Preps: Best start in more than a decade has CPA primed for region play

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 6:25pm

With a new coach, a new quarterback and new outlook, Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Lions have a loud roar these days.

The Lions (3-0) have scored 117 points in their first three games and are off to the school’s best start in 11 years. The 2000 team went 15-0, shut out their first four foes and won the first of CPA’s two Class A state titles under Coach David Pack.

Coincidentally that year, new CPA coach Ingle Martin was a local prep football star in his final season at Montgomery Bell Academy. His MBA team that year won a state title (in DII) and finished 12-0.

“The biggest thing we did coming in was making sure our players all realize the value of hard work,” Martin said of the current CPA team. “So far, they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do.”

The Lions have vaulted to No. 2 in the state in this week’s Class 2A prep poll — behind only Milan — as they prepare for their region opener Friday against Stratford.

Rankings aside, though, Martin is making sure his team is focused only on Stratford. The Spartans (2-2) have lost back-to-back contests, to Pearl-Cohn and Brentwood Academy, following a 2-0 start.

“They [Stratford] have a great deal of talent, are well-coached and have 14 seniors,” Martin said. “They have a lot of players with big-play capabilities. We will clearly have our hands full Friday.”

Junior quarterback Albert Mitchell (501 yards and five touchdowns passing) leads the balanced offense, which racked up more than 600 yards in a 51-0 blowout of Lexington (Ky.) Christian on Sept. 3. Transfer Vic Wharton has rushed for about 300 yards while Winston Williams, Chase Smith, Max Pressley and Mitchell all have contributed more than 100 yards rushing so far.

CPA — off last Friday — now begins a stretch in which six of the last seven games are against region foes.

“We just worked on fundamentals and started getting ready for region play,” Martin said.

• Volleyball: The Father Ryan Invitational is scheduled Friday and Saturday in the Irish Gym. The host school is among the favorites.

Pool play opens Friday. The finals are Saturday.

In the finals of the Bruin Classic at Brentwood High last weekend, Blessed Trinity of Atlanta beat the host Bruins 25-23, 25-12 in the gold division finals.

• Soccer: The Ladies Championship Soccer tournament begins this week at the Two Rivers, ML King, Donelson Christian, David Lipscomb and Pope John Paul II fields, with one game at Christ Presbyterian Academy.

Championship games are scheduled Saturday in the platinum, gold and silver divisions. JPII looks to be the team to beat.

(Week 4)

Friday’s games
Antioch at McGavock
Battleground Academy at Montgomery Bell Academy
Brentwood Academy at Pope John Paul II
Cane Ridge at Overton
David Lipscomb at Maplewood
East Lit at Pearl-Cohn
Ensworth at Baylor
Father Ryan at McCallie
FRA at Knoxville Grace
Franklin at Hillsboro
Hunters Lane at Hillwood
Independence at Centennial
Knox Webb at Donelson Christian Academy
Nashville Christian School at McEwen
Ravenwood at Brentwood
Stratford at Christ Presbyterian Academy
Westmoreland at Goodpasture
Whites Creek at Glencliff
Zion Christian at Ezell-Harding