The conversation around the Sanders dinner table this week should be interesting, to say the least.
Brentwood Academy freshman C.J. Sanders assures one that there will be no trash talking with his father whatsoever prior to the Eagles’ Friday night game at Montgomery Bell Academy.
Sanders is the son of MBA receivers coach and former Titans wide receiver Chris Sanders.
C.J. transferred to BA in the past year and will face his pop for the first time in the Division II match-up.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of jokes back and forth,” said the younger Sanders, who had a breakout game last Friday in a 35-7 romp at Maplewood. He scored his first two high school touchdowns in his second varsity game.
“It should be a lot of fun, we’re both looking forward to it,” he said. “But I have the highest respect for MBA, their players and their coaches. I wish them all the best.”
There are two distinct similarities Sanders has with his father: speed – he is a constant breakaway threat – and intensely religious beliefs – he unfailingly deflects individual praise from himself to God.
Asked about the best advice he has received from his father, he said, “to stay humble and to always give God the credit.”
The 14-year-old Sanders is used to the spotlight and is quite polished in interviews.
When he was six years old, he began a possible acting career, playing the role of Ray Charles who was coping with blindness in the Oscar nominated movie Ray. Two years later he played a role in the HBO series Six Feet Under.
These days, his interest is in football and next up for his Eagles is an MBA team they beat 35-7 last year.
Bounce back game
Against Maplewood, Sanders, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound wide receiver, caught a 45-yard pass from quarterback Max Staver and had a 36-yard touchdown run as Brentwood Academy built a 21-0 halftime lead. He finished with three receptions for 77 yards
“It was fun,” he said. “I give all the credit to my blockers, and Max threw some great balls which made my job easy.”
“C.J. gives us another dimension, another level of speed, and he’s learning rapidly,” BA coach Ralph Potter said.
For the Eagles (1-1) the game was an important turnaround from a 45-7 loss to national powerhouse Trinity (Ky.) – one of the worst losses in school history – a week earlier. Maplewood came into the contest ranked No. 2 in Class 4A and considered one of Nashville’s best squads.
“I felt like after practice last Tuesday, we were ready to ready to go and put that [Trinity] loss behind us,” defensive end Woody Baron, who had two sacks, said. “We worked super hard, and we took it right into Friday’s game.”
Baron, a Virginia Tech commitment, and the Eagles defense held the speedy Maplewood tailback LaDarius Vanlier to 96 yards. Vanlier ran for 275 the previous week against Hunters Lane.
“It didn’t matter who we were playing, we were going to be ready,” BA junior tailback Jalen Ramsey, who scored touchdown runs of 17 and 9 yards and had an interception on defense, said. “On offense, the line blocked great. And for the interception, we disguised our coverage and I was in the right place.”
Of note, Trinity beat MBA 66-21 the past Friday, which means it has lit up the scoreboard with 111 points against two of the best DII teams in the state.
Trinity plays only three teams within Kentucky borders, all from Louisville.
BA seems to have a bright future. It has a team dominated by underclassmen.
“Sometimes, we don’t even know how to warm up,” Potter joked.
• Father Ryan pick machine: The biggest reason Father Ryan is 2-0 so far is its secondary, which has intercepted seven passes. Ryan has allowed but 10 points overall.
The pick parade is led by Jamonte Graham who has two, both of which he returned for touchdowns (one in each game). He had a 22-yard return in last Friday’s 30-7 win over Cane Ridge.
Cornerback Ryan Bossung also has two interceptions, and Bill Stejskal has one.
Ryan has a huge task Friday as it hosts Baylor in its DII opener. The Raiders (2-0) have scored 93 points in wins their first two games over Soddy Daisy and Bradley.
• Spartans have spark: Stratford continued its early success with a 26-8 victory over Whites Creek.
It is the first 2-0 start for the Spartans since 2006, which also is the last time they made the playoffs. Whites Creek’s points are the only ones against the Cobras in either Jamboree or regular season play.
The 2006 team outscored its first two foes 112-56 before a 7-6 loss to McGavock. It eventually won seven of its first eight games.
Stratford’s home opener is Friday against Pearl-Cohn, one of the favorites in District 10-AA.
Chattanooga Baylor at Father Ryan
Brentwood Academy at MBA
Centennial at Franklin
Clarksville Academy at NCS
DCA at Riverside Christian
East Lit at David Lipscomb
Hillsboro at Ravenwood
Hillwood at Antioch
Hunters Lane at Cane Ridge
Independence at Brentwood High
Macon County at Goodpasture
Maplewood at Whites Creek
McCallie at Ensworth
Mt. Juliet Christian at Ezell-Harding
Overton at Glencliff
Pearl-Cohn at Stratford
Pope JPII at BGA
CPA at Lexington (Ky.) Christian