The new Nolensville High School football field will welcome its first coaches and players on August 4th for the first Williamson County Schools football media day. Coaches, assistants, and players from the 9 WCS high schools will be present, answering questions before the upcoming season.
This season, the 8 established schools will look to continue their successes of last season. Schools set numerous respective single-season records, including wins, points, and yards. 7 of those teams made the TSSAA playoffs, culminating with two WCS schools raising their respective state championship trophies (Independence in 5A and Ravenwood in 6A). The football championships were two of seven total fall state championships last year for WCS schools. Independence also finished with a top 25 national ranking according to MaxPreps.
With all the successes of WCS athletics and the new media day event, we asked WCS Athletic Director Jeremy Qualls about what has led to the increased success in athletics, how the growth in number of schools, and more on the new event.
“The growth of WCS athletics has come from a whole growth in academics, athletics, and the arts. As our reputation has grown as some of the top schools in the southeast, more people are moving here. With the increased numbers in students, more student athletes are participating and we’ve been more successful. Winning breeds further success, so as we’ve been more successful, more athletes are coming into Williamson County schools because of the high caliber of athletics. Because even if you don’t make it as an athlete, you are still well-prepared academically for life outside of athletics. If you are successful as an athlete though, you are competing against high level competition to prepare for the next level. Also, we’ve seen increased success with our coaches remaining loyal. Other schools have tried to come hire some of our coaches, but they have remained in the WCS system.”
“The growth in the number of schools has its disadvantages, particularly early. The first and second years can be tough. The third year is when you see some growth and in the fourth year is when you see a leap. The fifth and sixth year is when you really get competitive.”
“The media day event is twofold for our local media to talk with our coaches before the season, but it is also for the boosters and fans. The boosters for schools can sell their spiritwear and our fans can get more information on the season. Our fans are so great. Last year, we had $647,000 in walk-up ticket sales, up from $472,000 the year before. This event is big for our community.”
With the continued improvement in WCS athletics, events like this are a great way to increase exposure for not only the schools, but also the athletes. This experience can help prepare athletes for the next level, which is more and more common in WCS. This year, WillCo athletes earned more than 10 million dollars in athletic scholarships. Increased exposure will likely increase this number as well.