Between running the football, catching passes and lighting it up in the return game, there’s not much Ravenwood senior Chris Rowland can’t do on the football field.
Rowland has hauled in a team-leading 47 receptions for 924 yards and nine touchdowns and racked up 744 yards rushing and 10 scores on 98 carries. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is averaging 49.6 yards per kick return and 18.6 yards on punt returns, taking a combined five back for touchdowns.
Still, colleges haven’t seemed to take interest in the versatile-but-undersized speedster.
“Not yet,” Rowland said. “The recruiting process has been frustrating this whole year, but that’s been a chip on my shoulder. I’m just waiting for someone to give me a chance.”
Rowland will have one more chance to dazzle college coaches on Saturday as the Raptors take on Maryville in the Class 6A championship game for the second straight season.
Good mentoring: Nashville Christian senior quarterback Kyle Tidwell has been an instrumental part of the Eagles’ offensive success.
In a run-heavy offense, Tidwell has passed for more than 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for more than 500 yards and 12 more TDs.
He credited Coach Jeff Brothers with much of his progress.
“I’ve never had a better coach. We can talk about anything,” said Tidwell. “As far as quarterbacks coach, it’s special to have a guy who played at Brentwood Academy and in the SEC coaching you. I can go to him on the sideline and ask him anything. He’s been there and done it.”
Brothers was a standout at Brentwood Academy in the late 1980s and was a quarterback for Vanderbilt in 1990-1991 before switching to defensive back his final two seasons.
Tidwell, Brothers and the Eagles will face Greenback at 11 a.m. Friday in the Class 1A championship game at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
Glimpse of the future: Of the 17 players who took home a Mr. Football award Monday, there’s a good chance at least one will be donning an NFL uniform in a few years.
While they will have to wait until that day to call themselves professional athletes, Monday they got a taste what that might feel like.
Each Mr. Football winner was directed to a locker in the Titans’ locker room that featured a custom nameplate that looked just like the ones the pros see when they come in to play on Sundays.
They also got a feel for what it would feel like to dress like an NFL athlete. Hanging in the lockers was a Titans jersey with each player’s name and number on them.
The players put on the jerseys, then proceeded to the field to have their picture taken on the turf at Nissan Stadium.
Quick turnaround: The defending Division II-AA champion Brentwood Academy boys basketball team has been short-handed.
That’s because seven Eagles players — junior Jeremiah Oatsvall, sophomores Gavin Schoenwald and Camron Johnson and seniors Trent Taylor, Chris Hopkins, Jack McDonald and Bryce Mathews — are still tied up with trying to win the school’s 11th state football championship.
Basketball coach Hubie Smith won’t have to wait too much longer, though.
Regardless of the outcome in Thursday’s Division II-AA title game against rival Montgomery Bell Academy, those seven two-sport athletes will be at basketball practice Monday and are set to take part in Tuesday’s game against visiting Nashville Central Christian.
Football bloodline: Battle Ground Academy quarterback Clayton Beathard captured the Division II-A Mr. Football back of the year award in 2014, but he came up just short of a repeat Monday, finishing runner-up to St. George’s quarterback Chase Hayden.
Clayton’s older brother and BGA alum C.J. Beathard has a chance to help his team finish the season with a shot at the College Football Playoff as his No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes (12-0) take on No. 5 Michigan State (11-1) on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.
Clayton Beathard and his parents are planning on attending the game.
“It’s awesome,” Beathard said of his watching his older brother play on national television. “It always gives us something to do. Fridays my parents get to watch us play and Saturdays we get to root on my brother, then on Sundays we get to watch NFL football and wonder what CJ will do next and if maybe he’ll go to one of those teams.”