Vanderbilt Athletics

Barca Blog - HSM3, country and cartwheels

Oct. 28, 2008

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Talented freshman pitcher Sonny Gray made his Commodore debut in the Black and Gold series last weekend... the same weekend that the much-anticipated blockbuster High School Musical 3 hit theatres across the world.

So what does this have to do with Sonny?

Well, we all know he was a baseball star at Smyrna High School just down the road, and that he also quarterbacked his team to back to back football state championships.

But did you know that he played the lead role of Troy Bolton in his school's adaptation of the popular Disney movies?

"Back then I had long, brown hair just like he (Bolton) did in the movie," Gray remembered. "I don't know how it all happened. I got the part and then I just started singing. The singing wasn't good by any means. I like to think it was, but people tell me it wasn't. It was one of the best things I've done."

So what do his fellow Commodores think about it?

"Jason (Esposito) came over to my grandma's house and she made him sit down and watch the whole thing," Gray said with a smile. "He rags me about it a lot and so does Coach Corbin. Coach was actually there (for the performance). A lot of people give me a hard time, so I just mess with them and bust out singing every now and then. It's all fun."

You can learn more about Sonny, including why he decided to come to Vanderbilt instead of going pro, by watching an interview from last week on - click here.

Also, you can put it on your calendar that I will be going to see HSM3 this weekend with my two favorite ladies - Lauren and Ally. Who knows, maybe I'll write a review about it in a future blog for all three of my readers. To be honest, I'm just glad they aren't dragging me to this movie.


According to Graham Hays of, women's basketball seniors Christina Wirth and Jennifer Risper are taking a class on the history of country music this semester.

Wirth (a long-time country fan) and Risper have been best friends off the court since arriving on campus in 2005, but that doesn't mean their musical tastes have always been the same.

"I kind of like hearing all the history about that and everything that's going on with that," Risper said of the class. "I used to never, never want to listen to country music, but that's because I never really gave it a chance, either."

Read more of Hays' article by clicking here.

Also, congratulations to Christina on her preseason All-SEC First Team selection by the media, but how does Jennifer get left off both the first and second team? At the end of last season, Risper made the coaches All-SEC second-team and was on the SEC All-Defensive team. She also ranked in the conference's Top 20 in four different categories and led the overall steals category.

No disrespect to the media, but you've got to think that the coaches would have had her on the list if they had a preseason player vote.


Coach Johnson told the 104.5 Wake up Zone Tuesday morning that junior nickelback Darlron Spead might return for the Florida game on November 8.

Spead has missed the last six games after fracturing his lower left leg at the conclusion of an 41-yard interception return against South Carolina on September 4.

"We hope he's back," said Johnson. "We're going to try him today (at practice). He's been doing some running and he's sore but the soreness is not due to the bone healing. It's due to inactivity in his muscles, so we think he'll get over that pretty quickly. We think if we can get him going fast, that he'll have a really good chance to play against Florida."

To listen to the entire 104.5 interview with Coach Johnson, click here

And for those of you wondering what time kickoff could be for the Florida game, click here.


Well, it's official. John Oates is alive.

How do I know? Well Oates, best known as the guy with the awesome mustache from the even awesomer (yes, that's a word) duo Hall & Oates, performed the national anthem prior to Monday's rain suspended Game 5 of the World Series.

After the Philly native finished the song, I was shouting at my TV for an encore. I mean, Coldplay got to sing three songs on Saturday Night Live last weekend, maybe Major League Baseball would let the legendary Oates continue on after the anthem.

Well, that didn't happen ... but the next best thing would be a a video of the day. I hope you enjoy it. Make sure you watch how Daryl Hall does all the singing while Oates just dances inside the letters in the background. Oates does contribute an incredible cartwheel at the 3:13 mark, though.

Oh, he just released his second solo album called 1000 Miles of Life, which he recorded right here in the Music City.

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