Week 1 is finally here.
The Division II high school football teams in the Williamson County area include a pair of defending state champions in Brentwood Academy in DII-AAA and Christ Presbyterian Academy in DII-AA.
Like those two defending champs, Battle Ground Academy, Grace Christian Academy and Father Ryan all open on the road.
Brentwood Academy at Florence, Alabama
The four-time defending champion Eagles begin the season against a new opponent, but a familiar face for county high school athletics when they visit Will Hester’s Falcons in north Alabama. Hester guided Ravenwood to the 2015 Class 6A championship and launched the football program at Nolensville before moving to Florence.
Hester led the Falcons to the playoffs in his first year in 2018 in the school’s first season competing in the state’s largest classification. The veteran coach has some pieces, including six returning starters on defense, but had to rebuild his offensive line.
The Eagles feature returning quarterback Wade Williams, defensive studs Devyn Curtis and James Stewart, while running back Jordan James attracted the attention of the likes of Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina over an impressive offseason.
Christ Presbyterian Academy at Evangelical Christian School
CPA has spent all summer regrouping after a group of 31 seniors guided the Lions to an unbeaten 14-0 championship season in 2018.
Coach Ingle Martin has plenty of holes to fill and may be plugging in different faces in key positions early, including at quarterback where four players have seen action over the preseason.
The Lions loaded schedule will mean growing up in a hurry as it includes battles with three Region 6-6A teams in Independence, Ravenwood and Brentwood along with a trip to Ensworth in Week 4.
Battle Ground Academy at McGavock
The Jonas Rodriguez era at BGA begins in Nashville against a Raiders team that fell in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs to Brentwood last season.
Rodriguez has plenty of playmakers in Garnett Hollis Jr., Antonio Stevens and quarterback Nick Semptimphelter, but the Wildcats open with a pair of road contests in 2019 – a year removed from battling CPA for the DII-AA title.
Father Ryan at Bowling Green, Kentucky (Saturday)
The Irish enter 2019 with an eight-game losing streak and plenty to prove, but also return 13 starters. Father Ryan lost three divisional games by just six points or less and a 14-13 loss to Ensworth in the first round of the playoffs ended a 2-9 season.
After Friday’s trip to Kentucky, the Irish play three straight home games before tangling with the four-time defending champions Brentwood Academy.
Grace Christian Academy at Zion Christian
The Lions opened the 2018 season with seven consecutive losses. GCA eyes a fresher start in 2019 in Division II-A.
Week 1’s trip to Columbia to face Zion Christian will be the first test. The host Eagles haven’t won more than three games since 2012.
2019 Williamson Herald High School Football Media Guide
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Battle Ground Academy returns plenty of top talent in 2019, just a season removed from a runner-up finish in Division II-AA.