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High School Football

Football Preview: Experienced Summit eyes another trip to finals 

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SPRING HILL — After facing newly established Region 7-6A rivals in back-to-back weeks, the Summit High School football team has continued to thrive in the postseason and is back in the state semifinals. 

The unbeaten Spartans (13-0), who exploded for more than 530 yards of offense in a 48-28 win over Ravenwood last week, travel to Hendersonville Friday trying to advance to a third consecutive championship and first in Class 6A. The Spartans won it all in Class 5A last season and are currently riding a 24-game winning streak spanning the last two seasons. 

Summit coach Brian Coleman said his team is relying on the experience of the previous years. 

“These guys have been together forever, and their motivation in the offseason was to prove to everyone that they can still find success at another level,” he said. “It’s just been awesome to be a part of and for this team to stay up the whole time with this 24, 25-game win streak or whatever, too, it just shows that right mindset.” 

Coleman said his team used this time in 2019 — when they finished as Class 5A’s runner-up in the school’s first appearance in the finals — as some of the foundation in developing their tight team bond. 

“I thought about that today in practice actually, how our team has bonded in this time,” he said. “Playing and practicing at this point in the season allows you to kind of enjoy each other more, and you aren’t as pressed for time. 

“We are so fortunate to be at this point in the season for a third time over Thanksgiving.” 

Coleman’s twin power tandem of Destin and Keaten Wade were both honored as Mr. Football finalists in Class 6A. The brothers teamed up with longtime teammate Brady Pierce to lead the way in the defeat of Ravenwood for a second time this season — and by a near identical score to their 49-28 win on Oct. 1. 

Pierce hauled in three first-half touchdowns from Destin Wade last week and also scored on the ground while collecting an interception. Destin Wade collected 213 yards rushing with two TDs and threw for 147 yards with the three strikes to Pierce. Keaten Wade rushed for 92 yards and recorded two strip sacks in the contest, including a crucial turnover late in the third quarter. 

“Our defense really started playing much better after halftime,” Coleman said.

They’ll be relied upon again Friday in Hendersonville. 

The Commandos (10-3) defeated rival Beech 34-14 in the quarterfinals last week for their fifth straight win. Torin Baker rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown to help lead the way. 

Hendersonville did suffer a 35-28 setback at home against Ravenwood on Sept. 24, but Coleman said his team isn’t focusing on that. 

“That is a hard-nosed football team we will face,” he said. “We had a huge win last week, and sometimes high school kids have that tendency to have a bit of a lull after games like that, but not these guys. 

“They recognize there’s still work to be done.” 

Friday’s game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start in Hendersonville. Defending Class 6A champion Oakland (13-0) travels to Maryville (13-0) in a battle of unbeaten rivals in the other semifinal. 

The winners will meet in Chattanooga in the final football game of the season on Dec. 4.

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