One key game for every area team in 2023
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One key game for every area team in 2023

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All 90 teams in the area have at least one key game they must win to either achieve or be a lot closer to achieving certain goals for 2023 – be it an undefeated season, a playoff spot, or somewhere in between. And we’re putting them here in one place for all 90 of our area teams.

These are not necessarily the “best games” on each team’s schedule. They’re games that could change the course of a team’s season with a win or a loss.


Antioch: Sept. 15 vs. McGavock. It’s the first of two games the Bears will need to lock up a playoff spot, coming off an opening stretch of games against Lebanon, Nolensville, Cane Ridge, and Oakland.


Battle Ground Academy: Oct. 20 at Webb School. The Wildcats’ playoff fate could come down to a 7-day span where they face Webb and Goodpasture in the final two weeks of the season, possibly needing to win both to get in.

Beech: Oct. 6 vs. Henry County. As important as the rivalry with Hendersonville is, the Bucs’ biggest region opponent will come in the form of the Patriots, a 5A semifinalist from last season. These two teams always seem to put on tight games and this one should be no exception.

Blackman: Oct. 13 at Riverdale. Home-field advantage in the first round could be at stake in the Backyard Brawl.

Brentwood: Oct. 27 vs. Ravenwood. Biggest rival in the final week of the regular season, and potentially home-field advantage throughout the 6A semifinals? Those are the games you want to play in.

Brentwood Academy: Sept. 22 at Baylor. Don’t think the Eagles have forgotten the semifinals from last season just because a new coaching staff is in place. Classic revenge game.

Tucker Kyne could help lead Cannon County back to the postseason for the third consecutive year. (Chris Brooks/615 Preps)


Cane Ridge: Oct. 27 vs. Smyrna. Although the Ravens had to replace a strong outgoing senior class, they should be battle-tested by the time Smyrna visits to end the regular season, likely for a region title.

Cannon County: Oct. 20 vs. Marion County. The Lions will need a win in one of their final two games to get in the playoffs, and a Week 11 open date means they’ll need to do it sooner.

Centennial: Oct. 20 at Page. The Cougars get an open date before their Week 10 showdown with their new region rivals at Page, and there could be a lot riding on the outcome of it.

Cheatham County: Oct. 6 vs. Sycamore. The Cubs’ place in a five-team region means they’ll only need one win to get in – and it’d be better to get it here than need it in their final region game two weeks later.

Clarksville: Oct. 6 vs. Kirkwood. Montgomery County’s flagship faces its newest program in a game that could very well have playoff-seeding implications for both teams.

Clarksville Academy: Sept. 29 at Columbia Academy. If the Cougars want to challenge for a region title, they must win games such as this one.

Christ Presbyterian Academy: Oct. 20 vs. FRA. The Lions remember what FRA was able to do last season and don’t want a repeat. With Lipscomb Academy gone, is this a potential BlueCross Bowl preview?

Creek Wood: Sept. 8 at Montgomery Central. First region road game and one that could determine a playoff team come season’s end.


Davidson Academy: Sept. 22 vs. Pope Prep. With the Knights rebuilding, the Bears could take a big step forward with a win over the Knights.

Donelson Christian Academy: Oct. 26 vs. Nashville Christian. The Wildcats host rival Nashville Christian on the final Thursday of the regular season, and if recent history holds, it will be for the region title.

DeKalb County: Oct. 27 at Upperman. The Tigers’ region could go down to the final week again and they draw the Bees in Week 11.

Dickson County: Oct. 13 vs. Kenwood. The Cougars’ new region has eight teams in it, and it will likely take three region wins to reach the playoffs. If this isn’t one of the three, Dickson County could have a hard time making the top four.

East Nashville first-year head coach Damien Harris takes over an Eagle program seeking a third consecutive BlueCross Bowl appearance. (Chris Brooks/615 Preps)


Eagleville: Sept. 1 vs. Moore County. The Eagles have a stretch of four consecutive region games in September, and three of them are on the road, with Moore County beginning that stretch.

East Nashville: Sept. 15 at Liberty Creek. Although the Eagles won’t get a home game until Week 10, they could have a tight grip on the region by then if they can march into Gallatin and knock off the second-year Wolves.  

East Robertson: Sept. 22 vs. Smith County. The Region 3-2A champion could host as many as three playoff games, and this game might decide who that team will be.

Ensworth: Oct. 6 at Father Ryan. The Tigers need a win at Father Ryan if they want to take the West Region in Division II-AAA.

Ezell-Harding: Sept. 29 vs. The King’s Academy. The Eagles should battle for playoff seeding during a two-week period with TKA and Providence Christian.


Fairview: Sept. 1 at Stewart County. The Yellow Jackets’ region opener ends a three-game road stretch to start the season. It could also determine the region winner.

Father Ryan: Oct 6 vs. Ensworth. It’s the next-to-last region game for the Irish and the last of three consecutive league contests. They’ll know where they stand after this one.

Franklin: Sept. 22 at Summit. The Admirals have a tough opening schedule that doesn’t offer any relief, but they’ll need to win this one to improve their playoff hopes.

Franklin Road Academy: Oct. 20 at CPA. The Panthers get an open date right before their clash with the Lions, which seems like good timing. Can they take advantage?

Friendship Christian: Sept. 22 at Middle Tennessee Christian. This figures to be the region title game and it takes place in Week 6.


Gallatin: Sept. 1 vs. Mt. Juliet. Rekindling an old rivalry at the Wave Yard, the Green Wave can take a giant step to a region title if they can claim the region opener.

Glencliff: Aug. 25 vs. RePublic. The Colts have lost 37 consecutive games dating back to 2018. If they don’t win the opener against Stratford, they very well could snap the skid in Week 2.  

Goodpasture: Oct. 13 vs. Webb School. The Cougars could be fighting with Webb for a playoff spot when this Week 9 region battle comes around, and the winner has to like its chances of playing in November.

Gordonsville: Oct. 26 vs. Clay County. Revenge will be on the Tigers’ minds as the Bulldogs not only claimed the region, but also knocked Gordonsville from the playoffs last year.

Grace Christian: Sept. 15 at Clarksville Academy. The Lions’ region opener is a true swing game for their playoff hopes.

Green Hill: Sept. 22 vs. Gallatin. Their final game at Mt. Juliet will ultimately decide a lot, but a home game against Gallatin could prove vital for tiebreakers.

Greenbrier: Sept. 22 vs. White House. The Bobcats and Blue Devils renew an old rivalry this season and their Week 6 battle could go a long way toward deciding which team is still in playoff contention by season’s end.


Harpeth: Sept. 22 at Summertown. The Indians will need to stack region wins in their new eight-team league. This also begins a three-game road stretch for Harpeth.

Hendersonville: Sept. 22 vs. Beech. It’s obvious, but winning this cross-town rivalry is made more important by its region implications.

Hillsboro: Sept. 22 vs. James Lawson. The Burros can’t afford to let the new kids on the block sneak up on them if they want to return to the postseason.

Hunters Lane: Oct. 5 vs. Springfield. The Warriors are in a tough region and will need a couple of wins to secure a playoff spot. Can they catch Springfield on a Thursday night?


Independence: Oct. 27 vs. Summit. The Eagles and Spartans could be battling for the same piece of playoff real estate in Week 11.


James Lawson: Sept. 22 vs. Hillsboro. The Lightning could gain a few non-region wins early in the season, but they’ll need this region victory if they want to charge to the playoffs in year one.

Jo Byrns: Sept. 29 vs. Clay County. The Red Devils are guaranteed a playoff spot in a four-team region, so why not try and make some noise to possibly secure a home playoff game?


Kenwood: Oct. 6 vs. Northwest. The Knights will finish with five consecutive region games after their Week 6 open date. If four wins are necessary to make the playoffs in an eight-team region, they’d better check this one off the list.

Kenwood: Sept. 1 vs. Northwest. It would be a good way to start region play if the Cobras get the first one at home.


La Vergne: Sept. 29 at McGavock. The winner of this one will have the inside track for a playoff spot and it would be a good way for the Wolverines to hit their open date the following week.

Lebanon: Oct. 13 at Mt. Juliet. The Golden Bears haven’t forgotten how Lebanon has handled them in the past couple of seasons, and now that it’s a region game, the stakes are much higher in this Wilson County rivalry.

Liberty Creek: Sept. 15 vs. East Nashville. It’s not too far-fetched to say this could be a region title game, given the state of the other teams in this league.

Lipscomb Academy: Sept. 8 at Baylor. How good will the Mustangs be in Class AAA? Only one way to find out.


Macon County: Sept. 1 vs. Upperman. Will the Tigers be a front-runner for the region title or need help to get there? Their region opener holds the key to those answers.

Maplewood: Oct. 5 at Stratford. Both teams should be playoff-bound this year, so this is more for playoff seeding and bragging rights.

McGavock: Sept. 29 vs. La Vergne. The Raiders could clinch a playoff spot in this game if they take care of business against Antioch as well.

Middle Tennessee Christian: Sept. 22 vs. Friendship Christian. Seems likely that the winner takes the region title in this game, just like last season.

Montgomery Bell Academy: Sept. 3 vs. McCallie. If the Big Red want to win the East Region in Division II-Class AAA, taking down the defending champs would be a terrific start.

Montgomery Central: Sept. 1 at White House. Want a playoff spot in this region? Winning the first league game would be a good start.

Mt. Juliet: Oct. 27 vs. Green Hill. City bragging rights and a possible region title are at stake in Week 11.

Mt. Juliet Christian: Sept. 1 vs. Providence Christian. Wins could be hard to come by in 2023, but the Saints have a chance to grab a couple in the first three weeks as they also face RePublic in Week 1.

Nashville Christian enters the 2023 season coming off a runner-up finish a year ago. (Chris Brooks/615 Preps)


Nashville Christian: Oct. 26 at DCA. A region title could be on the line in the regular season finale.

Nolensville: Sept. 22 at Centennial. The Knights and Cougars tangle in Week 6, and the winner should end up hosting a playoff game.

Northeast: Sept. 1 vs. Dickson County. How the Eagles handle their region opener will go a long way toward their playoff hopes.

Northwest: Sept. 1 vs. Kirkwood. How the Vikings handle their region opener will go a long way toward their playoff hopes.


Oakland: Oct. 27 vs. Riverdale. The Battle of the Boro moves to Week 11 this year, which is fitting.

Overton: Sept. 29 at Independence. The Bobcats drew a tougher region for the next two years. Can they find the two wins necessary to go dancing in November?


Page: Oct. 20 vs. Centennial. The Patriots face Nolensville in Week 11, but it’s their Week 10 showdown with the Cougars that could determine a lot.

Pearl-Cohn: Aug. 25 at CPA. Two tough non-region games open the Firebirds’ schedule – if they get through those healthy, they’ll be good to go in region play.

Pope Prep: Sept. 1 vs. CPA. The Knights will know exactly how far they have to go in region play when they open that part of their schedule in Week 3.

Portland: Sept. 22 vs. Springfield. Assuming it’ll take two region wins to make the postseason, if they can get one before October, it makes the task more manageable.

Providence Christian: Oct. 6 at Ezell-Harding. Both teams will be fighting for a playoff spot when this contest rolls around.  


Ravenwood: Oct. 27 at Brentwood. Week 11. Pretty self-explanatory if you’re familiar with the Battle of the Woods rivalry.

Red Boiling Springs: Oct. 26 at Jo Byrns. The Bulldogs’ best hope of avoiding the dreaded No. 4 seed is a win in Week 11.

RePublic: Oct. 26 at Maplewood. RePublic is unlikely to make the postseason, but if they do, it’ll be thanks to this game.

Riverdale: Oct. 13 vs. Blackman. You thought I’d say Oakland here, didn’t you? Well, in order to play the Patriots for a region title in Week 11, the Warriors had better win the Backyard Brawl in Week 9 first.

Rockvale: Sept. 15 at Riverdale. The Rockets get Riverdale and Oakland in back-to-back weeks, so we’ll have a good idea of their potential by the end of Week 6.

Rossview: Sept. 1 vs. West Creek. The Clarksville/Dickson County region could be wide-open, so getting off to a good start in region play is critical.


Siegel: Sept. 8 vs. Coffee County. It’s been a couple of seasons since the Stars won a region game, but their opener provides a great opportunity to break that drought.

Smith County: Sept. 22 at East Robertson. The Owls should be playing for a region title in this matchup, and that carries quite a weight given the potential for as many as three home playoff games this season.

Smyrna: Oct. 27 at Cane Ridge. The Bulldogs will be in the mix for a region title, and they’ll decide it in Week 11 when they visit the Ravens.

Springfield: Sept. 1 at Henry County. The Yellow Jackets renew the rivalry with Henry County early in the season, with the winner getting an inside track to a home playoff game.

Station Camp: Sept. 1 at Marshall County. If the Bison are competitive in this one – let alone win it – that bodes well for their postseason aspirations.

Stewarts Creek: Sept. 15 vs. Cane Ridge. The Red Hawks catch Cane Ridge in Week 5, which might be the right time if they want to shake the region up a bit.

Stratford: Oct. 5 vs. Maplewood. A win in this game and the Spartans can take some momentum – and a playoff spot – into their open date.

Summit: Sept. 22 vs. Franklin. The winner will only need one more region win to go dancing in November, but beware of the Admirals – they’re better than their 2022 record would suggest.

Sycamore: Sept. 22 vs. White House Heritage. The War Eagles’ region opener holds the key to a playoff berth – it won’t clinch one right away, but it will get them closer to it.


Trousdale County: Oct. 22 vs. Jackson County. It took the Yellow Jackets until Week 10 to get a win last season. They won’t cut it that close this time, and their first region win should come much earlier, too.


Watertown: Sept. 1 at Sequatchie County. It’s an entirely new region with several long road trips for the Purple Tigers. It’d be good to win the first one in region play.

West Creek: Sept. 1 at Rossview. Week 3 will be meaningful for all the Clarksville-area teams in that eight-team region. Can’t afford to drop that game.

Westmoreland: Sept. 15 vs. Monterey. If done correctly, the Eagles would have a playoff spot clinched by the end of Week 5.

White House: Sept. 22 at Greenbrier. The Blue Devils could get one step closer to a Class 4A playoff spot if they knock off their long-time rivals in Greenbrier.

White House Heritage: Sept. 8 vs. Cheatham County. The Patriots could make some noise within the region as long as this one’s in the win column.

Whites Creek: Sept. 8 vs. White House. There are no easy games in region play for the Cobras, so perhaps getting their new turf surface could help in Week 4.

Wilson Central: Sept. 8 at Green Hill. New head coach faces old program, classic storyline. Also the region opener for the Wildcats, so it carries even more weight.

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