Raptors prepare for passing camps
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
High School football continues to inch closer as the TSSAA’s mandatory dead period was lifted July 8. Williamson County’s 10 teams hit the practice field after the 14-day break to knock off any rust and to prepare for upcoming 7-on-7 passing tournaments.
“We’ll go two weeks with helmets a couple days a week,” said first-year Ravenwood coach Will Hester. “We’ve got 7-on-7 tournaments we’re going to – one this weekend at Vanderbilt and then we’re hosting one here.”
The Raptors are running and lifting in the mornings and returning to campus when temperatures cool at night for position drills.
Hester’s main goal from the camps is to exit with the position battle at quarterback settled.
“Right now we’re trying to have a quarterback rise to the top,” he said. “We’ve got four guys that are battling it out pretty strong. We’re looking to get a lot of positive reps for those guys and hopefully one will rise to the top and come out of the passing tournaments and we’ll have a clear leader in padded practices.”
Also headed to West End for the Music City Classic 7-on-7 tournament from the county are Brentwood Academy, Fairview, Independence, and Page.
After the passing tournaments, schools must adhere to the TSSAA’s new reclamation period in which squads must practice a minimum three days in only shoulder pads and helmets before going into full gear. Ravenwood plans to go four days before suiting up fully on July 29.
At this point in the calendar though, Hester is focusing on the passing game.
“Basically (we’re) just working on the timing,” the former Brentwood assistant said. “You don’t have a whole lot of time in the spring to work on the passing game. We’ll take this time to hone those skills.”
Ravenwood’s offense struggled in 2012 to a 3-7, 2-3 record while scoring a District 11-AAA worst 114 points on the season. Next closest in the district was Franklin with 190 points.
The Raptors were forced into a quarterback rotation for most the year, mainly due to injuries. Stability at the position should lead to a more productive 2013.
Ravenwood did close the season strong with two wins and their highest single-game point outputs of the season – 21.
Both the offense and defense are going through an overhaul under the new coaching staff with the defense being slightly farther along at this point in practice.
“The entire defense is in,” Hester said. “We’re tweaking some things on offense to fit our personnel base. It should be ready to go by July 29.”
Redistricting in 2013 will make 11-AAA even tougher this upcoming season as Dickson County and Summit join. Dickson County comes in off a 10-2 season one year ago and a playoff run, making 11-AAA home to four teams who reached the postseason one-year prior.
Though Summit had a losing record, 3-7, they were vastly improved from 2011 and, with their first senior class, look to make a run for their first winning record.
Posted on: 7/10/2013