MURFREESBORO – Smyrna hosted La Vergne to begin rivalry weekend Thursday. Six other area teams will go under the lights on Friday for the first time in 2014.
“I can’t wait,” Stewarts Creek junior Cynterius Lyons said. “I’m ready to play. Everybody is excited to get out there and show everyone how much better we are.”
Four games – all of which start at 7 p.m. – will kick off the first Friday of high school football in the area.
Siegel will host Riverdale, Stewarts Creek will host Ravenwood, Cannon County will host MTCS and Eagleville will host Mt. Pleasant.
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“I think everyone is chomping at the bit to play one that counts,” Siegel coach Greg Wyant said. “It’s been a long offseason. It’s been a long, hard summer.
“Everyone is ready to get paid.”
Riverdale, 4-6 a year ago, upset Siegel (8-4 in 2013) in Week 9 last season. Both teams will feature new starting quarterbacks as the Stars will try to avenge the two-point defeat.
“It’s one game. That’s what it is. It’s just one game,” Wyant said. “We’d like to have a win and get off on the right foot and go on to the next one with a little confidence, but ultimately it’s one game.”
The aforementioned Red Hawks of Stewarts Creek also will try to avenge a loss from a year ago. Playing just the 11th game in school history, Creek will take on District 11-AAA favorite Ravenwood.
“I’m excited but more importantly, the players are excited and that’s what it’s about,” Stewarts Creek coach David Martin said. “They’ve picked it up a little bit in practice this week. I’ve noticed that.”
MTCS enters the year in search of a second straight playoff berth and the Cougars will use a new coach with a new offense to try and jump start that process at Cannon County.
New coach Fred Shambaugh, a former high school head coach in California, said doesn’t know much about the landscape of high school football in Tennessee or what to expect on Friday night as far as differences go. But he did note one thing to which he’s had to adjust.
“I haven’t invested much in that conversation because I’ve got so much going on and enough things of my own to worry about,” he said. “I will tell you the heat with the humidity is different. That’s something new to me, so I have had to adjust to that.
“But I’m the only one that applies too. (The players) are ready to get the season underway and start competing with somebody other than ourselves.”
Cannon County enters the contest trying to build its program back to a playoff-level, amassing just two wins since the start of 2010.
Eagleville starts its quest for a second straight District 9-A title with a non-district game against Mt. Pleasant.
The Eagles will lean on a veteran group of offensive lineman and virtually all new position players against one of the favorites in District 11-A.
Contact Will Borthick at 615-278-5167 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @willborthick.