This isn't football, but close enough

This isn't football, but close enough

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This isn't football, but close enough

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Stewarts Creek’s Chris Dye passes the ball during the Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale on Thursday.

Stewarts Creek’s Chris Dye passes the ball during the Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale on Thursday.

Riverdale’s Brandon Bea looks to pass the ball during the Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale on Thursday.

Riverdale’s Brandon Bea looks to pass the ball during the Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale on Thursday.

Oakland’s JaCoby Stevens jumps to make a catch as a Stewarts Creek defender tries to stop him during the Bojanbles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale. Oakland finished runner-up to Marshall County.

Oakland’s JaCoby Stevens jumps to make a catch as a Stewarts Creek defender tries to stop him during the Bojanbles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale. Oakland finished runner-up to Marshall County.

Blackman's Darius Simple and James Brown (30) celebrate a catch and run during Thursday’s Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale.

Blackman’s Darius Simple and James Brown (30) celebrate a catch and run during Thursday’s Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Riverdale.

OK, let’s admit it.

This really isn’t football.

Sure there is a football involved. Helmets and cleats are needed. And on this day there were hundreds of football players on Riverdale’s campus for the annual Bojangles 7-on-7 Passing Tournament.

But that doesn’t make it football. And that’s all right with me.

The TSSAA allows for three weeks of 7-on-7 to be played before the real thing kicks off on July 27 for the first day of practice in full pads. Coaches say this is a period to work on their passing game, both on offense and defense.

Marshall County defeated Oakland at Tomahawk Stadium in the finals of this year’s Riverdale tournament. It marked the second straight year that the Patriots finished second.

But let’s be cautious on getting false hopes.

The folks in Lewisburg shouldn’t be reserving hotel rooms in December in Cookeville just yet. And one runner-up finish doesn’t equal a deep playoff run for Oakland High.

That doesn’t mean Marshall County and Oakland won’t have prosperous seasons. They may.

But all Thursday’s results mean is that both program’s passing attacks are off to a good start.

Not much more can be determined.

That doesn’t mean that 7-on-7 can’t be a good thing. Getting a chance to see how Oakland’s secondary matches up with Riverdale’s wide receivers in the preseason is notable.

And with Blackman, Oakland, Riverdale and Stewarts Creek all trotting out new starting quarterbacks in 2015, every pass can be dissected by coaches and fans.

So no, this isn’t football. But it’s the closest thing there is to it until later this month.

Tom Kreager is the high school sports writer for The Daily News Journal. Contact him at 615-278-5168 or tkreager@dnj.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.

High School Football 2015

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This isn't football, but close enough

Coaches use 7-on-7 on work on passing game.

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