Looking through the schedule every year is always a fun exercise, especially in planning our Spotlight Games for the season.
Normally, they’re based on key region games or big rivalries, but a trending theme in 2021 is the number of teams with standout quarterbacks in the Nashville area.
That number keeps getting bigger.
Some of it has to do with the area’s growth, some of it has to do with better technology that allows those passers to study more film in a shorter period of time. A lot of it has to do with the athleticism at the position. Dual-threat passers are making things harder for defenses across the board, and this area has its fair share of dangerous athletes getting outside the pocket.
Early matchups set the stage
Week 1 has a couple of matchups between some of those signal-callers, notably MBA visiting Ravenwood. Another one, likely lesser known but could be just as fun is our actual Spotlight Game for Friday, Aug. 20, and that’s Donelson Christian Academy visiting Middle Tennessee Christian .
You know about the MBA-Ravenwood standouts at quarterback, with Marcel Reed and Chris Parson squaring off. And while the MTCS-DCA game might not be as flashy a matchup as that one, it has the potential to put up a ton of points with the Cougars’ Aden Hooper and the Wildcats’ Bradford Gaines slinging it around at MTCS.
That’s just a taste of this year’s potential. Consider Week 3, with Summit visiting Brentwood as Destin Wade and Davis White battle in their teams’ region opener. Or perhaps even the week before in Week 2, a trip to Pope John Paul II could satisfy your passing fancy when the Knights’ Kenny Minchey battles Pure Youth Alliance dual-threat quarterback Tevin Carter, regarded as one of the state’s top quarterbacks for the class of 2022.
A region full of big arms
Region 7-6A is full of fun matchups at the QB position, with Parson, White and Wade in their respective games against each other, but don’t forget Independence’s Joe Cummings, who arguably has the best group of pass catchers in the area. They’ll give the Eagles a fighting chance in every one of those region games and could very well make a case for taking the region themselves.
Another title showdown?
And don’t forget about Cade Law at CPA and Luther Richesson at Lipscomb Academy – there’s a real chance those senior QBs will face off not once, but twice again this year as their respective teams are the prohibitive favorites to reach the BlueCross Bowl again. Richesson, coming off an appearance at the Elite 11 finals in Los Angeles, has the opportunity to put up some huge numbers for the Mustangs.
Other names to know
At Riverdale, Jameson Holcomb enters his senior season hoping to help the Warriors chase down cross-town rival Oakland, and a year of good health will aid in that effort. Kade Hewitt transferred to Oakland from Riverdale and will lead the Patriots’ high-powered offense this year.
Nolensville replaces the graduated Ryder Galardi with Coby Walton, and the Knights’ receiving corps is strong as well, which will help in a potentially wide-open 5A race. Walton will go head-to-head against Page’s Jake McNamera – a Colorado State commitment – on Oct. 8.
Cameron Davis transferred from Hillwood to Stratford this offseason and he’ll look to help the Spartans challenge for the Region 5-3A crown.
Father Ryan needs a replacement for D.C. Tabscott after his graduation, and Matthew Derrick could fit that bill if his 7-on-7 work is any indication.
Jaiden Puig at Northeast and Jaylen Washington at Kenwood highlight the Clarksville area’s offenses this year, along with Rossview’s Garrett Diemel.
And even a couple of the more rural schools in the area could produce some aerial assaults this year – Gordonsville’s Matthew Albritton and Macon County’s Braydee Brooks (no relation) will handle those situations for their respective squads.
There will certainly be others who will make their mark as well. It’s going to be a good year in this area if you’re a fan of the deep ball and slinging it around the yard.
Clear your schedules. The air show will start shortly.
(Editor’s note: a previous version of this post had Middle Tennessee Christian visiting Donelson Christian Academy on Aug. 20. That game will be played at Middle Tennessee Christian School. We apologize for the error.)
Follow Chris Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_615 and make sure to subscribe to the 615 Preps YouTube channel.