Brentwood Blaze

Blaze teams go 4-0 in state championship games

Brentwood Home Page news reports

Four teams from the Brentwood Blaze youth football program played in state finals at Crockett Park last weekend, and all four brought home championship trophies.

Brentwood Home Page news reports

Four teams from the Brentwood Blaze youth football program played in state finals at Crockett Park last weekend, and all four brought home championship trophies.

It ws the second straight season that the Blaze and Crockett Park hosted the Tennessee Youth Football Alliance championships.

 State champion Brentwood Blaze AA

Brentwood Blaze AA 24, Bordeaux Eagles 21

(age 11-12, 130-pound backfield {amp}amp; end weight limit)

This game went back and forth the entire game.  Brentwood pulled ahead 24-21 midway thru the 4th quarter and intercepted Bordeaux in the end zone with 32 seconds left to clinch the victory.  The game capped off a 12-1 record for the AAs for the 2011 season.

 State champion Brentwood Blaze A White

Brentwood Blaze A White 6, Bordeaux Eagles 0

(age 11-12, 120-pound backfield  {amp}amp; end weight limit)

The Single-A championship game between Brentwood A-White and Bordeaux was a defensive battle. It was tied 0-0 at half. The Blaze A-White came out in the second half and controlled the ball the majority of the third quarter, scoring on a CJ Grissim 4 yard run. The defense then stood fast for a 6-0 victory.

Brentwood Blaze B Gray 6, Franklin B-Cardinal Team 2

(9-10, 95-pound backfield {amp}amp; end weight limit)

State champion Brentwood Blaze CCC

Brentwood Blaze CCC 12, Smyrna Bulldogs 0

(age 7-8, 90-pound backfield {amp}amp; end weight limit)

The Brentwood Blaze CCC team avenged one of its only two losses in the regular season by shutting out Smyrna Bulldogs CCC in the finals.

It was the first championship win for any of the players. The team was coached by John Mick and assistants Jud Granzow, Fred Morton, West Patterson, Brian Sweatt.

Players are: Alex Mick, Cade Granzow, Caleb Morton, Langston Patterson, Kobe Sweatt, Elliott Chaffin, Isaiah Horton, Braden Bodin, Phillip Husband, Don Dunning, August Mangrum, Eli Winningham, Bryce Smith, Max Neutoth and Ben Severance.

Brentwood Blaze Youth Football > FAQ/Important Dates

With football practices starting July 23rd*, the refund policy will be as follows:

Prior to July 23rd, 2018 — 100%, less a $5 processing fee will be refunded if ALL equipment has been returned

Starting July 23rd, 2018 through August 3rd, 2018 – 50% will be refunded if ALL equipment has been returned.

After August 3rd, 2018 – NO REFUND

*If the football jersey has been named, the refund will be reduced by the cost of the jersey. Cheerleaders will be refunded based on the above dates {amp}amp; percentages.

Youth football league feeds high school programs

By JEROME BOETTCHER

For the Brentwood Home Page

From the time they trot onto the field, many as young as 5 years old, those little gridiron giants and even their parents and coaches have aspirations of Friday night lights. The funny thing is, when those same football players grow up and reach the high school level, they often can’t stop reminiscing about the glory days of Brentwood Blaze youth football.

Youth football league feeds high school programs

By JEROME BOETTCHER

For the Brentwood Home Page

From the time they trot onto the field, many as young as 5 years old, those little gridiron giants and even their parents and coaches have aspirations of Friday night lights.

The funny thing is, when those same football players grow up and reach the high school level, they often can’t stop reminiscing about the glory days of Brentwood Blaze youth football.

“They sit around and talk about it,” Brentwood High coach Ron Crawford said. “I have told the Blaze folks forever that they really make an impact on those kids. Our kids all have really good memories of their experiences.”

Ravenwood defensive coach Paul Neil addresses the young Blaze campers last summer at Crockett Park.BHP Photo by Jodi Rall

More than 15 years after its inception, the Blaze is alive and well, continuing to teach and mold young football players and cheerleaders.

As the 2011 season comes to a close – the Tennessee Youth Football Alliance (TYFA) championships will be held at Crockett Park on Saturday – administrators, coaches and parents of the Blaze can relish in one of their largest turnouts ever.

More than 500 boys played on 29 teams – 25 tackle and four flag football –in seven different age divisions, ranging from ages 5 to 14. Another 100 or so participated on the Blaze’s cheerleading teams and its inaugural dance team.

“We have seen it steadily growing. It is not a gigantic spike,” Blaze board member, coach and parent Ryan Boyd said. “As the program’s reputation has kind of gotten around, we have seen our county football programs at the different high schools – Brentwood, Ravenwood, Centennial, Franklin – all those programs have gotten better. They have been powerhouses in our district and in our state. Just the popularity of football here in this area is at an all-time high.”

But Boyd says it wasn’t always like that. Boyd, a Brentwood native, helped coach a Blaze team back in 1997. At that point, there was just one team for each age division.

“We would get just killed every weekend,” Boyd said.

When Boyd returned to Brentwood years later to raise a family, he noticed a huge difference in the program.

“It is funny that we wound up in Brentwood and wound up with kids in the program,” Boyd said. “I came back and coached and it was a completely different experience because of the growth that happened and the strength of the program from the time that I was involved in it in 1997.”

Now the Blaze is constantly competing for state championships; they’ve captured 25 TYFA crowns since 2002. TYFA, which was started in 1996, includes 24 communities across the Middle Tennessee area, ranging from Clarksville to Cookeville, Murfreesboro to Waverly. Each community has two representatives on TYFA’s executive board, which oversees the program that has grown to more than 4,000 football players and 1,000 cheerleaders.

“We are as probably geographically wide and tall as we can be to accommodate Saturday ballgames,” Boyd said.

“Just because a team does not find a ‘W’ in the win column, it doesn’t mean they’ve had a bad football experience. … That is a sign of the quality of the parenting, coaching and development.
 AMOS JONES
Blaze athletic director

While championships are important, Blaze athletic director Amos Jones warns it is not the ultimate goal. He recalls one team that went 0-8 but returned nearly 100 percent of its players the following season. He knows of one player who hasn’t experienced a win in two years but is already eager to get back on the field next fall.

“Just because a team does not find a ‘W’ in the win column, it doesn’t mean they’ve had a bad football experience,” Jones said. “That is probably the real reason we have won championships because we teach them to grow and compete and continue to develop. That is a sign of the quality of the parenting, coaching and development.

“We don’t tell everybody, ‘It’s OK to lose.’ We say, ‘It doesn’t taste good. It is hard to not win. But you have to win because you competed at your best and you’ve got to work together, it takes all of you to do it together.’

“Those boys will be the ones who will play for state championships in high school because they have learned to do all that.”

The ultimate goal for the Blaze, and TYFA, is to send football players to the middle school and high school ranks more prepared and more knowledgeable of the sport. Crawford believes just about all of his players played in the Blaze program.

BHS grads and former Blaze standouts Cole Tischer (Western Kentucky), Reginald Farmer (Middle Tennessee State), Cameron Mason (Furman), Josh Killet (Samford) and Lucas Patrick (Duke), among others are all playing at the college level.

“It is great to see that progression from when they come out as 5 and 6 year olds and strap on pads for the first time to see them playing on Friday nights,” Boyd said. “We would hope we are helping the overall football programs at all the different junior high schools in our area and in Brentwood.”

Jones, in his fifth year with the program, says it bothers him when he sees a middle school program with “80 kids on the sideline while 12 kids play.” His hope is the Blaze can offer an alternative for those players that still might need extra repetitions before they can crack a 30-man roster at the middle school level.

The Brentwood Blaze will again host the TYFA championships at Crockett Park. They games will be played this Saturday.

“We’re trying to create a handshake program so we can literally take a young man and help develop him so he is literally ready to walk on the field as a ninth grader or 10th grader in high school and be competitive and be a valuable asset to that high school program,” Jones said.

“There are a lot of boys that drop out of football about the ninth grade year of high school. So if we can fill that place for the kids who aren’t getting the playing time… It may be the smaller kid in the eighth grade but if they just stay with it and keep playing, they’ll be a starter as a 10th grader or 11th grader. So we’re trying to help create that playing time because you can’t replace reps.

“You can practice all you want but game-time experience is very valuable. We believe that we can create at least 10 meaningful game experiences for a young man.”

The Blaze, which is completely volunteer driven with a 20-member board, has over 150 coaches who all are certified. They also took part in a coaches’ clinic, led by Crawford and Centennial coach Brian Rector.

Prior to the start of the season, the coaches spend two weeks evaluating the players before holding a draft to balance the teams out.

The age divisions vary from Jr. Pee-Wee (5-6), Pee Wee (5-6), C teams (7-8), B teams (9-10), A teams (11-12) and Varsity (13-14). After the Pee-Wee stages, the C through A levels have multiple divisions which are divided based upon experience and talent level. There is just one varsity team but Jones is hopeful the Blaze will add a second team next year. This year’s varsity team consists of 25 players, either in eighth or ninth grade, allowing them to receive individual instruction with a seven-member coaching staff.

In addition to trying to form balanced teams, the Blaze also keeps the players’ well-being in mind.

At each division, there is a maximum weight limit for players in the backfield and at receiver. For example, at the Pee-Wee level, any player weighing more than 65 pounds must play on the offensive and defensive lines and cannot advance the ball.

“We’re not going to have a kid who is 30 pounds get run over at full speed by a kid who is 60 pounds,” Jones said. “That is for safety and it also helps us maintain order on the field. If a big defensive lineman jumps up and intercepts the football, the play is whistled dead.”

As another chapter of Blaze football comes to an end, Blaze parents, coaches and players are already looking forward to next fall.

Boyd’s oldest son, Hunter, is wrapping up his Blaze experience this year. But Boyd, who spent the last four years as a coach, will get to live it all over again as his youngest son, Jake, just turned 5 and will start Jr. Pee-Wee next year.

“He doesn’t remember a Saturday in his life that we haven’t been with the Blaze,” said Boyd, who also has a daughter, Taylor, on the dance team. “He is ready to go, ready to strap it up and play like his big brother did.”

And chances are his big brother will be longing for the glory days of Blaze football.

1500 Volunteer Parkway 
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 615-613-2474

FAQs

Pee Wee division (ages 5-6) $150

All other football (ages 7-12) $225

Football fees include uniform and practice jerseys (to keep), as well as shoulder pads, helmet, and game pants (rentals). Players will need: cleats, mouthpiece, chin strap {amp}amp; practice pants

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Looking to participate in a sport that requires skill, strength, strategic thinking and the desire to play as part of a team?  Whatever level you are at, football and cheerleading can enhance your life, improving fitness, strength, and coordination.

Whether you are looking to cheer or play in our tackle football league, you’ll find our organization to be a great place to learn new skills and meet new friends.

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