By Donovan Stewart:
Last Year’s Record– 3-7
Head Coach– Stanton Stevens (107-77 overall, 25-48 in seven years at LaVergne)
Offensive Coordinator– Mike Woodward
Defensive Coordinator– Brent Bledsoe
Assistant Coaches– Tim Moore (DL), Jeff Jennings (RB), William Jones (OL/Special Teams Coordinator), Jerrel Horner (WR), Corey Dill (OL/TE), David Bergsmith (OLB), Lawrence Segree (DB)
Returning Starters on Offense and Defense– 12 (4 Off/8 Def)
Last Playoff Appearance– 2015
Key Returnees– Kendrick Furlow (TE/DE, Sr.), Joevante Norfolk (WR/S, Sr.) Tyree Garner (RB/DE, Sr.), Josh Lewis (WR/DB, Sr.) KeiAnthony Conner (QB, Sr.), Gerry Ivy (RB/DB, Sr.), Stanton Stevens (FB/LB, Sr.), Jason Bush (WR/DB, Sr.), Malachi Phillips (OL, Sr.), Keiran Liso (OL/NG, Sr.), Jeffy Homsombath (LB, Sr.), A.J. Wallace (LB, Sr.), Ty Johnson (LB/DB, Sr.), William Eakes (OL, Sr.), Zach Lancaster (OL, Sr.), Mason McKnight (OL, Jr.)
Key Losses– Maleik Gray (WR/S), Princeton Fant (WR/FS), Tre’Von Etter (OL/DL), Brandon Williams (OL), Keytavious Bradley (RB), Jecarous Stephens (FB/LB), Caleb Staten (OL) Sherrod Joy (TB/S)
LaVergne will try to get back to their winning ways of two seasons ago and forget about the disappointment of last season.
The Wolverines regressed in 2016. They finished 3-7 and missing the 5A playoffs after making the playoffs two seasons in a row in 2014-15.
LaVergne will move back up to 6A after spending the last two years in 5A.
They return eight starters on defense which will be the strength of the team. They are especially strong up front with eight returning players in the Wolverines 3-4 and 3-5-3 alignments. The Wolverines will have plenty of senior leadership as all 11 starters will be seniors.
The defensive line return two starters in Kendrick Furlow at defensive end and defensive tackle Keiran Liso with Tyree Garner rounding out the lineup at the other end position.
LaVergne returns all three starters at linebacker as Jeffy Homsombath will return at strong side linebacker, A.J. Wallace will be in the middle and Stanton Stevens Jr. will be on the weak side while another starter in Ty Johnson will return to fill the box at times from his rover position.
Three starters return in the secondary as Jason Bush and Gerry Ivy will start at cornerback and Josh Lewis will start at free safety while Joevante Norfolk will be at strong safety.
The biggest question marks will be on offense as the Wolverines only return four starters from last year but have been boosted by the hiring of Mike Woodward as offensive coordinator.
Woodward, formerly the head coach at Antioch, will add a good scheme as well as discipline to the offense so expect the unit to be much improved from 2016.
Triggering the offense will once again be KeiAnthony Conner while Ivy will return to join him in the backfield as he will be at tailback while Stevens will line up at fullback.
Center Malachi Phillips and Furlow at tight end will bolster the offensive line and they will be joined by fellow seniors William Eakes, Zach Lancaster and junior Mason McKnight to round out the line.
Bush and Lewis will be the starting wide receivers and will be joined by Norfolk in hopes of solidifying the position.
LaVergne Since 2010:
25-48 overall record, two playoff appearances
By The Numbers:
1988- The year that LaVergne opened.
LaVergne In the Playoffs:
Total Number of Playoff Appearances- 6
Playoff Record- 3-6
Deepest Playoff Run- Made second playoffs in 1996 (4A), 2006 (5A) and 2014 (6A)
Coach Stevens’ Thoughts:
“With a senior lead team we are hoping to make a return the playoffs. We are in a new region and hoping we will continue to be competitive. Hopefully with a fast and athletic defense lead by coach Bledsoe and new offensive coordinator Mike Woodward former Antioch head coach we will be able to score some points. Our offensive skill players are inexperienced and unproven so coach Woodward has his hands full.”
*August 18- Smyrna
August 25- at Franklin County
*September 1- at Cane Ridge
September 8- at Lebanon
*September 15- McGavock
September 22- at Whites Creek
*September 29- at Antioch
October 6- Wilson Central
October 13- OPEN
*October 20- at Nashville Overton
*October 27- Stewarts Creek
*Denotes Region Game