McGavock High leaper Charles Davis (14) makes a helicopter layup high above Stratford High’s Eddie Matlock for two of his ten points in helping his team win 58-43 over the undefeated Stratford team Dec. 20, 1974. Looking on are Stratford’s K.C. Connell (24) and William Church (34).
Ron Bargatze has accomplished a lot in his life, but he may have waited until now to take on his greatest challenge — identifying the top 30 boys high school basketball players from Nashville and beyond.
Bargatze was a basketball standout at Antioch in the early 1960s who went on to play at Belmont and then coached as an assistant at Belmont, Tennessee Tech and Vanderbilt and as a head coach at Trevecca and Austin Peay.
He also served as a radio color analyst on the college and high school levels for many years.
Goodpasture’s Ron Mercer tip in a missed shot for a basket, but Mercer and teammates lost to Waverly High 76-63 at home Jan. 27, 1993.
So Bargatze, who will be inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in April, has been associated with basketball most of his life. He played against, recruited or observed most of the greatest high school players over the last 60 years.
It’s hard to imagine a person more qualified than Bargatze to identify the top 30 players.
“I wouldn’t call it an official team, but it sure has stirred up a lot of conversation,” Bargatze said. “I have consulted a lot of old basketball wags like myself and opened it up to a vote on Facebook because everybody was saying so-and-so was better than so-and-so.”
Stratford High’s Ray Maddux (45) goes up for two among a trio of North High defenders. But the Yankees of North came away with a 49-37 victory for the TSSAA Region 5 title at Municipal Auditorium March 11, 1967.
Some who are helping Bargatze include legendary high school and college coach Charlie Anderson, who won more than 1,000 games, former Middle Tennessee State coach and athletics director Jimmy Earle, two-time BGA state champion coach Gary Smith and Gallatin state champion coach Jerry Vradenberg.
After he started compiling the list Bargatze said he realized he needed to divide it into two eras — 1960-present and pre-1960.
The geographic boundary is for those who played at high schools from the Tennessee River to Crossville, but most are from the Nashville area.
The only current player on the list is Brentwood Academy’s Darius Garland, a Vanderbilt signee.
“Darius Garland and Ted ‘Hound’ McClain (Pearl High, 1963-66) are the two best guards I’ve ever seen around here,” Bargatze said.
Bill Ligon, left, and longtime friend Eddie Sherlin.
Bargatze is allowing The Tennessean to announce the team during the first week in March.
Along with Garland and McClain some of the top vote-getters include: Charles Davis (McGavock, 1973-76), Jimmy Montgomery (Kittrell, 1960-63), Mike Rhodes (Perry County, 1974-77), Spencer Richardson (East, 1976-79), Tyrus Baynham (East, 1980-83), Johnny Lynn (Beech, 1981-84), Clyde Lee (Lipscomb, 1961-63), Perry Wallace (Pearl 1963-66), John Jenkins (Station Camp, 2006-09), Mike Buck (Clarkrange, 1985-88), Tommy Springer (Glencliff, 1973-76), Eddie Sherlin (Gallatin, 1967-70), David Vaughn Sr. (Cameron, 1968-71), David Vaughn Jr. (Whites Creek, 1987-90), Brandan Wright (Brentwood Academy, 2001-05), Brandon Wharton (Overton, 1992-95), Barry Booker (BGA, 1982-85), Shawn Marion (Clarksville, 1993-96), Ron Mercer (Goodpasture, 1991-94), Ray Maddux (Stratford, 1966-69), Bill Ligon (Gallatin Union, 1967-70). Tyler Smith (Giles County, 2001-04), Tom Marshall (Mt. Juliet, 1947-50), Ronnie Lawson (Pearl, 1958-60), Bill Swain (Madison, 1961-64), Albert Ellison (Linden, 1953-56), Fred Jenkins (Columbia, 1979-83), Jerry Meyer (Lipscomb, 1984-88), Kevin Anglin (Franklin, 1986-89), Charles Hathaway (Hillwood, 1993-96), Mike Jackson (Stratford, 1970-73), Drew Maddux (Goodpasture, 1990-94), Corey Brewer (Portland, 2001-04), Johnny Darden (Springfield, 1972-75), Boots Scott (DuPont, 1957-60), Glenn Moon (Goodlettsville, 1969-72), Kerry Hammonds (Siegel, 2007-10), Marques Maybin (Clarksville Northwest, 1993-96), Larry Marks (Columbia, 1983-86), Calvin Garrett (East, 1972-75), Ronnie Sharer (West, 1955-58), Bobby Langley (Franklin, 1956-59), Marcus Haislip (Marshall County, 1996-99), Carlus Groves (East Robertson, 1986-89), Ron Slay (Pearl-Cohn, 1996-98), Sam Howard (Goodpasture, 1992-96), Trenton Hassell (Clarksville, 1994-97), Jimmy Young (Montgomery Central, 1964-67), Reggie Glimps (Cohn, 1979-82), Thomas Earl Mullins (Maplewood, 1978-81), David Harrison (Brentwood Academy, 1997-2001), James Douglas (Pearl, 1964-67), Mingo Johnson (Overton, 1988-91),
Bargatze is accepting votes through Sunday.
To vote send a ballot with no more than 10 players to email@example.com.
Olympic TV ratings down from 2014
Local viewership during the first week of the Olympics was down significantly from 2014.
The average rating for the first four nights on WSMV-4 was 11.5, according to WTVF-5 programming and research director Mark Binda.
That means an average of 118,531 Nashville households tuned in. That is a 23 percent decline from the first-week average in 2014.
Nashville Soccer Club has added an exhibition game against Lipscomb on March 1.
It will be played at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex at 4 p.m.
Lipscomb is coming off its best season in history after claiming the Atlantic Sun Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
“It is a pleasure to play against such a successful local university here in Nashville,” said Nashville SC coach Gary Smith. “This gives us a great opportunity to continue to evaluate the depth we have on our roster.”
Nashville SC director of communications Austin Gwin previously served as Lipscomb’s sports information director for soccer.
Tickets ($10) are available by calling 615-966-4373 or by visiting lipscombsports.com/tickets.
TV ratings low for Nashville SC’s first exhibition
The game between Nashville SC and Atlanta United earned an 0.5 local television rating.
It means 5,154 Nashville households tuned into WUXP-30 to see Atlanta win 3-1.
Meanwhile, Nashville SC announced on Friday a partnership with WUXP-30 and Sinclair Broadcast Group to televise 27 regular-season games, including all 17 home games.
With the announcement the club confirmed the start times for its complete schedule, which can be found at nashvillesc.com/2018schedule.
Pearl great Smith enters West Virginia Wesleyan HOF
Former Pearl High and Volunteer State Community College basketball star David Smith was inducted into the West Virginia Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame.
Smith was The Tennessean Nashville Interscholastic League Player of the Year in 1981.
He went on to play for coach Bruce Stewart at Vol State and then accompanied Stewart when he was hired at West Virginia Wesleyan in 1982.
Smith helped the Bobcats go 90-13 during his career there and advance to the 1983 NAIA championship game. He was a third-team All-American that season.
Preds extend radio deal with ESPN The Game
The Predators announced a three-year extension in their partnership with ESPN The Game 102.5. The station has served as the team’s flagship since 2011.
“The success or our team would not be where it is today without the dedication and support of the entire 102.5 The Game staff and on-air personalities,” said Predators executive vice president Chris Junghans.
Ex-Blackman star helps Motlow move to No. 20
Former Blackman High standout Isaiah Hart has helped Motlow State climb to No. 20 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 25.
Hart, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, is averaging 20.3 points, which is 23rd nationally.
Kevonte Corley, a sophomore from Antioch, is also a starter.
Longtime Hillwood coach McKinney dies
Former Collinwood and Hillwood football and basketball coach Charlie McKinney died after battling pneumonia on Feb. 10. He was 87.
McKinney, a Birmingham, Ala,. native, began his coaching career at Collinwood in the 1950s and then coached at Hillwood through the 1960s.
He spent a total of 39 years teaching in Metro.
Cumberland’s Perry interning at The Zone
Trenton Perry, a guard from Independence High who is now a senior on the Cumberland basketball team, is doing an internship with the Wake Up Zone on 104.5 The Zone.
Perry plans to pursue a career in sports talk radio.
Sports on Nashville TV
The top five local ratings for sporting events from Feb. 5-11:
1. Olympics: (Feb. 11 prime time), 13.5
2. Olympics: Opening ceremony, 12.8
3. Olympics: (Feb. 10), 11.1
4. Olympics: (Feb. 8), 8.6
5. Olympics: (Feb. 11 afternoon), 7.4
Each rating point is equal to 10,307 Nashville homes.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 senior programming director
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
Brentwood Academy’s Brandan Wright (34) is fouled by Ridgeway’s Derrick Mason (30) as he goes for a basket past Ridgeway’s Ernest Fields during the second half at Belmont’s Curb Event Center in Nashville Jan. 28, 2006. BA won 66-58.
Forty points in a single game-how does David Lipscomb star Clyde Lee (35) do it? Here the 6-9 Mustang goes high to shoot over the defenders of Springfield High. David Lipscomb defeated Springfield 76-57 in the opening round of the Region 5 Tournament at the Austin Peay State CollegeÕs gym March 5, 1962.
Brentwood Academy’s Darius Garland (10) advances past MBA’s Alexander Roberts (22, right) during the first half at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.
Perry County High star Mike Rhodes (20) passes off to a teammate under defensive pressure from Bolton High’s James Wiggins (20) during their TSSAA Class A championship final at MTSU’s Murphy Center March 19, 1977.
McGavock High’s Leroy Jordan (20) puts a fake on East High defender Spencer Richard (42) on a shot attempts at McGavock’s gym Nov. 21, 1978.
Pearl guard Theodore McClain (24) layup for two against Memphis Treadwell. The unbeaten Pearl, with four Negro National championships in their bag, conquered a new world when they smacked Treadwell 63-54 in the finals of their first TSSAA State tournament March 19, 1966.
Glencliff High guard Tommy Springer brings the ball up the court in their 49-48 lost to Hillsboro High Dec. 14, 1973.
East High School basketball player Tyrus Baynham.