To try to predict the outcome of the three games involving local high school football teams in the state semifinals tonight is a very difficult task.
There are no common opponents between any of the opponents, and none of these matchups have ever occurred before.
There’s no history to base any pick on (if you base your picks on history).
There’s only one team that’s played all three local semifinal teams, and not all of those counted.
South Gibson traveled to Trenton for its jamboree on Aug. 14. The Hornets traveled to Trinity Christian on Sept. 11, which was the final game before TCA head coach Blake Butler began making the moves that helped the Lions go 8-1 since an 0-4 start. The Hornets then traveled to Liberty on Oct. 16 and were shut out.
“I don’t know about each team’s chances of winning, but based on what we saw from each one when we played them, it’s no surprise they’re still playing,” said South Gibson head coach Scott Stidham. “There are some gifted athletes on all three of those teams, and they’ve all done a great job to stay healthy and getting them this far.”
The three teams they’re facing have all done well against rural West Tennessee teams earlier in this season or in recent years.
Nashville Christian, who hosts Peabody this week, eliminated Huntingdon two weeks ago. Mustangs head coach Eric Swenson was very impressed with the talent Nashville Christian put on the field that night. The defense didn’t allow Huntingdon – which was missing its top two quarterbacks because of injuries in the preceding weeks – to do much all night.
Christ Presbyterian Academy and Trezevant haven’t played any local teams this year, but rural West Tennessee teams haven’t had a good run with them in recent years.
Milan lost to CPA handily twice last year and competed well with them in the regular season in 2013. CPA didn’t play any local teams in the playoffs this year. But the Lions have been to Cookeville the last two years after falling in the semifinals to Milan the previous two years.
Trezevant has been the team to beat on this end of the state in Class 4A. Crockett County, Liberty, Haywood and Dyersburg are all on the list of teams Trezevant has eliminated in recent years. Now they’ve dropped to 2A, and TCA will either slay the dragon or become another item on the list to be checked off once they return to Memphis after the game.
All three of these games should be good ones. The new format of the playoffs have made sure to allow a better crop of teams into the postseason, and the teams that are still alive have earned it – particularly in this area.
So if all six teams avoid mistakes, all of these games should be good ones worthy of being called a semifinal matchup.
Brandon Shields is the high school sports columnist for The Jackson Sun. Contact him at 425-9751 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at jacksonsunsports.