Baylor could be biggest threat to McCallie's DII-AAA reign

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / McCallie running back Tario Price bursts through the line as Montgomery Bell Academy defenders chase him during the TSSAA Division II-AAA BlueCross Bowl state title game last December at Finley Stadium. Price helped lead the Blue Tornado to the program's third consecutive state title.

It is rare air the McCallie football program is currently soaring through.

Last year the Blue Tornado became just the seventh team in TSSAA history to win three consecutive state championships, and they'll begin this season looking to join Brentwood Academy (2015-18) and Ensworth (2010-13) as the only Division II-AAA teams to reel off four straight titles.

McCallie also enters the season on a 16-game winning streak and has beaten its past 12 DII-AAA opponents.

In an era when offenses typically put up video game numbers, the Blue Tornado have held 17 of their past 36 opponents to 10 or fewer points, and they return six starters from last year's unit that gave up a combined 14 points in the semifinals and BlueCross Bowl title game.

That group of returners includes defensive end Carson Gentle - a 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior who recently committed to Tennessee - linebackers Etienne Delisle (6-2, 215) and Jetty Miller (6-2, 235) and safety Andre Delinois (6-2, 205).