Smyrna will visit Battle Ground Academy in tonight’s 62nd Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic.
BGA played in the Clinic Bowl two years ago when the Wildcats earned a 7-6 win over Franklin.
Clinic Bowl officials hope to have a doubleheader format next year at Vanderbilt.
“We’ve had conversations with Ensworth and we’ve had conversations with Vanderbilt athletics, and we have all agreed to continue the discussions,” committee member Rick Regen said. “We would like to have two Middle Tennessee teams playing two other teams.”
The Clinic Bowl has raised more than $5 million for charities since the first game in 1950. Funds will be raised for Special Olympics Tennessee this year.
The Clinic Bowl has been held on Thanksgiving, during the playoffs and as the season opener.
Pickett County will try to end a 28-game losing streak tonight against Red Boiling Springs.
Pickett County’s last win was a 15-6 victory over Oakdale during the second game of the 2009 season. In the 2009 opener, Red Boiling Springs beat Oakdale 28-12 to end a 61-game losing streak.
“We’re going to be considerably better,” Pickett County coach O.B. Caudle said. “I don’t know what that translates into as far as wins and losses, but it will be the first time in two years I’ve not put a junior varsity team on the field. I think we’ve got a real good opportunity in our first three ballgames to do well. This bunch has a different mentality when it comes to playing this game than a lot of kids we’ve had in the past.”
Pickett County was outscored 252-0 against Watertown, Friendship, Trousdale County and Clay County last season.
Playoff system unchanged
Tennessee will continue to crown six Division I champions through 2016.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control voted 5-4 in July to continue to play in three regular-season classes, with each of those classes split for the postseason. The top two teams in each district automatically qualify for the playoffs. The remainder of the field is determined by wild cards based on the number of regular-season wins. Playoff teams are placed in four geographic quadrants.
Centennial coach Brian Rector likes to surprise opponents with onside kicks, but he is less likely to do that this year because of a new National Federation of State High School Associations rule.
The football must travel 10 yards or touch the receiving team before there can be contact with an opponent on onside kicks.
“They’ve really protected those guys up there,” Rector said. “It sure doesn’t fire me up about onside kicking. In the past you could send people to hit folks that might think they’re going to recover that football, but now you can’t engage them unless they’re 10 yards or more away.”
Another new rule will require players who lose their helmet to leave the game on the next play. One exception will be helmets that are pulled off by an opponent.
“They’re trying to (stress) the idea that equipment needs to be fitted properly, and helmets don’t need to be popping off,” Rector said. “You have to make sure the chinstraps are fitted properly. If there’s a kid that’s got a lot of hair that makes his helmet loose, they may want to shave it down a little bit. It’s a safety issue, no question.”
Brentwood Academy receivers may have trouble getting open tonight against Trinity, Ky., cornerback Ryan White, who has committed to Vanderbilt.
“He’s one of those kids who speaks softly and carries a big stick, and he’s a pretty good leader on our football team because of that,” Trinity coach Bob Beatty said of the 5-foot-10, 178-pound senior. “Any young man of that caliber that has an SEC school interested in him as well as some others obviously has talent.”
Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher and BA cornerback Jalen Ramsey have committed to Southern Cal.