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Reading Successes, Transitions Headline Education News in Crockett County
Ron Barry

By Ron Barry

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

"A book, too, can be a star, 'explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,' a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." – Madeleine L’Engle

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

“The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

Back before Christmas of 2023, Ashlee Hall was among a contingent of Crockett County educators attending a conference sponsored by Save the Children Tennessee, a branch of the international organization whose mission is to stamp out poverty while improving education access worldwide. As Friendship Elementary School’s Reading Ambassador for Save the Children, Hall was given the Read Best Program Award for 2023 by STC.

The organization selected Hall – and Friendship – because the school had completed the 2022-23 school year with 64 children having read 5 MILLION words’ worth of books.

That’s a pretty impressive number.

So what are we supposed to think NOW following an announcement by Friendship Principal Cindy Nolen – about to begin a transition herself – who emailed Crockett County Director of Schools Phillip A. Pratt this little tidbit: “Our little school just reached a HUGE milestone! Last year we read 5 million words and we have been working so hard this year to top that mark. As of May 14, we have read… 10 MILLION words! 71 kids who have reached a reading level have read 10 MILLION words! That’s remarkable!”

For a reference point, that’s an average of 140,845 words per kid. That’s the equivalent of each reader working his or her way through one-fourth of War and Peace, a literary classic often cited as one of the longest books ever written. It’s the same as reading more than three-fourths of the way through the New Testament of the Bible.

Nolen – who calls the Save the Children reading initiative the single best program undertaken since she’s been a principal – credits Hall’s constant encouragement to the students as a key to the school’s achievement.

“Ashlee is our Reading Ambassador funded through Save the Children and she has pushed our kids to this finish line,” Nolen said. “I couldn’t be more excited and proud of all of our students, teachers, and staff who have supported them this year. Now let’s see what we can do for 2025!”

Hall says the students are the ones to celebrate.

“Every goal we set this year, the students would meet it and just keep going,” she said. “Last year, 64 students read over 5 million words. This year, 71 students read over 10 million words. They accepted the challenge and far surpassed what they set out to do. We are so proud of all their hard work.”

The success of the Save the Children program isn’t limited to Friendship. Maury City Elementary – which basically has twice as many students as Friendship – announced in a Facebook post that its readers had amassed 20 million words and passed more than 13,000 comprehension book check quizzes. Tammy Womack is the reading ambassador at Maury City.

At Gadsden Elementary, where Cassie Pearson is the Reading Ambassador, considerable numbers of students from each classroom have been saluted online in school posts for completing their Accelerated Reader goals.

Friendship’s accomplishment is especially gratifying for Nolen, as it represents the most recent memory of her years of service as Principal there. Nolen will be transitioning into the position of Supervisor of Instruction and Curriculum for Grades K-5 for the Crockett County School District, replacing Katie Mansfield – who will now be performing that role for Bells City School, teaming up again with new Superintendent Boone Parlow.

Friendship’s teachers and staff honored Nolen with a reception just before the close of the school year.

“Thank you to everyone who came to the sweet reception honoring me for my years as Principal at FES,” Nolen said. “The last 12 years have flown by and I have loved my time there. Best wishes to Ms. Leah Camp as she becomes Principal and Mr. Austin Kissel who joins us as Assistant Principal. They are both fantastic! I am looking forward to seeing you all in the fall in my new role for Crockett County. I am so proud to continue to work with each of you and serve our wonderful Crockett County schools.”

The 2024 graduates of CCHS hold special meaning for Mansfield, as they comprised her first group of Second Graders when she taught at Maury City Elementary.

“I had 11 boys and four girls in my homeroom and Latoya Woodson-Henning had 11 boys and four girls,” Mansfield said. “We swapped classes that year so we both got to teach each other’s homeroom. To me they will always be my babies, no matter how big and grown they get. It was one of my favorite years because I also got to teach them in Eighth Grade plus some other really great kids.”

Mansfield is grateful for her time spent within the Crockett County School District.

“God has blessed me with opportunities over my career to work with the best and learn from great leaders,” she said. “I am looking forward to a new chapter in my educational career at Bells City School beginning this summer. I have been blessed to have worked at Crockett County School District for the past 12 years with some great leaders and teachers. I am grateful for my time at Crockett.”

Ashlee Hall -- Friendship Elementary's Reading Ambassador for Save the Children -- works with children during a space-themed event encouraging reading at the Blue Cross Park near CCHS.

Teachers and staff from Friendship Elementary flank Principal Cindy Nolen (center, black top) at a reception honoring her 12 years as the FES leader. She will be the Crockett County School District's new Supervisor of Instruction & Curriculum for Grades K-5 for the 2024-25 school year.

Cindy Nolen will be replacing Katie Mansfield (center) -- pictured here with CCHS graduates Malea Kail and Gabby Claybrooks -- who will be going to Bells City School in the same position.

An example of Ashlee Hall's initiatives at Friendship Elementary: A blacklight-lit Glowing Goal Getters Party in the FES gym for all those who reached their reading goals.

The FES kids played innovative games that glowed under the blacklights, in recognition of their reading achievements.

Crockett County Director of Schools Phillip A. Pratt stands with Save the Children Reading Ambassadors Tammy Womack (Maury City), Cassie Pearson (Gadsden), and Ashlee Hall (Friendship).

Friendship's Ashlee Hall -- seen here with Save the Children's Sandy Arnold -- received the Read Best Program Award for 2023 from Save the Children Tennessee at its annual conference.

 

BOE Appreciation Banquet Honors Outstanding Local Educators
Ron Barry

By Ron Barry

The completion of a school year affords community leaders an opportunity to express appreciation for a job well done.

For the Crockett County Board of Education, a May 7 banquet at The Old Country Store in Jackson was the venue to recognize its top educators for 2023-24 as well as extending sincere thanks to four retiring school personnel.

The event featured official recognition of the five Crockett County Teachers of the Year, Principal of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, as well as the granting of tenure to six educators and an appreciative sendoff to the quartet of retirees. Some of the award winners had been previously announced earlier in the school year, but the annual banquet is when the official recognition is delivered.

The five Teachers of the Year are: Amanda Masters of Friendship Elementary, the school’s physical education and STEM teacher, who also was selected as the System-Wide Teacher of the Year for the Pre-K through Fourth Grade division; Laura Ann Nanney of Gadsden Elementary, a Third Grade teacher; Tiffany Nelson of Maury City, a Third Grade ELA teacher; Brandi Taylor of CCMS, a science teacher also named System-Wide Teacher of the Year for Grades 5-8; and Julie Nass of CCHS, a biology teacher also chosen as System-Wide Teacher of the Year for Grades 9-12.

Christine Schwartz of Maury City was selected as Principal of the Year and Judy Hoover – Supervisor of Instruction, Curriculum, and Assessment for the Crockett system – was named Supervisor of the Year.

Crockett’s Teachers of the Year designation is a part of the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program, with the goal of recognizing and celebrating the wealth of excellent teachers that exist across the state.  According to the program’s directives from the Tennessee Department of Education, “We applaud teachers who prioritize the needs of all children, who devote their professional lives to enriching the lives of Tennessee students, and who demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement.”

Additionally, the program aims to: (1) Promote effective teaching practices by recognizing and rewarding outstanding teachers; (2) Engage regional teachers of the year in education policy through the Teacher Advisory Council; (3) Encourage participation by every school in the state so that all areas across the state and all types of teachers are represented; (4) Provide a network for teachers to share effective practices; (5) Encourage a sense of professionalism in teaching; and (6) Encourage greater participation in building a strong community-school partnership.

Teachers of the Year are selected competitively through five cycles: school, district, region, grand division, and state in three grade bands: pre-k, elementary, middle and high school. 

Teachers of the Year at all levels must: (1) Be a facilitator of learning, skilled in implementing research-based and creative teaching strategies; (2) Show evidence of positive teacher effect over time related to student achievement through formal and informal documentation; (3) Be able to explain, discuss, and defend a personal philosophy of teaching; (4) Have a broad understanding and current trends and issues in education; (5) Be poised, articulate, enthusiastic, and energetic; (6) Be exceptionally dedicated to the teaching profession; (7) Have a superior ability to instill in students a love of learning; (8) Be recognized as leaders in the community as well as in the school; (9) Show active involvement and leadership in professional development and extra-curricular activities; and (10) Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues.

In addition to the honoring of the Teachers of the Year, the Crockett Board of Education also awarded tenure to the following six educators: Mary Kate Gourley, CCMS math teacher; Doug Wede, CCMS ISS/Alternative teacher; Rachel Conner, elementary special education teacher; Jenna Cherry, elementary Fourth Grade ELA teacher; Tammy Womack, Save the Children Reading Ambassador; and Chelsea Deaton, elementary First Grade teacher.

For a director of schools to recommend a teacher be granted tenure by the local board of education, the

teacher must first meet these requirements: (1) Has completed a probationary period of five school years or not less than forty-five months within the last seven-year period, the last two years being employed in a regular teaching position rather than an interim teaching position; and (2) Has received evaluations demonstrating a level of overall effectiveness (LOE) of "above expectations" or "significantly above expectations" as provided in the evaluation guidelines and rules adopted by the state board of education, during the last two years of the probationary period.

Crockett’s Board also saluted four retirees: Kent Scott, CCHS math teacher; Sherry Ingram, elementary Fourth/Fifth Grade ELA teacher; Kim Irvin, elementary RTI teacher; and Mike Bell, CCMS principal.

Amanda Masters of Friendship Elementary -- System-Wide Teacher of the Year for Grades Pre-K through Fourth.

Laura Ann Nanney -- Gadsden Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Tiffany Nelson -- Maury City Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Brandi Taylor of CCMS -- System-Wide Teacher of the Year for Grades Fifth through Eighth.

Julie Nass (center) of CCHS -- System-Wide Teacher of the Year for Grades Ninth through Twelfth. Flanked here by her track and cross-country team seniors Kristin Lewis, Joy Evans, Casey Thornton, and Leyla Silva. Evans and Thornton -- along with their sisters Claire Evans and Avery Thornton -- placed eighth in the TSSAA State Track & Field Championships in the 4x800-Meter Run.

Christine Schwartz of Maury City Elementary -- Principal of the Year for the Crockett County School District.

Judy Hoover -- Supervisor of Instruction, Curriculum, and Assessment -- Supervisor of the Year for the Crockett County School District.

Chelsea Deaton -- elementary First Grade teacher -- was granted tenure.

Rachel Conner -- elementary Special Education teacher -- was granted tenure.

Doug Wede -- CCMS ISS/Alternative teacher -- was granted tenure.

Tammy Womack -- Save the Children Reading Ambassador -- was granted tenure.

Jenna Cherry -- elementary Fourth/Fifth Grade ELA teacher -- was granted tenure.

Mary Kate Gourley -- CCMS Mathematics teacher -- was granted tenure.

Kent Scott -- 38 years of teaching Mathematics and coaching -- was honored at retirement.

Sherry Ingram -- 30 years at Gadsden Elementary, teaching Fourth and Fifth Grade -- was honored at retirement.

Kim Irvin -- more than 20 years at Friendship Elementary as RTI teacher -- was honored at retirement.

 

 

 

Crockett County High School Art Students Display Talents at Semester's End
Ron Barry

By Ron Barry

[The software utilized to post more vertical pictures on this website may alter or trim the edges of the original artwork to some degree. Therefore, this article appears on Facebook with all artwork contained in its entirety. We wanted to make sure each art piece is presented there as originally painted.]

CCHS art teacher Amber Graves continues to be amazed by the talents her students consistently display in her classes, despite the absence of coordinated art programs in the county's elementary schools.

Pictured here are selected works from the final projects turned in by students in Art 1 & 2 classes (freshmen and sophomores) and -- on the ceiling tiles -- seniors, who are invited to "leave their mark on the school," according to Graves.

The Art 1 & 2 students are given assignments which allow their creativity to flow within a loose boundary of restrictions, such as: Draw an animal precisely, but then paint it abstractly (such as the first few entries that follow); or, do a self-portrait that also expresses what you are sometimes feeling inside you.

"I'm always blown away by what some of these students come up with," Graves said at the semester's conclusion. "With very little training before high school for some of these students, their abilities are remarkable. I want the community to see how well these kids express themselves through art."

Following are some of the offerings from the semester. The ones toward the end are painted on ceiling tiles and are actually installed there inside the art classroom. (All photos by Ron Barry)

By Ben Burgess

 

By Daniel Ibarra.

By Sophia McGowan.

By Ethan Rickard.

 

By Miley Silva.

 

By Auriana Taylor.

By Kaden Stitts.

By Angela Chihuahua.

By Julie Chapman.

By Joana Aguirre.

By Aleya Valenzuela.

By Addalynn Dunn.

By Brianna Rios.

By Aracely Procopio.

By Ariana Steed.

By Andrea Velazquez.

By Layla Tillman.

By Zayda Avery.

By Ashley Morales.

 

 

Crockett County High School Graduates 180; Seniors Acquire $3.2 Million in Scholarships
Ron Barry

By Ron Barry

A day that began with thunder and lightning ended with a dazzling display of accomplishment Friday as Crockett County High School awarded diplomas to 180 graduating seniors at Cavalier Stadium.

While the early part of the day threatened an on-time start of the planned ceremony, by the time 7 p.m. rolled around, the setting sun was out, the temperature was near-perfect, and the atmosphere in the facility was joyful and expectant.

After the class processional put the seniors in their seats, Becca Butler had sung the national anthem, Principal Jerrod Shelton had welcomed the crowd, and the gathering heard speeches from valedictorian Thomas Long, salutatorian Casey Thornton, and senior class president Mary Reece Wilson, Shelton returned to the podium to honor those with specific academic achievements and to announce that – collectively – this senior class had amassed a staggering $3.2 million in scholarship assistance for their continuing education.

Dawn Carmack, Grades 6-12 Supervisor of Instruction for Crockett County Schools, then read the name of each individual graduate as Director of Schools Phillip A. Pratt shook each senior’s hand and awarded the diplomas.

The class stood as one to sing the Alma Mater, played by the CCHS Band and led by six members of the 2025 senior class: Karlee Castellaw, Ella Cate Haynes, Maddie Moore, Brennan Morris, Carley Lampley, and Emily Morales.

Following a prayer by senior Jack Rawson, senior Bailey Ann Whitby led the class in the changing of tassels and in their final dismissal as a collective class, resulting in an enthusiastic tossing of their mortarboards (academic caps) high into the air.

The class of 2024 dedicated this graduation in memory of their former classmate Lucky Ray King. An empty chair was reserved for King among the seniors, with a large photograph of the late student placed with it. King would have been a senior in this class, but was killed in a car accident when he was 13.

At the conclusion of the graduation ceremony, the field was filled with families and friends commemorating the evening with smiles, hugs, and phone photos. It was a great evening to be a Cavalier.

Assistant Principal Tres Goldsby lines up the 2024 Senior Class of CCHS for the opening processional into Cavalier Stadium. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Senior Class Vice-President Samuel Hatcher takes part in the opening processional. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Gracelyn Miller -- a senior with the honors of Academic Excellence, Beta Club, Graduate with Distinction, and Ready Graduate -- enters the stadium in the processional. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Cavalier soccer team captain Edgar Juarez marches in the opening processional. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Kyla Phillips, with Academic Excellence, Beta Club, and Ready Graduate status, waves to family while entering the stadium. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Members of the CCHS Band play the endless rounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" until all 180 seniors had reached their seats. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Becca Butler sang the national anthem to open the graduation ceremony. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Thomas Long, Crockett's Gold Star Student this year, delivered the Valedictorian Address. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Casey Thornton -- Senior Class Sgt. at Arms, Star Student, and four-sport letterman -- gave the Salutatorian Address. (Photo by Ron Barry)

The final student address of the evening was delivered by Senior Class President Mary Reece Wilson, shown here happily receiving her diploma later in the ceremony. (Photo by Ron Barry)

CCHS Principal Jerrod Shelton announced that the Senior Class had been awarded more than $3.2 million in scholarships and grants by colleges, universities, technical and trade schools, and area businesses. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Crockett County Director of Schools Phillip A. Pratt then began distributing diplomas, including this one to Senior Class Secretary Allie Williams, another Beta Club member and Graduate with Distinction. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Star Student Addi Beth Work earned every academic distinction possible on the way to her diploma. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Senior Jayden Maddox -- both a Star Student and a star athlete -- awaits her row's turn to approach the podium to receive her diploma. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Carmen Jelks was all smiles to receive her diploma from Director of Schools Phillip A. Pratt. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Receiving their diplomas brought out some of the biggest smiles imaginable from Crockett's seniors, such as Libby McBride ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and Charity Greenhill ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and Dwight Yancy Jr. ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and Haley Aldridge ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and the one that has lit up many a volleyball court, softball field, various classrooms, and agricultural exhibitions -- Brooklyn Haynes. (Photo by Ron Barry)

The Alma Mater was led by Class of 2025 singers (from left) Emily Morales, Carley Lampley, Brennan Morris, Maddie Moore, Ella Cate Haynes, and Karlee Castellaw. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Senior Class member Jack Rawson led his fellow students in a closing prayer. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Seniors switch over the sides of their tassels on their academic caps, signifying graduation from high school. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Led by Bailey Ann Whitby (at the podium), the Senior Class tosses its mortarboards into the air as the class is officially dismissed. (Photo by Ron Barry)

After the ceremony, family and friends flooded the field to take pictures with their graduates. Among them was Beta Club member, Graduate with Distinction, and softball/volleyball star Lynden Cole, who revealed that her lucky "Ducky" blanket was under her robe with her to bring comfort and relaxation. (Photo by Ron Barry)

 

 

Munford Upsets Crockett in Soccer Sectional Saturday; Cavs' State Bid Ends
Ron Barry

By Ron Barry

There was an eeriness hanging around Cavalier Stadium all Saturday afternoon.

Maybe it was the rainstorm that forced a 90-minute delay of the scheduled game. Maybe it was the continued threat of wet weather that subdued the crowd. Maybe it was the contrast from the sense of absolute joy in the facility the night before, when CCHS held its graduation ceremony.

Maybe it was the pressure of a “win-or-go-home” match – with the tension always heightened when you’re the heavy favorite. Maybe it was the assumption – felt by many who follow high school soccer in West Tennessee – that just making it to the Sectional would guarantee a State Tournament bid for the Region 7 team, because the squads from Region 8 won’t furnish much opposition.

Whatever it was, something just didn’t feel right as the duel between the Cavaliers and the Munford Cougars began. And as the day wore on, the eeriness turned to uneasiness as Crockett wasn’t separating itself from its foe on the scoreboard as it had done so efficiently all season. The uneasiness turned to tension as the game went into an overtime, and then a second one.

Finally, as the match then went into a “Golden Goal” situation – each team receiving five penalty kicks in alternating fashion, one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper – the realization kicked in that this situation was exactly the one on which Munford had staked its entire game plan.

In essence, the Cougars knew they couldn’t outscore the Cavaliers if they played the game normally. They simply don’t have the offensive firepower that Crockett has.

So head coach Jarrod Magan formulated a plan that concentrated simply on stopping the Cavs from scoring. Virtually ignoring the offensive component of the game entirely, Munford kept its entire on-field lineup close to its own goal box, doing its best to completely clog up the middle so it was virtually impossible for Crockett to get clean shots.

Munford put so much emphasis on this strategy that its offense did not make even a single strong rush at the Cavalier net for the entire 100-minute total duration of the regular halves and both overtimes. Its lone score came as the result of an inadvertent “handball” called against a Cav defender in the goal box with 21:33 left in regulation, awarding a penalty kick to the visitors. Eli Magan made it count, giving Munford the tally it needed to offset Chris Cerda’s first-half Cav goal after a pass from Angel Garcia with 19:56 remaining until the intermission.

For its part, Crockett played into the Cougar strategy by emphasizing a multiple-pass, backfield-oriented, extremely patient offense that was noticeably different – and less energetic – than what had been its usual go-for-broke, risk-reward, constantly attacking entertainment package that produced the “fun” that characterized this season’s success.

And when it came time to crank it up in the final minutes, Munford’s middle-clogging strategy held up, assisted mightily by the play of freshman goalkeeper Devin Byus. The Cougars’ bespectacled netminder had made a variety of fearless plays throughout the game, often moving well away from the net to leap on a loose ball or deflect a shot or crossing pass. He’d also personally stooped two Crockett penalty kicks during regulation time, another reason Munford was going to be content to get into a “Golden Goal” situation.

It eventually came to that, with the game deadlocked at 1-1 after two scoreless overtime periods in which Munford players rarely even glanced at the Cavalier goal. The Cougars were staking it all on the penalty kicks.

When Munford successfully made its first boot and Byus then thwarted the Cavs’ first attempt, the tension in the stadium began to morph into a “sick-to-the-stomach” feeling. The Cougars made their second shot – quickly matched by Crockett’s Garcia – and then their third. Byus guessed correctly again and stopped Crockett’s third kick, and when the next Cougar successfully found the netting, Munford had secured the stunning upset, and the berth in the TSSAA State Tournament that most everyone had already assigned to the Cavs.

Byus – easily the star of the game for Munford – said afterward that he actually does have a strategy for stopping penalty kicks, on which goalkeepers are allowed to move laterally but cannot come forward toward the kicker until the ball is struck.

“I watch the kicker’s eyes as he places the ball on the ground and as he sizes up the kick,” Byus said. “As he nears the ball, I shift my focus to his hips, because the ball is going to follow the hip movement. If the hips move in the same direction as he’s been looking most, I get a pretty good idea which way to move.”

Adding even more surprise to the Sectional matchups was the news that Region 8 champion Millington had knocked off Region 7 runner-up Dyersburg 1-0, which means that neither Region 7-AA Tournament finalist will be in the field at the State Tournament.

The heartbreaking defeat ended one of the most successful seasons in Crockett history. The Cavs posted a 16-2 record, suffering only this loss and a 4-3 decision to powerhouse USJ. The Cavs claimed their third consecutive Region 7-AA championship. Although double-digit goal scorers Edgar Juarez and Eddy De La Rosa graduated Friday night, the vast majority of the roster will return for 2025.

Through their 18 games this season, here are the final statistical totals for Crockett players: GOALS – Luke Carter 28, Christopher Cerda 24, Edgar Juarez 19, Eddy De La Rosa 11, Braulio Marquez 9, Angel Garcia 4, Leo Arreola 3, Angel Martinez 1, Adrian Calderon 1, Jathen Young 1, Mason Wood 1; ASSISTS – Braulio Marquez 18, Edgar Juarez 17, Christopher Cerda 15, Luke Carter 9, Angel Garcia 8, Eddy De La Rosa 4, Ozzi Sanchez 3, Adrian Calderon 1, Santiago Santos 1, Max Utley 1, Leo Arreola 1, Eduardo Galvez 1, Camden Martin 1, Mason Wood 1, Noah Mayfield 1.

In the only fully successful offensive sequence of the day for Crockett, Chris Cerda speeds past a Munford defender and uses his head to momentarily control a lob pass from Angel Garcia, ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... then transferring control to his feet, managing to begin his shot as he's hit from behind by the Cougars' Nolan Falcon, a tactic Munford used frequently against Crockett shooters all day. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Despite being belted from behind, Chris Cerda got the shot off before tumbling to the ground, and it eluded charging Cougar goalkeeper Devin Byus - the only thing that got past him in the entire afternoon. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Chris Cerda took some extra punishment on his goal, getting crunched by two Cougars after falling to the ground. But he'd netted his 24th goal of the season for a 1-0 Cavalier lead. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Finishing off the sequence, Cav teammate Luke Carter comes over to help make sure Chris Cerda's bones are all still intact after the punishment he took from the Munford defense. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Chris Cerda also took an elbow to the face on this corner kick as he, Angel Garcia, and Eddy De La Rosa all leap in an effort to head the ball toward the Cougar net. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Crockett's Luke Carter tries to head in another Cav corner kick on this play, which also shows how many players Munford was consistently dropping into the box to prevent good shot opportunities. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Another example of the effectiveness of Munford's bunched defense in the box: Crockett shooters had to try to put a little loft on the ball at times, in order to get over the Cougar wall. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Crockett's Angel Garcia tries to blast a shot through the Munford wall, but there are five defenders in front of the goalkeeper to knock it away. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Another play showing the activity of Munford goalkeeper Devin Byus, here swatting away a high kick while Daniel Grajeda (6), Luke Carter (1), Max Utley (5) and a mostly-hidden Angel Garcia (8) try to position themselves for a chance. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Munford's Devin Byus slide-kicks this ball away just before the Cavs' Luke Carter can finish off a shot attempt. Near-misses like this were abundant on the day. (Photo by Ron Barry)

In the first overtime, goalkeeper Devin Byus slides into this shot attempt by Chris Cerda, taking away Crockett's best chance to score in the two extra periods. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Cerda was reasonably miffed on the play, because it looked like he had a breakaway until Byus took the initiative to dive toward it. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Late in the game, Luke Carter was on the run and appeared to have an open shot when he fell to the ground, ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... prompting a howl from the Crockett fans (and from Carter himself) that he'd been fouled, ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... but this shot from the beginning of the play, before any contact, clearly shows that the Munford defender had his foot on the ball first. It was that kind of day for Crockett. (Photo by Ron Barry)

On yet another Cav scoring chance, this cross shot from Braulio Marquez (21) sailed just wide left of the goalpost ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and this one by Eddy De La Rosa slid through the wall of defenders but clanked off the top bar of the net to miss being the game-winner by inches. (Photo by Ron Barry)

When it was all over, Chris Cerda was alone with his thoughts of what could have been - and perhaps building the determination that he's not going to let this feeling happen again if he can possibly help it. (Photo by Ron Barry)

Crockett bids adieu to graduates Edgar Juarez (9), ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... Eddy De La Rosa (2), ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... Ozzi Sanchez (12), ... (Photo by Ron Barry)

... and Leo Arreola (24). (Photo by Ron Barry)

Crockett County's 2024 Cavaliers: District 13-AA and Region 7-AA Champions, 16-2 overall record. (Photo by Ron Barry)