The last several years have gone okay for the Gallatin Green Wave football team, but many will tell you that just being okay is not good enough.
An 18-15 record over the last three years mixed with three consecutive first round playoff exits led Gallatin officials to make a coaching change this offseason.
Mark Williams exited the program after seven seasons and the program decided to bring in former Clarksville Northeast head coach Chad Watson.
Over the course of the last several months, Watson has begun to lay down his foundation of toughness, attitude, energy and aggressiveness - something that has caught the eyes of Green Wave supporters.
“I’d say if anything has changed from the first day that I was hired until now it would be I didn’t understand the amount of support that I would have,” Watson said. “It has been unbelievable. We had an open practice under the lights and a good portion of our stands were filled with supporters. That was incredible to see and I know our players appreciate it. I have made a few stops in my coaching career and I can say the support here is unrivaled.”
All of that being said, the Green Wave supporters expect results, and I for one believe Watson and his staff will deliver.
The Green Wave will return 10 starters from last year’s team, including four offensive weapons and six defensive players.
“Our No. 1 goal for our football team is to play hard and play for each other,” Watson said. “Their effort will be there. We must always play to the best of our ability, work and compete. We always want to be playing better than the week before with our best football being played to start the playoffs. We want to see improvement from week one to week 11.
“We tell our guys to love each other, and they do,” Watson continued. “Theirs and our coaching staffs’ number one job is to hold each other to high standards. We have grown a lot in that area this summer. I’m really happy with our group of kids, I believe this can be a special group. We have a chance to do some really good things and make some noise.”
The success, like any other football team, will start up front with the offensive line.
“Coach Silcox and I work every day with our offensive line,” Watson said. “They are the most important group on the field. We can’t do anything without them. They need to understand how important they are. We cannot be successful without being good up front. We are young, but I think we are playing hard and learning what we need to do in order to be successful.”
Off the five positions, four have a good chance of being filled already, as Hayden Minor, Morgan Smith, William Goodnight and Max Wingert have all stepped up this summer.
Coach Watson and his offensive staff have yet to decide on a quarterback and more than likely going to take two into the season opener against Lebanon as Isaiah Briscoe and Montez Banks have both shown flashes of brilliance.
Running the football this year will be Spencer Briggs, James Mason and Malachi McDowell.
Luke Springer, Jaden Williams, Soloman Yarbrough and Corey Hambright have all played well at wide receiver this summer and are expected to be impact players for the offense in 2019.
Defensively under Co-Defensive Coordinators Chad Broadrick and Steven Clemmons, a lot is still to be determined but JD Wilson has shown flashes of playing quality defensive end for the duo as has James Mason and Steven Holcomb at linebacker. In the secondary you will see Malachi McDowell, Tay Staten, Soloman Yarbrough, Jaden Williams, Luke Springer and Jalen Grimmett.
All that said, no spot is safe for any single player.
“We are really big on competition,” Watson said of his team. “There is a shift on the depth chart each day. If a player doesn’t bring it they will be replaced - it’s that simple. We have talented kids that can step up any given day and take over. I want us to continue to be more physical. That is something we teach every single day in practice. We always want to be the team that brings the physicality to the football field.”
Competing in Region 6-5A will be tough for the Green Wave, but Watson and his staff believe in their players and think if they continue to improve each and every week that 2019 will be a season to remember.
“We start off the season with a really quality opponent in Lebanon,” Watson said. “Chuck Gentry has done a really good job with that program and we have a great region schedule to compete against each week, but honestly, we worry about the green and gold and concentrate on what we do. If we eliminate mistakes we will be fine. I tell the boys every day the only team that can stop us is ourselves.”
Predicted Finish: 2nd - Region 4-5A
Predicted Order to Finish: Beech, Gallatin, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Hunters Lane, Glencliff
Head Coach: Chad Watson
Nathan Wilson - OC/QB
Chad Broadrick - CO-DC
Steven Clemmons - CO-DC
Josh Adkins - ST
Randall Silcox – OL
Zach Eaton – WR
Clint Rider – CB
Jeff Wynn – DT
Sean Corbitt - LB
Spencer Briggs (RB/LB)
AJ Branhim (H-Back/DT)
Isaiah Briscoe (QB)
Nick Stawaicki (OT)
Soloman Yarbrough (WR/S)
Trustyn Kemp (H-Back/DE)