Franklin High School was started in 1910, with the first football team fielded not too long after.
However, Rebel football as we now know it got its beginnings in 1926, the first year the school opened its own campus and football field.
The first game of that year was on October 1, 1926. The Rebels took on Duncan College Preparatory School for Boys, a private institution that existed on 25th Ave. South in Nashville from 1908 to 1952.
The Review Appeal, on microfilm at the Williamson County Library, wrote an account of the game, along with a preview the week before:
Review Appeal September 26, 1926
FRANKLIN HIGH TO PLAY FRIDAY
Opens schedule with Duncan team of Nashville
Friday afternoon at 3:30 Franklin High School will lift the lid of its 1926 football season, upon the new High School field. The initial tilt will be with the strong Duncan eleven of Nashville. From reports coming from Nashville, the Duncan team will not be heavy, but will be fast and well coached.
Just what the status of the local eleven will be on that date, will be largely determined by how fast the various injuries will heal during the next few days. William Thurman, regular quarterback, will likely be out of the game on account of a fractured rib, which is slowly healing. His place will probably be filled by Stoddard, who although a bit inexperienced is coming along nicely.
Fitzgerald has a bad knee, which will handicap him greatly; but he is expected to start. Charlie Sawyer has been suffering with a weak ankle, but it is believed that he will be in good shape by Friday. Carter, Garona, and Vaughan have also had slight injuries but are recovering rapidly.
Review Appeal Oct. 2, 1926
DUNCAN WINS FROM F.H.S. 6-0
Fast game played here last Thursday opened season
Duncan eked a 6 to 0 victory over Franklin High Friday afternoon in one of the hardest fought and cleanest football games ever staged in Franklin.
Although the laurels of the victory went to Duncan, yet the entire squad showered itself with praise and honor through its doggedly fighting spirit, and clean sportsmanship playing.
Even more credit can be given the local team when it is realized that eight of the squad had never played football before. The team has more fight and grit than any squad ever representing the High School, and it is believed that with the gaining of more experience they will be the equal of any team on their schedule.
Although the entire team deserves credit for its excellent playing, yet it seems that the individual honors must go to Edvin Thurman, Louie Garrona, William King, Thos. Carter and Raymond Ellis. These boys played a smashing game both on offense and defense.
Vaughan made some good gains around end, while Stoddard proved, generally, a steady field marshall, for his first game at quarterback.
The greatest faults on the team seem to be its lack of interference and the inability of the backs to knock down passes. It is also handicapped by the lack of a good punter.
The next two games will be played away from home. The squad goes to Portland, on the 8 for a tilt with the high school team of that place. Then on Oct. 15 it goes to Mt. Pleasant. The next home date will be for Oct. 22 with Culleoka High School. By that time the team should be in top form, and the fans of Franklin may expect to see a much smoother machine in action.