NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — High school football season kicks off this weekend with a handful of games across Middle Tennessee.
Most schools have their openers Friday night and anticipation will be high at Lipscomb Academy where Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer will be coaching his first game.
The school will put on a big show to help get fans fired up with a free concert before the game featuring Grammy Award winning artist Sheryl Crow.
Dilfer, who played 14 seasons in the NFL and was an analyst for ESPN, was named the head coach in January.
Dilfer said coaching the students has been an “awesome honor” and that he has been looking forward to the start of the season.
“I told the boys last night after practice, nobody will be more nervous tomorrow night than I will be and that’s a good thing! Nerves are a super power and you just have to channel them the right way,” said Dilfer.
He explained the pre-show concert is a way to help bring the community together.
“We built a 3,000 square foot sound stage in the middle of our athletic plaza and plan on doing this concert series before every home game,” explained Dilfer.
The concerts will be free and there will be food trucks and bounce houses for the kids ahead of each game.
Dilfer said the transition from player and analyst to coach has been the greatest challenge of his life —in a good way!
“The responsibility is immense. You’re helping shape these young people for their future. Billy Graham once said the two most important words any child will hear these days are ‘coach says.’ For whatever reason, what a coach says impacts a child so much and their future and we’re trying to do and say the right things. At the same time, winning is important so it’s a delicate of making sure we’re a human development program masked as a high school football team…but we’re also a really good high school football team.”
The students’ safety is a high priority for Dilfer, who tragically lost his son Trevin when he was five years old from heart disease.
“If my son was playing, I’d put him in a VICIS helmet, it’s by far the safest helmet. My wife went out and bought the entire program VICIS helmets. We want our kids to be in the safest helmets, the safest equipment and have the safest tackling technique. It’s been the forefront of every decision we’ve made as a family to make sure we treat these boys like we’d treat our own son,” said Dilfer.
The concert kicks off at 4:30 p.m. before the Mustangs take on Glencliff. Patrick Carpenter and Daves Highway are set to open for Crow.