(T-G File Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
Although the end of 2012 was just last week, the staff of the T-G thought it prudent to revisit some of the top news headlines in the sports world from the last year. This list was compiled of local and statewide headlines that made the airwaves and headlines throughout 2012.
10. Community football
It wasn't the year the Community Vikings football team wanted. But with the best season in school history, it's hard to overlook the accomplishments achieved by the young program.
In all, the Vikings went 4-6 overall and posted a 2-6 record in District 9-A play. While a four-win year was the highest mark achieved by the program, the win that made history came on Sept. 28 when the Vikings picked up their first shutout victory over MTCS, blasting the Cougars 44-0. Freshman kicker Alejandro Pompa also made history against the Cougars, connecting on the first field goal in school history.
The next week, the Vikes one-upped themselves and won two-straight games for the first time in the program's history, beating Huntland 41-21. Community, though just missing out on a trip to the state playoffs, capped off the season with a 48-25 win over King's Academy to conclude the best season in the program's short history.
9. Vanderbilt upsets UK in SEC tourney
There's little question about who was king of the land in hoops last year. John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats went a remarkable 38-2 throughout the season, with the only losses coming to Indiana, and an absolute stunner in the SEC championship in which Vanderbilt shocked the world and dealt the Wildcats only their second loss on the season.
Vanderbilt nearly knocked off the Wildcats on their home court during their second meeting during the regular season, but the Wildcats were able to eventually pull away, 69-63.
In the SEC championship, Jeffery Taylor, Festus Ezeli, and John Jenkins powered the Commodores to the stunning victory, each posting double figures en route to the 71-64 win. Kentucky rebounded and breezed through the NCAA tournament and clinched the 2012 NCAA Championship crown.
(T-G File Photo by Chris Siers)
Vanderbilt hadn't beaten Tennessee in seven years prior to their meeting in 2012. But as the fates would have it, Vanderbilt finally had its way against it's archrival with a 41-18 victory that essentially capped off a disappointing season for Tennessee and set up a chance for Vanderbilt to finish the season strong with a bowl appearance in the Music City Bowl.
In the game, Vanderbilt started slow, but gathered steam with Jordan Rodgers' pass attack and Zac Stacy's run game leading the way, Tennessee simply had no answer. Halfway through the second quarter, then coach Derek Dooley pulled starting quarterback Tyler Bray in favor of backup Justin Worley. Worley did his job, completing 8-of-11 passes for 51 yards, but was picked off once. Bray on the other hand only connected on 11-of-29 attempts for 103 yards and had two interceptions.
Instead, it was Rodgers' 245 yards and 2 TDs that led the air attack, while Stacy charged ahead with a 85 yards on the ground and one TD of his own.
Tennesee kept it close, only trailing by a field goal after the first half, but Vanderbilt broke the game wide open with a 21-point third quarter to seal the deal, and Dooley's fate.
7. Derek Dooley fired
As if the Tennessee Volunteers couldn't have a rough enough season with SEC losses to every conference opponent until facing the Vanderbilt Commodores on Nov. 17. Vanderbilt continued Tennessee's woes with a victory that all but sealed coach Derek Dooley's fate. Already under a hot seat, Dooley's command of the Volunteers came unraveled against a Florida in a second half meltdown in which Tennessee lost all control of the game and eventually was defeated 37-20. It didn't help playing Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, and South Carolina in secession.
While losses against Georgia and Alabama weren't a huge shock to the Rocky Top faithful, Mississippi State and an 3OT loss to Missouri helped fan the flames under Dooley's seat. Tennessee fans had enough and showed Dooley the door following the loss to the Commodores.
With a bowl bid completely out of reach, Tennessee did rebound against Kentucky in the final week of the regular season and dealt the Wildcats a 37-17 loss. Since Dooley's termination, the Volunteers have hired Cincinnati coach Butch Jones to take the lead in 2013.
6. Allison Clark resigns
Following a two-year campaign as head coach for the Shelbyville Central Golden Eaglettes, Allison Clark resigned to pursue other opportunities, opening up a position filled with tradition and history.
The powers that be didn't have to search long or very far for a viable replacement. Golden Eagles coach Kevin Thomas agreed to take over as the skipper for the Eaglettes. Assistant Stan Eggelston was named the new head coach for the Eagles.
(T-G File Photo by Danny Parker)
Clark graduated from Shelbyville in 1997 after a very successful high school career as a point guard under former Eaglette coach Rick Insell.
She was a Street & Smith's, WBCA and USA Today All-American and was named the Midstate Player of the year as a senior.
She was part of three state championship games, helping the Eaglettes claim a state title in 1995.
Clark began her collegiate career at North Texas, earning Sun Belt All-Freshman Team honors while setting a school records for 3-pointers in a season.
She then transferred to Tennessee Tech to get back closer to home. At Tech she garnered All-Ohio Valley first-team accolades as a junior and was named to the OVC All-Tournament team as a sophomore and junior.
Clark set the single season and career marks for 3-pointers in school history and was presented with the Ed Steitz Award as the best 3-point shooter in the country by the National Basketball Hall of Fame.
After graduating from TTU in 2002 she spent one season on the coaching staff at Tech before taking a graduate assistant position on the Arkansas staff. She later completed her master's degree in sports management before joining the coaching staff at Middle Tennessee.
Look for the conclusion to last year's top 10 sports headlines to appear in a later edition of the T-G.