High School Football Preview 28

BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY

After finishing 8-4 and advancing to the Division II-A quarterfinals, coach Roc Batten’s Battle Ground Academy Wildcats are poised to take a big step forward. There’s reason to be excited with 17 returning starters (9 offense, 8 defense). Jaylen Frierson figures to carry the load at running back, while quarterback Drew Martin has dependable targets in Ollie Reese and Kel Hawkins. Cannon Worth will anchor both lines.

OCTOBER

Friday 18 at Forrest High School, 7 p.m.

Friday 25 vs. Nashville Christian School, 7 p.m.

SEPTEMBER

Friday 1 vs. Goodpasture, 7 p.m.

Friday 8 at Boyd-Buchanan School, 7:30 p.m.

Friday 15 at CPA, 7 p.m.

Friday 22 vs. ECS, 7 p.m.

Friday 29 vs. Whites Creek, 7 p.m.

OCTOBER

Friday 6 at Glencliff, 7 p.m.

Thursday 12 vs. Franklin Road Academy, 6:30 p.m.

Friday 27 at Lipscomb Academy, 7 p.m.

CENTENNIAL COUGARS

Centennial finished 11-2 last year, advancing to the 5A quarterfinals under first-year head coach Matt Kriesky. This year the Cougars look to build on that success, but they’ll do so with many new faces. “We will be a young and inexperienced team this fall due to graduating 25 seniors,” says Kriesky. “The biggest question mark with this group is how will they handle adversity when the game is on the line. We have to worry about us and focus on getting better each day.”
CENTENNIAL SCHEDULE

AUGUST

Friday 18 at Ravenwood, 7 p.m.

Friday 25 at Hendersonville, 7 p.m.

SEPTEMBER

Friday 1 at Independence, 7 p.m.

Friday 8 vs. Cane Ridge, 7 p.m.

Friday 15 at Dickson County, 7 p.m.

Friday 22 vs. Riverdale, 7 p.m.

Friday 29 vs. Franklin, 7 p.m.

OCTOBER

Friday 6 vs. Hillsboro, 7 p.m.

Friday 20 at Summit, 7 p.m.

Friday 27 vs. Brentwood, 7 p.m.

FRANKLIN REBELS

The Franklin Rebels lost 90 percent of their point production from last year’s 10-3 team that advanced to the 6A quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Whitehaven. But there’s some intriguing talent on hand, led by offensive lineman and Ohio State commitment Max Wray, and returning starting quarterback, Carter Hendry. “The key will be developing new talent at the skill positions,” says coach Donnie Webb. The Rebels also have a pair of senior specialists, punter Landon Carter and kicker Christopher Miller-Hill, who will be vital to the team’s success.

FRANKLIN SCHEDULE

AUGUST

Friday 18 vs. Brentwood, 7 p.m.

Friday 25 vs. Riverdale, 7 p.m.

SEPTEMBER

Friday 1 at Ravenwood, 7 p.m.

Friday 8 vs. McGavock, 7 p.m.

Friday 15 at Independence, 7 p.m.

Friday 22 at Hendersonville, 7 p.m.

Friday 29 at Centennial, 7 p.m.

OCTOBER

Friday 6 vs. Oakland, 7 p.m.

Friday 20 at Spring Hill, 7 p.m.

Friday 27 vs. Dickson County, 7 p.m.

GRACE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY LIONS

That roar coming from Leiper’s Fork is for the Grace Christian Academy Lions, who enter their third season of 11-on-11 competition. With senior-laden talent across the board there’s reason to be excited about coach Rusty Smith’s team. But he sees things a little differently. “Success will be measured 10 years from now, when these boys come back to visit the program as grown men, and they have turned into Godly men,” says Smith. “Hopefully what we are doing … is showing them how to be the husband that their future wife needs, and the father that their future kids need, and the man that our society needs. If we can produce good, quality, young men of character, then the score and the record will take care of itself.”

GCA LIONS SCHEDULE

AUGUST

Friday 18 vs. Mt. Juliet Christian Academy

Friday 25 at Middle Tennessee Christian

SEPTEMBER

Friday 8 at Cornersville

Friday 15 at Richland

Friday 22 at McEwen

Friday 29 vs. Moore County

OCTOBER

Friday 6 vs. Huntland

Friday 20 at Mt. Pleasant

Friday 27 vs. Fayetteville

INDEPENDENCE EAGLES

Finish 29-1 with a state title (2015) and runner-up finish (2016) and expectations are bound to be high. And so they are for the Independence Eagles. “I’m excited about how far they’ve come in the off season and I’m looking forward to them reaching their ceiling, wherever that may be,” says coach Scott Blade. “We’ve laid the foundation for the program and they understand the process. It’s a really talented group of kids and it should be fun for them.” Among the returnees are five players with NCAA FBS and FCS scholarship offers: WR TJ Sheffield, WR Kendrell Scurry, RB Troy Henderson, OL Beau Myers and OT Zion Katina.

INDEPENDENCE SCHEDULE

AUGUST

Friday 18 at Oakland, 7 p.m.

Friday 25 at Summit, 7 p.m.

SEPTEMBER

Friday 1 vs. Centennial, 7 p.m.

Friday 8 at Hillsboro, 7 p.m.

Friday 15 vs. Franklin, 7 p.m.

Friday 29 vs. Brentwood, 7 p.m.

OCTOBER

Friday 6 vs. CPA, 7 p.m.

Thursday 12 at Dickson County, 7 p.m.

Friday 20 vs. Memphis East, 7 p.m.

Friday 27 at Ravenwood, 7 p.m.