Loud Rutherford County students cheer MTSU men to ...

Loud Rutherford County students cheer MTSU men to win

The 6,000 Rutherford County Schools’ students were often loud. Maybe too noisy for the visiting Trevecca men’s basketball team. But the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders did not mind at all.

Propelled by the cheering crowd of youngsters and other fans, the Blue Raiders raced to a 104-52 victory against the NCAA Division II Trojans Friday (Nov. 10) in a regular season game in Murphy Center.

Thousands of Rutherford County Schools' students cheer on the Blue Raiders.

Thousands of elementary students from Rutherford County Schools cheered on the Blue Raiders, who beat Trevecca 104-52 Nov. 10 in an education-driven game that brought 6,000 children to campus. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

It marks the second year of the partnership between MTSU athletics and men’s basketball and the county schools.

Lydia Braswell, 11, sang the national anthem with other Rockvale Elementary School students. Homer Pittard Campus School’s Deacon Jones, 11, stood next to the Raiders Giddy Potts while the anthem was being performed. A third fifth-grader, Eli Coffman, 10, of Buchanan Elementary, won a green Huffy bicycle during a musical chairs (minus the chairs and using a large rubber ball) halftime activity.

Braswell said it was “awesome and incredible … this was a great opportunity” to sing in front of thousands of people, including her peers. “This was so much fun.

Campus School fifth-grade teacher Debbie Frisby said Jones was selected to stand next to a Blue Raider player or coach “because of the way he handles the responsibility as leader of the flag corps” at school.

“It was fun to do that and just getting to come here,” Jones said. “He (Potts) patted me on the back, then had to get back to the team.” Jones also enjoyed the free time being with his friends from school.

A slightly surprised Coffman said it was “cool” to win the bicycle.

A musical chairs-type game with no chairs and a big rubber ball was part of halftime activities.

In a musical chairs-type game minus the chairs, children from Rutherford County Schools pass the ball clockwise, hoping to remain in the game each time the music stops during halftime of the Middle Tennessee-Trevecca men’s basketball game in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“This shows we have a great community partnership with the school system and we also made it educational,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said.

For Rutherford County Schools’ Director Don Odom, the partnership “is about implanting possibility.”

“There are many children who have never had the opportunity to step onto a college campus and today’s event was a good opportunity for students to see others performing at a high level at a university,” Odom added.

The students enjoyed singing and dancing to “YMCA” and other songs played throughout the game.

Four players scored in double figures for the Raiders, who were led by Nick King’s 17 points and six rebounds. Coach Kermit Davis played 13 players, substituting frequently, with 11 different players scoring.

Middle Tennessee (1-0) returns to action Monday, Nov. 13, at Murray State.

Rockvale Chorus members high five an MTSU player after singing the national anthem.

Members of the Rockvale Chorus provide a high five to an MTSU basketball player after they sang the national anthem before the start of the Blue Raiders Nov. 10 game against visiting Trevecca University. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The Rockvale Chorus sings the national anthem before the MTSU-Trevecca basketball game.

Members of the Rockvale Chorus perform the national anthem Nov. 10 before the Middle Tennessee-Trevecca men’s basketball game in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Rutherford County Schools' students high five Middle Tennessee men's basketball coaches.

Members of the Middle Tennessee men’s basketball coaching staff receive high-fives from Rutherford County Schools’ students Nov. 10 during the education day game in Murphy Center. MTSU beat Trevecca 104-52. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)