What a year 2020 has been at Triad High School! There have been many ups and downs during this tumultuous time. The spring sport athletes losing their season might end up being the athletic story of the year but for our senior class, there were plenty of memories.
One memory starts six years ago at Triad Middle School. That is when Triad’s Female Athlete of the Year, Bailey Grigg started dating Triad’s Male Athlete of the Year, Michael Tentis. No need to go back and read that sentence again, you read it correctly. Grigg and Tentis have dated since they were 7th graders at TMS. During that time since middle school, they have developed into two of the best athletes that Triad High School has ever produced.
Grigg was an All-State and All-Mississippi Valley tennis player while earning the MVP of Triad’s tennis team. In track, she was All-Mississippi Valley, All-Madison County and qualified for the IHSA State Track Meet her sophomore and junior years. She missed her best opportunity to earn all-state in track this past spring due to Covid-19 cancelling her season.
“It was tough missing my senior track season. Our relay team thought we had a great chance of being Top 9 and all-state this year. We were just a few places off last year and returned the entire 4×200 relay team. One goal I set was to be All-State in two different sports but it is ok. You don’t always reach every goal if you set them high enough.”
Grigg earned a scholarship to play tennis at McKendree University. She signed her letter of intent in October of 2019.
“My senior season in tennis was awesome! Competing against everyone’s #1 brought out the best in me. My doubles partners the past two years were my best friends on the team, Molly Suess and Evelyn Wells. We had so much fun together. Then, I was fortunate enough to get some attention from college recruiters but I always knew I wanted to attend McKendree. It worked out perfect!” She plans on majoring in elementary education and one day hopes to be a kindergarten teacher.
Tentis had a stellar senior season on the soccer field. The All-State defender led his soccer team to the best season in Triad soccer history. They finished 3rd place in the state tournament.
Tentis was bombarded with post-season awards after his great season. He earned All-State first team, All-Final 4 IHSA team, St. Louis All-Metro, Chicagoland All-State, Metro-East Soccer Player of the Year award and All-Mississippi Valley. He was also named the Team MVP and Defensive MVP for the Triad soccer team.
“Our soccer season was beyond our expectations. We had an idea that we were going to be good but to accomplish what we did was a testament to our team chemistry and hard work. My teammates on the soccer team have been with me for a long time. We had great camaraderie and enjoyed playing with each other. I’m fortunate to be part of something so special.” Tentis said.
Tentis didn’t stop there. He started for and led the Triad basketball team to one of their best seasons. He was voted second team All-Mississippi Valley, All-Tournament (Litchfield Mid-Winter) and team defensive player of the year. He was the captain of both the soccer and basketball teams.
“It was nice ending my basketball and athletic career on such a positive note. We played well this year. It was another group of guys that I had played with for a long time. I have some great memories from my time at Triad.” Tentis will be attending Missouri State University in Springfield, MO where he received an academic scholarship. He plans on majoring in Wildlife Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Systems.
Every year, high schools name a female and male athlete of the year. For those two athletes to be dating is something that might happen but for them to be dating since 7th grade has to be rare. Triad Athletic Director Kenny Deatherage said, ”Just as these two kids are accomplished and tremendous athletes, I would have to say that both are even better students! Both Michael and Bailey will no doubt go on to do great things and serve Triad proud!!”
Both athletes made an effort to attend each other’s games when possible. “We have a great understanding of the amount of time and energy it takes to compete at this level so we never got into each other’s way. He did his thing and I did my thing. Then we tried to support each other at the matches, meets and games. I would get way more fired up at his games than I would at my own matches and meets.” Grigg said.
“There was no rivalry between us to out-do the other person. No competition. My Dad did make fun of my letterman’s jacket a few years ago because Bailey’s jacket had so many patches. I’ve added quite a few patches now and he has quieted down, a little.” Tentis quipped. Regardless which athlete has more patches, these two have been quite a pair for Triad High School the past four years. “Like all of our student-athletes, we will miss them. These two left an indelible mark on their respective sports and the school.” said Deatherage.