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Football notes: TSSAA exploring bigger officiating crews

Jimmy Trodglen/

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – High school football kicks off in less than two weeks and schedules for all 342 TSSAA football-playing schools are now available on

More than 1,750 games are set to be played this season beginning with the first game of the season on Wednesday, Aug. 21 when East Ridge hosts Whitwell. When schools enter their team’s roster details in the TSSAA Portal, those will also be posted to the football section of

Visitors to the website will also find a weekly scoreboard and regularly updated region standings leading up to Nov. 1 when the state office releases the 2019 Playoff brackets.

The four weeks of postseason games culminate with the BlueCross Bowl State Football Championships scheduled for Dec. 5-7, 2019 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.

Football on

Several matchups this year bring to mind memorable playoff meetings of the past.

Week 1
Oakland at Hendersonville – 1998 state championship, Oakland won 46-24
Meigs County at Sweetwater – 1993 state semifinals, Sweetwater won 24-21
Beech at Jackson North Site – 2012 state semifinals, Beech won 64-31

Week 2
Riverdale at Franklin – 2004 state championship, Riverdale won 35-7
Henry County at Beech – 2018 state semifinals, Henry Co. won 13-7

Week 3
Clinton at Knoxville Halls – 1992 state semifinals, Clinton won 14-10

Week 4
Oneida at Greenback – 1992 state semifinals, Oneida won 17-12

Week 5
Davidson Academy at Friendship Christian – 2018 state championship, Davidson won 39-27

Week 6
Tyner at Alcoa – 2005 state semifinals, Alcoa won 31-14
Milan at Huntingdon – 2003 and 2004 semifinals, Huntingdon won both meetings
Coalfield at Gordonsville – 2012 state semifinals, Gordonsville won 39-15
Whitehaven at Cordova – 2016 state semifinals, Whitehaven won 42-19
Ensworth at MBA – MBA is 2-1 against Ensworth in state finals and semifinals since 2012

Week 8
Brentwood Academy at MBA – MBA is 6-5 against BA in the state semifinals and finals since 1995

Week 9
Smyrna at Ravenwood – 2006 state championship, Smyrna won 35-14

Week 10
MBA at Baylor – 2000 and 2014 state semifinals, MBA won both meetings
BGA at Spring Hill – 1992 state semifinals, BGA won 17-14

Brackets for all previous football playoffs and other historical information can be found on

TSSAA exploring seven-person officiating crews

Eighty officials from across the state met Friday in Nashville for a TSSAA football mechanics camp for seven-person officiating crews.

The meeting brought together crews assembled by local associations for a day of classroom instruction, on-field walkthroughs and live scrimmage exercises to prepare officials for their roles on a seven-person officiating crew. It is the fifth year of the clinic in its current format.

TSSAA mandates five-person officiating crews in football, but the association continues to invest resources into expanding the availability of seven-person crews for high school contests. TSSAA championship games are administered by seven-person crews and last year the association expanded the use of seven-person crews to the Round of 16 in the playoffs.

“Each year, more and more schools request seven-person crews for their regular season games and the state office has been working diligently to bring new officials into the fold and get them trained in the procedures and mechanics of working in that system,” Richard McWhirter, the TSSAA Assistant Executive Director for football, explained.

The group spent a large part of the day at Nissan Stadium, meeting first in a classroom setting where the officials studied the TSSAA’s seven-person mechanics guide and reviewed video clips on multiple game situations.

The group then moved to the field where McWhirter and other state officials’ supervisors led the officials through a series of game scenarios.

The last portion of the event relocated officials to the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy where they took part in a live scrimmage between MBA and Henry County High School.

“Application is as important as anything,” McWhirter said. “It’s really beneficial for the officials to get game-speed experience, especially in an atmosphere where they can get more immediate feedback and coaching from supervisors. Evaluation and experience go hand in hand.”

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