By SAM McGAW
Rain washed out the afternoon session of Nolensville High’s 7-on-7 tournament Saturday, but it didn’t completely prevent teams from earning quality reps.
Before the downpours and lightning rolled through, twenty high school football programs honed their passing attacks in pool play of the inaugural tournament.
“These tournaments are all about competition,” Nolensville second-year head coach Will Hester said. “It’s about speed vs. speed and seeing a fastball look from all of these great teams. It’s less about success; everybody is going to still be 0-0 when this is over.”
Hester made a tradition out of hosting summer 7-on-7 tournaments during his coaching stints at LaVergne and Ravenwood over the past decade. He said he plans to do the same at Nolensville, which opened its doors last fall.
“Guys have supported (the tournament) wherever I’ve done it and I’m appreciative of that,” Hester said. “These are mostly my friends in coaching. We just like to get together and have a good day of work.”
Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy, Centennial, Franklin, Franklin Road Academy, Independence, Page, Ravenwood and Summit were among the teams in attendance.
BA’s varsity unit went 5-0 against BGA, Franklin, Mount Juliet, Nolensville and Overton.
“At the end of the day, this is just another practice,” BA senior quarterback Gavin Schoenwald said. “Everything we do here is our offense. It’s great to not have to go against the same guys you see every day in practice. Just getting new teams and new looks is great. It helps us with reading defenses and with timing our routes.”
While not all teams that competed will run spread offenses in the fall, the extra experience these tournaments provide is invaluable.
“A rep out here is probably equated to maybe seven to 10 different reps at home, because every rep here is full speed and against good competition,” Franklin head coach Donnie Webb said. “Everybody is spread nowadays, and each year people get better at throwing the football. For us, this is about working on our zone defenses and learning how to close on windows faster.”