Mr. Football Finalist Howard Leads Successful Baylor Season
The 2019 Baylor football team posted its best record since the back-to-back state runner-up seasons in 2010 and 2011, capping off a 9-1 regular season record with a 28-17 win at Brentwood Academy. Moreover, the Red Raiders were 4-1 in the newly aligned D-II AAA East region and were a two seed in the state playoff bracket. The quest to return to the state championship game ended early with a quarterfinal loss to Montgomery Bell Academy, whom Baylor had beaten three weeks before.
Junior running back Elijah Howard (pictured above left) was named runner-up for the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football award, presented to the top football players in nine classifications of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association each year. Howard rushed for 1,422 yards during the regular season, averaging nearly nine yards per carry, and scored 20 Raider touchdowns.
Howard was also named the region offensive Player of the Year, and senior linebacker Noah Martin was the defensive Player of the Year. They were joined on the All-Region team by seniors Rich Hall, Seth Johnson, and Christian Martin and juniors Eli Bowen, Sam Christensen, Neyland Jean, and Riley Jenne.
Golf Teams Sweep Region
The Baylor girls’ and boys’ golf teams finished their season with a team/individual sweep of region championships, a state runner-up trophy for the girls, and a third-place state finish for the boys. Even better news is that the teams’ success is being led largely by sophomores.
Sophomore Kyndall Shamblin shot 75 for medalist honors at the region tournament to lead the Raiders to the team title and, with the help of an 80-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole in round two, fired two rounds of 74 at the state tournament to finish third individually for the third straight year. Baylor finished runner-up to state champion St. Agnes. Shamblin, named to the All-State team, was also the individual champion, and senior Preslee Yoder was runner-up at the City Prep Championship, leading the Baylor girls to the team title.
The Baylor boys improved by 19 strokes on day two of the state tournament to land in a tie with McCallie for third place. Sophomore Sheldon McKnight chipped in for an eagle on the seventh hole of round two at the state tournament to finish in a tie for third place individually. Sophomore Brett Cooper’s 69 won the region individual championship and led the Raiders to the team title, beating runner-up McCallie by four strokes.
The Baylor boys also tied for second in the City Prep, were second at the Tennessee Golf Invitational, and repeated as champion at the Matt Cunningham Preview at Greystone, played in memory of Matt Cunningham ’06. McKnight was the individual Preview champion.
McKnight was named to All-Region and All-State teams with senior Demi di Matteo joining him as All-Region.
Volleyball Third in State
The Baylor volleyball team’s run for a state championship ended with a four-set loss to Knox Catholic in the semifinal round of the state tournament. The Raiders had lost to eventual champion Briarcrest in the first round but beat Harpeth Hall to stay alive. Five of Baylor’s six set losses against Briarcrest and Catholic were decided by two or three points. The third-place finish is part of a four-year Baylor run that includes the 2017 state title and runner-up finishes last season and in 2016.
The 2019 Raiders won the 21-team River City Rumble for the fourth straight year, took the Silver Division championship at the Southern Invitational in Atlanta, and finished third in the WillCo Tournament in Nashville. Baylor, 30-10, will lose only one starter to graduation.
Junior Elaine Redman and sophomore Sierra Herndon were named to the All-Region team with Redman taking MVP honors. Junior Tess Margio was Honorable Mention All-Region.
Baylor Crews Make History at the Hooch
The Baylor rowing team made school history at November’s Head of the Hooch regatta, one of the world’s largest rowing competitions, held in Chattanooga. Seniors Katie Nelson, Jack Anderson, Lake Watson, Max Smith, Kennedy Watson, and Natalie Lopez Durel, and juniors Chris Young, Caroline Chapman, and Dana Mays rowed the varsity mixed 8 boat to the team’s first ever gold medal.
The varsity 8 boys’ crew (seniors Anderson, Lake Watson, Smith, and Ronin Kmeta-Suarez, and juniors Young, Liam Barks, Peyson Pearce, Patrick Stultz, and Isaac Waxenberg) finished first among scholastic teams and fourth out of 85 boats overall. The girls’ varsity 8 boat (seniors Lopez-Durel, Kennedy Watson, and Grace Rollins, juniors Chapman, Mays, Ellie Tomisek, and Rebecca Watson; sophomores Ella Webb and Maya Wiisanen) was third among scholastic teams and 24th out of 81 overall.
All-State Runners Webb and Davis Highlight Cross Country Success
Freshman Helen Webb finished fourth overall and senior Emmy Davis was seventh to garner All-State honors and lead the Baylor girls’ cross country team to a third-place finish at the TSSAA state championships in November. The Raiders also won the Front Runner Area Championship for the fourth straight year, were the Fast Break Invitational champions, took first in the McCallie Invitational, and were fourth at the Tennessee Classic.
The Baylor boys’ cross country team, led by sophomore Xian Campbell and senior Silas Gartman, finished second at the Fast Break Challenge, third at the Southern Showcase in Huntsville, and eighth at the state championships.
Baylor Soccer Narrowly Misses State Appearance
The Baylor soccer team narrowly missed another appearance in the state tournament, losing 3-2 to Pope John Paul II in the play-in round of the tourney. The Raiders, 8-8-3, had beaten Chattanooga Christian 5-2 three days before to gain third place in the region standings and the playoff berth. Senior Cambell Green, sophomores Aliya Cooper and Melissa Oliveira, and freshmen Addison Yelton and Bella White were named to the DII AA East All-Region team.