Eventually playing up to the level of his father is the ultimate goal – and based on how he churned out yardage last Friday, J’Montre Wade is on his way.
Wade, a junior running back for Brentwood Academy, scored three touchdowns in the Eagles’ 42-13 victory over rival Montgomery Bell Academy last Friday in both teams’ DII opener.
He is the son of former Spring Hill High star Orlando (Poppa) Wade, a two-time Mr. Football winner (1985, 1986) at the school, located in northern Maury County, south of Nashville. The elder Wade later played at Mississippi State. These days he attends every one of his son’s games.
On Friday, the younger Wade rushed for 162 yards, more than MBA’s entire team (145), and scored on runs of 3, 32 and 3 yards. His first two scores helped the Eagles to a 35-0 halftime lead.
“He is pushing me to become the best player I can possibly be and he says the goal is to some day be a better player than he was,’’ Wade said of his father. “He comes to all my games and he’s my biggest fan.
“I just want to come out each game, use my speed and my leadership and help my team win.”
Orlando Wade was in the first class of Mr. Football winners in 1985. The following year, he led Spring Hill to its first state title and won his second straight award.
“I’ve told him to keep working hard and to someday be better than I was,” Orlando Wade said. “I love coming to his games and giving him all the support I can.”
Now 42 years old, Wade works for Nissan in Smyrna. Rest assured, he keeps his Friday nights free.
Thanks mainly to Wade, BA (2-1) rolled up 420 yards in total offense in the mercy-rule shortened game.
After an opening win, MBA (1-2) has given up 108 points, the most over a two-game stretch in the Big Red’s long and storied history. Over the past two games, MBA’s defense has allowed 1,050 total yards.
Shuler mainstay for improved Eagle line play
Much of Brentwood Academy’s success on offense can be attributed to the offensive line, which dominated MBA for much of the game and was a key to the Eagles’ scoring on their first three drives.
“Going into the season, we all we heard was that the offensive line was the weak part of our team,” mammoth 6-5, 270-pound senior tackle Graham Shuler, said. “We took that as a personal challenge, and we’re working hard. We make mistakes here and there, but we’re still getting better week by week.
“We are very close this year, and we have an incredible bond,” Shuler, a Stanford commitment, said. “As a group we trust each other, and we know if we hold our blocks and give our backs like D’Montre, Jalen Ramsey or C.J. Sanders any kind of crease, they can break a long one.”
Also appreciative of the line protection is 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior quarterback Max Staver, a transfer from Pope John Paul II. On Friday, he completed 9-of-16 for 160 yards and two touchdowns, both to Al Thompson, one for 20 yards, to go with a 75-yard bomb.
The past two weeks, he’s hit 22-of-35 for 320 yards.
“The past two weeks, we’ve really picked up the intensity,” Staver said. “We’ve become much better offensively. As for myself, I want to show leadership and do a good job.”
Staver is aware of his following in the long line of BA quarterbacks of years past, including players like Kent Austin, Duane Daugherty, Tim Jones, Scott Speedy, Jeff Brothers, Benji Walker and, more recently, Trent Caffee and Cody Nelson.
“I’m going to bring it every day, every practice, every game,” he said. “I’m going to step up to the plate. I’m going to do everything to help my team win.”
• Ezell baseball coach: Ezell-Harding has hired former Lipscomb University star and 10-year veteran professional player Wes Wilkerson as its new baseball coach.
Wilkerson attended David Lipscomb High School were he was named AA player of the year his senior year, then went to Lipscomb University were he was a standout pitcher and outfielder. He was named NAIA All-America as well as all-conference and all-region. He finished his senior year as No. 1 in the conference and No. 19 in the country in RBIs.
He signed with the Kansas City Royals as a pitcher and his career included stints with Florida, Cincinnati and Atlanta over a 10-year period.
• Weekend highlights: Christ Presbyterian Academy crushed Lexington Christian (Ky.) 51-0 Saturday and improved to 3-0 under first-year coach Ingle Martin. The Lions, who have scored 117 points, are Friday off before they host Stratford Sept. 16.
• Former Hillsboro High punter Hendrix Brakefield, who was on the Burros’ 2008 state championship team, had a good opening game last Thursday for Western Kentucky in a 14-3 loss to Kentucky at LP Field. Brakefield, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, punted eight times for a 44.6 yard average. That included a 58-yarder which was downed on the UK 7, although the play was negated by a penalty on WKU.
• Fans were probably dizzy after watching Goodpasture rally past Macon County 45-44 in a game where both teams scored in every quarter. Nic Adamopolous’ late 22-yard field goal provided the margin of victory. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed for 267 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 186 yards and one touchdown as the Cougars (1-2) won their first game.
• In another wild, offensive game, Franklin Road Academy (1-2) won its first decision, outscoring Davidson Academy 34-32 as Scott Looney rushed for 264 yards and four touchdowns, which included a game-winning 67-yard bolt in the final quarter.
• Former MBA star Fitz Lassing scored Vanderbilt’s first touchdown of the season on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Larry Smith in the Commodores’ win over Elon Saturday.
• Ezell-Harding (2-1) has rebounded from a crushing 52-0 opening loss at Columbia Academy for two straight wins, the latest being a 36-0 romp over Mt. Juliet Christian as Blake Smotherman rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Ezell was 0-5 at home last year but is 2-0 so far this season.