Soccer returns to Williamson County after most of the 2020 season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think there’s a sense of responsibility to do things the right way because we saw how things happened last year to the 2020 seniors,” Franklin coach Mike Burgoyne said. “I think they’re sad for the group that didn’t get to compete. They know how good the team could have been last year.”
The Admirals boasted a veteran group with 13 seniors, led by All-American forward Logan Brady, last year. They went 9-4-1 in 2019.
There is excitement about returning to the field, but also apprehension about the possibility of players getting quarantined due to the COVID-19 virus.
“The reality is that’s probably going to happen at some point to some of them,” Burgoyne said last month. “I just got a text from one of my players that he’s quarantined and out for the next week. That’s the reality of it, but we’re just happy to be able to play.”
Depth will take on a greater importance due to the pandemic this season.
“Part of our discussion with the players that are on the roster is you may not play in one game or you may be a player that’s a substitute, but you might get thrust into the starting lineup that day,” Burgoyne said. “Everybody just has to be ready to go at any given time and that includes JV players.”
Burgoyne is accustomed to the pandemic protocols after coaching the Lady Admirals in the fall.
“We’re going to temperature check,” Burgoyne said. “Whenever we’re not on the field and we’re on the sideline, we’re expected to have our face coverings on so that’s going to take some getting used to for (the players)."
Franklin opens its season at home on March 22 against Grace Christian Academy.
The Admirals were 0-0-1 when the TSSAA ended the 2020 season due to the pandemic.
“I think we probably had one of the most talented teams in the state last year, but there are never any guarantees,” Burgoyne said. “It was frustrating for the players that were seniors.”
Burgoyne is optimistic that soccer will complete its season this spring.
“If winter sports can do it and be inside, we’re going to be able to finish the spring season,” Burgoyne said. “I feel very confident.”
Franklin practices in smaller groups than normal to lessen the chance of spreading the virus and reduce the number of quarantined players if someone tests positive.
The Admirals are mourning the loss of 2020 senior Jake Harvey, a center back who died in an auto accident in Texas on Feb. 1.
"This has been a tough time for the Franklin community,” Burgoyne said. “I have seen an outpouring of support for the Harvey family and his friends. Our current and former players have been supporting each other through this extremely difficult time."
Franklin players will wear a JH logo with his number, 6, on their training gear to honor the three-year starter.
“A group of our players are going to bring his jersey to midfield every time our starting lineups are announced and they’re going to honor him that way,” Burgoyne said.
Brentwood opens its season March 16 at Station Camp, the 2019 Class AAA runner-up.
The Bruins made it to the semifinals that season, finishing 18-1-1.
“Heck of a way to start a season where neither team had any preseason games,” Bruins coach Mike Purcell said.
Preseason games are prohibited this season by the TSSAA due to the virus.
Brentwood lost its entire season in 2020 due to COVID-19.
“2020 was a debacle, for sure,” Purcell said. “We did not even get one game of our regular season schedule played. Our first two games ended up getting postponed and after that nobody got to play.”
The Bruins will try to awaken from a long hibernation this season.
“When I look at our roster for this year, I see a bunch of seniors who last played as sophomores,” Purcell said. “It is hard to picture these guys as the backbone of the team when we have not had a regular-season game in almost two years.”
Brentwood lost 90% of its offense from the past two seasons.
“I feel like we will be very competitive this year and will have as good a chance as any in our very tough district to go pretty far in the postseason,” Purcell said. “I just hope we are able to get a full season in with a minimum of interruptions.”
Summit returns six seniors, nine juniors and two sophomores from last year’s team that went 2-1 in the pandemic-shortened season.
“We have a lot of veteran players returning, some of whom I have coached since they were freshmen,” Spartans coach Dustin Butler said. “Last year was tough with the way it ended. It was hard on all of us.
“There will be changes this year due to COVID and no, it will not look the same, but we are thrilled that we have an opportunity to compete at a high level against some very good programs in Middle Tennessee. Our athletes are motivated now more than they ever have been and I have no doubt their energy and enthusiasm will carry over into the season.”
Page coach Nate Clapp is optimistic about 2021.
“This group of guys is shaping up to be possibly the most talented group I have had come through Page,” Clapp said.
Top returning players
Jack Shields, midfielder, senior, Centre commit, captain, All-District 11-AAA in 2018
Bradley Whelan, midfielder, senior
Landon Robbins, wing, junior
Benji Wright, forward, senior, Gordon commit, team’s leading goal scorer in 2019, All-District
Ryan Hayes, defender, senior, college prospect
Connor Greer, midfielder, senior
Ollie Joyner, midfielder, senior
Reid McAdams, forward, junior
Carter Patton, defender, junior
Nick Dang, midfielder, senior, offer from Lipscomb, still talking to schools
Dominic Miller, outside back, senior, Washington College commit
Jaydon Chisolm, striker/center attacking midfielder, senior, High Point commit
Zavien Baron, striker, senior, Calvin walk-on
Travis Born, outside back, senior
Sam Fitch, winger, junior
Liam Akin, senior
Ethan Blackmore, senior, co-captain
Carter Lay, senior, co-captain
Mason McGee, senior
Ty McCrea, senior
Elijah Mooney, senior
Aiden Morgheim, senior
Noland Colliday, center midfielder, senior, Rhodes signee, captain, cumulative weighted grade point average of 4.57
Grayson Dugan, forward, senior, Maryville signee, co-captain, led the district in goals as a freshman before suffering an ACL injury heading into his sophomore year.
Peterson Rainey, midfielder, senior, co-captain
Jack Gorman, goalkeeper, junior, college prospect. “Jack is probably the best keeper we have had for the boys team since I arrived 14 years ago,” Page coach Nate Clapp said.
Parker Walls, center, junior center back, college prospect, underclassmen captain, three-year starter
Ethan Fawehinmi, forward, senior, Maryville signee
Chase King, defender, senior
David Coggins, forward, senior, transferred from Ravenwood his sophomore season, this will be his first year eligible to participate at the varsity level, dynamic speed, reads the game well and a great finisher.
Sam Lisanby, center midfielder, senior, highly creative attacking midfielder, great ability to pick out the final pass and finish from distance.
Owen McGowan, outside back, senior, new position for McGowan, who has primarily been used as a wing forward. His ability to join the attack from deeper positions will add a new dimension to Knights’ attack.
Cooper Lusty, center back, senior, started at center back his sophomore year and got injured in second game. He brings stability to a back line that was heavily depleted by graduation.
Connor Susha, defensive midfielder, senior, Susha will play integral role in Knights’ ability to possess the ball for long periods of time. He will be relied on as Nolensville’s ball winner in the middle of the field.
Jose Perez, center-midfielder, junior, 5 goals, 3 assists in 2019, limited to 11 games due to broken ankle. He returned for a limited time in Fairview’s state semifinal appearance. Majority of offense will flow through him.
Mathew Stevens, center back, senior, 5 goals, 1 assist in 2019, he will anchor defense.
Rylan Skelton, left outside midfielder/striker, junior
William Kozin, defensive center midfielder/striker, junior
Mason Dowdy, center back, junior, team’s most vocal player, he will organize the Yellowjackets.
Grace Christian Academy
Alex Johnson, Belmont Signee, 16 goals, 15 assists in 2019, All-State
Malachi Jones, Lipscomb commit, 2019- 26 goals, 8 assists in 2019, All-State
Levi Jones, Lipscomb commit, 15 goals, 14 assists in 2019, All-District, All-Region
Sam Barrionuevo, Trevecca signee, 25 goals, 8 assists in 2019, All-District, All-Region
Franklin Road Academy
Ethan Brown, center or wide midfielder, senior
Beau Kirschner, defensive center midfielder, junior
Jack Norris, center back, senior
Gonzalo de Gracia, center or wide midfielder, senior, FRA Offensive MVP, All-District in 2019
Drake Denning, goalkeeper, sophomore
Kyle Ladd, goalkeeper, senior: A great shot-stopper with a solid understanding of the game, college prospect, this is his sixth year in the program.
Chase McComas, central midfielder, senior: An improved player who who has added a lot of weapons to his arsenal since last year. “He’s speedy, agile, and poised for a fantastic season,” BA coach JD Binger said of the fifth-year veteran.
Carey Stuhlreyer, outside back, senior: He is fast, has a great left foot and has become adept at navigating the ball up the field. Sixth-year player.
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Parker Rody, defensive center midfield, senior: fifth-year player, scored 12 goals in 2019, Covenant commit
Mac Seibert, outside back, senior: He was also a kicker on the state championship football team, Rhodes soccer commit, scored 4 goals in 2019 as a defender.
Noah Doyle, outside back, senior: He plans on playing soccer at Covenant next year, scored 2 goals in 2019.
Brewer Myers, forward, senior: He was also a starter for the state championship football team, scored 5 goals in 2019.
Ravenwood at Glencliff
Summit at Columbia Academy
Nolensville at Meet in the Middle Tournament
GCA at Franklin
CPA at Zion Christian
Summit at Independence
Nashville Christian at Fairview
FRA at Goodpasture
Brentwood Academy vs. BGA
Ravenwood at Page