With a little under three weeks to go until the football calendar begins, head coaches and representative players from each public Williamson County School team gathered at Mojo’s Tacos at the Factory in Franklin on Monday night to discuss expectations for the 2022 season.
The evening began with the state class 5A runner-up Page Patriots as they look to put together another solid season this year.
“That loss fueled us to try to get there and go back and win it this time,” said senior Colin Hurd. “So we just put that fire in our young guys for what we need to do to be successful.”
“I know Colin and I know what it takes to get to state and that we have some young guys that know how to get there,” said senior Max Collins.
The next school for the night was Brentwood. The Bruins are hungry to get back to being a force in the playoffs as head coach Clint Finch enters his second year of leading the coaching staff.
“We talk about the expectations of Brentwood football and we all know that, but what makes it so much fun is that people expect you to win,” said Finch. “I would much rather be in a place where I am expected to win than just roll out there every Friday night.”
“It motivated me (last year’s playoff loss),” said Brentwood senior Kyler Green. “We have the mindset of getting better so we never have to be in that position again.”
Next on the docket was Franklin, with head coach Alex Melton entering his second year being the leader of the coaching staff. His team will look to improve on a season that left a bad taste in their mouth last year.
“If you look at numbers it was not the season we wanted, but our guys never gave up,” said Melton. “These guys know it is not going to be easy, and you have to fight every game. We just have to keep playing and not get caught up in the highs and lows.”
Fairview was the next school in the spotlight as they look to become a threat in the 3A division.
“I do not want to use this job as a stepping stone,” said Fairview head coach Chris Hughes. “I want to build something here.”
Centennial was the next team at the microphone, as they just missed out on the playoffs last year.
“We have had to overcome adversity in certain situations,” said Centennial head coach Matt Kriesky. “These guys are up for the challenge, and they rally around each other.”
Independence was next to the stage as first year head coach Scott Stidham took the mic for the first time after coming over from South Gibson High School.
“We played Summit and Page last year at South Gibson,” said Stidham. “I know there is a lot of great football here. We are excited for the opportunity to play. There are six great football teams in this region. Our first goal is try to make the top four, so we can make the playoffs.”
Nolensville was looking to rebound after getting eliminated in the playoffs last year by region rival Page.
“I am not going to lie, it sucks losing to Page especially twice,” said Nolensville senior quarterback Kolby Walton. “It motivates us going into the offseason because we know what to expect now. We cannot take practices for granted because you are only guaranteed 10 games.”
“Overall it hurt losing because we were so close,” said Nolensville senior Nico Amato. “It may have been a growing pain, but it helped us come together as a team.”
Ravenwood lost to Summit in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last season and is looking to use that for motivation as they are considered one of the favorites in the Williamson County division and 6A region.
“Anytime you end the season with a bad taste in your mouth, it is going to motivate you,” said Ravenwood head coach Will Hester. “Obviously everyone is salty about the way the season finished for them. These guys are focused on the goals they have for this season. We got to find a way to be the best version of ourselves every day.”
The media day ended with 6A state runner-up Summit High School taking the stage as they look to continue to make some noise in the highest division of high school football.
“Last season was very special, and obviously it was great going to our third state championship in a row,” said Summit senior Brady Hendrix. “Going up to 6A was a big jump, and everyone was saying we couldn’t do it. We proved them wrong.”
“It was very special going to back-to-back-to-back state championships (in previous years),” said Summit senior Aden Byrd. “We are hoping for redemption coming into this season.”
“These guys feel like they have a lot to prove,” said Summit head coach Brian Coleman. “It is a younger team that needs experience, and we need to see what this team is all about. Being in the top four of this six-team region is quite an accomplishment.”