Commentary by Doug Dyer: Some things just donít change
By Doug Dyer, for the Williamson Herald
If I’ve learned anything in my years of covering sports around Williamson County, it is that some things are rock solid facts, especially when it comes to football.
Just like death and taxes, you can always count on:
-Brentwood Academy will be talented on the football field; they have Carlton Flatt’s legacy and 10 state championships to thank for that.
-The Franklin Cowboys, Brentwood Blaze, Nolensville Panthers and all the other youth football organizations will have the next generation of high school talent ready to take the next step in their development.
-WAKM-AM 950 will broadcast a high school Game of the Week. Whether it’s Terry Merrell or Joe Williams (yes, THAT Joe Williams), local radio supports high school football.
-And when it comes to high school rivalries, Franklin will always beat Cent… wait, Centennial’s 42-10 win last season was its first in the series. OK, strike that one.
-Brentwood will beat Cent… wait, there we go again. After 16 years of losing to the Bruins, the Cougars ended another jinx two weeks ago with their 31-20 victory.
Well, maybe some facts were written in pencil.
The point is, this could be the dawning of a whole new era for Williamson County football. Centennial, under third-year coach Brian Rector, has injected life into its two oldest rivalries when many thought a “rivalry” was nonexistent.
I saw the Cougars come close to beating both teams multiple times, but the jinx always would get them in the end. It’s good to know the attitude has changed.
Besides, how spicy can a rivalry be when one team dominates it?
Some other thoughts on the football season after four weeks:
“Bennett Ball” revisited: I saw a familiar face enter the field and join the Page Patriots when I watched their win over Summit two weeks ago – former head coach Jackie Bennett, now serving as the defensive coordinator under current head coach Charles Rathbone.
Bennett, who resigned as coach in 2003, was in command of the Patriot program during its most successful run – a 40-11 record from 1997-2000 that saw Page reach the Class 3A semifinals twice and make the playoffs every year.
It’s no surprise Bennett is helping with the defense, because one of the trademarks of those Patriot teams, in addition to a talented running game out of the smokestack I-formation, was their punishing defense.
Bruins’ starting slow: A 1-3 start to the season was not how new coach Mike Woodward wanted to begin his Brentwood regime. With one of the county’s most prestigious programs over the last decade and a half, Brentwood still has a lot of questions to answer as we approach the midway point of 2013.
The Bruins have a streak of 16 consecutive years of finishing at least .500 or better, and they have made the playoffs in each of those seasons, going back to Jack Daniels’ first year in 1997.
But this is not totally unfamiliar territory; Brentwood started 0-3 and lost four of its first five in 2007 before winning four of its last five to make the playoffs.
There’s still a long way to go.
Kudos to Palmer: He’s seven years removed as the head coach at Page, but Alvin Palmer is a name many still remember vividly.
Palmer is back in Lincoln County, where he helped coach the Lincoln County Falcons to two state titles as an assistant (1982, 1990), but this time he is the head coach at the newly reopened Fayetteville High.
The Tigers are competing in their first season of varsity football, and Palmer already has the program off to a fantastic start having scored two wins to start the season – a 41-6 victory over Richland and a 42-0 win at Community.
Most first-year programs struggle to dent the scoreboard against veteran teams, but Palmer has the Tigers laying a solid foundation for the future.
Palmer and the Tigers will visit Williamson County later this year when they face off against Page in Rudderville Oct. 10.
Posted on: 9/19/2013