MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- High school football season is over.
It takes forever to get here and is over with faster than Siegel runs plays or the TSSAA decides a new playoff format.
The “rules” say we have to evaluate District 7-AAA.
Here we go.
Generally schools change coaches every 5-8 years. A lot of things contribute to this, losing (and sometimes winning), promotion, taking a different job, retirement, burn out, – whatever. Some schools change way too often, while some hold on to a coach much longer than they should. The odds say that with nine schools in TSSAA, we are overdue for some changes. Except for newcomer Stewarts Creek, we haven’t had a coaching change in at least three years. I think that in 2014 we could have as many as three new coaches, but since nothing has happened yet, the chances are reasonably good we could have none.
Stewarts Creek (1–9)
Coach David Martin and staff were forced by the TSSAA rules to play varsity football with numerous players barely in their teens. The team played against the toughest district in the state. To their ever-lasting credit they never quit, won a game and had wonderful support from their fans, school and community. Their record will be better in 2014 since they will have spring practice and games under their belt. They will play in the fall Jamboree.
La Vergne (3–7)
It was nother disappointing season. La Vergne needs so many things, I simply can’t list them all, and I don’t know if solutions are going to be seriously addressed. The situation is fixable,however, because there are plenty of athletes on campus. If you were in charge of a football team that was 10–30 over the last four years, never sniffed the playoffs and went 2 – 19 in district play (with no wins over Smyrna) would you do anything.
Riverdale finished with its worst record in years and had a strange year. The Warriors were 4–2 in the district but 0–4 outside it. Ironically, Riverdale beat Siegel and Smyrna in its last two games, and both those teams were in the playoffs. Riverdale was a young squad so there’s a lot to be encouraged about for coach Ron Aydelott, if he returns for another year. When you are 73–26, have been a state champion and a state runner-up, and won 175 games in a career, I think that means you have earned the right to make your own choices.
The Bulldogs improved from a one-win season to a six-win season and went to the playoffs. Smyrna has a long history of success and has been in three championship games in the last eight years, including winning two state titles. Returning to that level may take some time, but a great deal of progress was made this year. Coach Matt Williams and staff do a great job, and Smyrna was ranked during the year. It also helps that Smyrna has a terrific youth football program in the city and their freshman team was good.
The Stars gave just about everyone on their schedule fits. It is likely they had the best offense and best kicking game in the county. With a fourth round playoff appearance in 2012 and a second round playoff appearance in 2013, Siegel has clearly joined the “Big Boys” and will threaten to win this district every year. Coach Greg Wyant and staff have done a super job of getting Siegel to a new level of play. I think they can keep them there. They were a state ranked team all year.
What a terrific year – unbeaten in the regular season, won a district championship with a great offense and defense, and a Mr. Football award winner (Jack Jones). Since the second Blackman game (a 17–3 Oakland loss), I’ve heard a lot of excuses. Weather, lady luck and the officials have all been blamed, but it seemed to me that Blackman won, despite every forecaster I know (including me) picking Oakland. I do think it’s a shame that our teams have to play each other a second time in the playoffs in, evidently, every round. With that said – GOOD JOB PATS!
Blackman (11 – 3)
When you finish in the state’s Final Four, that says it all. The 28–16 loss to state powerhouse Maryville should not detract in any way from what coach Philip Shadowens, his staff and the players have done, especially when you remember that they beat an unbeaten team (Oakland) in an away game, lost to the Kentucky state champion (Bowling Green) by one point on the road and lost on the road to another unbeaten team and likely state champion in Maryville). Blackman has been a solid member of District 7AAA and has contended just about every year: I do not see that changing anytime soon.
What a great year.