Brent Bush never envisioned he’d be the head football coach at his alma mater.
However, the former MTSU football player has taken over at Cannon County, replacing coach Joel Schrenk. Schrenk resigned after three seasons to take a head coaching job in Alabama.
“I am who I am,” Bush said. “I’m not trying to prove anything. I went to high school here and was born here. If they run me off I don’t have far to go.
“I feel like I’m in a great position. Of all the jobs I’ve got to do in my career, I can’t ask for any better. I just want to develop them into young men. I didn’t expect this job to come this quick. I didn’t have it in this timeline.”
Cannon County went 0-10 in 2011 and 1-19 over Schrenk’s final two years. That came after the Lions won District 8-AA in his first season.
Defense was a key issue for the lack of success. The Lions gave up 45.7 points a game. However, part of the problem was Cannon County’s issue with time of possession. The Lions struggled to run the football and had trouble moving the ball consistently.
“Our defense got tired last year,” Bush said. “We’ve got to try to maintain the ball. We can’t do this three-and-out stuff on offense.”
Bush said the Lions will continue to run some of the spread on offense while adding the midline as a running attack.
The Lions will also christen a new quarterback for the third straight year. Cody Petro, who was the Lions’ No. 2 receiver last season, has moved to quarterback and will play the position with Jake Todd. They replace Ryan Jordan, who moved to Eagleville. Receiver Waylon Sedtal also moved to Eagleville.
Petro adds athleticism under center, which is key with the midline offense as he will run the ball some. Hawk Love, who started this past season, gives the Lions experience in the backfield. BJ Daniel also could be in the rotation.
“I had a late start because Ryan, our other quarterback, left in the spring and didn’t get many reps in,” Petro said. “They just kind of threw me in this summer. It’s gone great. I’ve gotten in with the offense well. I’ve got some good young receivers.”
The Lions’ offensive line will be led by Dalton Ryan, Ryan McLaurine, Allan Robinson, Case Isenhart and Jacob Duggin.
Justin Tobin returns at wide receiver, where he led the area in the regular season with 54 catches for 750 yards. He will also play in the secondary and at punter.
Bush realizes that Tobin is important to the Lions’ success on offense.
“We’ve got to get him the ball,” Bush said.
Defensively, Ryan is expected to be a key cog at linebacker. McLaurine anchor the defensive line. Tobin will start at safety. James Purvis joins Tobin in the secondary adding experience at safety.