The high school football season has reached its mid-point. With five weeks of the regular season now behind us (six if you count Week Zero), there are just five weeks of action remaining before the playoffs begin.
With half the season now in the books, early favorites are beginning to make their presence known. Reaching the halfway point of the 2012 campaign also means it’s time to revisit our preseason predictions in Division I and see how those forecasts are holding up. Here’s an in-depth look at the teams we thought highly of back in June.
6A – My picks in the state’s largest classification included Brentwood, Maryville, Riverdale, Siegel and Whitehaven. These teams are listed alphabetically, not in any other particular order. The 6A picks appear to be holding up well. Although Riverdale has dropped its last two games to Siegel and Hendersonville, the other four of my 6A favorites are still undefeated. I still feel very good about these teams advancing deep into the playoffs.
5A – My picks in 5A were Beech, Centennial, Henry County, Knoxville West and Shelbyville. The 5A picks are not holding up quite as well. Beech is my only 5A pick that’s still undefeated. The Bucs’ early season win over Henry County knocked the defending state champs from the undefeated ranks. I wasn’t surprised at Knoxville West’s loss to Maryville but Centennial has lost twice in recent weeks and Shelbyville has lost four of its first six games. The Golden Eagles may miss the playoffs.
4A – My picks in 4A included Covington, Giles County, Greeneville, Lexington and Signal Mountain. Covington and Giles County are still perfect. I like these teams a lot. Greeneville’s big loss to Alcoa may tell us that the Greene Devils’ stronghold on 4A may have come to a close. Signal Mountain got a nice win over South Pittsburg in a huge shootout and Lexington captured another big win. These teams are catching fire just at the right time.
3A – C.A.K. (still undefeated) and Alcoa (early loss to 6A Maryville) have been very impressive in 3A. Milan was upset by South Gibson two Fridays ago but rebounded nicely against Crockett County last week. Goodpasture and Fairview, my other picks in this class, should be OK by the time the playoffs begin.
2A – All five of my picks here are still undefeated in league play. All except undefeated Boyd Buchanan and 3-2 Mt. Pleasant have lost to teams in higher classifications. Adamsville lost to 4A Chester County, Knoxville Grace fell to 3A C.A.K. and Humboldt fell to 4A Crockett County and 3A Milan. I’m still comfortable with my picks in 2A.
1A – With South Pittsburg’s loss to Signal Mountain, all five of my 1A picks have at least one loss – but all those wins have come to teams in higher classifications. I still feel very good about my picks in this class.
(Murphy Fair has published Tennessee High School Football for 25 years. His website (murphyfair.com) gives high school football fans further insight into the prep football scene).