Friday night was probably depressing for a lot of rural West Tennessee high school football fans.
As Peabody and Trinity Christian Academy both fell with the clocks running at the end of the game and Liberty fell later in the night, West Tennessee was gradually shut out of Cookeville and the BlueCross Bowl for the first time in 13 years.
A year after Peabody and Union City won the Class 2A and 1A state championships, we knew last week no one will win this year.
The Mr. Football has been another place that West Tennessee hasn’t seen much success in recent years. as well.
How many players from the area have traveled to Murfreesboro for the ceremony only to be turned back without being told they were the top player in their respective classification?
There were some players who were certainly deserving that didn’t get that recognition, but 2015 won’t be remembered as one of those years when West Tennessee got collectively snubbed.
While there are no teams who will bring home the gold ball that is a state championship, the area received a measure of vindication when all four local athletes who were finalists for the award this year came home with a trophy.
Haywood’s Emmit Gooden, who’s been regarded by NCAA coaches as a top player in the state and the country, received recognition for the work he did on Friday nights over the past three months.
TCA’s Andrew Goldsmith, who emerged as a player who apparently couldn’t be stopped by anything besides a hurt knee, was recognized as well.
Then University School of Jackson’s Trey Smith – another player who’s received plenty of big-time college offers before his junior season had even started – was given the honor or being told he’s the best in his class.
Dresden’s Dresser Winn put up numbers this season that sometimes resembled those from a video game, and his season-long body of work was honored for those accomplishments.
Smith and Winn get a chance to come back and do it again next year.
This time a year ago, I wrote a column about how college coaches need to pay more attention to this area, and that was based on the work done in 2014 by guys like TCA’s Kyle Akin and Crockett County’s Johnny Jones.
I think the fact there were four Mr. Football winners in the area this year is further proof that more college scouts might want to spend more time in this area than simply staying on I-40 between Memphis and Nashville and maybe stop in at a few high schools and see what’s there and how they can help their programs once they find out.
Brandon Shields is the high school sports columnist for The Jackson Sun. Contact him at 425-9751 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at jacksonsunsports.