Welcome back to Phil for the Game, your glimpse into the sports community of Boone County.
It has been several months since my last column as we've had a pretty eventful spring sports season. I wanted to congratulate all of our spring sports participants on one of the most exciting seasons the county has ever had. For this column, I want to focus on Sherman High School.
I would be remiss if I didn't start this off with a shout out to coach Jim Henderson's 2019 Class A State Champion softball team, the first team championship in school history. Henderson was a member of Sherman's 1975 state runner-up football team as a player.
The Lady Tide allowed just one earned run in the state tournament and left no doubt about who the best team in Class A was.
In the press box where I was perched, sportswriters from around the state marveled at how loaded the Lady Tide roster is from top to bottom.
It was an honor for me, a 1989 graduate of Sherman, to cover the team throughout the season and through the state tournament. It was satisfying for me to see Henderson bring home the hardware, as I was fortunate enough to play basketball and football for him way back in the day. It was special to the community and I realized how special it was when I met him for lunch at V-Mart and he couldn't walk from the car to the entrance without being congratulated. The community bought in, and the girls took the reins. The first to do it.
That honor was magnified when Autumn Thompson was named the captain of the All-State team and Katlyn Jenkins and Haylee Clendenin participated in the North-South Classic, where Clendenin was named MVP of the south squad (see a feature on Clendenin in our next edition).
Speaking of the North-South Classic, JT Hensley of Sherman was honored with the MVP for the South after the Tidester picked off a pair of passes on defense and scored a receiving touchdown for his squad in the game. As of press time, Hensley is undecided about his collegiate future, but he assured me he'd let me know when a decision is made about whether it will include football, baseball or perhaps both at the next level. I'm certain that one of the most decorated athletes in Sherman High history will be a winner at whatever he chooses to pursue. He notched over 300 strikeouts in the last two seasons on the bump. Sherman's junior softball pitcher Autumn Thompson will likely go down in history when her career is over as the most decorated and recognized athlete to ever wear the maroon and gold. Perhaps nearly as incredible is that she and Hensley came through the school at the same time, just a year apart.
In reference to Hensley, the Tide made it to the state quarterfinals in football under his leadership at quarterback, which kicked off the incredible sports seasons Sherman experienced and gave the Tide three straight playoff berths for the first time ever.
Also, in track and field, Sherman again excelled. The Tide graduates three seniors in Tommy Harper, Ian Beller and Nicholas Salmon.
Harper, who was a state champion in 2018, notched a state runner-up in 2019 for the discus throw and graduated with an improved distance over his 2018 throw. Beller came in third in the shot put, giving Sherman High School two top-three finishes at state.
Tide's future includes sophomore Elijah Edie, who finished in the top 10 of the 100-meter dash finals and in the top 5 in the long jump. Dalton Rollo, a freshman basketball standout, impressed by finishing in the top 10 of the high jump.
Job well done, Tidesters. Your community, county and the entire state has taken notice. You gave us so much to cheer about.
I'll leave you this week with a favorite sports quote of mine. When asked about taking home the state championship trophy, Henderson said this:
"Hey, why would I keep it? It doesn't belong to me. It belongs to Sherman High School and this community that supports us so much."
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.