Tonight is one of the most anticipated events in high school football season in Williamson County – the Battle of the Woods (Brentwoods vs Ravenwood). This is the 24th meeting of these teams.
Brentwood Morning Rotary, on Tuesday, hosted its annual program in advance of the Battle of the Woods at the Fifty Forward Center in Brentwood.
In recent years, the winner of this game has moved on to be one of the top-performing teams in the county.
The program always has a fun but competitive atmosphere, and the coaches and fans take good-hearted digs back and forth. WCS Athletic Director, Darrin Jones, sparked the closest thing to controversy by engaging in a debate over whether the game should be officially referred to as “Battle of the Woods” or “Battle of the Wood.” This refers to the debate over whether the name reflects the wooden trophy the winner takes home, or if it’s the battle of Brentwood, or if it’s the battle of the two schools — Brentwood and Ravenwood — the “woods.” Several current and former school officials from both Brentwood and Ravenwood were present, and despite several different recollections, the consensus seemed to be “Battle of the Woods.”
The game is always characterized by a lot of back and forth on social media between students of both schools, and the student sections at the game itself are legendarily emotional.
Ravenwood High School coach, Will Hester, who is in his second stint as Ravenwood coach, talked about some key players, strengths and weaknesses of the team so far this season, and his prospects for the future.
He mentioned the critical part of preparation this week is to control the emotion of the game. “If we control our emotions until 7:00 on Friday, we will have done our job preparing this week.”
Brentwood coach, Clint Finch, is in his first stint as head coach in Brentwood. After starting with BHS, coach Finch moved to Ravenwood, only to return to Brentwood to call the offense. After many “Battle of the Woods,” this will be his first as head coach.
Battle of the Woods “is just a cool experience that most student athletes never get to enjoy.” Coach Finch considers Will Hester a mentor, so there is a lot of mutual respect between these coaches. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this game won’t have the usual competitive spirit.
“We haven’t gotten off to the start we wanted this year. I never question our kids commitment and work ethic. But we feel like we finally started playing better in the second half of last week’s game.”
Coach Finch says watch for BHS players like Jake Brock and Davis White. His keys to the game also include controlling emotions. “it’s a game where you have to be very careful about playing up their emotions. It’s a balancing act.”
Last year, Brentwood High School had the most multi-sport athletes. BHS also has the most state championships of all public schools in Tennessee.
Ravenwood enters the game with a record of 3-1. Brentwood enters the game with a record of 1-3. But for this game, always throw out the records.
One of the most anticipated games of the year kicks off at 7:00pm tonight, Friday, Sept 17. WCS Gameday will be live from the student section beginning at 6:00pm.