Cade Law and Langston Patterson led Christ Presbyterian Academy to a pair of state championships in football and baseball last season.
The seniors will try to repeat the sweep, starting with football this fall.
CPA finished 11-1 and won the Division II-AA football title with a 35-28 victory over Lipscomb Academy last season.
The Lions will try for another championship this year.
“That’s always the plan,” Lions quarterback Cade Law said. “I feel like we can, for sure. We’ve just got to stay healthy and everyone’s just got to buy in and I feel like that’s definitely the goal.”
Law led the way in 2020, passing for 1,182 yards and rushing for a team-high 739. He passed for 17 touchdowns and ran for 10.
“He’s obviously one of the best guys that’s played at CPA,” Lions coach Ingle Martin said. “He’s definitely a dual threat, he’s a great runner.”
Law, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior, believes the defending champions will avoid complacency.
“I feel like that’s just kind of built into the culture at CPA,” Law said. “We’re always looking for the next one. We get in the weight room and we grind.”
Law, a catcher during the spring, committed to Vanderbilt on July 25.
“Dream come true,” Law said. “I can’t wait to be there, but I’ve got one more year to do some things here and win a couple more championships.”
Law helped lead the Lions to the DII-A title in baseball last spring.
He became the second CPA catcher to commit to Vanderbilt, following Philip Clarke, who played for the Commodores from 2018-19 before being drafted by Toronto.
CPA pitching coach R.A. Dickey, a former major league pitcher who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2012, has been a big influence on Law.
“He helped me tremendously behind the plate with receiving and kind of getting more in-depth with the game,” Law said. “He really helped me with sequences, so say we throw a high fastball to a guy and he’s late. Then we can come back with a breaking ball just as high.”
Dickey has given Law a lot of advice on how to work with pitchers and taught him how hitters think.
Vanderbilt was the first school to start recruiting Law as a sophomore. He got 10 baseball offers and 18 football offers.
“It was definitely the toughest decision so far in my life because I loved both (sports) growing up so much,” Law said. “But ultimately it came down to what I could play the longest. And when an opportunity like Vanderbilt comes up, I just decided I couldn’t pass it up.”
Law hit .333 with 19 RBIs and four homers last season. Clarke and Law are both left-handed hitters.
“I think left-handed hitting catchers are at a premium right behind left-handed pitchers and right-handed power pitchers,” CPA baseball coach Larry Nesbitt said. “(Cade) is an incredible competitor and an amazing leader. He’s a big, strong kid that can really run.”
Nesbitt believes Law’s ability to manage the CPA staff really impressed Vanderbilt.
He missed the first two weeks of the season with a broken right hand.
Forty-five CPA baseball players also play football.
Patterson, a linebacker who has committed to Vanderbilt in football, was glad to see his buddy commit to the Commodores in baseball.
“It’s super cool,” said Patterson, who had over 25 offers. “We’ve always talked about it since we were little, going to the same college.”
Patterson and Law have played baseball together since they were 6 years old.
Patterson was a utilityman in baseball who was named the Most Valuable Player in CPA’s championship win over Northpoint Christian.
He led the Lions with a .421 batting average and broke a school record with 12 home runs.
Nesbitt told Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin that Patterson has the ability to play Southeastern Conference baseball.
Patterson led the football team’s defense with 72 tackles. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the DII-AA Middle Region.
He was the Lions’ second-leading rusher with 733 yards and 13 TDs as a running back.
Patterson rushed for 191 yards and three TDs in the championship win over Lipscomb.
“He’s just the ultimate competitor,” Martin said. “He’s got an extremely rare gift with his athleticism.”
Patterson (6-2, 220) said the Lions were in the weight room the day after beating Lipscomb for the title.
“It’s always been about getting 1% better each day,” Patterson said.
Patterson acts as a coach on the field at linebacker, communicating the defensive coverage to his teammates.
“One time coach told me I’ve got to be an eraser,” Patterson said. “ ‘Whoever makes mistakes in front of you, you’ve got to fix them. You’ve got to erase their problems.’ That’s kind of what I focus on just trying to help other people. If they make a mistake, I’ll go in their gap and fill their gap for them.”
His older brother, Kane, is a linebacker at Clemson.
CPA will play tradition-rich Brentwood Academy for the first time in school history in the second week of the season.
“We’re super pumped about that,” Law said. “We know a lot of people over there, so it’ll be a really fun game.”
Law will have a lot of weapons at his disposal this year.
“Our receiving corps is probably one of the deepest ever,” Law said. “Our o-line is looking really strong. We’ve got a lot of guys returning, a lot of strong guys that will play both ways.”
CPA returns five starters in its pro-style offense.
Offensive tackle Evan Carney (6-5, 265) has some major college offers.
Junior London Humphreys has a lot of potential at receiver.
The Lions return six starters on their 3-4 defense.
Defensive lineman Colin Stewart has committed to Air Force and linebacker Reid Williford committed to North Carolina-Charlotte.
Martin said defensive lineman George Collier has been “a wrecking ball the last couple of years.”
Stewart, Collier and Bo Chance are entering their third season as starters on the defensive line.
Anderson Kail will see time at safety and receiver.
Junior Bo Burklow, who is committed to play baseball at Tennessee, will contribute at linebacker and tight end.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted football last season, but Martin said things have felt normal since Memorial Day.
Martin enters his 11th season at CPA with a 116-24 record that includes three state championships and three runner-up finishes.
The Lions have made it to the state semifinals or better during every year he’s been there.
“I think every year we try to give our kids the best chance they’ve got to be successful,” Martin said.