Thursday, December 08, 2005

Williamson County, TN: More Than Just Where Eagles Soar

There was a time when, if a conversation were taking place about Williamson County, Tennessee football, the talk would center around Brentwood Academy, and few others - if any others at all.

Times have certainly changed.

While Brentwood Academy still remains the king of the county in terms of head-to-head matchups - the Eagles are 20-0 all-time versus county rivals - the emergence of three other programs now makes Williamson County more than a one-pony show.

Three of the past four Division I-5A championship games have included three different schools from Williamson County, and two of those schools have taken home the gold ball. Brentwood High School was the first of the current Division I-5A schools in Williamson County to make the finals, with the Bruins upending the mighty Riverdale Warriors 10-7 in the 2002 finals. Two years later, it was Franklin High School's turn, although Riverdale was able to turn the tables on the Rebels in the 2004 title game matchup, taking the crown 35-7. Most recently, the Ravenwood High School Raptors, in just its third year of varsity football, shocked the I-5A world, outlasting Oak Ridge in the 2005 I-5A finals in a tight, 14-7 contest.

Four other schools round out Williamson County - Independence and Centennial in I-5A, Page in I-3A, and Fairview in I-2A. While these four schools have yet to achieve the lofty status of the other four programs, hopes remain high at these schools. Independence and Centennial, like Ravenwood, are relatively new schools (Independence just fielded its first varsity football team in 2005, and Centennial opened its doors in 1996), and Page and Fairview, while having been around longer than Ravenwood, Independence, and Centennial, are still competitive in their regions, both having compiled overall winning records over the last five years.

It remains to be seen the impact the success that the three Division I-5A public schools is having on Brentwood Academy's football program. While Brentwood Academy now has gone nine years without winning a state championship in football, the Eagles have still appeared in six Division II title games, and interestingly enough, provided the only blemish on Brentwood High's 2002 state championship team, as well as Ravenwood's 2005 state title team. Nevertheless, the Bruins, Rebels, and Raptors are proving that there is room for more than one powerhouse in Williamson County.

Read this commentary and more at HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL DATABASE.

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