It’s not quite football time in Middle Tennessee, but for dozens of area high schools Friday served as a final dress rehearsal of sorts.
Teams from across the Midstate suited up Friday for their final tune-up prior to Week 1 of the 2015 high school football season, which gets underway Thursday when Class 6A runner-up Ravenwood hosts Siegel.
Several area teams took part in jamborees, such as the 47th annual Metro Football Jamboree, the fourth annual Rutherford County Jamboree and the East Robertson Jamboree, while others simply completed their final scrimmage of the preseason.
Riverdale RB goes down: A capacity crowd attended the fourth annual Rutherford County football jamboree Friday at Stewarts Creek. The event featured the county’s seven-largest high schools along with Summit.
Riverdale’s final dress rehearsal of the preseason included a significant injury to starting running back Jerry Young.
Young, who had surpassed last year’s starter Austin Bryant with his athleticism, sustained a knee injury on the fifth play of the Warriors’ half with Smyrna.
“I don’t think it looks good, but nobody has X-ray vision,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “There wasn’t an MRI machine. But according to the doctor, it doesn’t look good.
“He had been our go-to guy. But we have two guys back that played that position last year.”
That second guy — Artavious Collier — scored the only two touchdowns of the game.
Quick turnaround: Montgomery Bell Academy coach Marty Euverard saw his team take care of business in Friday’s scrimmage against visiting Brentwood.
On Saturday, the two-time state champion coach will get to see his son — former Big Red quarterback and current Navy freshman Cole Euverard — for the first time in over a month.
“I haven’t seen him since July 1, since he left,” coach Euverard said. “They only let them talk (on the phone) three times, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him. I miss him a lot.”
Cole Euverard, the 2014 Division II Mr. Football Back winner, tallied 2,654 yards from scrimmage and 36 total touchdowns a season ago, helping lead MBA to an 11-2 record and the school’s first state title since 2007.
Ready to roll: Pearl-Cohn senior Rontavius Groves is anxious for the upcoming season. That was evident in the Firebirds’ two-quarter scrimmage against Stratford on Thursday at Maplewood — Day 1 of a three-day event.
“We’re super excited for this season and we feel like we have big things in front of us,” Groves said. “It’s been exciting, the wait, but I’ve been starting to get a little anxious.”
Groves, one of the area’s top collegiate prospects, didn’t have to wait long to get his hands on the ball, as the 5-foot-11, 175-pound receiver ripped off a 70-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage — his first of two touchdowns in the contest.
“I know what I’m capable of, and I’m going to play to my highest ability every game regardless,” said Groves, who also hauled in a 70-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jimmy Ferrell.
Coaches debut, again: A pair of first-year coaches were on display Thursday. Neither were lacking in experience, though.
Nashville coaching legend Maurice Fitzgerald, who led Pearl-Cohn to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 17 seasons (1989-2005), has returned to the sidelines as head coach at Stratford.
Former Antioch coach and Father Ryan assistant Thomas McPhail has also returned to the head-coaching ranks this season after taking over at Hunters Lane in late May.
“Whether you’re the head coach or an assistant, it’s the same,” McPhail said. “You’ve got your assistants, you work them hard and you hope to have success.”
Hillwood coach Kurt Page, Antioch’s Calvin Hall, Cane Ridge’s Eddie Woods and Whites Creek’s Tyrus Ward are the other new faces among the Metro coaching ranks.
The Daily News Journal’s Tom Kreager contributed to this report.