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Top local sports stories from ’21

By CHRIS SIERS ~ sports@t-g.com
Posted 1/4/22

Earlier this week, we took a look at the first four highlights from the 2021 year. Here are the top four stories that hit the headlines among Bedford County.

No. 4 Webb girls basketball wins title …

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Top local sports stories from ’21


Earlier this week, we took a look at the first four highlights from the 2021 year. Here are the top four stories that hit the headlines among Bedford County.

No. 4 Webb girls basketball wins title
The Webb Lady Feet capped a special season among perhaps the most difficult of any circumstances in our lifetime amidst the global pandemic.
the Webb Lady Feet (28-2) finished their historic season, defeating Providence Christian Academy (22-10) on the floor of the Hooper-Eblen Center on the campus of Tennessee Tech, beating the Lady Lions 54-38 to claim the Division II Class A state championship.
"It's pretty special. We've made history all year, with the first regular season district championship, district tournament championship, region tournament championship and now the state championship. Those were all firsts this year," Webb coach Matt Shewmake said following the team's first-ever state title.
The victory finished what's been a remarkable turnaround for the program, having won just four games a year ago.
For the second-straight game, senior Lashae Dwyer took over the game and led all scorers to guide the Lady Feet to the win.
Against PCA, Dywer finished her high school career on a high note with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
The state championship marked the fifth time Webb and PCA faced off this season, with Webb laying claim to all five meetings.
"They played a lot more zone today. Like I told my team, it really has nothing to do with the other four games. This game is this game. They have to all come in and perform. That mindset kind of put them in the right mindset to finish," Shewmake said.
Even in his first year at the helm for Webb, Shewmake hopes the run this season is a sign of the change in culture at Webb.
"This is a historically prestigious academic school. We can do both here. We can excel in athletics and excel in the classroom," he said.
In addition to the typical new coaching challenges, Shewmake also had to account for COVID-19 restrictions.
"Early in the year, we only had four to practice. One kid was quarantined for 24 days. We were fortunate enough to not have any cases, but we were contract traced to death. It was challenging figuring out ways to practice with four, was challenging. We want to be overachievers. It made an extra competitive edge for us," he said.
"Everybody had to deal with it and we tried to make the best out of it. Being at Webb helped. Being a small school and being where we have kids boarding on campus really helped."
In addition to Dwyer's tournament MVP honors, Simpson-Whitely and Vann also earned all-tournament honors, with the Webb cheerleaders earning the spirit award.
"It's pretty special. Not a lot of people in this century can say they're the first-ever in school," Shewmake said.
* Original reporting by Chris Siers

No. 3 Evan Woosley-Reed wins third title
In 2018, the state of Tennessee got a taste of what then-freshman Evan Woosley-Reed could do on the major stage with his second-place finish in the state tournament.
Woosley-Reed followed his runner up finish in ’18 with three-straight state titles to cap what’s been one of the most storied golf careers.
At Willowbrook Golf Club, he posted a cool 142, two-day score and finished second in the Small Class tournament.
He followed with back-to-back state titles at Willowbrook as a a sophomore and junior, and to be frank, not much has changed atop the leaderboard in the past three seasons.
Woosley-Reed completed his historic career on Friday at Sevierville Golf Club, the site of the 2021 state championship and recorded his third-straight state title to end his career at Cascade.
In perhaps his toughest fight of his high school career, Woosley-Reed out-dueled North Greene’s Aidan Collier to win by one stroke to record his state title.
Through the first day of competition, Woosley-Reed posted a 66, two strokes up on Collier, but saw the North Greene standout shoot a 65, one stroke up on Woosley-Reed, on the second day of the tournament.
Even with Collier’s 65 on Day 2, Woosley-Reed was able to keep his composure and make back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 on Day 2 before closing out with a birdie on the Par 5 Hole 18 to secure his third-straight title.
Woosley-Reed wasn’t the only Cascade golfer to make an appearance in the state championship.
After the conclusion of his senior season, Woosley-Reed made it official and signed his letter of intent to continue his golf career at the University of Tennessee.
His career closely mirrored that of his mother, former Shelbyville Central Golden Eaglette Tiffany Woosley.
His three state titles followed that of his mother, Tiffany Woosley, and nearly mirrored her career.
It seemed only fitting he continue fulfilling the legacy by attending the University of Tennessee, just like his mother.
Being able to follow in his mother’s footsteps meant a lot to the three-time state champion.
“It means a lot. A lot more opportunity for myself. It gives me a chance to prove myself when I’m not only at Tennessee, but even past it. She’s helped me a lot throughout the way and I just can’t thank my parents enough. Every step of the way, they’ve been there to help,” he said.
*Original reporting by Chris Siers

No. 2 Keon Johnson drafted
Keon Johnson became the face of local basketball during his years at the Webb School.
He was a two-time Mr. Basketball award winner and eventually forged his path to the University of Tennessee.
After his freshman season, Johnson declared for the NBA draft.
In July, his dream of becoming a NBA player became official as Johnson was selected by the New York Knicks drafted Johnson 21st overall before trading him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
He’s spent time with the Clippers and in the G league so far during his career.

No. 1 Sports resume normal schedules
The 2020 calendar year rocked society like no other before it.
Life changed for virtually everybody in every facet of life—sports were no different.
Fan capacity was limited in the stands, players were limited in their ability to do preseason work and how many people were allowed to participate in practice and the list goes on and on.
But the important thing is, sports endured.
Sure, there were games canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks and people had to adjust, but sports endured.
That 2020-2021 calendar year taught us that sports can endure during a global pandemic.
As society continues to forge through this pandemic and hopefully inching closer to an end of the COVID-19 plague, we’ve learned just how to continue life.
While society still is nowhere close to “pre-covid” normal, the spring and fall of 2021 looked as close to normal as we’ve seen in two years.
There perhaps hasn’t been a bigger story locally, nationally, or even globally, that sports have resumed to somewhat normal levels.
In a society that is so divided in virtually every other aspect, the importance of sports being able to bring together people of different backgrounds, beliefs and creeds cannot be undervalued.