Science Hill is taking a big bite for the 2013 football season.
The Hilltoppers will travel to face Murfreesboro Siegel on Sept. 20, and play host to Brentwood Academy on Sept. 27.
Siegel, which burst onto the scene as a basketball power shortly after opening in 2003, has transformed into a strong football program. The Stars were 13-0 last season before losing 47-43 to Maryville in the Class 6A state semifinals.
As for Brentwood Academy, the Eagles have long been known for football success. The school has won 10 state championships, the most recent coming in 2006.
The Eagles were 9-3 last year, losing 46-45 to Memphis University School in the Division II Class AA state semifinals.
Siegel replaces Greeneville on the Hilltoppers' schedule while Brentwood Academy replaces former league foe Sullivan South, which dropped into the Class AA ranks.
Hilltoppers' head coach Stacy Carter said scheduling far-away teams was necessitated mostly because of the new classification tweaks for the 2013-14 school year.
“Greeneville dropped us,” said Carter. “With the lower classification if they play a 6A team and lose, it counts against them. That's why Caine (Ballard) dropped us. They had to travel after the first round of the playoffs last year, and he felt like that hurt them.
“So we had to go to Murfreesboro and Nashville to get games. It's a long way to go, and I tried everything. I tried Asheville, N.C., and others, but couldn't get it to work out.”
Both Siegel and Brentwood are two-year home-away contracts. The Hilltoppers are not playing Week Zero, but will open Aug. 30 against Elizabethton. Science Hill will face David Crockett and Morristown West before tackling the mid-state teams, and then finish the rest of the Big Seven Conference schedule.
Carter said he believes playing Siegel and Brentwood Academy will help his team.
“You have to see teams with speed,” said Carter. “It will help us get better.”