Just after practice Wednesday night, Ingle Martin drove down to the gym to watch his brother-in-law and former Vanderbilt star Matt Frieje play in a pickup basketball game.
Martin, the new Christ Presbyterian Academy football coach, is married to the former Jennifer Wright, former all-state softball player. Her sister Amy, also a former standout player, is married to Frieje.
Lots of athletic genes there, but that’s for another time.
At present, Martin is set to send CPA into a season-opening home game Friday night against Goodpasture. It will be his first game as a high school head coach.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started,” Martin said. “Our guys have had a great summer, working out in the weight room and doing everything they need to do to prepare themselves. They came back in late July, practiced hard and given great effort through all of our practices. We have some good leadership from our seniors.”
Martin, 29, is generally regarded as one of the greatest high school football players in modern Nashville history, having played quarterback on three straight Division II state championship teams (1998-2000) at Montgomery Bell Academy. With Martin under center the Big Red won 32 straight games. He twice was named Mr. Football.
His college career included stops at Florida and Furman before he spent time in the NFL with brief stints with the Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
He took the CPA job in February after having served as quarterbacks coach at Ensworth under head coach Ricky Bowers. That team won the state title last season.
“So far, I’m enjoying it,” Martin said. “The biggest adjustment is time management. You have more responsibility as being the one in charge, but I’m getting used to it. We have a great staff, and that makes it easier.’’
CPA is in a tough district (10-AA) with teams like Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, Lipscomb and East Lit on the schedule. All of them loom in the second half of the season.
First up, though, is Goodpasture, which has knocked the Lions out of the playoffs in their last two trips.
“Goodpasture has had a great history and tradition and they have been in the state finals several times recently,” Martin said. “They have an outstanding starting quarterback and another fine team.”
Martin simply wants his team to be good at the basics.
“We want to be good in all three phases – offense, defense, special teams,” he said. “And play hard.”
• Two Saturday games: Overton will host Ryan Saturday in the annual Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic, which this time pits rivals located just two miles apart on Franklin Road.
Event chairman Rick Regen advises the game will be broadcast on the internet at ClinicBowl.iHigh.com, beginning at 7 p.m.
Ryan’s versatile Jamonte Graham (he is a quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back) is the younger brother of former Whites Creek and Vanderbilt standout Jamie Graham, who transferred to UCLA for his senior season.
The other Nashville area Saturday game sends Camden to David Lipscomb. The Mustangs will honor their Class AA state baseball championship team and individual state track champions during the game.
• New era at MBA: The Marty Euverard era at MBA will begin Friday as the Big Red hosts Kingsbury.
Euverard came over from Battle Ground Academy to take the head coaching post. Both quarterbacks who alternated at the position last season, Aaron Simonis and Dylan Hall, have looked good in preseason scrimmages for the Big Red.
• JPII renovations: Pope John Paul II has completed stadium renovations, which include synthetic turf for the field along with new concession stands, bathrooms, pavilion, bleachers and a second entrance, for its opening game against Stratford Friday.
Former Alabama quarterback Jeff Rutledge starts his second season as the Knights head coach.
• Road trip: Defending DII state champion Ensworth has a tough opening chore. The Tigers travel down I-40 West to play Memphis power Memphis University School Friday.
Antioch at LaVergne
BGA at Smyrna
Cane Ridge at Pearl-Cohn
Davidson Academy at White House-Heritage
DCA at Friendship
Ensworth at MUS
Ezell-Harding at Columbia Academy
Franklin at Siegel
Glencliff at Sycamore
Goodpasture at CPA
Hillsboro at Hillwood
Independence at Blackman
Kingsbury at MBA
Maplewood at Hunters Lane
NCS at MT Christian
Rossview at Whites Creek
Stratford at Pope JPII
St. George’s at FRA
Trinity, Ky., at Brentwood Academy
Tullahoma at McGavock
Camden at Lipscomb
Father Ryan at Overton