Area high school football teams have spent the past three days beating on each other as they prepare for their Aug. 17 season openers.
Starting today, area teams will get a chance to hit someone else.
La Vergne, Oakland and Siegel all have scheduled scrimmages for today. The rest are in action Friday.
“I can’t wait and our kids can’t wait,” Siegel coach Greg Wyant said. “We’re tired of going against ourselves.”
TSSAA rules stipulate that teams must have three days of practice in pads before they scrimmage or hold workouts with other schools.
By the end of that third day, the monotony of practice against teammates begins to get a little stale. Scrimmage breathe extra energy while getting a chance to practice under game conditions.
“I want to see us have a little more energy,” said Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott, whose team scrimmages Lebanon at 5 p.m. on Friday. “This gives us a chance to get out and, knock on wood, hopefully not get hurt.”
Aydelott said Riverdale has stayed healthy thus far in practice.
Siegel hasn’t been quite as lucky as Wyant said the Stars have been “dinged up.” The team has had a couple players suffer mild concussions and a couple more with dehydration issues.
“We’ve had four in three days,” Wyant said. “That compounds things when you get that many that quick.”
Siegel will scrimmage at 6 p.m. at Brentwood Academy in perhaps the biggest preseason scrimmage scheduled for today. Brentwood Academy’s lineup includes USC commitment Jalen Ramsey, a cornerback, and Florida commitment Max Staver, who is the Eagles’ quarterback.
Oakland hosts Beech at 9 a.m. today in a workday. Beech boasts junior all-purpose back Jalen Hurd, who already has offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt among others.
“We’ve worked with (Beech) for two years,” Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel said. “Coach (Anthony) Crabtree does a great job there. We like working with them because they are similar to us. They are a power team so to speak that wants to run the football. That’s kind of what we want to do. And on defense, we need to stop the run.”
La Vergne travels to Pope John Paul II for a four-way scrimmage with Lincoln County, Signal Mountain and host JPII.
On Friday, Blackman travels to Gallatin for a workday starting at 9 a.m. Siegel hosts Montgomery Bell Academy starting at 8:30 am., Eagleville hosts Summit at 7 p.m., Smyrna hosts Centennial at 5 p.m. and MTCS travels to Cannon County at 7 p.m.
Blackman will scrimmage at Chattanooga McCallie on Saturday giving little time to recover physically. Like other teams, Blaze coach Philip Shadowens is attempting to build depth as quickly as he can before the first game of the season.
“We’re looking to get a lot of kids work,” Shadowens said. “We have a lot of kids that have established themselves as clearly the No. 1 for us. They will get some reps (on Friday), but not a ton. The season starts in two weeks, so we’ll be smart on the amount of reps they get.
“I want to see who can compete at a high level in that second group, and in some situations, that third group. We’re looking for kids that can be physical and play hard every single play while giving us some depth.”