May 28, 2020

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Best of Media Day

Best of Media Day
Photo Credit To Dale Krisle

by: Dale Krisle

On July 22nd, the Tennessee Titans hosted the inaugural high school football media day at Nissan Stadium.  Every team in the mid-state was invited and there were several top programs and talented players in attendance.  The event seemed well received by teams and media alike and the Titans hope this showcase of high school talent will continue to expand in the years to come.  I was fortunate enough to speak with several of the attending schools and have compiled some highlights from a busy day of interviews.


In Attendance: Head Coach Arcentae Broome, Assistant Coach Fred Burnette, Damon Dartis, Yusuf Ali, Roshawn Pointer





Coach Broome on improving in 2016: “Being mentally tough.  I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve talked about. You may not be able to outthink your opponent but at least your mindset is where you are blocking out all the other things. I’m thinking strictly about football and my assignment.”

Yusuf Ali on defensive role: “Show everybody how it is supposed to be done.  How to stay focused and keep going hard every play.  Make sure my team knows they can do it too.”

Roshon Pointer on defensive role: “Being vocal.  Just talking out on the defense”

Damon Dartis on Maplewood tradition: “I really came because my dad came and I didn’t want to mess up the family tradition. Yea they went to the Clinic bowl and hopefully we have a chance to go to the Clinic Bowl (now known as Bluecross Bowl).”

Damon Dartis on playing other Metro Teams: “It gives me a boost because I basically know everybody on almost every other Metro team so it’s like I’m in competition with them.  I know if we do something bad or lose they will be in my face.”


In Attendance: Head Coach Dustin Wilson, Assistant Coach Drew Wilson, Joseph Ramirez, Kyle Cadwell, Tyricus Dowlen





Kyle Cadwell on team goals: “I think our main goal is to get to State and win but our secondary goal would be to get our brand out there.  Make Springfield big on the radar. Make us bold and make a loud statement this season.”

Tyricus Dowlen on role on defense: “I’m returning on the defensive line and have more experience than any other lineman up there.  I’m pretty sure Coach is looking for me to step up and help lead the defensive linemen so when I leave they can be more up to date.”

Joseph Ramirez on playing for Springfield: “There is no other jersey I’d rather put on than Springfield.  These numbers don’t really mean anything but the word does, Springfield.  We represent a brand that a lot of people would like to be a part of.”

Coach Dustin Wilson on emotions leaving Boyce Smith field for facility currently planned to open next year:   “It will be for everyone else besides these boys.  They will be so caught up in the game, but for coaches like myself and Drew we played there and it has changed a little bit since we played but it is still Boyce Smith where we all grew up playing.”

Pearl Cohn

In Attendance: Head Coach Tony Brunetti, Jayden Harrison, Brayden Devault-smith, Kenneth Miller, Chandon Page


Pearl Cohn



Kenneth Miller on replacing graduated talent: “Well sir, at Pearl Cohn we don’t rebuild, we reload.”

Chandon Page on Pearl Cohn tradition: “We have a very good tradition.  A lot of great things happened in past years.  Back then Coach Fitzgerald had a great legacy and we gotta keep the legacy going.”

Jayden Harrison on replacing graduated talent: “It’s a team effort and we all become a family as the year goes on.”

Kenneth Miller on what it means to play Pearl Cohn: “It means brotherhood.  We all stick together as one.  We have a great coach in Tony Brunetti.  We all love that man.  We going to ball this year.  I have a great feeling about this one.”

Braden Devault-smith on winning a title for Metro: “I feel like we get undermined a lot and it would be great to show people how good we are.”

Coach Brunetti on the tough non-distract schedule: “The biggest thing about non-district wise is we play a tough schedule this year.  It most definitely benefitted us last year and I think it will again this year.  Even though we took some bumps and losses I wanted to see if our kids were going to fight. And come back the next week and fight again and not quit.”


In Attendance: Head Coach Brian Beaubien, Trent Johnson, Antwuan Branch, Coreon Jackson, Brian Hinton





Coreon Jackson on team goals: “This year I feel like our players are a lot more focused on going farther in the state tournament and the state playoffs.  It is always important to win your region but at the same time our seniors ,and a lot of guys on our team period, we want to make a run at the state championship as well as the region championship.  I feel that’s something that has changed a lot.”

Trent Johnson on close victories a year ago: “I think that makes us more hungry because a lot of the games we won could have went either way.  So that just makes us want to work harder.”

Coach Beaubien on team goals: “Our goal is always to one make the playoffs but we want to compete for region championships.  This senior class will be the first senior class since I took over as head coach to be with me all four years so they are a special group to me.  We’ve kinda talked about getting to a championship level.”

Brian Hinton on Clarksville rivals: “Most of those schools in Clarksville are right down the road from us.  Everybody knows about them.  So we kind of take those to a different level when it comes to those games.  We really do what we can do to win those games because they mean a lot to us.  To kind of have bragging rights in the city.”

Antwuan Branch on trying to repeat as Region 6-4A champs: “We know how hard we worked for it last year so this year we are trying to work even harder.  It was a fight last year.  This year we are trying to prepare a little better for it so we know how to handle it.”


In attendance: Quentin Crawford, Jamarius Smith, Jake Hickman, Erick Nolan, Damiso Dempsey





Eric Nolan on leading the defense: “Keep the leadership going in hard times.  Keep everything on track.  The main thing is do your job.  Don’t overdo what you’re not asked to do.  Just go out there give it 100%.”

Damiso Dempsey on the offensive line: “We aren’t up there in size but we are up there in speed.  Everybody we are going to be playing (against) will be well over 280 (lbs) and like 6’2” so what we have to do is get the defensive line moving.”

Jamarius Smith on transferring to McGavock: “That was the first thing that Coach Gore asked me, ‘Are you hitting the weightroom?’ I was like ‘Yes, Sir’ but he said ‘You aren’t hitting it how we are’.  He got me in there and got me stronger than I’ve been.”

Jake Hickman on team goals: “I feel like our goals this year are just to finish what the seniors in the last few years have started.  Picked up where McGavock has been and (make it) a name to know around town.”

Quentin Crawford on Metro opponents: “I feel like we came out motivated like that every game really.  It’s no different just because we are playing another Metro school.  Come out motivated regardless.”

East Robertson

In attendance: Head Coach Chad Broadrick, Johnny Lyons, Andrew Tobitt, Tom Blakemore, Logan Beck


East Robertson



Tom Blakemore on season prep: “Conditioning, conditioning and a lot more conditioning.  We are just trying to be mentally tough through everything we do.  I think we are doing a decent job of it right now but we can still be better.”

Andrew Tobitt on winning final two games last year: “It showed that we could really turn around our season and face adversity and overcome it.”

Johnny Lyons on offseason work: “I’ve just been trying to get stronger.  Just trying to work on more agility.   Be able to push longer and stronger.  I’m going to try to bring the team together more.  Try to get everyone working on the same page and we can make good things happen.”

Coach Broadrick on improving in 2016:  “I think if we can become more mentally tough and handle adversity better then we will be where we want to be when the season starts and finishes.  I think that’s our big emphasis.  Coming together as a team and being more mentally tough and handling adversity.”

Logan Beck on the offensive line: “Just stay together as one, as a line.  Don’t try to play by yourself but as a team.  That should be good.”


In Attendance: Head Coach Donnie Webb, Carter Bowman, Conner Palk, Ben Mclendon, Max Page





Head Coach Donnie Webb on difficulty of Region 3-6A: “I’m a little old school. We lift, we practice, and we work to get better.  We worry about Franklin.  You can’t worry about who else is on your schedule because the only game that is important to us right now is Centennial.  We’ve got a long way to go before we get to the region.”

Ben Mclendon on playing for Franklin: “It makes us proud to wear the jerseys and just show that we can represent Franklin as a whole.  That we are good enough to do that.”

Max Page on football at Franklin: “Since Franklin is the oldest school in Williamson County other than BGA,  I think that just having that legacy of a hundred odd years kind of makes you proud to wear the jersey and have your parents come out and your parents’ parents come out to watch.  It’s just special to think that all those people want to come out and watch you.”

Conner Palk on repeating defensive success: “We have a good number of returning starters on the defensive side at every position.  We have a d-lineman that’s a returning starter, we have a lot of returning linebackers and db’s.  I feel like these players will be able to lead the team on the defense and we will find guys to fit around us and help us win ball games.”

Carter Bowman on the opening game against Centennial: “I feel like playing against someone you know and the bragging rights that come with winning this game, I feel like it brings a different atmosphere and makes it more competitive.”


In Attendance: Head Coach Stanton Stephens, Maleik Gray, Princeton Fant, Brandon Williams, Trevon Etter


La Vergne



Coach Stephens on adjusting to new region in 5A: “We feel pretty good now that the region and classification we are in is more suited to our numbers.  Most of the teams have about the same number of guys on their team as we do.  There may be some that have a little more but I feel our quality versus their quality is about the same.”

Brandon Williams on the offensive line: “I feel like up front we can do anything we want if we put our minds to it and keep on the same page.  If we are on the same page we going to move anybody that’s in front of us.”

Maleik Gray on leading the defense: “I’m just looking for us to have a successful season and be really aggressive.  Just play our role and do our job and not worry about the other guy.  There really is nothing to it, you just have to do your job and be aggressive and you will have a great outcome.”

Princeton Fant on improving in the offseason: “Conditioning and speed.  Just getting back in shape and focusing up and getting ready for the big season this year. I’m trying to get the younger receivers into it to at the same time.  Just trying to teach the young guys the route running and focusing up.”

Trevon Etter on playing for LaVergne: “In the past we’ve always had our ups and downs throughout the season but this year having younger guys step up and play positions they’ve never played before kind of helps out with the team.  It’s no longer about just us but the community and the Lavergne area. Kind of making the community proud of us.”


In Attendance: Assistant Coach Shiftmon, Anthony Avros, Nudae Hunter, Kole Monson, Isaiah Phillips, Clayton Spence





Coach Shiftmon on team goals: “Me being the offensive line coach, I want to make sure that we are able to run the ball and really in my mind I’m just focused on East Nashville.  Take it one game at a time and move on like that.”

Isaiah Phillips on improving the defense: “One thing we want to do on defense this year is to stop the run.  We had trouble stopping the run last year and people had over 1,000 yards rushing on us and we need to stop the run.”

Kole Monson on playing QB: “We have been to four 7 on 7’s in the last few weeks and every 7 on 7 I’ve progressed and progressed.  I think they trust me, honestly, because I don’t act like I’m afraid.  I’ve gotten confidence and my confidence is very high right now.”

Nudae Hunter on playing Clarksville rivals: “The local games are a little more intense than the other non-distract games.  When we are locally playing, not only is it fun to play against local teams because we get to meet up with our pals and rough them up sometimes, but I feel like the game is a lot more alive within the community.”

Clayton Spence on being a run blocking TE: “I work with the lineman a lot.  Basically I’m just another Tackle.  I’m kinda like a glorified Tackle.  Most of the time I’m in we have smash blocks or a double team to try to get the hole open for our running backs.”

Anthony Avros on role on defense: “Last year we had a problem with (not) having a leader on defense.  This year, we have more team chemistry together. As a young team, we probably only had about six seniors last year, our goal for the defense is just to play to the ball, play physical, play hard, and stay focused.”

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