There are lots of new looks this year for East Nashville High’s football team.
There is a new head coach. There is a sophomore quarterback who is on the varsity for the first time.
Even the name of the school is new. It has been East Literature Magnet for the past 20 years but was changed at the end of the past school year in May.
Led by their youthful, energetic first-year coach Brian Waite, 31, the Eagles look ready to soar if their 24-6 two-quarter Metro Jamboree victory over Glencliff is any indication.
“Our three main objectives are to step up to the plate, meet our goals and play fast,” Waite said after the his team highlighted the final segment of the 44th annual Metro Jamboree, which concluded Saturday night at Overton High.
Waite replaced veteran Jim Wilson, who retired after a long and successful 40-year career last year. He had been an assistant under Wilson the past two years.
“It’s exciting to see our team work so hard together,” Waite, whose team opens Aug. 24 at Pope John Paul II, said. “But we have a lot of work still to do if we hope to become successful.”
Sophomore Isiah Upton compiled a solid stat line in his first action under the lights. After he dumped his first pass into the ground, the 6-foot, 165-pound quarterback hit five of 10 passes for 82 yards. He rushed seven times for 58 yards and two touchdowns (19 and six yards).
“It was fun getting started and seeing our team play well,” Upton said. “I made that bad pass right off, but I settled in after that. It was exciting, and it’s great watching our receivers make plays.”
His longest completion was a 22-yard hookup with Malik City.
The Eagles also scored on Isaiah Olige’s 15-yard run and capped the win in a big way – a 90-yard interception return by Deandre Gavins on the final play of the night.
Glencliff’s lone score came on 35-yard run by Michael McKissack, which gave the Colts a brief 6-0 lead.
• Opportunistic Overton: In the opening segment, the host Bobcats scored two defensive touchdowns and rallied for a 20-7 victory over rival Hillsboro.
Ugo Amadi scooped up a fumble and rambled 15 yards for a score with just 3:54 left. Two plays later, the Bobcats blitzed and caused another fumble, which defensive tackle T.J. Easley returned for another score.
“I just saw the ball there, picked up and took it to the house,” Amadi said. “Our defense really stepped up. I think we’re going to shock some people this year.”
Three plays after that, defensive back Pierre Chadwick iced the victory with an interception.
It was a big turnaround from a scrimmage between the teams a week earlier at Hillaboro. The Burros had their way in that one.
“Yes, I’d say we were opportunistic,” coach Terry Anderson said. “It’s always a little different the first time under the lights.
“I was pleased with what I saw. Our defense definitely made some big plays. The big thing is we got away injury free.”
Hillsboro starting quarterback Porter Streator completed four of five passes for 47 yards, one of them a 38-yard touchdown strike to Robert Kelly.
Other results from the 44th Metro Jamboree:
On Thursday at Maplewood, the host Panthers beat Hillwood 12-0, and Pearl-Cohn thumped Hunters Lane 21-8.
On Friday at Cane Ridge, the host Raptors outscored Donelson Christian Academy 21-14, McGavock edged Stratford 13-12 and Antioch blanked Whites Creek 6-0.
• TSSAA Board Meeting: The TSSAA Board of Control meeting will be held 9 a.m. Monday at the organization’s office in Hermitage.
The Board will accept bids for sites for upcoming state football and basketball championships, along with the site of next year’s girls state soccer tournament.
• New coach: Tristan Jones-Williams has been named the new girls basketball coach at Maplewood High.