In just their second season, the Nashville Elite made it all the way to the Middle Tennessee Football League Championship, but came up shy of some hardware, falling to the eventual champion Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs 14-0.
“I felt good about the year,” Elite owner Tahnesia Richmond told Developmental Football USA. “We went from under .500 to a winning record, but we are not satisfied, because I am very competitive.”
Led by quarterback Terrell Smith, who was recently named team Offensive MVP, and defensive tackle Accente Hill, who was recently named team Defensive MVP, Nashville more than doubled its win total from one year ago to finish 7-3.
Although the Elite fell short of their championship goal, in many ways the season was a success, because Richmond achieved her primary goal of creating next level opportunities for their players.
“I want to get as many as the guys to college, arena, and Euro ball,” Richmond said. “Winning is a bonus, my number one goal is getting them out.”
Obviously playing at the next level is difficult and challenging, but the Elite have had players from this year’s team get an opportunity to do so. Recently, they have had one player sign a college scholarship and another sign a pro contract.
Offensive and defensive tackle Harold Brock recently signed to play for Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock and season MVP, wide receiver and return specialist D’Angelo Bohannon, will play for the Georgia Doom indoor team in 2018.
“He was the heart and soul of our team” Richmond said of Bohannon.
Also, two former Elite players, Trae White and Christopher Richards recently returned home from playing for the Sakarya Tatankalari in Turkey, where they played in the Turkish Bowl for the league championship.
“I do a lot of footwork to get these guys opportunities” Richmond said. “I make sure my guys who want to play college know about the FAFSA and have all the school paperwork done before they think about football. I am very honest with the players.”
Athletes have to meet minimum GPA requirements to get into college. However, in Tennessee, there are no junior colleges for kids to go to and play football while they get their GPA up, so these young men have to be ready to leave the house and live as men.
“I want to make sure to line the players up with the right people” Richmond said.
The Elite have recently worked with people and organizations like Pro Hunt, Daryl Tate and Podyum which is responsible for overseas, and indoor opportunities.
“I made some connections with the indoor league to bring some tryouts to Nashville to help the players have a chance to get to the next level” Richmond said. “We make sure all games are filmed so players can use it for highlight video.
“We are an open book. I don’t do this for me, I love my guys and I love my city. I brought this to Nashville to keep my guys off the street.”
With Year 2 now in the books, the Elite will soon start preparing for their third season, with a clean slate and another chance at finishing on top.
“Our eyes are on the prize,” Richmond said. “We want to win a championship. That is our underlying mission.”