By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
The winner of tonight’s Week Zero opener featuring Lebanon at Wilson Central will get a leg up on the rest of the season with a region victory socked away and some momentum. The loser, not so much.
Playing a game this big, this early isn’t the idea situation for either program, but with finances being what they are -- neither program can afford to take a chance on playing this one deeper in the season during fall break with many students and fans out of town.
“Wilson Central is in the same boat as us,” said LHS coach Bobby Brown, “we’d love to have more time to prepare, but we’ll be ready.” Coming off a 4-6 season in 2009, Brown is expected to field a team with only two seniors projected to start -- one on each side of the ball. “We’ve got some size up front,” Brown said, “but we’re still learning.”
Central, 2-8 last season under departed coach Trae Aric, looks to longtime assistant Brad Dedman as the fifth head coach in the history of the program.
Dedman, 33, played at Lebanon High and has worked in some capacity at Wilson Central under all four former Wildcat head coaches.
“The early part of last week with the heat was pretty tough,” Dedman said, “we had to go in the gym a lot and we couldn’t get our jamboree in because of the storms. We’ve just got to play our game , protect the football and maybe and things will work out like they should.”
Live play-by-play radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WANT FM-989.
ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTY -- Friendship Christian, Watertown and Mt. Juliet Christian open the 2010 season tonight with Week Zero home games.
John McNeal’s FCS Commanders will entertain a solid Middle Tennessee Christian team tonight at 7:30 p.m. at revamped Pirtle Field -- which features a new grandstand on the visitors’ side of the field.
Watertown welcomes White House-Heritage to Robinson Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The youthful Tigers hope to avenge last season’s 42-19 loss to the Patriots.
MJ Christian will host Donelson Christian tonight at 7 p.m. at Suey Field on the MJCA campus. The Saints are under the direction of new coach Mark Harrison.
THURSDAY NIGHT -- McClain Christian Academy dropped a 47-17 decision to Providence Christian of Rutherford County in an 8-man, junior varsity effort -- the inaugural game for the private school.
The game, played at MCA's brand new field at the intersection of Leeville Pike and Hartmann Drive, featured only one goal post due to soaking rains on Wednesday. Only 80 yards of the field was playable.
ALSO ON THURSDAY -- The Wilson Central - Lebanon freshman football game at LHS was postponed due to field conditions. No make-up date has been announced.