Tag Archives: Richland

Coaches happy with scrimmage results from Friday

By Chris Yow

Spring Hill football coach Ben Martin won’t take this for granted anymore.

After his team’s Friday night scrimmage at Lebanon, Martin said it was a blessing to be back on the field and getting work in without the team’s win-loss record on the line.

That was a popular sentiment around the area over the weekend, as high school teams got a chance to hit somebody new and in a different colored jersey.

Last season, scrimmages were not allowed due to the threat of COVID-19, but with the latest guidelines from health officials and the TSSAA, local teams took full advantage of the opportunity.

Columbia Central, with John Moore still getting his feet under him, traveled to Lawrence County. The interim coach said he was pleased with what he saw.

“We got off to a slow start, but Q Martin picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown, and that really revved us up,” he said. “We started executing a little better on offense after that, and I thought we did OK.”

“Our pad level is way too high, but that’s normal for this time of the year and our timing is off, so we have to work on that.”

Pad levels and techniques are part of the biggest corrections needed after these early scrimmages, according to coaches.

“We were terrible on technique and still managed to stay in the scrimmage. It’s the little things we harp on all the time,” Martin said. “We got some good work in, but I’m not sure how many questions got answered.”

Martin said getting a chance to control the scrimmage and correct mistakes as they happen during the scrimmage may not be ideal for fans who are clamoring for game action, but it’s vital to getting ready for Aug. 20.

“We were able to get out and correct things, and we got to see some stuff we wanted to see and look at,” he said. “It’s maybe not as exciting for fans with controlled scrimmages, but we get really good work being able to do it this way.

“We made mistakes, but nothing I wouldn’t expect to happen in the first scrimmage of the year.”

Mt. Pleasant coach Kit Hartsfield said his team bogged down in the red zone during their scrimmage at Cornersville and his team failed to score in the game. That, however, didn’t stall his optimism.

“It went OK,” he said. “I’m certainly not worried. We went up against good competition in Cornersville. It shows you where you’re at and where you need to be.”

Like Martin and Spring Hill, Hartsfield said his team didn’t play well, but still remained competitive.

“That’s what we are preaching to the kids is our ceiling is really high,” he said. “We looked fast on defense — had a lot of guys flying around making some big hits.”

Richland coach Nick Patterson was pleased, and for good reason. His team scored five touchdowns and held visiting Huntland to just two. The offensive production, considering the shake-up in the backfield this offseason, was a point of excitement.

“Overall, it was one of our better outings in my tenure here in execution and performance,” he said. “It was a good scrimmage for us, but there is obviously plenty to work on.”

The quarterback for the last two seasons, Sam Edwards has moved to running back in favor of Bryce Miller. That move has allowed Patterson to be more flexible with his senior athlete.

“Sam moved to running back and he’s thriving. It also allows us to use him more on defense, and he’s doing a great job for us there,” Patterson said. “I thought Bryce did a great job at quarterback. He handled himself really well.”

Patterson was also impressed with his team’s depth at this point of the season. A large freshman class has helped to bolster some key positions.

“Overall, I think we have more depth than we’ve ever had. There are a few places I’d like to have more, but team-wide our numbers are good,” he said. “I feel like we are building much-needed depth in a lot of spots.

“It’s good to be back.”

This week’s scrimmage schedule:

Tuesday

Collinwood at Mt. Pleasant
Summertown at Perry Co.
Columbia Acad. at Spring Hill
Richland at Giles Co.

Thursday

Hardin Co. at Lawrence Co.

Friday

South Gibson at Columbia Acad.
Loretto at Scotts Hill
Stewarts Creek at Summit
Hillsboro at Independence
Richland at Moore Co.
Spring Hill, Summertown at East Hickman

Upcoming local prep scrimmages, jamborees

Tuesday

Collinwood at Mt. Pleasant
Summertown at Perry Co.
Columbia Acad. at Spring Hill
Richland at Giles Co.

Thursday

Hardin Co. at Lawrence Co.

Friday

South Gibson at Columbia Acad.
Loretto at Scotts Hill
Stewarts Creek at Summit
Hillsboro at Independence
Richland at Moore Co.
Spring Hill, Summertown at East Hickman

Tuesday, Aug. 10

Mt. Pleasant at Waverly
Tullahoma at Columbia Central

Friday, Aug. 13
Maury County Jamboree
at Lindsey Nelson Stadium

Goodpasture vs. Columbia Acad., 6 p.m.
Dickson Co. vs. Spring Hill, 7 p.m.
Creek Wood vs. Columbia Central, 8 p.m.

Giles County Jamboree
at Sam Davis Park

Fayetteville vs. Richland, 7 p.m.
Lawrence Co. vs. Giles Co., 8 p.m.

Summertown at Rogers (Ala.)
Zion Chr. at Loretto

Coaches whose programs’ scrimmages or jamboree appearances are not listed are encouraged to e-mail sports@sm-tnsports.com with that information.

Area high school grid preseason schedule

Friday

Summit at Riverdale
Overton at Independence
Columbia Central at Lawrence Co.
Hickman Co. at Columbia Acad.
Spring Hill at Lebanon
Huntland at Richland
Mt. Pleasant at Cornersville

Tuesday (Aug. 3)

Collinwood at Mt. Pleasant
Summertown at Perry Co.
Columbia Acad. at Spring Hill
Richland at Giles Co.

Thursday, Aug. 5

Hardin Co. at Lawrence Co.

Friday, Aug. 6

South Gibson at Columbia Acad.
Loretto at Scotts Hill
Stewarts Creek at Summit
Hillsboro at Independence
Richland at Moore Co.
Spring Hill, Summertown at East Hickman

Tuesday, Aug. 10

Mt. Pleasant at Waverly
Tullahoma at Columbia Central

Friday, Aug. 13
Maury County Jamboree
at Lindsey Nelson Stadium

Goodpasture vs. Columbia Acad., 6 p.m.
Dickson Co. vs. Spring Hill, 7 p.m.
Creek Wood vs. Columbia Central, 8 p.m.

Giles County Jamboree
at Sam Davis Park

Fayetteville vs. Richland, 7 p.m.
Lawrence Co. vs. Giles Co., 8 p.m.

Summertown at Rogers (Ala.)
Zion Chr. at Loretto

Coaches whose program’s scrimmages or jamboree appearances are not listed are encouraged to e-mail sports@sm-tnsports.com with that information.

‘Border Battle’ rivals clash in Ravenwood 7-on-7 championship

By Maurice Patton

BRENTWOOD — Call it Border Battle Lite.

Independence, breaking in yet another starting quarterback for the upcoming season, edged 2020 Class 5A state titlist Summit in the finals of Saturday’s Ravenwood Passing Tournament – an outcome that hardly fazed either coach.

“It was a great matchup, a great practice – that’s what it was,” Eagles coach Scott Blade said after senior Joe Cummings led the team through four single-elimination 7-on-7 contests as the top seed out of its pool, culminated by a semifinal win against Page prior to the finale.

“Our kids have been playing the whole summer, the whole spring and the offseason, with a lot of juice. They’re a fun team to coach. We know it’s just practice, we also know it’s in June, but it’s always nice to put in a successful day at work.”

Cody Pagach, a sophomore transfer from Ensworth, and senior Hunter Howard also took snaps for Independence over the course of the day, which included four pool play matchups prior to bracket play.

“Cody got a ton of reps early on in the day, and when we started bracket play, we just tried to stick with one unit, but Cody did a great job as well,” Blade said.

“Hunter’s right up there, but he also plays outside ‘backer and safety for us. … I wanted the bulk of his work to be on defense. We’re trying to get that personnel figured out.”

Cummings has earned the nod as the successor to Jaxson Campbell, who succeeded Ethan Cash, who …

“Ethan was there for a year and a half, but it really goes all the way back to (three-year starter and 2015 state titlist Andrew) Bunch,” Blade said regarding the last time Indy had a returning starter at quarterback.

“Joe is the guy. He’s a senior, he’s the No. 1 guy this year. We’ll try to get Cody enough reps this year that he gets comfortable so we don’t skip a beat next year.”

Destin Wade, meanwhile, is Summit’s Bunch – approaching his fourth season as a starter and already committed, along with twin brother Keaten, to Kentucky.

“Destin got some good work,” Spartans coach Brian Coleman said as his squad also rolled through pool play to a top seed in the bracket and knocked off Centennial in the semifinals. “We competed. That’s our main thing from (Saturday) – compete, have fun. It was a good day, fun day, long day, hot day.

“Coach Blade knows what he’s doing out here. They’ve got some good combinations, kids that can catch it and throw it. We’re getting better defensively, in the secondary. In this new region, they’re going to sling it around.”

Barring another meeting at Riverdale’s 7-on-7 event on July 15, the stakes will be higher for the next faceoff between Summit and Independence. The Spartans will host this year’s Border Battle on Oct. 8 as they step into Region 7-6A competition this fall.

“We’re alright,” Coleman said. “We competed. I can’t get stressed about that.”

Coming up this week:

Tuesday at Shelbyville (TBA) – Cannon Co., Cascade, Columbia Acad., Community, Cornersville, DeKalb Co. (JV), East Robertson, Fairview, Forrest, Gordonsville, Hickman Co., Lake Co., Marion Co., Mt. Pleasant, Richland, Sale Creek, Stratford, Trousdale Co., Waverly, White Co. (JV), Whites Creek

Tuesday at Columbia Central (6 p.m.) – Columbia Acad., Lawrence Co., Spring Hill

Wednesday at Shelbyville (TBA) – Centennial, Coffee Co., Columbia Central, Community, Creek Wood, DeKalb Co., Dickson Co., Greenbrier, LaVergne, Macon Co., Marshall Co., Page, Riverdale, Rockvale, Rossview, Shelbyville, Stone Memorial, Summit, Tullahoma, Warren Co., White Co.

Thursday at Giles Co. (TBA) – Columbia Acad., Richland (list incomplete)

If you have a team participating in a 7-on-7 event this week, please submit your schedule information to sports@sm-tnsports.com.

Back to the grind: Locals resume 7-on-7 grid action

SM-Tn Sports

Is it really summer if there are no 7-on-7 high school football events?

That’s no longer an issue, as area teams get back to offseason work against other squads – after missing out last year because pandemic guidelines instituted by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association ruled out those activities as well as preseason scrimmages and jamborees.

And the local teams are wasting no time getting going, as both Independence and Summit will be among 19 teams participating Saturday in the day-long Ravenwood Passing Tournament.

Activity continues to ramp up Tuesday, as Shelbyville will hold a two-day event with Columbia Academy, Columbia Central, Mt. Pleasant, Richland and Summit taking part. Columbia Central will also host a Tuesday workout with CA, Lawrence County and Spring Hill.

Before the dead period begins on June 28, Columbia Academy and Richland will both participate in a 7-on-7 event Thursday at Giles County.

Here’s a list of teams and events for the upcoming week, based on submissions from area coaches:

Saturday at Ravenwood (8 a.m. start) – Blackman, Centennial, Community, East Nashville, Franklin Road Acad., Green Hill, Hillsboro, Independence, Kenwood, Lebanon, Lincoln Co., Page, Springfield, Stewart Co., Summit, Warren Co., Whites Creek, Wilson Central

Tuesday at Shelbyville (TBA) – Cannon Co., Cascade, Columbia Acad., Community, Cornersville, DeKalb Co. (JV), East Robertson, Fairview, Forrest, Gordonsville, Hickman Co., Lake Co., Marion Co., Mt. Pleasant, Richland, Sale Creek, Stratford, Trousdale Co., Waverly, White Co. (JV), Whites Creek

Tuesday at Columbia Central (6 p.m.) – Columbia Acad., Lawrence Co., Spring Hill

Wednesday at Shelbyville (TBA) – Centennial, Coffee Co., Columbia Central, Community, Creek Wood, DeKalb Co., Dickson Co., Greenbrier, LaVergne, Macon Co., Marshall Co., Page, Riverdale, Rockvale, Rossview, Shelbyville, Stone Memorial, Summit, Tullahoma, Warren Co., White Co.

Thursday at Giles Co. (TBA) – Columbia Acad., Richland (list incomplete)

If you have a team participating in a 7-on-7 event this week, please submit your schedule information to sports@sm-tnsports.com.

TSSAA Board of Control reinstates scrimmages, jamborees for upcoming gridiron preseason

By Maurice Patton

News that the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control voted during its two-day meeting that concluded Wednesday to allow “normal” preseason activities for the 2021-22 school year was of no surprise to local football coaches.

“We took some proactive steps and went ahead and scheduled our scrimmages, 7-on-7 dates, anticipating this decision,” Columbia Academy coach Charlie Lansdell said. “We didn’t want to be stuck. We knew as soon as they made that ruling, everybody would be calling and filling up their schedules pretty quick. We actually started that back in the spring, making plans for this coming summer.

“We didn’t want to be caught with the opportunity to do it and not have the opportunity to do it.”

Among the guidelines established last summer because of the pandemic were that athletic programs were unable to participate in any activities involving another team prior to regular-season competition. Wednesday’s vote clears the way for a return to passing tournaments, scrimmages and jamborees prior to the Aug. 20 start of the 2021 gridiron campaign.

“I’m just glad we have an opportunity to do a better job of preparing for the season,” Columbia Central coach Jason Hoath said. “Last year, going in and not seeing another team until Game 1 – that’s difficult.

“Seeing them in live competition against other schools really helps you determine a lot before Game 1.”

And there’s much to determine for most area football programs. Both Columbia Central and Spring Hill will debut new starting quarterbacks, while Kit Hartsfield at Mt. Pleasant is one of three new coaches locally.

“This gives us a chance to compete before the season actually starts, with 7-on-7 and scrimmages,” Hartsfield said. “We were concerned with that, basically starting from scratch and not being able to put the kids through a competitive environment.”

Spring Hill will host a 7-on-7 event on June 24, with a number of area teams participating. Columbia Central will hold a gathering two days prior, with various squads also set to compete at Shelbyville and at Giles County prior to the two-week dead period that begins June 28.

“Last year was the best reason why it’s a good thing,” Raiders coach Ben Martin said regarding the return of preseason work. “Our first scrimmage, seeing a team with a different jersey, was Game 1 when it counts. You’re trying to get two scrimmages and four or five 7-on-7s in one game, that’s going to count on our record.

“It seems like everything gets turned up a notch when you’ve got a different opponent going against you – not the same guys you see every day. You can practice, but you can’t simulate that going against another team, the speed, the timing with the receivers.”

The Board of Control also voted to remove restrictive probation for the Franklin County and Shelbyville football programs, making them eligible for postseason play. Both were sanctioned last fall following an unsportsmanlike incident during their Week 10 contest and were ineligible for the 2021 state playoffs as a result.

Minutes from the meeting also acknowledged Zion Christian Academy’s departure from the TSSAA. Zion Christian intends to participate in the Tennessee State Independent Athletic Association for at least the next two years.

In other board action:

● A request from members of Region 6-AAAA to hold their basketball tournament at a central site was approved, as the Region 6-AAA tourney has previously been conducted. The new region will consist of Brentwood, Centennial, Franklin, Hillsboro and Overton from District 11-AAAA and Columbia Central, Independence, Nolensville, Ravenwood and Summit of District 12-AAAA.

● A proposed two-year extension to contracts with the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce for the Division I girls and boys basketball tournaments and Spring Fling was approved. Those events will remain at Middle Tennessee State University’s Murphy Center and at locations in and around Murfreesboro, respectively, through the 2022-23 school year.

A number of adjustments to the bowling competition and postseason formats were approved, including the addition of sectional tournaments as qualifiers for individual state tourneys.