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Brentwood to open 2013 football season at CPA

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BA having trouble finding opponents; BHS coach has 'no problem playing private schools'

By CAROL STUART
Brentwood Home Page
Class 6A quarterfinalist Brentwood High will open up its football season at nearby Class 3A private school Christ Presbyterian Academy next year, while Brentwood Academy is still having a hard time finding opponents for 2013.

BHS head coach Mark Pemberton said he hasn't talked to BA but would have approached them next if he hadn't been able to fill out the Bruins' schedule. The Eagles already will make trips out-of-state to Cincinnati and to upper East Tennessee and have been turned down by officials at BHS, Ravenwood and Franklin about possible games, Coach Cody White said.

Brentwood Coach Mark Pemberton's Bruins team will open 2013 at Christ Presbyterian Academy. (BHP file photos)

Meanwhile, former BHS Coach Ron Crawford, now at Cleveland High, and former BA Coach Ralph Potter, who returned to private school McCallie, will play each other next year at their Chattanooga-area schools due to trouble scheduling.

"I have no problem playing the private schools," Pemberton said he told Williamson County Schools athletic director Jack Daniels recently. "That's not a big deal with me.

"I've been in the private side of it. I think they've sort of shied away from playing them football-wise over here the last few years. But that doesn't bother me. That would have been the next step, would have been to approach (BA)."

Ravenwood, currently searching for a new coach, has completed its schedule and so has Centennial. But Cougars Coach Brian Rector said he had to turn down some quality opponents and good gates due to Division I playoff wild-card criteria for overall wins, and the CHS schedule includes 6A semifinalist Mt. Juliet.  

Battle  Ground Academy is also having a tough time finishing out its schedule, BGA Coach Roc Batten said. Franklin and Independence are both waiting for final contracts by non-district opponents.

BA tried to schedule some WCS public schools

Christ Presbyterian, which made the 3A football semifinals for the second straight season, plays with public schools in TSSAA Division I which doesn't allow financial-aid grants. CPA does offer work-study jobs for students, but as a private school must use a 1.8-per-student multiplier when the TSSAA figures DI classification by enrollment.

"Ingle and I know each other, so we decided to go ahead and get together," Pemberton said Thursday. ". . . I think it'll be a good game. It's close and will be good gate for both schools. We'll do a home-and-home and looking forward to it."

The Lions, who won both the Class AA boys and girls state basketball titles, were recently moved out of District 10-AA with a number of Metro-Nashville public schools into District 12-AA with Page and other southern Middle Tennessee schools. That was against CPA's wishes.

Brentwood Academy Coach Cody White's team will travel to Cincinnati and upper East Tennessee and still needs two opponents.

Brentwood Academy, a 10-time state football champion -- mostly before Division II was created, competes in DII with other independent schools that provide need-based financial aid grants.

BA, which made the DII-AA football semis, has three open dates to schedule its last two games and a bye week: Week 0, Aug. 23 (when Brentwood and CPA will play); Week 1, Aug. 30; and Week 9, Oct. 25. The Eagles will travel to Ohio's St. Xavier in Cincinnati on Sept. 13 and to Johnson City's Science Hill on Sept. 27, with four straight road games.

"We are having trouble," White said Wednesday. The first-year BA coach and athletic director from Texas said he had contacted Brentwood, Ravenwood and Franklin.

"No on each count. Obviously, Ravenwood is now looking for a coach. Hopefully, he will be concerned about getting a quality opponent."

The Raptors' schedule is filled while waiting on one last contract signing, Raptors Athletic Director Patrick Whitlock said. The other non-district opponents will include Overton, Lavergne and Stewarts Creek, a new Rutherford County high school opening next fall.

No private school is on next year's schedule, Whitlock said. Ravenwood has opened against BGA the past two seasons, including this year's 0-5 start, and also played Rutherford County's Siegel, Oakland and Smyrna both years along with Metro's Cane Ridge.

"We had lots of options with the schedule," Whitlock said. "The trick was getting non-district opponents in the open weeks and balancing the home and away games."

Centennial turned down good games, good gates

District 11-AAA added an extra district game this season with Summit moving up from Class AA to AAA in regular season for its third year (and 6A for the six-class football playoff system). Dickson County is also replacing Hillsboro to give the district seven schools including Brentwood, Centennial, Franklin, Independence and Ravenwood.

"I just feel like scheduling this year was a major rush like I have never seen before," Centennial's Rector said. "Coaches were still playing football and having to fill out their schedule so that they would not be left without games or having to travel long distances, etc."

Centennial Coach Brian Rector's team will play 6A semifinalist Mt. Juliet next season.

CHS, whose enrollment jumped from 5A to 6A for playoff purposes, is traveling to both Clarksville Northeast and Clarksville High next fall plus playing Mt. Juliet along with Overton. Mt. Juliet has eliminated Brentwood in the Class 6A quarterfinals the past two years.

"The problem is that our playoff system simply does not allow you to fill the schedule with tough opponents that might be in your back yard because there are a certain number of wins you must have, overall, to make the playoffs," Rector said.

"That part is very frustrating to me because we had to turn down what would be good games, solid opponents, good gate receipt possibilities because there would be a decent to high chance we might get beat and therefore exclude us from the playoffs. The days of playing anybody, anytime are simply over for most schools."

Brentwood's other opponents besides CPA are: the following Friday, Week 1 at home against Blackman (the Bruins' only regular-season loss this year); Week 3 at home vs. Hendersonville; and Week 5, at Oakland .

Pemberton said the Bruins would have had more difficulty scheduling games if they hadn't been willing to play Murfreesboro teams.  

"Those guys are always looking, so if we would have shied away from them it might have been a little harder to find a schedule," the Brentwood coach said. "But we scheduled those two so it made it a little easier on us, and they had the same dates open."

Former Brentwood, BA coaches to play public vs. private game

Former BHS coach Crawford's Cleveland team and former BA coach Potter's McCallie team will open up Week 0. Crawford's team will also travel to the Central time zone to play Wilson Central, and his district rivals East Hamilton, Bradley Central (both Riverdale) and Ooltewah (Siegel) have Murfreesboro foes.

Crossing time zones for a regular-season game hurts everyone at the gate, he said. But the McCallie game and playing Midstate opponents was due to scheduling issues.

2013 Centennial schedule

Aug. 23, at Clarks. NE, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 30, vs. Overton, 7 p.m
Sept. 6, vs. Brentwood, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13, at Clarksville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20, at Summit, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27, vs. Mt. Juliet, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4, vs. Ravenwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, at Indy, 7 p.m. (Thur.)
Oct. 18, open
Oct. 25, vs. Dickson Co., 7 p.m.
Nov. 1, at Franklin, 7 p.m.

2013 BA incomplete schedule

Aug. 23
Aug. 30
Sept. 6, at Father Ryan
Sept. 13, at St. Xavier, Cincinnati
Sept. 20, at MBA
Sept. 27, at Science Hill
Oct. 4, at Pope John Paul II
Oct. 11, vs. McCallie
Oct. 18, vs. Baylor
Oct. 25
Nov. 1, vs. Ensworth

"We had a hard time filling out our schedule and when we re-drew for district games we got stuck with teams that don't travel well so we needed someone that would draw early," Crawford said.

"So we had a difficult draw (week 10 open) plus difficulty filling our non-district games. In the Chattanooga area there are only two teams that are AAA so all teams in this area had difficulty."

Brentwood High and Brentwood Academy played each other in football in 2001and '02 in Daniels' last year as BHS coach and Crawford's first season, when the Bruins won the Class 5A state title. BA won both times in close games, the coaches said.

"We considered BA but always wanted to try to play schools that were more similar to us," Crawford said.

"They are a totally different animal than BHS, different mission, different vision. You have to remember they can give financial aid and select kids from all around the area (Jalen Ramsey lives in Smyrna), and BHS has to play and educate those zoned to them. Also teaching loads and responsibilities as well as salary greatly differ for their staffs. Athletically they have a huge advantage."

BGA, which is playing in its enrollment classification of DII-A next year instead of up in DII-AA, has openings for Week 3 and 4, according to the TSSAA website.

"I do not have my schedule filled yet. I am still looking for a few games," BGA's Batten said.

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