7-on-7 football tournaments just around the corner
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
Week 0 of high school football season is still seven weeks away, but the light is slowly becoming visible at the end of the football-less tunnel.
With the TSSAA’s mandatory dead period ending July 6, area teams only have a handful of days for organized practice before diving head first into 7-on-7 passing tournaments. Each of Williamson County’s 10 squads will participate in a camp by July 13.
The first tournament of the season takes place at Riverdale High School on July 11 as Independence, Fairview, Centennial, and Summit make the trip to Murfreesboro.
Vanderbilt’s eighth annual Music City Class 7-on-7 follows July 12-13 with Indy, Ravenwood, Brentwood Academy, Fairview, and Page each returning to the West End campus for consecutive years.
Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood, and Franklin will attend a July 13 camp at Middle Tennessee State University while Centennial, Brentwood, and Page will participate in a 14-team tournament at Ravenwood July 20.
Passing camps are 7-on-7 games with no offensive or defensive line where contact is kept at a minimal. They are primarily used by coaches to develop chemistry between quarterbacks and skill players while installing some aspects to a squad’s passing attack.
The short turnaround from dead period to the passing camps does present issues for coaches and players to be thoroughly prepared.
“It certainly is a challenge considering we are trying to install a new offense and the coaches are trying to evaluate players,” Brentwood senior wide receiver Andy Schumpert said. “But we’re all just really excited about getting to go out and get to work and we’ll make the most of it.”
The Bruins are one of three schools in the county with a new head coach for the 2013 season – along with Ravenwood and Independence.
Many players are just happy football, whether practice or a form of competition is returning. One such player is Centennial junior Deon Sanders who has spent the last four month on the baseball diamond – helping take the Cougars to their first state tournament and being a member of Team Tennessee.
“I’m really excited about this year,” he said. “Can’t wait to get back on the field with my team.”
While each 7-on-7 camp serves a purpose, Vanderbilt’s is widely known as the most prolific in the midstate as top competition makes their way to the Music City, along with local powerhouses.
Fairview coach Chris Hughes understands that his team could be outmatched in some groupings, but feels the event still is a positive for his Yellow Jackets.
“Personnel wise, we’re not going to be able to hang with those elite team, but we rarely are,” he said. “I mean, those teams that travel in from Ohio and other places are the elite of the elite in 7-on-7. But I do look forward to it as far as seeing where we need to get to. There will be some teams we stack up well against.”
Tournaments are all-day events and free to the public.
Posted on: 7/3/2013