Lipscomb Academy’s high school football team, the Mustangs, are officially moving from TSSAA Division II-AA to Division II-AAA for their 2023-2024 season.
The LA Mustangs are the current defending 2021 state champions and the 2020 state runners up with a streak of 17 consecutive wins and a record of 311 points scored. Throughout the whole 2022 season, there have only been 52 points scored against LA.
Because of Lipscomb’s dominance on the football field, some schools don’t see the competition as fair. One team chose to cancel their game altogether even though they have been on Lipscomb’s regular football schedule for years. When the Mustangs change divisions, opportunities will be opened for more competitive games against higher ranked schools.
“We will be playing MBA, Brentwood academy, McAuley, Baylor, and Knox catholic,” Bradley Farmer, LA’s assistant athletic director, said. According to Farmer, it is still a possibility that Lipscomb could play Ensworth, but it’s not a for-sure decision yet.
When a school moves divisions, that school can pre-schedule games against schools that aren’t in their division, but they have to play 6 scheduled games within their division, according to TSSAA.
Jake Esqueta, a Lipscomb student, says that Friday night football games have become more predictable and less enjoyable for students because they have beat all of their TSSAA Division II-(AA) opponents, with a 10-0 record for the 2022-2023 season.
“We are winning by so much, and we already know that we are going to win before the game even starts,” Esqueta said. “ … I’m really looking forward that we get to play harder teams and
have more of a challenge. Games are gonna get a lot more interesting and entertaining next year, and I’m definitely excited to see how far we go.”
Lipscomb Academy’s head football coach, Trent Dilfer, came to Lipscomb in 2019. At this time, LA was ranked 5702nd in the nation after the 2018 season. Throughout the three seasons Dilfer has coached, he turned the football program upside down, as Lipscomb is now ranked 14th in the nation.
Dilfer has trained many astonishing football players like Kaleb Beasley, Edwin Spillman, Hank Brown, and Brian Longwell, all of whom contribute to Lipscomb’s huge wins and championships. Beasley has recently committed to UTK after Lipscomb won against CPA, and Brown, the 52nd best QB in the nation, is committed to Liberty University. Each student on the team brings their own individual gifts and talents to the field.
As of right now, Montgomery Bell Academy is ranked number 1 in the state because they’re at the top of the highest division with a 10-0 record, and Lipscomb will be fighting for that number 1 spot next season. The rest of the season this year consists of the playoffs and state, if the team makes it that far. Once Lipscomb starts their football season next year, the Mustangs will be entering a new territory, and carrying on the team’s legacy to greater heights.