Jordan Wright trainee at the Nashville Superspeedway

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Basketball star Vanderbilt Jordan Wright quickly keeps company thanks to his summer internship.

Wright bounced back from the field after finishing the season as the Commodores’ second leading scorer behind Scotty Pippen Jr. on the Nashville Superspeedway track, where he played a part in the second annual NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400.

His plan since arriving at Vanderbilt from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was to land an internship involving sports. But he thought it would probably be related to basketball, football or baseball.

He had to change gears to go to work on a NASCAR track.

“There was a connection with my coach (Jerry Stackhouse) and the president of the Nashville Superspeedway (Erik Moses); they both went to North Carolina,” Wright said. “Talking to Coach Stackhouse and our chief of staff Adel Harris, who was a coach at UNC Wilmington, they knew I wanted to do something in the sport and they had talked to President Moses about an opportunity at Superspeedway. It sounded pretty interesting, so here I am.”

Moses was drafted to North Carolina in 1992 when Stackhouse was recruited by the legendary Tar Heels coach dean blacksmith. One of Moses’ fraternity brothers was Stackhouse’s host during his official visit to Chapel Hill.

“They had known each other since high school, and Jerry and I had a lot of mutual friends,” Moses said. “We’ve become friends since I moved to Nashville, but we definitely knew each other before I moved here.”

Stackhouse served as an honorary race official at the Ally 400.

Moses went full throttle with Wright’s internship.

“A lot of what Jordan did early on was help us prepare for race weekend,” Moses said.

“It involved everything from building our VIP list and all of our credentials, to monitoring me over the race weekend, to my interviews and discussions we had internally. Ultimately, he’s been a big part of bringing together what we’ve been able to do this year versus last year.”

Wright went from having very little interest in NASCAR to being a racing enthusiast. He’s found himself paying attention to Sunday racing since the Ally 400 and is certain he’s made the best choice for an internship that will help him with his double major in Human and Organizational Development and Communications as well as the basketball court.

“Being in that environment gave me the opportunity to see if there are any similarities between running and basketball and I discovered there are a lot of them,” Wright said. “You just have to see President Moses’ leadership qualities in running his organization and their parallel to basketball.”

Wright got to hang out with a few NASCAR Cup drivers – Chase Elliot and Bubba Wallace – before the race. Elliott won the Ally 400 while Wallace went from being in contention to having trouble with his pit crew and finishing in the top 10.

“If President Moses hadn’t told me it was Chase, I never would have known,” Wright said. “He’s so laid back, so humble. He’s got a very calm demeanor. We had a good conversation about the track and how he thought it was going to go. Bubba was kind of the same – just laid back and laid back. Both of them are really down to earth guys.”

Wright’s internship ends in early August before Vanderbilt heads to Europe for a 10-day tour that will include four exhibition matches. Before that, however, he hopes to be able to drive the Ally 400 race car on the Superspeedway track.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

TSU QB Draylen Ellis made preseason All-OVC team

After playing his first two seasons at Austin Peay, quarterback Draylen Ellis (9) has been transferred to Tennessee State.

Tennessee State has placed six players on the Bluebloods 2022 Preseason All-OVC football team, including one who has never played for the Tigers.

Strategist Draylen Ellis joined the team after being transferred from Austin Peay, where he played two seasons. Ellis was the 2020 OVC co-freshman and 2021 second-team All-OVC. He threw for 3,895 yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons at Austin Peay.

Also on the first team is offensive lineman TSU Robert Laceydefensive linemen Terrell Allen and Terray Joneslinebacker james green and return specialist Dayron Johnson.

Tennessee Tech defensive back Josh Reliford also made the team.

Austin Peay moved to the Atlantic Sun Conference and had three players on that preseason all-conference team, including running back Josh Samuelwide receiver Drae McCray and bettor Matt Rigney.

MTSU tight end Mike Clark dies at 58

mike clark

mike clark, one of the best tight ends to ever play for Middle Tennessee State, died Tuesday after battling cancer. He was 58 years old.

Clark was an Associated Press all-state defensive end at Greenbrier in 1982. He signed with MTSU to play linebacker, but came out of spring training in 1983 as the starting tight end for the Blues. Raiders.

In 1984, he made the All-OVC team after having 19 catches for 251 yards and two touchdowns and helping lead MTSU to an 11-3 record and the semifinals of the FCS playoffs (then Division I -AA).

Clark had two catches for 84 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown in the Blue Raiders’ 42-41 triple-overtime quarterfinal win at Indiana State.

Clark was also an all-around high school basketball player.

After graduating from MTSU, Clark had a long career as a subway police officer.

Cumberland land to renovate

Renovations are underway on Cumberland’s Nokes-Lasater field.

Improvements to the historic field will include new artificial turf, a jumbotron scoreboard, sidewalks, game clocks and more.

“The project will not only improve our teams’ ability to recruit outstanding student-athletes, but will also extend the hours of operation for our high-demand field space,” said the athletic director. Ron Pavan said. “It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time and I’m thrilled to finally see it come to fruition.”

The turf will be multipurpose and lined with football, soccer and lacrosse markings

The jumbotron video scoreboard will be located on the south side of the stadium. New game clocks will also be installed.

The stadium track will be removed and replaced with sidewalks and new fencing.

Columbia State AD retires

Johnny Littrell will retire as athletic director of Columbia State on August 31.

Littrell, 65, has been the school’s AD since 2016, when he replaced Louis Conner.

He came to the school in 2001 as a softball coach.

Sophie Linder wins Tennessee Junior Amateur

Sophie Linder revives her Female Golfer of the Year award during the Middle Tennessee High School Sports Awards, presented by Farm Bureau Health Plans at Marathon Music Works, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sophie Linder of Gordonsville won the Tennessee Golf Association Junior Amateur Girls Tournament at Henry Horton.

Linder, 17, a three-time TSSAA small school state champion and Tennessean Golfer of the Year, shot a 6 of 216. Molly Hardwick of Nashville finished second at 9-over, and Emily Wilson of Brentwood tied for third at age 11.

In the boys’ tournament, Michel Hake (5-under) from Brentwood finished tied for third with another golfer while Tommy Premier and Blades Brown (4-under) from Nashville tied for fifth.

Sheldon McKnight d’Ooltewah won the boys’ tournament with an 11-under 205, and Cooper Solberg of Memphis finished second with 7 under.

MTSU Sports Town Hall Features Local Media Personalities

MTSU will host a True Blue Town Hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. on July 20 at The Listening Room on 4th Ave. South.

City Hall will feature local media personalities Joe Dubin, Jonathan Hutton and Chase McCabe discuss Blue Raiders football with NIL, transfer portal and other topics. The voice of the Blue Raiders Chip Walters will be the moderator.

A meal will be served. To attend RSVP to mtalumni.com/blitz.

The Blue Raider Blitz will also be stopping on site that day from 6-8 p.m.

Stefan King joins Tennessee Tech hoops team

Stefan King

Stefan King joined the Tennessee Tech men’s basketball team as director of basketball operations.

King has spent the past three seasons as a graduate assistant at Mobile University.

Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Luverne (Alabama) High.

King attended Troy (2016-18), where he worked at the athletics ticket office.

Bo Roberts will sign his book on August 9

Bo Robert will sign his book Forever Young at Jimmy Kelly's Steakhouse on August 9th.

local author Bo Roberts will be signing his book “Forever Young; The Youngest as a World’s Fair president, editor, Governor’s cabinet leader & university vice president”, at Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse on August 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Roberts, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, is a longtime member of the Nashville Sports Council and currently serves on the executive committee.

The Volunteer State Golf Tournament will take place on August 1

The Volunteer State Athletic Association golf tournament is scheduled for Aug. 1 at Tennessee Grasslands.

The tournament will be played on the Lake Course.

Registration will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by a shootout at noon.

Fees are $150 for individuals and $600 per team. This includes driving range, hole contests, lunch and dinner.

To register in advance, call 615-230-3506 or email volstate.edu/foundation/golftournament.

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

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