Donovan Stewart’s Class 6A Spring Top 10

Donovan Stewart’s Class 6A Spring Top 10

Class 6A had the top 32 teams in terms of Enrollment, the last two seasons but after the TSSAA went through reclassification this year, the number of 6A teams went from 32 to 49 as 17 formerly 5A teams grew in enrollment and will be a part of 6A.

The 17 teams leaving 5A and heading to 6A are: Brentwood, Cane Ridge, Centennial, Cleveland, Dickson County, Farragut, Hendersonville, Heritage, Independence, LaVergne, McMinn County, Memphis Central, Morristown West, Ooltewah, Rossview, Station Camp and Stewarts Creek.

So how tough was it to pick a Preseason top 10? Especially since the 5A champion in 2016 (Farragut) and runner up Independence are also contenders for the 6A crown which lands them in the preseason top 5.

For the sixth straight year, I will offer my Spring Top 10 teams in each classification starting with Class 6A this week.

My Top 10s are based on conversations with coaches in 6A across the state as well as returning personnel that the teams have back in 2017.

 


10. Hendersonville Commandos
Last Year’s Record- 7-3, did not make 5A playoffs
Enrollment- 1,531
Head Coach- Bruce Hatfield (153-77 in 19 years at Hendersonville)
Offensive Coordinator-Kris Bundy

Defensive Coordinator- James Beasley

Region-4-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 8 (3 Off/5 Def)
Offense- Wing T
Defense- 50
Key Returnees- Anthony Hughes (RB/LB, Sr.), Brett Coker (QB, Sr.), Austin Halas (TE/DE, Jr.), Zach Rockom (OL/DL, Jr.), Lane Smith (OL/LB, Jr.), Andrew Waters (OL/DL, Jr.), Wilson Higgs (OL/DE, Jr.), Nate Hancock (RB/DB, Jr.), Derek Kincaid (RB/DB, Jr.), Blaze Foster (OL/LB, Sr.)
Key Losses- Jordan Amis (TE/DE), Reggie Harris (RB/LB), Daly Cull (OL/DL), Emmitt Richardson (OL/DL), Frankie Small (RB/DE), Weston Schwerdt (RB/DB), Brandon Dove (OL/DL), Luke Carver (WR/DB), Caleb Thorton (WR/DB)
Players Looking To Step Up- Anthony Hughes. The senior made all region last year rushing for 813 yards, for the Commandos to go far this season, Hughes will have to be a leader at running back.
Spring Practice- April 24- May 12
Spring Optimism – Coach Bruce Hatfield is encouraged by the senior leadership in his big senior class (26 seniors), missing the Class 5A playoffs has made Hendersonville hungry for the 2017 season.
Spring Concerns- The Commandos only return five starters on defense so finding starters and depth will be key especially with their schedule.


9. Cordova Wolves
Last Year’s Record- 12-2, lost to Whitehaven in semifinals
Enrollment- 2,267
Head Coach- Anthony Jones (45-22 overall, 30-16 in four years at Cordova)
Offensive Coordinator- Quintin Jones
Defensive Coordinator- Robert Jacques

Region- 7-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 8 (5 Off/3 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 4-3
Key Returnees- Jerome Carvin (OT, Sr.), Herman Joseph (OT, Sr.), Terrance Washington (OG, Sr.), Jevon Connor (LB, Sr.), Jacolby Hewitt (WR, Sr.), Christian Arrambide (QB, Sr.), Jeremy Banks (RB, Sr.), Tracy Williams (LB, Sr.), Asa Bonner (S, Sr.), Cailen Jones (DB, Sr.)
Key Losses- Quinton Bohanna (DL), Braylon Brown (DL), Ahmad Richardson (DB), Edward Johnson (WR), Harold Lacy (RB), Devin Coleman (QB), Caleb Clear (DB), Shemar Collier (WR), Nathan Adams (OL), Myron Henderson (OL), Trevion Ross (DL), Jeremiah Fordham (LB), Dazerius Bohanna (FS)
Players Looking To Step Up- Christian Arrambide. The senior takes over at quarterback this year and his play in the spread offense will dictate on how far the Wolves can go in 2017.
Spring Practice- May 1-12
Spring Optimism – Cordova is talented and deep at the linebacker position as Jevon Connor and Tracy Williams will lead the Wolves defense.
Spring Concerns- Cordova will have to replace their top six players from their defensive line rotation from last year.


8. Oakland Patriots
Last Year’s Record- 14-1, lost to Whitehaven in 6A title game
Enrollment- 2,173
Head Coach- Kevin Creasy (105-15 overall, 26-3 in two years at Oakland)
Offensive Coordinator- Kevin Creasy
Defensive Coordinator- Stephen Jackson
Region- 3-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 6 (3 Off/3 Def)
Offense- Wing T
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Aaron Sears (K, Sr.), Lionel Patterson (OL, Jr.), Branson Boone (OL, Sr.), Colton Chapman (OL, Sr.), Christian Cantrell (DE/TE, Jr.), Blake Spencer (DT, Sr.), Jeron Rooks (RB/LB, Sr.), Malik Marshall (RB, Sr.), Robert Murphy (RB, Sr.), Cameron Snelling (FB, Sr.), Ryder Gebhardt (FB/LB, Sr.), B.J. Rulikera (WR, Sr.), Tanner Popovich (WR, Sr.), Mookie Wilson (FB/RB, Jr.), Thadd Chapman (OL, Sr.),
Key Losses- JaCoby Stevens (WR/DB), Lazarius Patterson (RB), Brendan Matthews (QB), Kaleb Oliver (S), Jackson Cauthen (LB), Chris Onwumere (FB/DL), Wanya Moton (FS), Elijah Dobbins (OL), Quantez Parks (LB),
Players Looking To Step Up- Brevin Linnell. The junior attempted only six passes completing three for 41 yards last season as the Patriots made the 6A title game. His growth stepping in to lead the offense will be paramount for Oakland.
Spring Practice- May 1-12
Spring Optimism – The Patriots should be good up front on the defensive line as they return talented players in junior defensive end Christian Cantrell and senior defensive tackle Blake Spencer. Senior kicker Aaron Sears is very dependable and one of the best around in the kicking game.
Spring Concerns- Kevin Creasy will have to find starters in the secondary as all four starters were lost to graduation including SEC bound JaCoby Stevens and Kaleb Oliver.

 


7. Mt. Juliet Bears
Last Year’s Record- 9-3, lost to Ravenwood in second round
Enrollment- 2,145
Head Coach- Trey Perry (24-21 in four years at Mt. Juliet)
Offensive Coordinator- Zach White
Defensive Coordinator- Greg Abner
Region- 4-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 15 (5 Off/10 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Aidan Raines (RB, Sr.), Tony Thompson (LB, Sr.), Lawson Rich (WR, Sr.), Marcello Walton (RB/LB, Jr.), Tyreece Stone (OG, Sr.), Cade Hoppe (OG/DL, Sr.), Evan Angle (DE, Sr.), Chris Humphreys (LB, Sr.), Jesyah White (FS, Sr.), Colton Reeder (LB, Sr.), Keaton Mang (SS, Sr.), Michael Ruttlen (DB, Jr.), Jeremiah Birdsong (DB, Sr.), Conner Ruzek (WR/FS, Jr.), Reggie Grimes (RB, Fr.), Braden Costley (DE, Sr.)
Key Losses- Mason Earls (QB), DJ Delfendahl (OL), Justin Satterfield (OL), Drew Tompkins (OL), Colt Jones (DL), Jordan Fryer (LB), Jaylan Jones (DL), Aaron Weist (DL), Jacob Parker (OL), Trey Pruitt (H/TE), Jacob Bailey (PK), Jacob Shanks (DL), Braden Lovett (WR/PR)
Players Looking To Step Up- Braden Costley. The senior defensive end will have a lot of his plate this year as he will start at defensive end and have a big role on special teams as well as he will be the Bears long snapper.
Spring Practice- April 24-May 12
Spring Optimism – Coach Trey Perry is excited when he looks over the Bears defense as they return 10 of 11 starters led by linebacker and special teams maven Tony Thompson.
Spring Concerns- In 6A football, it’s always about the war up front on both the offensive and defensive lines and starters shouldn’t be a problem but finding quality depth will be for Mt. Juliet.

 


6. Bradley Central Bears
Last Year’s Record- 9-3, lost to Blackman in second round
Enrollment- 1,705
Head Coach- Damon Floyd (63-56 in 11 years at Bradley)
Offensive Coordinator- Keith Freeman
Defensive Coordinator- Damon Floyd
Region- 2-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 17 (10 Off/7 Def)
Offense- No Huddle Spread
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Jake Presley (S, Sr.), Jay Person (LB, Sr.), Henley Headrick (LB, Sr.), Kevin Gentry (DL, Sr.), Tyler Collier (OL, Sr.), Christopher Cash (OL, Sr.), Nick Howell (WR, Sr.) Lamerick Tucker (WR, Sr.), Adam Mullis (RB, Sr.), Devin Moore (RB, Sr.), Tucker Bentley (OL, Sr.), Josh Hatchett (OL, Sr.), Bailey Timmons (OL, Sr.), Stephen Muhonen (WR, Sr.), Dylan Standifer (QB, Jr.)
Key Losses- Cole Copeland (QB), Cason Still (S), Jake Tolleson (LB), Hunter Duggan (LB), Maliek Whaley (DL) Chris Keller (OL), Trevon Hill (WR)
Players Looking To Step Up- Dylan Standifer or Saylor Clark. Standifer who played at wide receiver before starter Cole Copeland got hurt is the leader so far but Clark is challenging for the position.
Spring Practice- May 1-18
Spring Optimism – The Bears should be exciting on offense if Standifer or Clark pan out at quarterback as they return 10 starters including their entire offensive line and wide receivers.
Spring Concerns- Having to replace a guy in Copeland that rewrote the school’s record book in everything passing is going to be a chore but for the Bears finding a starter in either Standifer or Clark is going to be huge for Bradley.

 


5. Independence Eagles
Last Year’s Record- 14-1, lost to Farragut in 5A title game
Enrollment- 1,677
Head Coach- Scott Blade (116-30 overall, 44-10 in four years at Indy)
Offensive Coordinator- Scott Blade
Defensive Coordinator- Lance White
Region- 6-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 8 (5 Off/3 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 4-4
Key Returnees- Troy Henderson (RB, Sr.), T.J. Sheffield (WR, Jr, Tennessee commitment), Kendrell Scurry (WR, Jr., Tennessee commitment), Zion Katina (OL, Sr.), Beau Myers (WR, Sr.), Weston Landry (K, Jr.), Jake Huner (LB, Jr.), Colby Logan (LB, Jr.) Kyle Greenwell (P, Sr.), Jevan Robertson (FS, Sr.), Nathan Cisco (QB, Jr.)
Key Losses- Hunter Dupree (LB), Michael Pierce (DL), David Demke (DE), Cole Huner (FS), Logan Guidry (SS), Montray Steele (WR/DB), Austin Copps (OL), Michael Weathers (OL), Isaiah Demello (OL), Alan Watson (DB),
Players Looking To Step Up- Nathan Cisco. The junior is the next guy up and trigger man in coach Scott Blade’s pass happy wide open system.
Spring Practice- April 24-May 12
Spring Optimism – The Eagles are scary good at the skill positions with two Tennessee commitments at wide receiver in T.J. Sheffield and Kendrell Scurry and a playmaker in Troy Henderson at running back.
Spring Concerns- Indy will have to find quality starters in the front seven on defense as the line and linebackers took a big hit with graduation.

 


4. Blackman Blaze
Last Year’s Record- 9-4, lost to Maryville in Quarterfinals
Enrollment- 2,175
Head Coach- David Watson (44-54 overall, 19-7 in two years at Blackman
Offensive Coordinator- David Watson
Defensive Coordinator- Kit Hartsfield
Region- 3-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 12 (7 Off/5 Def)
Offense- Multiple Spread
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Amauri Burks (ATH, Sr.), Master Teague (RB/DB, Sr.), Thomas Burks (K, Sr.), Ibrahim Qadir (SS, Sr.), DaCorrius Rankins (WR/DB, Sr.), Conner Mitchell (QB, Sr.) Jamis Carson (DB, Sr.), Cordell Braxton (RB/ATH, Sr.), Ben Kalu (DE, Sr.) Treven Brown (DT, Sr.), Adonis Otey (WR/DB, Jr., Tennessee commitment), Trey Knox (WR, Jr.)
Key Losses- Anthony Ochoa (LB), Joseph Sewell (TE), Jeremiah Wade (WR/DB), James Brown (LB), Queontez Pugh (WR/DB), Matthew Hartley (OL), Dylan Heath (OL), Rico Banks (LB), Demondre Ogleton (DL)
Players Looking To Step Up- Kamron Philalom and Lance Pawlowski. THE two first year starters on the offensive line need to up their games to stabilize the line.
Spring Practice- April 24-May 12
Spring Optimism – Playmakers are plentiful on Offense for the Blaze led by senior back Master Teague (2,031 rushing yards, 24 touchdowns) and receivers Trey Knox, DaCorrius Rankins and FRA transfer Adonis Otey.
Spring Concerns- David Watson know he has a talented team that likes to run the football and physicality is an important part of that for the Blaze. Finding leaders to step up is going to be critical.

 


3. Farragut Admirals
Last Year’s Record- 14-1, beat Independence for 5A state title
Enrollment- 1,734
Head Coach- Eddie Courtney (152-90 in 21 years at Farragut)
Offensive Coordinator- Rusty Partin
Defensive Coordinator- David Hawkins
Region- 1-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 13 (6 Off/7 Def)
Offense- Spread Option
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Max Travis (QB/DB, Sr.), Drew Butler (LB, Sr.), Jacob Warren (TE, Sr.), Braden Collins (WR, Sr.), Jaden Gibbs (WR, Jr.), Andrew Maxey (OL, Sr.), Jonathan Buchanan (OL, Sr.), Jackson Powers (OL, Sr.), Nnamdi Mcswine (DE, Sr.), Cade Burkey (LB, Sr.), Alex Williams (LB, Sr.), Grayson Utterback (DB, Sr.), Griffen Swicegood (DB, Sr.), Kyle Carter (RB, Jr.)
Key Losses- Cooper Hardin (RB/LB), Davis Simmons (WR), Joe Doyle (P/K),Chance Bolen (OL), Will Everett (DL), Adam Fulton (QB), Jack DeVault (WR)
Players Looking To Step Up- Max Travis. Replacing Adam Fulton at quarterback will be difficult but Travis should make the transition from wide receiver to quarterback rather easily.
Spring Practice- May 1-13
Spring Optimism – The Admirals return three top targets at wide receivers in Braden Collins and Jaden Gibbs ASAP well as a big target in tight end Jacob Warren.
Spring Concerns- Farragut will have to find starters on the defensive line alongside defensive end Nnamdi Mcswine.

 


2. Maryville Rebels
Last Year’s Record- 13-1, lost to Oakland in Semifinals
Enrollment- 1,684
Head Coach- Derek Hunt (0-0 in first year at Maryville)
Offensive Coordinator- Derek Hunt
Defensive Coordinator- Jeremy Russell and Nick White
Region- 2-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 12 (8 Off/4 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 4-3
Key Returnees- Dylan Hopkins (QB, Sr.), Christian Markham (WR, Sr.), Jacob Wall (OL, Sr.), Isaiah Cobb (RB/LB, Sr.), Blake Watson (TE/DE, Sr.), Tommy Smith (LB, Sr.), Will Orren (DB, Sr.), Davon Kimble (WR/DB, Jr.), Riley Gennoe (LB, Sr.)
Key Losses- T. D. Blackmon (LB), Jordan Ervin (RB), Trejuan Purty (DE), Blake Oliveira (DL), Ramadan Gibril (DB), Matt Young (DE), Matthew Cone (K), Isaac Keller (OL)
Players Looking To Step Up- Isaiah Cobb. Cobb, the nephew of Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb has the look of the next great Maryville running back, a breakthrough year for him and the Rebels could get back to the title game.
Spring Practice- Spring Practice completed
Spring Optimism – The Rebels return eight starters on offense including quarterback Dylan Hopkins, a 2016 Class 6A Mr. Football Back Semifinalist, Cobb at running back and Chriatian Markham at wide receiver.
Spring Concerns- Maryville took a hit on defense as they will have to replace the contributions of two time Mr. Football Lineman winner T.D. Blackmon and defensive linemen Trejuan Purty, Blake Oliveira and Matt Young.

 


1.Whitehaven Tigers
Last Year’s Record- 15-0, beat Oakland for 6A State title
Enrollment- 1,738
Head Coach- Rodney Saulsberry (136-30 in 13 years at Whitehaven)
Offensive Coordinator-Clarence Dillard

Defensive Coordinator- Errol Harmon
Region- 8-6A
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 6 (1 Off/5 Def)
Offense- Multiple
Defense- 50
Key Returnees- C.J Biggins (WR, Sr.), Cormontae Hamilton (TE/LB, Jr.), Devon Robinson (LB/TE, Sr.), Tyler Hunter (DL/LB/FB, Jr.), Bryson Eason (LB, Soph.), Joshua Gray (DB, Jr.), Mamadou Anne (K, Jr.), Chris Witherspoon (RB, Sr.), Rayshad Williams (DB, Sr.), William Jackson (WR, Sr.), Draper Redmond (OL/DL, Sr.), Vincent Guy (QB/ATH, Jr.), Keyshaun Lewis (RB/SS, Sr.)
Key Losses- J’len Smith (LB/TE), Aubrey Miller (LB/RB), Tyler Walton (DT/OL), Shabar Wilson (DL/FB), Jabril Malone (DB/RB), Anthony Geter (OL/DL), Darrick Jackson (OL/DL), William Whitfield (OL/DL), Kylan Watkins (ATH), Vontavious Thacker (LB), Deniro Tillman (DB), Tyrone Cason (FB), Markerion Johnson (WR), Kenneth Garrett (ATH/DB/KR), Kadedrick Richardson (WR)
Players Looking To Step Up- Vincent Guy. The junior will step in at quarterback and will try to get Whitehaven to their fourth 6A title game.
Spring Practice- April 27-May 10
Spring Optimism- The Tigers return only five starters on defense but sophomore stud linebacker Bryson Eason and big defensive back Rayshad Williams will make up for a lot of mistakes.
Spring Concerns- Whitehaven will have to totally rebuild both the offensive and defensive lines as graduation took a huge toll on both sides as they lost seven of eight starters.

 

Eight More Teams To Keep Your Eye On– Brentwood, Cane Ridge, Cleveland, Franklin, Memphis Central, Morristown West, Riverdale and White Station
Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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