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Local Athlete Named to 2017 America’s Qualifier Team for Wheelchair Basketball

Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tenn.

(Smith County Insider Press) Gordonsville, Tenn. – Gordonsville native, Morgon Wood, makes national headlines again by being selected as 1 of 12 athletes to represent United States at the 2017 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation America’s Zonal Qualifier. Wood also made headlines last March by helping her team, the Lady Movin’ Mavs, win the National Championship for Women’s Wheelchair Basketball. Below is a press release from National Wheelchair Basketball Association regarding Wood’s recent nomination:

Three returning U.S. Paralympic gold medalists will highlight the roster of 12 athletes that will represent the United States at the 2017 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation America’s Zonal Qualifier, set for Cali, Colombia, August 21-30. Leading the team is two-time Paralympian Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, who was a significant contributor to the gold-medal performance in Rio. Miller, a three-time Para Pan American gold medalist, has also played on two World Championships teams, winning the gold in 2010. 

This is the first major event for Team USA as they start the roll towards the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Team USA must place in the top four at the America’s Qualifier, in order to compete at the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. The 2019 Para Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, is the other major event for Team USA.

Also making the America’s Zonal team, were Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, and Vanessa Erskine of Kearney, Missouri. Dunkin a student-athlete at the University of Texas at Arlington, also was a member of the gold-medal winning 2015 Para Pan Am Games team. Erskine, a two-time College National Champion for the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, currently plays professional wheelchair basketball in Germany.

Dunkin will be joined by two other athletes who currently play for the University of Texas at Arlington. They are Josie Aslakson of Jordan, Minnesota; and Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee.

The University of Alabama is represented by Emily Oberst of Brookefield, Wisconsin, and Brittany Gustafson of Monticello, Minnesota. Miller also graduated from the University of Alabama. Shelby Gruss of Ossian, Indiana, was selected and plays for the University of Illinois.

In addition to Erskine, Lindsay Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon, has made the cut and attends the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Sarah Heinzl of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is on the roster of 12 and attends the University of Arizona.

The depth of women’s wheelchair basketball in the United States is prevalent as two high school athletes were selected: Riley Ljungdahl of Longmont, Colorado; and Zoe Voris of Crown Point, Indiana.

NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, will serve as the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. Johnson, a 15-time U.S. Men’s National Team member and two-time Paralympic medalist, will be assisted by Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Athletic Trainer Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, and Team Leader Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado, return for a second term.

The U.S. Women’s returned to the top of the podium at the Rio Paralympics, marking the third Paralympic gold medal in the last four Paralympics Games (2004, 2008, and 2016). The U.S. Women’s team dominated the field in Rio going undefeated, 7-0, and maintains the medal count lead with seven Paralympic medals, including four gold medals.

Last summer, Team USA led six statistical categories over the seven-game stretch at the Rio Paralympics. It is the third time that the United States has gone undefeated at the Paralympics, en route to the gold medal. Team USA led shooting percentage at 53.8 percent; points for at 505 points (72.1/game); assists with 178 (25.4/game); fouls with 55; and the least turnovers at 61 (8.7/game). The United States was second in points against with 42.3 per game.


Owl Basketball Camp Registration

You can now register online for OWL BASKETBALL CAMP!!! Please follow the link below to do so! We do not have online payment setup yet, so you will still have to mail your check in. We are going to have a great camp this summer!

Click here to register!


NCTV Interviews Owl Players and Coach about Buzzer-Beater Shot

A buzzer-beating shot by Jaylon Shepperson off a long pass by Carson Hackett propelled the Owls to a 60-58 win over DeKalb County Monday night, February 13, in the 8-AA District Tournament at Tennessee Tech.

The Owls would fall short of victory Wednesday night against Livingston, but not before that game-winning shot from Monday night could go viral.

Local news stations in Nashville showed footage of the incredible play during their sportscasts.

The play even caught the eye of ESPN’s Sports Center.

The SportsCenter Instagram account shared video of the shot, which has accumulated over one million views in less than 24 hours.

NCTV recently interviewed Coach John Sanders, Jaylon Shepperson, Carson Hackett, and the radio announcer, Terry Collins about the amazing shot and national attention. Watch below:

Salisbury Named Campbell Trophy Semifinalist by the NFF

Press Release

IRVING, Texas – Senior tight end Trey Salisbury was named as a National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Campbell Trophy semifinalist.

He is one of 156 nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

Austin Peay is one of four schools that have had a student-athlete named to a Campbell Trophy semifinalist in 11 straigth seasons. APSU is one of three FCS schools in that grooup and  the only scholarshiped FCS program.

After redshirting in 2012, Salisbury spent the first season competing for time on the defensive line before settling into a niche as tight end for the Govs. He has hauled in 10 passes for 142 yards during his career while seeing action in 34 games. He is a two-time Dean List’s member and a six-time Athletics Director Honor Roll recipient.

The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

“These 156 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”

Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.1 million.

“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates.”

Fans can follow all the action from the 2016-17 season on, on Twitter @LetsGoPeay & @AustinPeayFB and on Facebook at

Click HERE to see a full bio on Salisbury’s career at Austin Peay.

Academics: Dean’s List (S13, F15), Athletics Director’s Honor Roll (S13, F13, F14, S15, F15, S16)

2015: In first full season on offensive side of the ball, appeared in all 11 games and made five starts… caught passes against Mercer and Southern Miss to open the season… lone multi-catch outing came at Murray State (two catches, 28 yards)… caught passes against Jacksonville State and Tennessee State, finishing the campaign with six catches for 60 yards.

2014: After spending a couple of seasons fighting for time on the defensive line, seems to have found a home at tight end… after spending a few weeks working at the position last fall, closed the regular season strong with four catches in his last three games… hauled in two passes for 59 yards, including a 40-yard reception, against Tennessee State.

2013: Played in 11 games for the Govs in 2013… had two tackles in season opener against Tennessee… had another two- tackle game at Tennessee Tech.

2012: Used 2012 redshirt season to add bulk and strength to frame.

High School: Played multiple offensive and defensive positions at Smith County High School… recorded more than 180 tackles in his final two prep seasons… as senior recorded six quarterback sacks along with seven other tackles for loss… also forced four fumbles… voted first-team All-State as senior by Tennessee Sports Writers Association… named first-team all-district as both junior and senior… selected Most Outstanding Defensive End as senior and chosen first-team All-Upper Cumberland as senior after earning second-team as junior.

Personal: Business finance major… son of Bryan and Marsha Salisbury… born March 10.

Trey Salisbury #86 - Austin Peay Govs

Trey Salisbury #86 – Austin Peay Govs

Lady Owls Face Toughest Challenge Yet Against Livingston

The Lady Owls played a tough district game against the Livingston Academy Wildcats last Tuesday evening, September 13. Livingston came out strong and scored within the second minute after kickoff.  Th Lady Owls were unsuccessful in tying up the score as Livingston pulled further ahead with another goal, which was scored by number 19 as she charged the ball.  This caused Lady Owl goalie Tori Lankford to challenge the player one on one, but she missed the ball, and the Wildcats were up 2-0.

With only 15 minutes left in the first half, Maijala Harrelson was able to put Smith County on the board as she received a pass across the six, putting it into the lower corner far left.  The Lady Owls felt a glimmer of hope to tie up the game before halftime, with trailing by one point. This was not to be the case, however, as the Wildcats were given a free kick. The kick landed off a Smith County defender near the upper left corner, which then sent the ball across the six and into the net. The goalie attempted to lay out for the ball but missed. The score was 1-3 Livingston Academy.

The second half still proved to be challenging for the Lady Owls when the Wildcats broke down the defense with the long ball to 19 once again and scored within the first two minutes of the second half.  Number 19 scored yet again when a ball was chipped over the Smith County defense from the Wildcat midfield,allowing her to run onto it and one touch it into the net. This put the score at 1-5 Wildcats.  The Lady Owls seemed defeated, as another goal was landed by a long ball to 19, seconds later — bringing the score up to 1-6.

Coaches Dunbar and Smith knew something had to be done in order to contain the long balls being played to number 19, so they subbed out mid-fielder Abbi Gregory in order to put her at sweeper in the back.  This position is created in order to catch any long balls that are chipped over the original defensive line. In doing so, the opposing team can’t run onto the ball and score behind the defense. Once the plan was in place, they moved Caitlin Griffin into the sweeper position and Gregory back to mid-field.  The change in formation worked for the Lady Owls.  The Wildcats still played the long ball, but Griffin was there to regain possession and distribute the ball back up field.  Smith County was able to add another point on the board with a penalty kick. Lexi Felts was tripped in the box, and Abby Smith took the PK.  She was able to keep it low and to the right corner, allowing the Lady Owls to rise and set the score 6-2.  With about nine minutes to go in the second half, Maijala Harrelson was subbed out with Mallory Dillon after taking a direct hit with the ball from the goalie’s punt on top of the head, resulting in a concussion. Smith was then moved to the middle of the field and was able to score one last time for the Lady Owls after taking possession and using the one touch shot into the lower right corner. End of game score was 6-3 Livingston Academy.

Game summary submitted, edited

Lady Owl Captain Abby Smith

Lady Owl Captain Abby Smith

Kristen Shoulders and Caitlin Griffin work together to defend against a Livingston Wildcat

Kristen Shoulders and Caitlin Griffin work together to defend against a Livingston Wildcat

Breanna Clayborne

Breanna Clayborne

Alyssa Williams and Majala Harrelson attempt to score off a corner kick

Alyssa Williams and Majala Harrelson attempt to score off a corner kick

Watertown Unable to Take Down Dominating Lady Owls

The Lady Owls hosted Watertown Thursday afternoon, September 8, at the Smith County Soccer Complex.  They took the pitch and began to dominate almost immediately. 30 seconds into the game, Lexi Felts had a chip over the top of the goalie into the right upper corner, bringing the score to 1-0. Within minutes of the first goal, Abby Smith scored two more for the Lady Owls, putting them up 3-0. The next goal came from a penalty kick taken by Abbi Gregory.  She kept it low and to the right as it rolled right in. Watertown still had not scored.

The 36th minute still showed the Lady Owls had dominance as Abby Smith took a shot outside the eighteen, but it was tipped by the goalie and then walked into the net by freshman Mallory Dillon. The score was 5-0 Lady Owls. Another freshman score came from Kaytlin Patterson, as she won the ball in the center of the field and was then able to drive all the way down, taking a shot just inside the eighteen.

Even with all the scores coming in, the Lady Owls continued pushing forward. Maijala Harrelson was able to score with a pass that came across the six from Cora Bennett.  Senior Abby Smith was able to score with an outside of the foot shot when the ball came from a header, bringing the Lady Owls’ lead to 8-0, and then once again with a pass from Harrelson.  With two minutes left in the first half, senior Breanna Clayborne got her first score of the season as Watertown’s goalie came out of the box, giving her room to push it straight into the net. This ended the first half with score of 10-0.

Once the second half opened up, the Lady Owls scored once again. This time it was a pass across the six from Lexi Felts to Maijala Harrelson. And the duo struck again exactly the same way within a minute, bringing the score to 12-0. Coaches Dunbar, Smith and Bussell started pulling out starters and moving in some of the team’s younger players. Watertown got their first major attempt to get on the board when a hand ball in the box caused a penalty kick. The kick was initially saved by sophomore goalie Chloe Kitchen, but it was attacked in the scramble and then kicked into the net. They scored once again, giving them a total of 2 goals.

The last score of the evening came from sophomore Delany Eldred, as the Lady Owls collapsed on the box after a throw in, which ended in her kicking the ball low and to the left back post as the goalie missed it. Final score was 12-2.

Game summary submitted, edited

Abby Smith

Abby Smith

Cora Bennett

Cora Bennett

Mallory Dillon

Mallory Dillon

Sara Schaffers

Sara Schaffers

GHS Football Coach Featured in the Tennessean – “Gordonsville football coach proud of this loss”

Click HERE to view the full story and an interview with Coach Ron Marshall. 

The Tennessean recently featured Gordonsville High School Football Coach for his life changing achievement of losing over 200 lbs.

Marshall talks about his journey over the past several years and his goals now that he has lost so much weight. Click here to view article.

Coach Ron Marshall - Photo by Craig Harris, The Tennessean

Coach Ron Marshall – Photo by Craig Harris, The Tennessean



Stone Memorial Falls Victim to Dominating Lady Owls Soccer Team

The Lady Owls Soccer Team opened their 4th week of the fall season last Tuesday evening at Stone Memorial High School with the hope of staying undefeated.

The game against Stone Memorial is always a big one. It’s a match up that proves nothing short of intense.  The Lady Owls took the pitch, defending during kick off. Each team worked hard to hold their ground.  The entire first half was scoreless, despite both teams having several shots on goal.

As they took the pitch in the second half, tensions ran high.  The Lady Owls needed to score in order to keep from having a tie. They finally got their chance when Lady Owl mid-fielder Alyssa Williams took control of a Stone pass and moved the ball back up with a pass of her own off to right forward Lexi Felts. She was then able to use her quick bursts of speed to push the ball up the sideline and send it across the six to Abby Smith. Smith turned the ball around the defender and passed the it into the net. The goalie tried to make a dive for it but was too late. This put Lady Owls up 1-0.

Stone was getting their chance at a full-on goal during a break away with one minute left in the game. Senior goal keeper Tori Lankford rushed out of the goal, slid, and tackled the ball. The quick movement of Lankford and loss of the ball caused the Stone player to turn and land awkwardly. After such a serious fall, the player was carried off the field by ambulance. Stone Memorial decided to end the game at that point. It was later found out that the injured player was okay and did not have a serious injury.

The Lady Owls walked away with yet another win, bringing their season to 7-0.

Game summary submitted, edited

Alyssa Willams works to take control of the ball

Alyssa Willams works to take control of the ball

Goal Keeper Tori Lankford

Goal Keeper Tori Lankford

Maijala Harrelson attempting to score off a corner kick

Maijala Harrelson attempting to score off a corner kick

Defenders Kristen Shoulders and Samantha Lewis attempt to corral Stone Memorial's No. 24.

Defenders Kristen Shoulders and Samantha Lewis attempt to corral Stone Memorial’s No. 24.


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