Harding Athletic Highlights - August 25, 2023

Jason Embry
Hawks Fall to BGA in 2023 Season-Opener
The Harding Academy Hawks traveled to Franklin on Thursday, August 17 to take on the Battle Ground Academy Wildcats in the season-opener for both teams. The Hawks got off to a great start scoring the first two touchdowns, but were unable to hold the lead in the second half and came up short, losing 24-14. 

This game was a tale of two halves. Harding Academy got on the board first with a touchdown pass from Robert Topping '24 to Cam Boudreaux '24 (Valor). Landon Willis '24 (Valor) then made a spectacular run cutting the whole back across the field to score giving Harding a 14-0 lead. The Hawks held that lead until :02 to go in the half when BGA was able to connect on a long touchdown pass, making the score 14-6 at the break.

In the second half, Harding players struggled with cramps and multiple starters were out for extended periods of time in both the 3rd and 4th quarter. Harding's offense struggled to produce much yardage in the second half, but maintained a 14-12 lead up until the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter. In the end BGA scored the go ahead touchdown and then added an insurance score with a long run at the :25 mark of the 4th quarter to set the final score at 24-14. 

Harding is back in action on Thursday, Aug. 31 with a home game against Pope Prep at 5:00pm. We hope to see a large crowd for our season-opener! Go Hawks!

5th Grade Football Opens with a Victory!
Last Thursday (8/17), the Harding Hawks 5th grade football team took on Oak Hill Academy for their season opener. It was a hard battle from the start between the two well-prepared teams. It wasn't until midway through the second quarter that Quarterback Bennett Khazanov (USN) was able to break free for a long touchdown run. Tight End Jackson Williams (USN) was able to cap off the long touchdown with a 2-point conversion catch putting the Hawks up 8-0 heading into half-time.
 The tough offensive line for the Hawks was able to put together a few more good drives but Oak Hill's relentless defense kept the score 8-0 through the third quarter. The Hawks were able to recover a fumble and hold the Oak Hill offense to a scoreless three quarters. Key tackles from Nash Donahue and Rex Waddey, followed by an interception on the Oak Hill goaline by Bennett Khazanov sealed the deal in the fourth quarter with only seconds left in the game. The Hawks were able to take a knee running out the rest of the clock and winning their first game. 
The fifth grade football team will travel to take on Lipscomb Academy this Saturday (8/26) at 9:00am in hopes of keeping their winning season alive. Go Hawks!

Harpeth Hall - Varsity Volleyball Season Opener
The Varsity volleyball team opened their competitive season away at Harpeth Hall (HH). The HH Honeybears defeated the Harding Hawks in both sets, 25-14 and 25-14. The Hawks had clear shining moments in the match including Adrienne Number's (7th) serving streak, Sumner Hanks' (6th) hustle and leadership, and Margaux Brown's (8th) serve receive. The team stayed positive and confident throughout the match as they shouted volleyball cheers and helped each other in tough moments.

MTB Race #1 - 8/27/23
We had a fun pre-ride on Saturday at Chickasaw State Park and the trail was perfect! Then, it stormed overnight causing wet, muddy and slick trail conditions for today's race. The athletes were understandably nervous, but, nevertheless, ready to race. Claire Dehner (7th) was our first athlete to race and she finished almost 10 minutes faster than her time last year, even with harsher trail conditions compared to last year. Grant Alpert (8th) got a flat tire at the start of his race, but didn't let that stop him. He got it fixed and was back on the trail to ride his lap and finished with a big smile on his face. Levi Orley (7th) had a good first race of the season, finishing 2 minutes faster than last year. This was Robert Thompson's (7th) first mountain bike race and he can be very proud of his time. I'm confident he will enjoy continued success the rest of the season. Thank you to all the parents for supporting our mountain bike program. I'm excited to coach these young athletes and watch them grow and develop in so many ways. Our next race is on 9/10 at Pugh Bourne Park in Oakfield, TN.

6th Grade Football Splits Opening Two Games of 2023 Season
The Harding Hawks 6th grade football team is off and running! The season started on August 19 with a home opening victory against St. Rose. Though the team has a small roster, the Hawks came ready to play and took the opening possession 60 yards for the game's only score.  Sam Tomichek had multiple hard runs carrying the ball down to the 30 yard line. From there Riley Husbands ran a beautiful bootleg and threw a perfect pass to Ben Drake who broke a tackle and took the ball 30 yards for the touchdown.  Parks Holliman added a tough run up the middle for the two point conversion.  After that, defense ruled the day. As each offense tried to sustain drives, each defense stepped up and made a stop.
Late in the fourth quarter St. Rose put together its best drive of the day and found itself with a first and goal at the Hawks 6 yard line with only 1:30 remaining in the game. The defense led by Campbell Evans, James Held, Griffin Hassan and Wyatt Omary put together an incredible stand and stopped St. Rose at the 3 yard line. The final score was 8-0 Hawks!
The Hawks played its second game against St. Paul a bit later than usual on 8/23 due to the intense heat that day.  Playing again without a full roster the Hawks took the opening drive deep into the Saints territory before a penalty stalled the drive.  Sam Tomichek again had multiple hard runs carrying the ball down to the Saints 30 and Michael Holscher proved himself versatile at Quarterback.  The defense again led by Campbell Evans, Ryan Farr and Riley Husbands provided key tackles for most of the first half before St. Paul was able to score. In the second half, Michael Holscher threw a lateral to Sam Tomichek who then ran 50 yards for a touchdown. Colston Laws provided an interception for a key defensive stop. Final score: St. Paul 22 Harding 6.
The next game will be a Home game on 8/30 vs BGA. Go Hawks!
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit