a 6-foot, 205-pound speedy rusher was a pivotal force for an Arlington High team that finished 11-4 last year, ran the table in District 14-AAA play, and manufactured an impressive postseason display before falling in the Tennessee Class 6A quarterfinals to perennial power Whitehaven. (Photos submitted by C. Webber)

Listening to Carsett Franklin Webber weigh in on the athletic heroics of her son, Keelon Webber, and it would be rather easy to tell she’s an avid football mom.

One who, without question, knows exactly what she’s talking about.

Take, for instance, earlier this week when she was asked what she deems mostly intriguing about his son’s progress as the featured running back for Arlington High.

As usual, Carsett Webber was forthright and direct.

“He has passion for the game and he is very respectful and coachable,” Carsett Webber told MemphiSport. “Over the years, he has evolved into a beast of a football player.”

Indeed he has, a trend about which Keelon Webber hopes college scouts will take into account as he readies for what figures to be a productive senior campaign in the coming weeks.

To his credit, a 6-foot, 205-pound speedy rusher was a pivotal force for an Arlington team that finished 11-4 last year, ran the table in District 14-AAA play, and manufactured an impressive postseason display before falling in the Tennessee Class 6A quarterfinals to perennial power Whitehaven.

CHECK OUT KEELON WEBBER IN ACTION VIA VIDEO: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3413846/highlights/213806383/v2

According to a season-ending poll released by Maxpreps, the Tigers finished 52nd overall in the state.

And, because the nucleus of Arlington’s starters will return in 2015, surely, Keelon Webber and Co. will be expected to make yet another brilliant run at that elusive state crown.

The Tigers open the season August 21 when they play host to Kirby.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED --- Fortunately for Keelon Webber, the assertiveness and poise he exhibited under the Friday night lights gave way to his being nothing short of impressive.  For starters, this bruiser, rugged back was a catalyst for an Arlington potent rushing attack that emerged as one of Shelby Metro’s finest last season, a unit that compiled nearly 200 yards rushing per game.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED — Fortunately for Keelon Webber, the assertiveness and poise he exhibited under the Friday night lights gave way to his being nothing short of impressive.
For starters, this bruiser, rugged back was a catalyst for an Arlington potent rushing attack that emerged as one of Shelby Metro’s finest last season, a unit that compiled nearly 200 yards rushing per game.

“I had a great junior season,” Keelon Webber said. “I showed I am a versatile playmaker. I continued to get better and better every week. Every game, I worked harder.”

Fortunately for Keelon Webber, the assertiveness and poise he exhibited under the Friday night lights gave way to his being nothing short of impressive.

For starters, this bruiser, rugged back was a catalyst for an Arlington potent rushing attack that emerged as one of Shelby Metro’s finest last season, a unit that compiled nearly 200 yards rushing per game.

Having appeared in a prep career-best 13 games as a junior, Keelon Webber had 1,270 all-purpose yards, including 1,104 yards on 204 carries and 16 rushing touchdowns. In addition, he registered 166 receiving yards while making 17 catches and one score as he complemented the play of then-senior Joe Stevenson.

Add to the fact that he led Arlington with 100-plus yards per outing, and it’s no wonder Keelon Webber is destined to generate interests from colleges this upcoming season.

As he tells it, that’s certainly one of his short-term — yet monumental — goals as he and the Tigers look ahead to training camp in the coming days.

KeelonIn addition, the summer months were indeed all business for a talented kid who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate level. Keelon Webber made valiant attempts to establish a favorable athletic resume after attending such camps as the Rivals Combine, AEA Combine, as well as camps hosted by the University of Memphis and Tennessee State.

While he has yet to generate real interest from any schools, many figure that undoubtedly will change early and often this upcoming season.

Carsett Franklin Webber

Carsett Franklin Webber

“I am a hard worker. I give my all to my team,” said Keelon Webber when asked what direct message he’d like to send to college scouts. “I’m a leader, a motivator to my teammates. I am coachable. I can easily pick up new skills and plays. I am not a quitter.”

Surely, no one can vouch for that more than his mother who, on Friday, was seen witnessing her son’s continuous progress during the team’s scrimmage.

“In middle school, he had a natural talent for football,” said Carsett Webber, whose son has been playing competitive football since the age of six. “I’m always praying for an injury free game. Playing football will help him get a college scholarship to the college of his choice.”

Spoken like an avid football mom.

One who, without question, knows exactly what she’s talking about.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.