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First WillCo Jamboree opens prep football season

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The temperatures say summer, but calendar says fall-as in time for football.

Williamson County’s first official dose comes Friday when all nine county high schools are joined by Rutherford County’s Blackman High for a last dress rehearsal in the first Williamson County Jamboree at Nolensville beginning at 5 p.m.

Each team will play two quarters in a series of five “halves” of football. The match-ups were determined by a blind-draw in the spring when the event was announced.

“Will Hester (Nolensville head coach) had the idea that instead of all our teams spending money to travel out of the county to play jamborees, we might want to keep it at home,” said Williamson County Schools Athletic Director Jeremy Qualls. “With the turf field at Nolensville it was the perfect place for the first one.

“It should be exciting. It’s a fund raiser for the schools plus the blind draw created some interesting contests.”

Leading the interesting group will be the 7 p.m. tilt between Franklin and Fairview. The two oldest schools in the county have never met on the gridiron and both have long, storied histories, albeit in different classifications. The Rebels, who will officially be the visiting team, comes off a run in the 6A playoffs last year while the Yellow Jackets have been in post-season play in Class 3A for the last ten years.

The jamboree opens with an early 4 p.m. kick-off when the host Knights get to show off their first-in-the-county artificial turf field against Centennial, a team that has a two-year run as a semi-finalist in Class 5A. Summit and Ravenwood follow at 5 p.m. Both teams made the play-offs last year, Summit for the first time ever in Class 5A and the Raptors in Class 6A.

At 6 pm, Independence, with two straight trips to the Class 5A championship game and a gold ball in the trophy case, will face a strong Blackman team from Rutherford County. The Eagles have several question marks due to graduation, but talent and experience ready to step into new roles. The Blaze went 9-4 last year, including seeing an eight-game winning streak snapped in quarter-finals of the Class 6A playoffs at traditional power Maryville.

The 8 p.m. nightcap will see Brentwood taking on Page. The Bruins, who return thirty-five seniors from a team that rolled through the end of the season last year, are expected to be battle Independence for dominance in the new Region 6-6A that includes Brentwood, Indy, Centennial, Franklin, Ravenwood and Dickson County. Page faces the challenge of moving up to Class 5A after years at the 4A level, joining Summit in the new Region 5-5A, along with Columbia, Lincoln County and Shelbyville, among others.

Tickets for the event are $10 and proceeds from pre-sale tickets (http://gofan.co/app/school/TN68098) go directly to the school indicated on the on-line order form. Proceeds from walk-up sales will be split between the schools.

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