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‘Old’ flame of success burning bright at Cypress Middle School

by Andre Mitchell
Special to the Tri-State Defender

Since the school opened in 1967, winning has been a major part of the sports tradition and legacy at Cypress Middle School, a North Memphis icon.

 The Lady Timberwolves of Cypress Middle School reached the halfway point of the season undefeated in small school division Area 1-A. (Courtesy photos)
 The Timberwolves ride a 12-1 record into the second half of the season at Cypress Middle School.

Back in the day, students enrolled at Cypress Junior High School were treated to a feast of success, especially in athletics. It did not matter what the sport, often times, Cypress was sure to perform extremely well.

With the first half of the middle school basketball season complete, teams are now heading down the stretch and looking to place themselves in the best position for the post season. This season both the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams at Cypress have done an excellent job building on tradition. The young Lady Timberwolves squad is currently undefeated in small school division Area 1-A, and the boy’s only have one blemish on their record after thirteen games.

Each team has the skill and talent to run deep into the post season and possibly all the way to the city championship.

Coach Paul Henderson leads the Lady Timberwolves in his fifth year at the helm. He said the biggest challenge he faces with his squad is trying to keep his girls focused on the importance of doing well in class, in their extra curricular activities and in life.

The boys are led by Coach Jason Johnson, who, in his second year at Cypress, has helped put the program back on track. Coach Johnson has his hands full with making sure his team does what they are supposed to do in the classroom and outside of the classroom as well. He notes that he has a team of guys who like one another and who don’t mind doing whatever it takes to win.

While Henderson and Johnson each are delighted that their team is doing well, each is thrilled that the other’s team is clicking. That sentiment is also part of the Cypress tradition.

Middle Schools news and notes

The first half of the 2011-12 middle school basketball season is complete. Many of the 17 large division and 22 small division middle school teams have already competed against their league opponents at least once. Several Memphis-area boy’s and girl’s teams have gotten off to a terrific start this season.

In the girl’s large division:

Hickory Ridge (Area 2) and Snowden (Area 1) both lead the charge in their respective divisions as undefeated teams. Other teams to watch for: Craigmont, Cordova, and American Way.

In the girl’s small division:

Lester and Cypress are the teams to beat. Other teams to watch: J.P. Freeman, Geeter, Vance, and Corry.

In the boy’s large division:

Craigmont, Kingsbury, Snowden, Ridgeway, American Way, Havenview all could be in the thick of things at season’s end.

In the boy’s small division:

Cypress, Lester, Sherwood, Hamilton, J.P. Freeman, Airways, Riverview and Southside all prepare to tip-off for the remainder of regular-season league play. The second half of the season is significant to team momentum and post-season tournament seeding. Although the teams to watch are favored and expected to do well, there are no guarantees except that one team will hoist the championship plaque or trophy at the end.

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