by: Donovan Stewart, TNHighSchoolFootball
Matt Williams starts his ninth year at Smyrna with momentum as the Bulldogs are coming off their best season since finishing as Class 6A runner up in 2010.
In 2015, the Bulldogs went 9-4 and made the Class 6A Quarterfinals where they lost an overtime thriller to Oakland 21-14.
Smyrna returns eight starters (five on offense, three on defense) and have a good foundation to work with going into the 2016 season. Returning to jumpstart the offense will be the duo of seniors John Turner and Casey Perkins.
Turner returns at quarterback where he passed for 2,077 yards and 13 touchdowns last season earning him an all region 2-6A selection in 2015. Earlier in the offseason Turner committed to play his college football at MTSU, so expect another big season from him if the Bulldogs are to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Perkins returns to lead the running game after a stellar junior campaign as he rushed for 1,422 yards and scored 25 total touchdowns on the season, joining Turner on the all region team. Expect Perkins to also get some playing time in the Bulldogs secondary as well.
Smyrna will have some depth at running back as seniors Devin Sims and Peyton Manus will get carries and spell Perkins from time to time. Sims will return to start at safety after losing his junior season to a broken leg suffered against Siegel last season. Manus also be a key contributor at linebacker as well, while the return of Deylon Williams who missed the entire 2015 season due to injury will start at middle linebacker and Nick Okeke also returns to start at outside linebacker for the Bulldogs 4-2-5 defensive set.