Rosters have been announced for the ninth annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic, which is set for Dec. 11 at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
“The state of Tennessee is beginning to show itself as a major player when it comes to the recruiting of high school football talent and we’re very excited about the list of players who will be showcased at this game,” said Bill Marbet, Executive Director of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association. “Several players on this year’s rosters are destined for play in the Southeastern Conference, as well as other major programs across the program.”
Midstate players who will be suiting up for the West team include McGavock’s Kendall Johnson and Shedrick Kirk, Independence’s Andrew Bunch, CPA’s Zack Weatherly, Pearl-Cohn’s Rontavius Groves, Ravenwood’s Chris Rowland and Andrew Lutgens, Hillsboro’s Jay King and Malcolm Swann, Rossview’s Muncie Prater, Station Camp tight end Payton Anderton, Pope John Paul II’s Nicholas Nixon, Nashville Christian’s Daniel Bituli, Mareio McGraw and Robert Brantley, Centennial’s Tyrel Dodson, Nathan Wilkerson and Resean McLemore, Lipscomb’s Sam Jackson, Columbia Academy’s Thomas Garrison, Henry County’s Matthew Counce and Tanner Beasley, Cane Ridge’s Mario Dismuke, FRA’s Larry Wilhoite, Clarksville’s Rakavian Poydras and Father Ryan’s Jeremy Darvin.
The coaching staff for the West team includes McGavock’s Jay Gore (head coach), Ravenwood’s Will Hester (offensive coordinator) and McGavock’s Dennis Moreno (defensive coordinator), while Nashville Christian’s Jeff Brothers, Henry County’s James Counce Jr., Rossview’s Ron Lambert, Dyersburg’s Bart Stowe and Memphis East’s Marcus Wimberly are assistant coaches.
Area players selected to compete for the East team include Blackman’s Taeler Dowdy and Matthew Leifheit, Riverdale’s Marquise Cantrell, La Vergne’s Chris Meyers and Lincoln County’s Xavier Schlueter, while Blackman head coach David Watson will serve as an assistant.
Expect plenty of points: When Columbia Academy travels to Greenback for a Class 1A semifinal game Friday, don’t expect a grind-it-out defensive game.
Columbia Academy (13-0) has scored 40 or more points in every game this season, including 110 combined over the past two playoff weeks. The Bulldogs roughed up South Pittsburg 56-28 in the state quarterfinals last Friday.
Greenback (11-2) has topped the 40-point mark six times this season. Ironically, the Cherokees also won 56-28 in the quarterfinals, topping Harriman to advance.
Long stretch of wins: Monday marked the three-year anniversary since CPA last lost a home football game.
The last time the Lions lost in their den was Nov. 23, 2012 in Ingle Martin’s first year as coach. After falling 16-8 to Milan in the 3A semifinals, CPA has gone 24-0 in home games since then.
The Lions are 41-2 overall during that streak.
Next time the charm?: Maryville battled the best Murfreesboro had to offer over recent years in the Class 6A playoffs, and the Rebels came out on top each time.
Oakland will try to snap that streak Friday in the semifinals at Maryville.
The Patriots (12-1) lost to the Rebels 26-14 in the semifinals last season after having knocked off rival Blackman the round before.
This season Maryville (13-0) has already disposed of Blackman (42-7) in the quarterfinals. The two-time defending state champs toppled Blackman 28-16 in the state semis.
Maryville, which is riding a 43-game winning streak, fended off Siegel 47-43 in the 2012 semifinals before suffering its only loss over the past 87 games, a 36-35 setback to Whitehaven in the state finals.
Like opponent: Memphis East and Pearl-Cohn, who will meet in the 4A semifinals Friday, have a common opponent this season — Alabama’s Muscle Shoals High.
Muscle Shoals defeated both Pearl-Cohn and East. The Firebirds (9-4) suffered a 49-20 loss during Week 6 on the road, while the Mustangs (12-1) lost to Muscle Shoals during the opening week (31-17), also on the road.
Muscle Shoals reached the second round of the 6A playoffs in Alabama before being upset by Minor High 23-16. It was the first loss of the season for Muscle Shoals (11-1), which had allowed just three points total in its previous four games.