By Zach Womble of The Gallatin News – Click here for full article
2021 RECORD — 0-0
The Main Street Preps weekly pick ‘em column is back for another season and I, for one, am super excited. This column is easily one of my favorite to do, and one I think fans enjoy reading.
As always, these picks are in good-natured fun and are meant solely to generate buzz around the county.
We have a huge slate of games Friday night, so if you are a fan of good football all you need to do is close your eyes and pick a game because it is sure to be fun wherever you end up.
As for me, I will be in Portland to see the Panthers take on the Westmoreland Eagles.
Do not worry as our team of reporters and photographers will have the other five games in the county covered.
So, without further ado, my week 1 pick ‘em column.
Beech (0-0) vs. Farragut (0-0)
This game is likely the result of not being able to find anyone close to the midstate to play. The Buccaneers made the trip to Powell last season but I don’t expect Beech and East Tennessee teams to develop any kind of rivalry.
This will be the first meeting between the Bucs and Admirals so we don’t really know a lot about Farragut.
What we do know is the Admirals are coming off a 7-4 season that saw 2020 end in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs against Bradley Central.
Farragut is accustomed to the grind of a Class 6A schedule, something Beech will become familiar with this season.
Still, at home, I like the Bucs to come out victorious. Beech will likely make a few mistakes here and there, but I still like Crabtree’s crew to come out and start the season 1-0.
BEECH 28, FARRAGUT 24
Gallatin (0-0) at Mt. Juliet (0-0)
I have flipped back-and-forth so many times on who I think will win this game. One of the midstate’s great rivalries, these two teams will battle for four quarters and I think it will be the team that makes the fewest mistakes in 48 minutes who comes out on top.
The Green Wave have coughed the football up a few too many times this preseason, so cautious optimism is how I view their offense as of now.
A true running attack at their core, Gallatin will need to open the playbook some if they don’t want to see an eight/nine-man box for four quarters.
Gallatin can throw the ball, they have the playmakers, but the lack of working on it in the preseason has me pumping the brakes.
Defensively Gallatin will be stout this season, but will they get enough rest to be effective?
MT. JULIET 14, GALLATIN 10
Hendersonville (0-0) vs. Oakland (0-0)
Well, the Commandos have done it again. James Beasley’s team will battle the defending state champs for another season as the Patriots come to town.
A true measuring stick game, Hendersonville will have its work cut out Friday night in a game that will in all likelihood be one that is tough to win.
That said, Beasley has made it perfectly clear — you don’t win state championships in August. Hendersonville may get knocked around Friday night, but there is one thing that is certain — HHS will be better off for it.
Oakland returns a wealth of experience back off last year’s title team and will be expected once again to compete for the gold ball in Chattanooga.
OAKLAND 35, HENDERSONVILLE 17
Pope Prep (0-0) vs. Hillsboro (0-0)
Pope Prep is coming off its best season in school history and returns many of their playmakers from a season ago. The Knights have high expectations for themselves in 2021, and a win against one of the mid-state’s toughest test would surely go a long way for those goals. Injuries have kept certain key players off the field for Justin Geisinger these last couple of weeks, but scrimmage reps or not, I expect for the Knight playmakers to come out and do what they do best — score.
The offensive line is strong, but will face a solid test against defensive coordinator turned first-year head coach Anthony Brown.
While I do expect their to be fireworks early between these two schools, I think the Knights depth takes over late and Pope scores a late touchdown to make the score more lopsided than the game actually was.
POPE PREP 35, HILLSBORO 21
Portland (0-0) vs. Westmoreland (0-0)
These two schools have renewed their rivalry a bit over the last several seasons and we at Main Street Preps are all about county rivalry games.
The Eagles, who boast an experienced football team, will come to Memorial Stadium with supreme confidence looking to start their season 1-0 since 2018.
If you haven’t had the chance to see the Panthers play yet this preseason, what you can expect Friday night will be a team that is focused in all they do.
Portland boasts not only a well-experienced football team, but a team that can compete from the fourth spot on the depth chart all the way to the top spot.
They will adapt to the belief of their will be big plays, bad plays and everything in between.
Confidence is high around Portlnad, and it should be, because their football team is poised to have its best season in a long time.
The Eagles will be a tough opponent and one Portland must battle for all four quarters, but give me the Panthers in a close one. Portland starts 1-0 for the first time since 2019.
PORTLAND 17, WESTMORELAND 14
Station Camp (0-0) at White House (0-0)
Speaking of Sumner County rivalries, Station Camp and White House are meeting to start their season for the third consecutive season.
The Blue Devils are 2-0 against the Bison, so I’m sticking with that trend as well.
White House should be much improved this season, and I think it starts with a good win Friday night.
On that same note, the Bison should be much improved this season and should see some wins in 2021.
This could prove to be the best game in the county come Friday night, but I think the one-two punch on offense of Black and Blackburn coupled with a stout defense could make a tough night for Station Camp.
Give me the Blue Devils in a close one.
WHITE HOUSE 17, STATION CAMP 14