Brentwood Academy coach Brad Perry might not claim to be a jig-saw puzzle expert, but he and his coaches keep finding ways to piece together a state championship team every year.
The Eagles claimed their third straight TSSAA State Boys Div II title Friday in Murfreesboro with 155 points. Harding Academy was second with 104 points.
"I have to give my coaches and the kids credit," Perry said. "They figure out ways to help us keep winning. Sometimes it may mean moving an athlete from one event to another and the kids buy into it and do what it takes to help us win." It was BA's 23 state crown.
"I think we've been so successful because we get a lot of support from the school, the parents and the kids," said Perry. "The kids have the right mentality and are willing to work hard every year, especially our seniors. That's been a big factor in our success."
Perry again credited the coaches with the Eagles success.
"I can't do it all by myself," he said. "I need and get plenty of help from all of the other coaches and they are good at what they do."
BA's lone first place came in the triple jump where Michael Archie leaped 45'-2''.
"This team's a lot different from last year's," Perry explained. "We don't have a super star like George Patrick this year. We really had to rely on our balance and depth in every event." BA qualified 31 athletes for the state meet.
"That put us in a good position to win going in, but we still had to perform,"said Perry. "I think we scored points in every event we had someone qualified in so we really did well, especially our seniors."
BA wasn't the only team to defend its title as Memphis Central and Knoxville Catholic were repeat champs.
Like the Eagles, Central relied on its depth in certain events to capture its 11th team crown with 671/2 points. Brentwood finished a close second with 60 points.
"We're happy to three peat," said Memphis coach Rashard Haynes. "It was tough competition and we had some things happen, but the kids pulled it out."
Junior Courtney Thomas won the 300 hurdles in 38.47 for the Warriors only top spot.