For 11 WCHS seniors, Friday night will be their final football game at Nunley Stadium. It’s been a respectable season for our hometown Pioneers, who catapulted out of the gate with a 2-0 start and have battled their way to a 3-5 record with two games left.
The final two games will be a challenge indeed as the Pioneers first have to face Riverdale this Friday. Having to play the Warriors (7-1) on Senior Night is not exactly a dream come true, but it’s the schedule Warren County was dealt.
Having to face undefeated and No. 1 ranked Oakland in Murfreesboro to close the season Oct. 27 doesn’t stir visions of sugarplums either.
Few football teams are talented enough to embrace facing the Murfreesboro schools and I think the overwhelming belief in Pioneer Nation is WCHS doesn’t need to be forced to compete against them.
Rutherford County is a booming economic area fueled by MTSU and Nissan, among others. It’s much different than the rural demographic of Warren County. We're much better suited to face teams from Lincoln County, Coffee County, Cumberland County and Franklin County due to our similar social landscapes.
Most football fans I’ve talked to share this belief. However, the only voice that really matters, the TSSAA, doesn’t see any problem with tossing Warren County into a cage filled with figurative tigers. The end result is final scores such as Blackman over Warren County, 62-0.
In the grand scheme of high school football, Warren County is only going to enjoy limited success while we’re stuck in this region. The Pioneers are 3-1 against teams not in our region and 0-4 against teams in it.
I think it’s time for Warren County to join with other teams, perhaps Coffee County, and petition the TSSAA for independent status. This would allow WCHS to makes its own schedule against more like-minded opponents.
Union County High School filed paperwork with the TSSAA for such a move last year after a 0-10 season. The school hadn’t won a football game since September 2014.
But Union County withdrew its claim in November after TSSAA realignment was announced. School officials said they were placed in a region with teams more their caliber.
When it comes to Warren County football, I’m not looking to place the Pioneers on a path for a perfect 10-0 season. But I would like our hard-working boys to have a chance at a winning record. I’m not convinced that will ever happen under the current TSSAA mindset.