Typically, once the dead period ends, high school football is in full swing.
Thursday morning, Riverdale High School held its 7-on-7 passing camp, hosting several prep football teams from around Middle Tennessee. The Blackman Blaze were eventually crowned champions, beating Wilson Central in the finals.
While it may seem a little odd watching a pass-only scrimmage, many coaches, including Riverdale coach Will Kriesky, view passing camps as a great opportunity to evaluate not only the skill players on offense, but to get a feel for how the state of their secondary.
"We've got all new defensive backs in the secondary, so I just want them to work together," Kriesky said. "A big thing in the secondary is communicating and that's what they're doing out here. Now, we busted a few coverages, but that's part of growing. The kids are fighting. When we throw an interception, I want to see how we respond."
In addition to assessing the cohesion of his secondary, the passing camp allowed Kriesky to gauge the progression of his offense, which is integrating some new pieces around senior quarterback Christian Souffront.
"(The passing camps) are a little tough on running back; they get a little frustrated," Kriesky said. "But they do a good job. We throw them out with some swing passes and bubbles, try to get them comfortable catching out of the backfield."
"It's fun to come out here and work on getting your timing with the receivers without having all of the pressure in your face," Souffront added. "It's a good to just come out here and have fun. It's a great way to get prepared for the competition you'll face each and every week during the season."
Riverdale beat Moore County 13-7 in their second-round matchup of the tournament, before falling 20-14 to Independence. However, this day was not about winning and losing.
"We're working on just working together as a team," Kriseky said. "We're focusing on running good routes, communicating on defense and just playing together as a team."