The trend in class 3A has been one of dominance from teams from East Tennessee over the past ten years. Last season the Mustangs from Nashville-David Lipscomb were able to change the trend and take home the state championship. Many would expect the Mustangs, who are undefeated with ten wins, to be able to pull off the repeat in 2008. Led by senior wide receiver and Tennessee commitment Zach Rogers, 6-1, 170 pounds the Mustangs look to return to Murfreesboro to defend their 2007 state championship. Fans can expect the Mustangs to have a smooth road into the fourth round of the playoffs.
In East Tennessee the Irish of Knoxville-Catholic have been rolling so far in 2008 and hope to keep things going through the playoffs. Led by senior running back Jordan Howanitz and junior back Dorian Cozart the Irish have dominated the competition in 3A up to this point. The highly efficient and potent Wing T offense for the Irish will be called upon to put some points on the board in order to make a run for a state championship. Players like senior tight end/defensive end Daniel Hood, who has been a key leader for the Irish and their success.
Out in West Tennessee the Tigers from Memphis-Mitchell are hoping to take some young talent like junior wide receiver Keiwone Malone, who has hauled in 767 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, and turn them into playoff performers. Senior Andrew Franklin has been one of the top defensive players in the state for two seasons now and hopes to continue that trend into the post season. Franklin finished the regular season with 111 tackles and six sacks. Do not let the Tigers four loss record mislead many because they played a stiff group of competition including Memphis-Whitehaven (Tenn.), Memphis-Melrose (Tenn.), Daphne (Ala.), and Memphis- Fairley (Tenn.). This team may be very competitive groups as they progress through the playoffs including a first round win over Crocket County (Tenn.)
Even though the successful teams often come out of the Knoxville area in class 3A and the Mustangs from Nashville-David Lipscomb have had an undefeated season the 2008 could be filled with some early surprises in the first three rounds. As we progress through the playoffs and closer to the state championships fans should watch for a possible match up between Knoxville-Catholic and Nashville-David Lipscomb.