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Former westside high school athletes making college waves

Ex-BHS AquaDogs Matt Jacobssen, left, and Cody Nicely.- Photo Submitted
A series of former westside high school athletes have played key roles in their college teams’ success in men’s track, men’s swimming and diving and women’s basketball.


Three former Farragut High School track and field stars made a huge impact upon Middle Tennessee State University’s push toward winning the recent Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track Championship by contributing 24 points.

Those 24 points, compiled by James Thomas, Willie Parker and Greg Jones, were huge as the MTSU Blue Raiders won the conference meet by only 12 points against No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette (124 to 112).

Thomas, a 5-foot-11, 275-pound freshman shot put and weight throw specialist, finished second in the weight throw (15.68 meters) and sixth in the shot put (14.32), earning 11 points.

Parker, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore who is also a shot put and weight throw specialist, finished fourth in the shot put (14.87) and seventh in the weight throw (13.24), earning seven points.

Jones, a 6-foot, 165-pound sophomore sprinter and jumper, finished third in the triple-jump (15.06) earning six points.


Giovanni Price, a 6-foot senior, ended a solid career at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., nursing what turned out to be season-long foot injury according to her former coach, FHS skipper Mike Driver.

But the former Lady Admiral star post (Class of 2000) earned TAAC All-Freshman honors in 2001 as the team’s second leading scorer at 9.4 points per game, then led Samford in scoring as a sophomore with 11.2 points per game. The 21-year-old is a pre-pharmacy major.

Though only a freshman at Samford, 6-foot post Alex Munday led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 14.2 points per game. “She was (Ohio Valley Conference) Freshman of the Week for six consecutive weeks,” Driver said.

Freshman point guard Leah Lancaster has earned the back-up point guard role for the powerful Hiwassee College Lady Tigers in Madisonville, currently ranked among the top-10 junior college teams in the nation.

Summer Dalton, a 5-foot-10 freshman shooting guard at Charleston Southern University (S.C.), had two big games in mid-season with increased playing time before suffering a foot injury.

Dalton scored 13 points in a 77-52 loss to William and Mary Dec. 31, then came back with a 15-point game in a 56-52 setback to Costal Carolina Jan. 10.

Furman University freshman post Jessica Lange is being red-shirted this season, according to Driver, who added that Lange is “very smart” and should benefit from the red-shirt year at a “tough school.”


Two former westside high school swimmers and divers made waves last month in the North Coast Athletic Conference swimming and diving championships in Canton, Ohio.

Cody Nicely, a 2003 Bearden High School graduate and Wittenberg University freshman, was named NCAC Diver of the Year after winning the 1-meter diving competition (309.40 points) along with a fourth-place finish in 3-meter diving.

Matt Jacobssen, another 2003 BHS graduate and freshman swimmer at Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio), placed second in the competitive 500-yard freestyle (4:33.88) and 1,650-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.48). Jacobssen earned national cuts in each event while also receiving All-NCAC recognition.


Jess Metcalf, a 2001 Webb graduate now at The College of Wooster (Ohio), placed 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Clint Nicely, a 2001 Farragut High School graduate and fellow Wooster swimmer, placed 17th in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle.

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