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White Station Spartans are MAM Christmas Tournament Champions

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“Words are spoken but you let your actions do your talking,” is a quote used by Coach McClain to his new championship team. The White Station Spartans are the champions of the widely renowned Memphis Athletic Ministry Christmas Tournament this year.

This Tournament started in 1991 by Dr. Larry Edwards. In 1995, Dr. Carl Flinn, a pediatric ophthalmologist, became involved and the tournament was named the Peepers Optical Tournament after his practice. Renamed the MAM Christmas Classic in 2004, the tournament has 150 to 200 recreational, church and school teams for boys and girls ages 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 and under participating every year. Games are played at various urban and suburban locations throughout the county. (mamsports.org/basketball/)

Coach Ronald McClain is in his 3rd year coaching at White Station Middle as head coach. With a very impressive background in basketball, the leadership of these young men is definitely in good hands. McClain attended Horn Lake High where he played basketball and continued on to play at University of Memphis, then overseas.

When asked about the victory, he was very proud yet modest about his entire team. I asked about his stand out players this year, and he mentioned his entire starting lineup. Leading man Trey Davis was one of those, and the tournament’s MVP. “He is just an outstanding young man on and off the court,” said McClain. He also mentions Calvin Temple, Braxton Winford, Avant Blueitt, and CJ Garner as superb players.

I was interested to see how strenuous the work outs were especially around the Christmas holiday for the Spartans. Athletes tend to get a smaller amount of time “off” than other students. And there was no exception for this team. They only had one week off without practice and resumed the very next day after Christmas.

“We plan to finish strong this season in our district,” said McClain. As he explains how long of a road the team still had to go. They want to win their division, win city title, and compete for the state sectional championship. They also have it in mind that they will have to beat out Cordova who happens to be number one at the moment. McClain gives special thanks to his associate head coach Jerry Dover Jr. for without him, the team wouldn’t be where they are.

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