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Jamborees signal the return of high school football
Fast-moving format showcases teams while referees polish their skills.
by Terry Davis
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Local high school football kicked off Thursday night at Cordova High School’s stadium with the first of two jamborees.
With the heat a factor, 14 teams squared off in seven games distinguished by a 20-minute quarter during which the clock ran without interruption and there were no kickoffs or punts. Play began on the 35-yard line and it was predetermined who would have the ball first.
Raleigh Egypt defeated Memphis Academy of Health Sciences (6-0). KIPP Collegiate dominated Martin Luther King Prep (16-0). Douglass outlasted Kingsbury (16-8). White Station and Bolton played to a scoreless tie. Southwind scored late to upend Craigmont. The host team Cordova faced Ridgeway.
Most coaches left some of their best players off of the active roster in order to avoid a serious injury. There weren’t any real game scheming against the opponent. These organized scrimmages purpose was to see how far the teams have come since they have started fall practice.
The games were training sessions for teams, as well as the officials. There were 20-plus referees who took the field for either their first game of the season or their first game ever, with supervisors supplying instant evaluations and on-the-spot critiques.
While defense usually dominates during these early stages, the most dominate performance of the night came from KIPP Collegiate quarterback Dewayne Betts. Betts turned in a trifecta – he scored on a rushing touchdown, threw a touchdown pass and converted a two-point play on running play.
Jamboree number two is tonight, with 16 teams and eight games featuring the same format. The action will feature Mitchell vs Hillcrest (5:30); Sheffield vs BTW (6:30); Oakhaven vs Westwood (7:16); Wooddale vs Kirby (7:39); Hamilton vs Overton, (8:02); Trezevant vs East (8:25); 8:48 Fairley vs Whitehaven (8:48); Melrose vs Central (9:11).