One area high school with a little more momentum than most teams for fall football practice is Hillsboro’s Burros.
High school practice in pads starts Monday morning around the state, and Hillsboro carries with it the enthusiasm of a team championship in last week’s 7-on-7 Fellowship of Christian Athletes 7-on-7 passing camp at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.
Add that to the excitement of a second-round playoff showing last year, and it shoves the Burros into a lot of late July momentum.
Hillsboro went 9-1 in passing segments (in the A division), including wins over Nashville teams Stratford and Whites Creek. The Burros crushed Grace Christian Academy 42-14 in the finals, avenging their lone loss. There were 10 teams involving eight schools (two, including Hillsboro, had two teams).
“Actually, they (Grace Christian) didn’t beat us in a full segment, they were leading when a thunderstorm hit in the middle of our earlier game and we had to stop,” second-year coach Dennis Moreno said. “We played very well all three days and especially so in the finals.”
Junior Amiri Hawkins played superbly as the Burros’ quarterback and is the heir apparent to last year’s passing star Greg Young (now at Lindsey-Wilson, Ky.). Along with junior C.J. Robinson (the Burros rotated quarterbacks), both showed lots of passing skills. Robinson is a converted wide receiver.
Ace receivers abound for Burros
There were lots of quality receivers to throw to in the Burros camp.
Moreno mentioned Patrick Segovia, Terentez (Tez) Vestal and tiny 5-foot-6 Morris (Deuce) Williams, along with senior Devontae Parrish, who has been converted to tight end, as those who played exceptionally well in snagging passes.
“As a group they were exceptional,” Moreno said. “The competition gives us a leg up on our passing game.”
Running game catching up
Asked about the opening of practice in pads on Monday, Moreno said, “we’ll spend a little more time with our running game since that is an area we need to catch up with in regards to our passing game. Our linemen are going to have to step up, because that’s the area where we need to be strong whether we’re passing or running. It’s a big challenge, and that’s where it all starts. And I mean both the D line and the O line.”
Speaking of running backs, watch for senior Aaron Bryant to have a breakout season in 2010. The 6-1, 210-pound Bryant, already a hard-hitting linebacker, is also expected to dish out some punishment to defenders as he runs the ball.
“Watch out for him (Bryant),” said assistant coach Bobby Baskin. “He is really looking good. He’s the younger brother of Calvin (Fridge) Bryant (a 260-pound monster fullback on Hillsboro’s state title team in 2003).”
Metro Jamboree opens Aug. 12
Hillsboro plays old rival Overton for the second straight year in the 42nd Metro Jamboree, which opens up Thursday, Aug. 12.
Hillsboro, which beat Overton on a last-second field goal 3-0 in last year’s jamboree, will play the Bobcats in their two-quarter segment Aug. 13.
On Aug. 12, starting at 7 p.m. at Pearl-Cohn, it’s Hunters Lane vs. Pearl-Cohn, followed by Maplewood vs. Glencliff.
On Aug. 13 at Overton, starting at 6 p.m., the Overton-Hillsboro match-up is followed by Hillwood vs. Lipscomb and Cane Ridge vs. East Lit. McGavock hosts the final segment Saturday, Aug. 14, starting at 7 p.m., where it’s McGavock vs. Whites Creek, followed by Antioch vs. Stratford.
Week 0, the official opening of the high school season, is Aug. 20. The annual Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic is Saturday, Aug. 21 at BGA’s Guffey-Brown Stadium where BGA hosts rival Franklin.