The 49th annual MNPS Jamboree will take place over the course of three nights and began last night at Whites Creek High School. The evening kicked off with Maplewood vs. Hunters Lane and concluded with McGavock vs. Whites Creek. Summer camp is over and some scrimmages have already occurred but the MNPS Jamboree marks the true return of football for many Nashville residents. It was easy to see the excitement and anticipation from the players and coaches involved in this last dress rehearsal before regular season play begins.
Hunters Lane head coach Thomas McPhail detailed what he expected from his squad before the opening contest began. “Tonight we’re just really looking for our guys to come out and compete, tackle, and hit. Do the things we’ve been working on in camp to this point. With school starting we’ve had a few more kids come out and it’s like starting over sometimes with practice, but I like our group. I think we have some kids that have the right mindset,” said McPhail. Maplewood’s head coach Arcentae Broome echoed some of these sentiments, “Just a lot of effort. I want them to be tough. I want them to play hard. I don’t think we are in the shape we need to be in so that’ll tell me something in these two quarters. I just want to see them go hard even if they make a mistake.”
Maplewood’s defense forced an opening series three and out for Hunters Lane and the Panthers would score the first time they touched the ball. David Southerland for Maplewood received the handoff on a reverse punt return and scurried down the sideline for a 55 yard opening TD strike. Hunters Lane’s offense struggled to find any momentum all scrimmage but the defense competed well. DT Markell Beasley won some one on one matchups for the Warriors and came up with a few tackles for loss. LB Keon Thompson also had a huge hit to break up a catch that would have resulted in a first down. However, the Panther offense would break through twice more with Southerland scoring again on a 10 yard pitch to the left and Mekell Smith outracing defenders to the endzone on a 58 yard touchdown run. Maplewood was unsuccessful on all three two point conversion attempts for the night but still took the victory 18-0.
McGavock’s Ta’micus Napier would steal the show in the second matchup of the evening between McGavock and Whites Creek. The offensive line consistently presented Napier with wide rushing lanes and he made the most of his opportunities. Napier would finish the night with three rushing touchdowns in the two quarter scrimmage. He summed it up well by stating postgame, “I saw the holes they were blocking and followed my linemen.” Napier’s most impressive score of the night came when he burst through the left side of the defense and was able to ease into the endzone from 34 yards out.
Whites Creek competed throughout but couldn’t ever find a consistent drive to reach the endzone. QB Edward Martin made some plays with his legs and arm but his best throw of the night to get within the Raiders’ ten yard line was called back due to a penalty. First year Whites Creek head coach Ron Lambert spoke about what his team needed going into Week 1 after the game, “We really just want to clean up the mistakes. We are a young team. I got here at the end of April. We didn’t really have spring ball. Had a very slow summer. This group has been together probably a solid too weeks.”
The three scores by Napier were the only touchdowns in the game with McGavock taking the victory by a final score of 19-0. Starting left tackle for the Raiders, Josh Booker, talked about carrying over the success his O-line had in the Jamboree into practice next week. “Keep up the intensity. Practice hard, block hard and we will show it on Friday nights.” Aggressive CB Cardarius Roriex had a good night in run support and hopes his defense will carry over momentum as well. He stated, “We just got to work on hitting and wrapping up. We have to worry about covering the ball. We have a good strong run defense.”
The MNPS Jamboree is always a fun event to attend but now the real fun is upon us. The first Game Week of the season begins on Monday.